Yesterday, I was taking a video to send to my brother. I thought I was capturing the beauty of the sudden snowfall, but instead, I captured something much more beautiful. (Video at bottom of page).
I turned around to ask my 5-year-old daughter, Scarlett, if she could believe how much snow was coming down, and that’s when I noticed what she was drawing. I didn’t really think anything of it at the time, until I analysed the event later on – a child drawing a picture of two men holding hands probably doesn’t occur too often in most households.
Scarlett was drawing a picture of her Uncles, whom she adores, holding hands, and thinking absolutely nothing of it.
As a parent, this was an incredibly proud moment for me. It means that I’ve taught my child that LOVE IS LOVE. To see my lesson in love paying off fills my heart with so much pride and joy.
I remember the exact moment as a kid that I learned about “gay people” for the first time. The way that it was explained to me made me think that being gay was weird and wrong. I had never met a gay person before and was pretty confused by the idea of it. That was, of course, until I started to meet gay people and gay couples and realized that there was absolutely nothing strange about them.
At 19 years old, my brother, whom is my absolute best friend on the planet, came out. I felt nothing but relief and happiness for him because, of course, I had always suspected, and now he was able to live as his true self. When I had Scarlett I knew that she would be close with her Uncle, and when she got old enough, would have questions about why Uncle Dan had a boyfriend/husband instead of a wife. I also knew that I never wanted to have the “gay talk” with her, or have her questions about being gay be a serious and awkward topic of discussion, like it was for me. I just wanted her to know that being gay is just another option when it comes to love.
From very early on, around the age of 3, we made a point of sharing with Scarlett, in very casual conversation, that you can love in all sorts of ways – some guys love girls, some girls love guys, some guys love guys, some girls love girls, and some people love both guys and girls!
Scarlett has now grown up seeing her Uncles hug and kiss and assumes that they are just the type of guys that like other guys. All you see on TV, cartoons and Disney movies, is men and women falling in love and living happily ever after, so once in a while I’ll remind her that some guys love girls and some guys love guys etc., because I don’t want the culture that we live in to effect her perception of “normal”.
I’ve recently noticed that her Barbies have been dating and getting married and that they’re all in hetero-sexual relationships, which is absolutely fine, but sometimes I’ll make a point of sitting down with her and pretending that her Barbie and Ken happen to be next door neighbours with two Barbies who are also happily married with a baby of their own. This way, I’m not only verbalising it to her, I’m showing her.
When I turned around to see my daughter drawing pictures of Uncle Dan and Uncle Brent, finding it more amusing that Uncle Brent was wearing a witch hat than the fact that they were holding hands, made me realize that as a parent, I have done something right. My hope too, is that one day, if any of our kids discover that they’re gay, bisexual, or trans-gendered, that they’ll be able to relay that to my husband and I in an equally casual way, knowing that there is zero judgement on our end, and feeling like there is nothing wrong with their decision of who to love.