How will you explain homosexuality to your children?

@II2aTee (2560)
United States
June 24, 2008 11:31am CST
Well, here I am again, peddling my weekly contraversial topic. On the agenda for this week: Homosexual Tolerence course in Americas High Schools. So here is a scenerio (taken from many real life instances). Your son or daughter comes home and tells you that he/she is taking a course that teaches acceptance and tolerence of the homosexuals and other people with differences. Now, in this day and age, you child would probably have long been aware of homosexuality. Whether it be from TV, from the news, or from friends on the school yard or bus. Short of home schooling and making your home a vaccuum of technology and foprbid internet, TV and radio, there is really no way for them not to at least be aware that homosexuals exist. My questions to you: How would you react given the scenerio above? Secondly, how would you/do you/did you explain homosexuality to your child?
11 people like this
29 responses
@tessah (6638)
• United States
24 Jun 08
i never really felt it needed "explanation" anymore than heterosexuality needed one. my children are raised with the knowledge and comprehension of love, in all its forms.. period. i dont want their psyche to be tainted by societal veiws on the subject in any way.. if they arent taught at home its "wrong" before they are capable of coherant independant thought, they wont need to be untaught later on with such classes as this tolerance one youve described. race creed religion orientation.. ive done my very best to make them deaf & blind to the differences and simply see people as individuals.. judged only on the merits and actions of said individual.. not by the color of their skin, how they worship, or who they love in their lives.
2 people like this
@olivemai (4738)
• United States
24 Jun 08
That is what I thought! We were taught in a similar way in catholic school! Only this year, I came to hear that people are being hired for government paid jobs, based on whether or not they "celebrate" our differences! The person who said that she would ignore the differences was not hired! Go figure!
1 person likes this
@tessah (6638)
• United States
24 Jun 08
i think in order for true "equality" to be achieved.. emphasis on the DIFFERENCES shouldnt even be happening. i dont make an effort to point out people to my kids and say "see they are different.. respect them" that only brings attention to the differences.. how much logical sense does it really make to say LOOK AT THIS and then NOW IGNORE IT!! ?
1 person likes this
@mommyboo (13207)
• United States
26 Jun 08
Very true, tessah. I get pretty angered when people USE their differences to try to stand out. I don't see this as a good idea because of things that I also disagree with, such as affirmative action and other discriminatory (yes I said discriminatory) practices that have been more or less legalized. I prefer to use common differnces such as taller or shorter, thin or heavy to describe people instead of mentioning anything about color/race, religion, sexuality, etc. I simply don't understand why someone would rather say 'John is black' instead of saying 'John is taller than I am' or 'he's a math whiz'.
@bcote212 (1113)
• United States
24 Jun 08
I think that it would be a great idea. But perhaps Im biased because I am myself gay LOL. I believe that by the time that children are in school that would have already seen gay people and families. Schools teach diversity, and I think that sexuality is a big part of the diversity that we have in the world.
2 people like this
@II2aTee (2560)
• United States
24 Jun 08
I happen to think that any diversity courses, be it homosexual, ethnic, religious, exc, done right can only lead to a brighter future for all kids.
3 people like this
@II2aTee (2560)
• United States
24 Jun 08
Special... HAHAHA. Yeah. I got your special right here....
3 people like this
@liquorice (3902)
24 Jun 08
Oh dear! I wonder where in the world they got that term from. It's as if maybe they don't want the kids to utter the words 'gay' or 'homosexual'(?)
1 person likes this
@liquorice (3902)
24 Jun 08
Well, although she's met some homeosexuals before my daughter hasn't asked that question yet, but I'm sure it will come up sooner or later. I don't honestly think it'll be that hard to explain. I think we'll just tell her that some men love women and some men love other men, and some women love men and some love other women. I think she'll accept this pretty easily as she hasn't got a relationship 'norm' established in her head, like so many older people who are against or mistrustful of homosexuality. I would hope that when she goes to school it will be liberal enough to teach courses like this, and reduce future prejudices. I think it sounds great :0)
2 people like this
@II2aTee (2560)
• United States
24 Jun 08
When I was in high school I took a health class and it merely touched on homosexuality. There was about 1 paragraph in the book, and even that paragraph was vague and would never come close to informing anyone about homosexuality. At that time in my life, I was still struggling with my homosexual feelings and was desperatly searching for answers. If classes like this existed, it certainly would made me have felt less like an outsider oddball, at the same time educating everyone on the importance of tolerance for people with differences. Who knows, maybe I would not have been beaten unconcious in the halls of the school if the people who attacked me had learned a thing or two in a class of this nature. Lets hope for a brighter future, and thank you so much commenting :)
3 people like this
@liquorice (3902)
24 Jun 08
Well, I'm sorry you had to go through such a horrendous time. As if you didn't have enough of a bad time trying to figure out who you were. I'm afraid there are always going to be bullies and bigots around whatever they teach you in schools, but hopefully if more schools are going to teach courses like this then there won't be so many of them. And also, hopefully there'll be more kids who have an understanding about tolerance (and who don't care one way or the other about someone's sexuality), and they'll be able to support the kids in this situation and maybe, through strength in numbers, stop them being victimised in the first place.
