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When your 7-Year-old son says, ‘I want to be gay’

November 21, 2013

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I am lucky enough to have a three sons. My middle son is now 7, the same age that my oldest was when he started identifying as gay.

It should not have been a shock to me that around this same age, my middle son would start having questions and opinions about his older brother’s orientation, but it was.

At first it was just a normal part of his life that wasn’t interesting enough to think about. “My brother is gay, but does anyone want to play Mario Kart?” was pretty much his opinion on the subject. But that has started to change.

A few months ago, it was one of those horribly disgusting summer days where the heat and humidity just won’t quit. As luck would have it, two of our very good friends, Sam and Toby, have a pool and invited us over to save us from the heat’s torture.

Sam and Toby live in a very cool and expensive part of town not too far from us. They have a house that our kids refer to as “the castle.”

The boys love Sam and Toby and love visiting their place. We had been in the pool for a couple of hours, and all the manic energy that kids release in a body of water had dissipated. We were taking some time to just chill in the cool water.

My middle son was tired, so he was nestled against my chest as I floated on my back.

“Mum,” he said, breaking the silence.

“Yeah, baby?” I said sleepily.

“I want to be gay.”

That brought me to a halt. I brought him into my arms and put my feet safely on the bottom of the pool.

“Well,” I started, then stopped. This was unexpected. My middle son had never had boy crushes like my older kid, and last year he wanted to marry a female classmate.

Neither of those was a big deal. It was the way that he phrased his sentence that made me pause. He wanted to be gay. That was so different from our older son, who simply announced that gay is who he is.

“Why do you want to be gay, sweetie?” I asked, his little head still snuggled into me.

“When I am grown up, I want to live in a big house like this and have a pool.”

Ah, OK. So this was something very different. It just so happens that none of our heterosexual friends live in big houses with pools, so I could see where his thought process was coming from.

“Being gay isn’t something you can want and wish for,” I told him as I stroked his wet, blond hair. “Being gay is something you are.”

He raised his head and looked at his older brother. “He gets to be gay.”

“Yes, he does. But he’s gay because he wants to hold hands with other boys. He wants to have boyfriends and maybe marry a boy one day.”

“Like Toby and Sam.”

“Yes, like them. But that doesn’t mean he’ll have a house like this. Does Michael have a house like this, or Johnny?” I asked, mentioning two of our other adult, gay friends.

My son shook his head. “And you don’t have to marry a boy to get a house like this. Some of Sam and Toby’s neighbours are like Mummy and Daddy, a boy and a girl. So no matter if you like boys or girls, you can still grow up to have a big, fun house like this.”

“OK,” he sighed and put his head back on my chest. I know I could have left it there, but something pushed me forward still. I bounced his body until he was looking at me again.

“Do you like boys or girls?” I asked, looking into his eyes.

He cocked his head and thought for a minute. “I haven’t decided yet.”

“And that’s OK. Not everyone figures that out when your brother did. You have lots of time.”

“OK.”

“When you do figure it out, I won’t love you any more or any less than I do right now. No matter who you like, Mum will always love you to the Moon and stars and back again.”

I hugged him close to me. Then I whispered into my son’s ear the game I have been playing with all my kids since they were born. “Who is my best boy?”

He smiled up at me. It was that smile that pulls at my heart, the one that takes over his entire face. “Me.”

“That’s right.” I then looked to his older brother, who had been listening to the whole conversation, and said to him, “Who’s my best boy?”

“Me!” He yelled back.

Then I turned to our baby boy, sitting in a chair beside the pool, a towel over his head and downing chips like he hadn’t eaten in days. “Who’s my best boy?” I hollered up at him.

“Me, Mama!” he yelled, sending chip bits flying. “I’m your best boy!”

“That’s right!” And I turned my attention back to my middle son. “You are my best boys. And you are all perfect just the way you are.”

“OK,” he said on a sigh, resting his head on my chest again and closing his eyes. It looked like our conversation was over.

