By Frank Lowe
Originally published on Advocate.com April 09 2014 11:30 AM ET
One of the things I love most about children is the fact that they are born free of any prejudice. Kids only gain prejudice because of their parents or other outside influences. I take pride in knowing that my son will be as prejudice-free as possible, and we have him enrolled in an incredibly diverse school. One thing kids do, though, is notice differences. They are incredibly sharp at discovering them and pointing them out. In fact, my son was only 3 years old when he bluntly asked us at lunch one day, “Why do I have two daddies?”
At first, I was blown away by this question. I thought for sure this would have been saved for age 5 or 6, but no. All of the sudden a quiet little lunch at a diner was turning into a major life experience. At the moment, I came up with a formulaic response that would serve the purpose anytime that question arose. I answered him, “Well, some people just do.” It was simple and concise and vague, and kids will accept almost any answer you give them, so I knew it would work. I kept going, saying “Some people have a mommy and a daddy, some people have two daddies, some people have two mommies, some people have one daddy or one mommy, and some people don’t have any daddies or mommies at all.” He replied, “Oh, why don’t they have any daddies or mommies?” Again, I was vague: “Some people just don’t.”
That was the end of that conversation, at least with him. Since then a couple of his friends have asked me the same thing, and they get exactly the same answer: “Some people just do.” It works like a charm every time. A very inquisitive little girl noticed my husband walking around the house, so after I told her “some people do,” she said, “So he lives here in this house too?” “Yup,” I replied. And that was the end of that. I think the key is to be as nonchalant about it as possible. If you give kids a long, drawn-out answer, it’s only going to confuse them.
Until my son really knows what it means to be gay, he will be blissfully ignorant and blunt about the issue. At his 4th birthday party, he fell into a desk corner and gashed open his forehead, requiring a trip to the emergency room. He calms down, the doctor was talking to him and at one point asked about his mommy. My son boldly said to the doctor, “I don’t have a mommy, I have two daddies.” I had to leave the room because I started bawling, and I couldn’t be prouder to call him my son.
FRANK LOWE is The Advocate’s parenting writer. Follow Frank on Twitter @GayAtHomeDad and on Instagram at gayathomedad.