1 person likes this
@cyntrow (8527)
• United States
24 Jun 08
You know, it's funny, but I've never had to explain to any of my kids about homosexuality. I have gay family members and gay friends. My youngest girls have grown up with my brother's daughters. They all see it the way it is. It just is, you know. The only one the ever questioned was my second son and that was after he told me that he was gay. And the question was, "why?" The only answer that I had was genetics. Then I had to let him know that his dad was gay which opened a whole new can of worms.
2 people like this
@phoenix25 (1543)
• United States
25 Jun 08
Well, I would have to say that my son probably wouldn't have to wait around to hear about homosexuality from a course at school because I would have already talked to him about it. I do plan on talking to him about it (he's only 4 now) and I have considered since I was pregnant with him that he might one day turn out to be a homosexual.
1 person likes this
@cyntrow (8527)
• United States
25 Jun 08
Just out of curiosity, why do you think your child might be gay?
@cyntrow (8527)
• United States
26 Jun 08
I'm just curious because my second son't father is a gay man. After my ex came out to me and knowing that gay men I already have in my family, I thought it was probably a given. I was right.
@olivemai (4738)
• United States
24 Jun 08
Now let me tell you that I could not tell by reading your post if you are pro homosexuality, con, or neutral! Until I read a fewq of your answers, then I knew! I was taught to respect all people, differences aside, at the catholic school I attended for twelve years! We had discussions and all that! It really opened our minds to accept others without judging or ostracizing people! My children, four of whom have already graduated from high school, do understand differences and have been taught tolerance at the public school!
1 person likes this
@II2aTee (2560)
• United States
24 Jun 08
I will take that as a compliment, because that was my intention. I really wanted to hear from all sides of this issue and if people thought I was biased one way or another, it might scare off people who think differently than I do. I dont plan on engaging anyone in a fight because of their views on this topic... I am just interested in peoples reaction. It would not be fair of me to expect people to be mature and respectfull if I didnt show the same courtesy to them.
3 people like this
@olivemai (4738)
• United States
25 Jun 08
I was not going to answer if you were another gay-basher! LOL I could not tell at all by looking at your picture!
@fiona08 (454)
• United States
25 Jun 08
I don't remember actually having a specific talk about homosexuality with my children. We have always been very open to discussions of all kinds. Three of my children are grown, and I have a thirteen year old daughter. I am so proud of them for embracing all types of diversity. They are very loving, compassionate people, and I think it is, in part, due to way we have always talked about homosexuality, and other topics in such an open manner. Since many children are brought up in houses where bigotry reigns, I think tolerance courses in high schools are a fabulous idea. Not just tolerance of homosexuality, but tolerance of diversity. I wonder if high school is too late, in some cases, for teaching tolerance. Working in an elementary school, I have heard some frightening bigoted statements from kids as young a eight. Bigotry is an ugly monster, and is going to be difficult to kill.
1 person likes this
@II2aTee (2560)
• United States
25 Jun 08
Agreed. Plus it is important to teach kids tolerance at a young age. They may say things that are cruel without even knowing what it means.
1 person likes this
@rane0328 (129)
• United States
25 Jun 08
I think that i would b fine with my child taking the course but at the same time i would explain to him that with our religious beliefs that homosexuality is wrong and that i do not beleive in it or approve of it but that we do not judge others either and that he accepts ppl for who they are not what they chose to do.
1 person likes this
@II2aTee (2560)
• United States
25 Jun 08
I for one think this is wonderfull. Im glad that you would be able to balance your religions morals with the need for your kids to be kind and tolerant to other people. Great parenting, thank you so much for your input.
2 people like this
• China
25 Jun 08
I will tell my children about homosexuality .it is important to tell him about homosexuality .when they grow up they may come across somebody who are homesexuality.if we can tell him about that when they are children .they will face the that kind of people in a right manner
1 person likes this
• India
25 Jun 08
This is a really hard thing for me to explain this for children. We have to start with the sexuality thing and explain about it some time in brief. Later we can start with the reason of having this thing between two persons. We can say them about the different thinking of different people and their different intentions. Slowly we can start talking about the homosexuality and explain about it in brief to the children. If they can understand it then its fine, otherwise we just have to say Nevermind. Eventually children will understand all these things in today's culture and generation.
@vanities (11351)
• Davao, Philippines
25 Jun 08
well i guess i will be thankful that homosexuality now are being part of the curriculum in schools for their guidance and information..in this i will not have the difficulty in explaining to them more about it..i have no against to these people we must co exist with them i guess for peace and harmonious state of living ..
