I absolutely hate it when people whisper the word gay, like it is a swear or a secret.
A couple of years ago when I was shocked into stunned silence when a "friend" (and I use the quotes sarcastically) said that she walked out of Rent because of the "gay agenda" (more sarcastic quotes), that I would better prepare myself with comebacks in the future.
But I have since failed at least three times.
Last night it was at my son's soccer practice. My son is the only kid on the team from a different school and the parents are trying really hard to reach out to us and be friendly. But one mom who I've sort of known for a few years well telling a story about how she had to have the *dramatic whisper* gay talk with her third grader because of something they saw on television.
I wasn't really part of the conversation and the other parents just sort of said, "Oh," and asked, "Did he understand?" So I guess I really had nothing to take offense to.
Except for that dramatic whisper! I hate that! Because we all know what she's really saying.
I wanted to tell her about my kids. I wanted to tell her about how I had the *dramatic whisper* gay talk with my daughter when she was five. And how I stupidly stressed about it. But to my daughter it was no big deal at all. She had questions and I gave her answers. She had questions for Uncle Patrick, and he gave her answers.
By the way, she mostly wants to know why he's single. I think she wants to play matchmaker.
And I wanted to tell about how my son doesn't even need the talk because he's grown up with gay family. I've overheard my kids talking to each other about girls and boys and my son lectured my daughter about how men could love men too. To him, gay and straight are just facts of life.
I wanted to tell her that I actually am more bothered by people who think they are tolerant, yet really are completely prejudiced against *dramatic whisper* gay people. It is the permeating homophobia disguised as hip, modern day understanding that really does the most damage because it still allows everyday, average people to think in terms of normal versus abnormal.
Yet, I didn't say a word.
I am so frustrated with myself. How hard would it have been to say, "Oh, my best friend is gay so my kids have understood for a long time." Or something like that? Anything at all?
I have an eight-year-old daughter who has decided that she doesn't want to support any company that doesn't support gay people, yet I can't say the word gay in front of a group of soccer moms?
I resolve again to handle these situations better in the future. It's easy to be supportive surrounded by the love and comfort of gay friends in a gay-friendly community. It is another thing entirely to stand up for what I believe in this world of Southern Crosses and rebel flags.
I will do better.