As I may have mentioned in previous posts, I am the Mother of a small human, he is 5, and he is of the boy variety, which is relevant for this post. Although that said he doesn’t yet understand pronouns, and in fact is still mastering when to use them correctly in a sentence, for example there’s a lot of ‘him jumped, or her said’. So I’m not sure how relevant his gender is to his everyday life. He’s also yet to ask many of the big questions we have to navigate as parents, and is still in the phase of acceptance many of us lose as we grow older.
Who he is when he grows up in terms of gender, sexuality and lifestyle choices matters far less to me than his happiness. I also hope that as well as being happy he is a decent human being. I try as best I can to let him be who he wants to be, even at 5. Right now all he really wants to be is funny, which is pretty cute. He just wants to make everyone laugh. He also wants to be kind to everyone, and gets upset when he sees other people acting unkindly. These are qualities I do not want to quash.
The later half of last week he was a poorly bunny, nothing serious, but he was tired, with a temperature and generally not himself. A small burst of energy had him brushing my hair and bringing me all my colourful, beaded bracelets and necklaces, so he could put them on me. Picking up a necklace he pops it on his head and asks me if that is what it is for. To me he looks utterly adorable, a pink bow just off centre made the whole image even cuter.
Being a Mum in this digital world is great, I was immediately able to capture the moment and share it with family and friends on Facebook. There was also a video complete with him doing a hula dance, which made my day, especially as he was so lethargic up until this point.
When I shared this picture and video on Facebook I never imagined it would prompt a writing for my blog, a blog that is predominantly about kinky stuff, I sometimes touch upon sexuality, but not often, because it really isn’t my forte. A family member made a comment that made my blood boil though, and ranting about it on here is really my best outlet.
The comment in question being ‘Nip that in the bud. Straight away.’ With a thumbs down emoji and then some kisses. The kisses I’m guessing make the whole comment okay! It could be that my uncle just has a hatred for bows, but I know, because I know him and the type of circles he runs in that this is about inciting gayness. To me though this is also telling me to stop allowing my child to be who he is, which is a funny little boy who cares enough to want to make Mummy laugh with a silly dance.
Another reason his comment made me so furious is that this uncle in question has a gay niece (my cousin), who is married to a woman, who is accepted and loved for who she is. I know 100% though, that a male coming out in our family would be ‘a fairy, a queer, bent etc’ and the question would be, ‘How did we make him gay?’ The rage this causes in me is hard to explain and it makes me wonder if this is still a widespread type of thinking?
As a bisexual woman I’ve faced my fair share of stupid comments:
- You’re just greedy/scared of missing out (So greedy, that’s why my life is one constant orgy, oh wait, no it’s not)
- When are you going to pick a side (hmmm … How about … never?)
- Oh so you’re straight again/a lesbian again (depending on gender of my partner)
- You must prefer one or the other (Must I? Really?)
- You must love threesomes (Um, I hate to disappoint you but not so much)
- How can you be trusted not to cheat? (There isn’t a big enough eye roll for this one)
The list could go on and on, but I’ll leave it there. My point is that I get that people make dumb comments about things they don’t understand, but are some people really so ignorant that they still don’t accept that sexuality is just who we are, and not the product of being allowed to wear pink bows as a child? Unless I’m the ignorant one and pink bows really are the route of all things non-hetero.
I have tried to unravel the thought process behind comments like the one that got me angry, and wondering why gay girls are okay and gay dudes not so much, and everything I come up with just makes me more angry. They either invalidate lesbian relationships, or paint gay men as predators with no self-control.
It makes me sad that views like this are held by people close to me. It makes me even sadder to know that my friends who are transgender, genderfluid, non-binary or anything other than cisgendered would be vilified even more than a gay man would be. That my lifestyle and the people I choose to have in my life would be frowned upon, laughed at or dismissed as somehow immoral.
I didn’t write this to show how enlightened I am, because I’m certain I have a long way to go or to show how great and progressive my parenting is, because it really isn’t. I wrote it because I am disappointed. I’m disappointed that more people aren’t ready to learn about and embrace people who are different to them. I am learning all the time, and the best way to learn is by interacting with awesome people who challenge the way we think and show us new ways to see the world.
While this was prompted by a comment about sexuality, my thoughts on the matter reflect how I feel about most differences that we can have with other people. Which on many occassions has led to be being called a ‘free loving liberal hippy’, I am certain this is meant to be an insult, but I’m still trying to figure out why. Better a free loving liberal hippy than an ignorant bigot.