@anniepa (26625)
• United States
25 Jun 08
I wish they had those kinds of courses in our local high schools! Kid aren't born with hate and intolerance in their hearts, it's taught to them; some pick it up from their parents, some from their friends but they pick it up somewhere and I feel if they're not being taught to accept and tolerate others who are different from them at home there's no better place to learn it than at school with others of their own age. Two gay women live near my daughter and her family and they're all good friends. My grandkids have known since they were very young that these two women were a "couple" without ever going into detail. They don't go around having open displays of affection in front of people so it's not like the kids, now 11 and 13, have been exposed to anything "indecent", but they just know some people are gay and that they're just like us in other ways and there's not reason to dislike them or treat them badly. This couple would do anything for anyone, they're always taking food for my daughter and the kids and inviting them over for cookouts and they always give them all gifts at Christmas. I'm glad the kids got to know someone like them before being corrupted by others who would make them think they should be shunned or treated unkindly. Annie
1 person likes this
@barehugs (8992)
• Canada
25 Jun 08
My 4 boys grew up, married, and moved away with never a Question, or word about homosexuality. They just accepted it as an alternative way of life and moved on. No One in our home has ever had any problems with Homosexuality. Homosexuality is perfectly natural, and unless the children have a question, whats to say about it? If they do Question, answer to the best of your Knowledge.
1 person likes this
• United States
24 Jun 08
Our kids were taught tolerance practically from infancy. We just talked about different kinds of families--some with a man and a woman, some with two men, and some with two women. It was no big deal in our family. It helped that our kids' role models included gay and lesbian family members. Indeed, we had what I call a "real" family--one where people didn't have to hide their so-called "differences" from us or our children. The real challenge came when we had to let the kids know that there were other family members who didn't accept these lifestyle differences. So while Auntie Sue and Auntie Sally were a couple in our home, they were just "roommates" eleswhere. Explaining that was far harder than explaining homosexuality.
1 person likes this
@enbrown (282)
• United States
24 Jun 08
I think every school should have this class. There are so many people that need it! LOL It should be required to take before you graduate.
1 person likes this
@zhuuraan (967)
• United States
24 Jun 08
Well, because I would imagine they are still very young, I would explain it in terms they would understand, which means they might not get the full explanation but as close to it and if they asked more questions I would elaborate. I would simply explain that most boys like girls and most girls like boys, but sometimes boys like boys and girls like girls and that is okay. I would explain that they are just different and when they get old enough to date and explore that part of themselves, they will figure out which it is. I would tell them when they started dating they will date people from the opposite gender, but they might find they are attracted to the same. Now of course all this depends on their age and I wouldn't tell them all that at once if they are very young but it really depends on the age. In all honesty though, I don't think I would let it get to that point. I think I would begin trying to explain it when they are younger and elaborate on the subject as they got older and more able to understand. Then if they go to school with homosexuals or whatever, they will be more tolerant, if they don't end up being so themselves, and if they do, hopefully more children will be tolerant of them.
1 person likes this
• United States
9 Aug 08
In my eyes homosexuality is natural for the most part, i will say there are confused people out there that think they are gay but really arnt, but there are the ones that were born to be gay. To my step kid we live in a home where natural stuff that usually is looked bad upon is tried to be shown as natural. Now he hasnt come out and asked about homosexuality yet, his Nani is with another woman, but i dont know if he realizes that yet. If he came and asked about it I would tell him that some people are just born that way, while others become that way and then more that just think there that way, but its the natural order of life, and that in life you need to keep an open mind and think for yourself to not follow the way things are SUPPOSED to be.
• United States
9 Aug 08
what i mean by supposed to mean is things that people try to ingrave into our minds that go against natural order
@siddiqali (633)
• India
25 Jun 08
I want to finish this topic.I would rather like to say that no homosexual exist.I my childrens ask me a about that i say the same to everyone.
@II2aTee (2560)
• United States
25 Jun 08
Homosexuality does exist. Always have, always will. You can ignore it, but nothing will ever make it go away.
1 person likes this
@mmiller26 (1932)
• Canada
25 Jun 08
My son is 6. We've already had this discussion. He had seen two men embracing and had questions. He was like "a mans and a mans can get married?" And I told him yes, if they love each other they can get married. And girls can marry girls if they want to. And he said "and mans and girls can get married too?" I said yes. And he said "okay" and resumed playing. He hasn't brought it up since. He just accepted that it was so, and that was that. I imagine we'll discuss it more as he gets older and he becomes more aware of the world around him.
• United States
26 Jun 08
Isn't it wonderful how accepting children can be, if given the opportunity?
@vera5d (3958)
• United States
4 Aug 08
Personally a class about it in high school seems a little too late...that is something that needs to be taught in middle school. I had a good friend of mine who was openly gay in high school. I think sometimes he made it harder for himself because he was CONSTANTLY talking about being gay. I said to him one day "Hey! Do I wear a shirt that says "I'm straight" or "I like boys"? He got pretty mad at me about that, but after i explained it to him, he cooled down a lot. I told him it shouldn't matter if you're gay. It doesn't make you any different. (He argued with me on this for awhile, but eventually saw my pov) - to me being gay is no different than having brown hair instead of blonde (I know it's very different from that, but the way I see it, it shouldn't be treated as a means of classifying people)... Anyways, I'll explain it to my kids that everybody is different, but that doesn't matter and you should never try to classify or stereotype people and get to know them for anything else. I also used to wear a shirt that said "labels are for jars and you are not a jar"...so that is one thing about me that I still believe in after all these years since high school!