But that was just the beginning of the questions. We’ve answered them all, because he should be free to ask them. What my middle son reminded me is that being gay isn’t only his big brother’s story.

We are a family. Having a gay son is part of my story too, and part of his dad’s. Having a gay brother is part of my other two sons’ stories, and that should not be belittled or ignored. And since it is part of their story, they should always be allowed to ask questions, and it’s my job as their mum to answer them, honestly, every time.

This piece was first published on The Huffington Post

 

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28 Comments leave one →
  1. November 21, 2013 7:37 pm

    Huff-Po`s new Mount-Mee newsroom is doing a fine job.

  2. TB Queensland permalink
    November 21, 2013 7:53 pm

    Great post … openly discussed in our – extended – family, now too … wasn’t always!!

  3. November 21, 2013 8:09 pm

    The link contained within the article is really good too..

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/Amelia/when-your-7-year-old-son-announces-im-gay_b_1277910.html

  4. TB Queensland permalink
    November 21, 2013 9:18 pm

    OT

    Just got some Kentucky Duck

    Bumper sticker in front of me

    “Real Men Love Jesus” 😯

  5. November 21, 2013 11:42 pm

    ha ha ha Huff-po`s Topeka newsroom

    ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘Equality House, the building across the street from the Westboro Baptist Church compound, is making a bold move in honor of the Transgender Day Of Remembrance: painting the house the colors of the transgender flag.

    The Equality House is an initiative spearheaded by the organization Planting Peace that seeks to challange the radical and homophobic rhetoric of the Westboro Baptist Church. In the past, the house, which was originally painted the colors of the Rainbow flag last March, has played host to a child’s lemonade stand for peace, a gay wedding, and a drag show — all essentially on the anti-gay church’s front lawn.’ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/11/20/equality-house-transgender-awareness_n_4304875.html

  6. TB Queensland permalink
    November 22, 2013 11:57 am

    Oops, I saw the bumper sticker again this morning …

    “Only Real Men Love Jesus” – apparently … 🙄 … and an LNP sticker on the back window … 🙄

  7. November 22, 2013 12:29 pm

    This is what happens when you have a media controlled by the vast forces of leftist homosexual agrarian socialists spreading their Godless propaganda to our children. Suddenly, it’s okay to aspire to be a pervert. What next, “I wanna be a tree?” That would no doubt satisfy the totalitarians in the Green movement, but people can’t be “a tree” no more than they can procreate with a horse, but try telling some people that, and they’ll start rabbiting on about their “rights” and all that bullshit, and “equality”.

    Do you know what Jesus would say if He were alive today and seeing all this crap going on?

    He’d say, “Fuck the lot of you, you’re all a bunch of twisted cunts. I’m going back to the cave.”

    That’s what he’d say.

  8. egg permalink
    November 22, 2013 2:23 pm

    “Only Real Men Love Jesus” – apparently … … and an LNP sticker on the back window …

    Purely coincidental.

  9. TB Queensland permalink
    November 22, 2013 3:25 pm

    Purely coincidental.

    Thank Christ for that!

    Wonder what Ross had for lunch????? 😕 😉

  10. November 22, 2013 8:34 pm

    “Governor General comes out in support of a republic, gay marriage”

    So let’s all stand by for Inane Hall’s argument that “conservatives” are against marriage equality..

    Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/governor-general-comes-out-in-support-of-a-republic-gay-marriage-20131122-2y1kx.html#ixzz2lMi3Rbtm

  11. egg permalink
    November 22, 2013 8:51 pm

    Bryce would be a popular candidate to become the first president of the Republic.

  12. November 22, 2013 9:22 pm

    quote-1 ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘Quentin Bryce has become the first governor-general in Australia’s history to declare their support for an Australian republic during a landmark speech in Sydney.’ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘

    then later on,

    quote-2 ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘In her wide-ranging speech, Ms Bryce said that Australians needed to acknowledge that there were still many aspects of Australian life that needed reform.

    She called for women’s contributions to Australian society to be valued equally with men’s and for a “fairer Australia” that “regards giving as a natural way of living”.’ ‘ ‘ ‘
    .
    l don`t for a minute believe that if quote-1 was enacted, there would be any hope for quote-2 ideals being met. We actually live in a `corporatocracy` that has made people-3rd-class, govt-2nd-class and corporations-1st-class citizens.

    l really doubt that an Aust `republic` would not be modeled on teh-usa, and we would all go further down the chute, just as teh-usa citizens have.

    #i.agree.with.the.gay.marriage.and.feminista.sentiments

  13. TB Queensland permalink
    November 23, 2013 12:51 pm

    Bryce would be a popular candidate to become the first president of the Republic.

    Stop making shit up, egg …

    we would all go further down the chute, just as teh-usa citizens have.

    That argument is almost enough to make me become a monarchist … almost …

  14. November 23, 2013 11:19 pm

    ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘That argument is almost enough to make me become a monarchist _ almost’ ‘ ‘ ‘

    TB, FYI, not a monarchist, l wouldn`t go to my front gate to see`em prancing down my street, just not interested in the royal-celeb-fetish thing, don`t wish ill of`em either tho.

    l just don`t see the point of putting the `national-ute` in the crusher, just coz the hood-ornament is a bit crappy.

  15. egg permalink
    November 24, 2013 9:05 am

    ‘Stop making shit up, egg …’

    Quentin would be in a nursing home long before there is a hypothetical Republic. Under tone’s watch it simply won’t happen

  16. November 24, 2013 9:23 am

    ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘1/ Quentin would be in a nursing home long before there is a hypothetical Republic. +2/ Under tone’s watch it simply won’t happen’ ‘ ‘ ‘

    Yeah, l agree with ya fully Dumpty.
    The `republic` seems to be the far-Looney-Left wet-dream, which tends to ignore most of what the Lefty crowd screech about.

  17. TB Queensland permalink
    November 24, 2013 10:32 am

    C’mon, 007, I wouldn’t call myself a far left looney … but I’ve seen too much of The Firm in action over the years to know its simply about power, influence and money … all because of where you or your ancestors were born …

    We Australians “boast” about an egalitarian society … we’ve still got some way to go … getting rid of queens is a good start … 😉 😆 🙄

  18. November 24, 2013 11:17 am

    ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘The Firm in action over the years to know its simply about power, influence and money’ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘
    Hood ornaments!
    Liz couldn`t stop john-w and blair goose-steppin into lraq after george-w, even if she wanted to.

    Yeah, sure, Liz`s mob is getting better than average welfare.

    Show me the `power` TB.

    ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘We Australians “boast” about an egalitarian society’ ‘ ‘ ‘
    Not me TB. We are just another primate society.

  19. TB Queensland permalink
    November 24, 2013 1:01 pm

    Show me the `power` TB.

    Easy ….

    $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$

    http://www.celebritynetworth.com/articles/entertainment-articles/royal-family-uk-taxpayers/

    In fact The Firm is just the liitle brother of the churches in that it pays no taxes on its earnings … and if one of the lads wants to visit Oz for the rugby or cricket dontcha know … we pay … yep, you and me …

    What a noice little number …

    And why should such a cosmopolitan society as Australia have a Head of State 20,000 km over the horizon … because we’ve always had one … ???? GMAFB … we really should be ready to cut the apron strings … even many of the poms I spoke to in the UK, on several trips, but particularly after the Referendum, couldn’t understand it …

  20. November 24, 2013 2:09 pm

    Show me the `power` TB. Easy _ $$$$$$$$$$$
    wrong, it was sarc, from your link,
    ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘She is not an absolute monarch like for example King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia who has zero regulations or restrictions on how he chooses to rule.’ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘
    #saudi king has real `power`
    ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘Today, Queen Elizabeth’s role in British politics is largely symbolic. Her role has been described as a “focus of national unity”, or in other words “a tourist attraction”.’ ‘ ‘ ‘
    #hood ornament
    ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘we really should be ready to cut the apron strings’ ‘ ‘ ‘
    apron-strings, `being-fully-grown` and other emotive arguments are the reason,
    ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘but particularly after the Referendum, couldn’t understand it’ ‘ ‘ ‘
    the referendum went down the chute, and would again today if it was tried.
    Those `emotive` jingoistic arguments do not translate as reasons to give the 1st and 2nd class citizens MORE power over us than they already have, and they would take if given half a chance.

    As l said here,

    We actually live in a `corporatocracy` that has made people-3rd-class, govt-2nd-class and corporations-1st-class citizens.

    l really doubt that an Aust `republic` would not be modeled on teh-usa, and we would all go further down the chute, just as teh-usa citizens have.

  21. November 24, 2013 2:16 pm

    By the way TB, a `republic` is an east-coast fetish. Any republic that would happen, would not be `just-like-we-are-now`. The west-coast will demand much, much more power if it is to stay with the `rest-of-so-called-republic` based on the amount of welfare they pay to support the east-coast. WA may even prefer to be their own nation.

  22. Tom of Melbourne permalink
    November 24, 2013 3:37 pm

    WA may even prefer to be their own nation.

    That would be nice, they’re mainly narrow minded f**kwits over there you know. Most have never been to the east coast to see a real city, those from the east coast that settle there do so because they’re-
    *On the run from the family court
    *On the run from the police
    *F**kwits who don’t fit into a civilised society

  23. TB Queensland permalink
    November 24, 2013 7:08 pm

    … the referendum went down the chute, and would again today if it was tried.

    BS … The Rodent fogged the real issue with a second question … very clever … with surveys consistently running at 70% it should have been cut and dried … how did you vote? Did you vote?

    east coast, west coast??? … “welfare”?? more BS … BTW, you do know the mining industry has slowed to a virtual standstill … a project manager who lives next door tells me there are 7000 mining engineers out of work … his company (Canadian) Brisbane branch has reduced staff from 230 to 15 in six months … he’ll know in February if he still has a job …

    I think WA might be seeking rather than giving welfare in the not too distant future …

  24. TB Queensland permalink
    November 24, 2013 7:09 pm

    Which state are you from, 0007? 🙄

  25. November 24, 2013 7:31 pm

    ‘ ‘ ‘The Rodent fogged the real issue with a second question’ ‘ ‘
    john-w jumped on the wa band-wagon after tas and sa did
    .
    ‘ ‘ ‘with surveys consistently running at 70% it should have been cut and dried’ ‘ ‘
    east-coast surveys, no doubt, but no `definite` republic charter was drawn-up, the vote for a republic and just, oh trust us (the_pollies) to work out the details later didn`t fly with the east-coast public either, don`t give john-w credit/blame for merely jumping on the band-wagon
    .
    ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘how did you vote?’ ‘ ‘ ‘
    no-republic, and still wouldn`t today for reasons above

  26. TB Queensland permalink
    November 24, 2013 8:18 pm

    LOL!

    Didn’t take you for a “born to rule” … monarchy has absolutely nothing going … wait … why should we continue with monarchy in the UK as Australia’s HoS? … how do we as a nation gain (it certainly costs us) …

  27. egg permalink
    November 24, 2013 8:29 pm

    ‘but no `definite` republic charter was drawn-up’

    That was disappointing, but maybe the time was not ripe.

  28. November 24, 2013 8:47 pm

    ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘Didn’t take you for a “born to rule”’ ‘ ‘ ‘

    That`s quite an impoverished comment from you TB, particularly when l explained `3rd-class-citizen` above. The population `want` #voluntary-euthanasia and #gay-marriage but haven`t yet got either, despite high polling among the public. Our benevolent dictators don`t deserve more power slipped to them via `back-door` republic, to oppose our wishes.

    lf you believe these turds won`t grab more power away from the citizens for themselves you are much more `charitable` and optimistic than l am on the republic topic.

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