I really loved this video. It gave me up hope for young children today. And it especially made me smile, as I had a troubling experience with my goddaughter this weekend. For a moment, I was left questioning if maybe I shouldn’t be in her life.
This past weekend, somehow or another while talking to my 9 year old goddaughter, we ended up on the topic of marriage. She spent a great deal of time informing me that, not only was she going to plan my wedding, but she was also going to be my flower girl, bridesmaid and maid of honor. I imagine she’ll be the only one in the wedding.
Anyways, as she got to the part where she started to talk about my husband, I gently interjected that I wouldn’t be marrying a man, I’d be marrying a woman. Because I’m gay. From that point on, I had a rather weird and shocking conversation with her. It went something like this:
Goddaughter: Oh my God! You’re gay?! I wish you’d have never told me! I had a feeling you were though…I just wish you didn’t say anything.
Goddaughter: Because you’re gay! That’s nasty. Two girls kissing. That’s like two boys. That’s…ugh!
Me: So you think I’m nasty?
Goddaughter: No, but being gay is nasty.
Me: Well, I’m gay, so you think I’m nasty?
Goddaughter: No! Of course not! There’s nothing wrong with you. But ugh. That’s not right.
Me: Why not?
Goddaugther: It just isn’t. It’s wrong.
Me: But why is it wrong for me to love someone? Are you homophobic?
Me: Do you hate gay people?
Goddaughter: No. I don’t have a problem with gay people. I have a boy in my class at school. He’s gay.
Me: Do you dislike him?
Goddaughter: Yes, but not because he’s gay. I don’t like him because he’s very mean.
Me: Well, how do you know he’s gay?
Goddaughter: Because he said so. When me and my friends asked him if he was gay, he said “Yes, get over it, that’s life.”
Me: (Laughing) Oh wow, that’s serious. So you don’t mind that he’s gay, you just wish he was nicer.
Goddaugther: (nods head) Yep.
Me: So then, you don’t think that I’m nasty?
Goddaughter: No! I just wish you weren’t gay.
Goddaughter: I don’t know.
Me: Well, that’s kind of sad.
Goddaughter: (Looks sorry, then brightens up and smiles) Well, I’m going to be in your wedding anyway! And I have to approve the lady before you can marry her.
Me: Well, I’m sure we can work something out.
From that point on, she changed the subject and we moved on. I was left to ponder if the contents of our conversation would be something she would dwell upon. Or was she “over” it after we finished talking? I don’t know…probably. Kids seem to find it easy to move past things. But me? I was DEFINITELY dwelling on it and I was honestly afraid to broach the subject again. From the moment the conversation had even begun, I’d felt a sinking sensation in my gut, like, “am I apart of the life of a future homophobe? Will she be one of those cruel people that pick on and discriminate against people, simply because they’re gay?”
Even now, I feel an overwhelming sadness whenever I think of our conversation. I spent most of the weekend trying to put it out of my head and it wasn’t until today, when I saw the above video, that I allowed myself to think on this again. I suppose I needed to see this video. I needed to understand that, whatever level of dislike my goddaughter may hold for “gay people,” it isn’t something she was born with. And perhaps, her association with me will get her to see that human beings are simply human beings.
Or perhaps it won’t. I’m still not entirely sure how I feel about all of this. I haven’t even brought it up with my goddaughters mother yet. I suppose, I’m trying to figure out how to approach her about it. In the meantime though, I’m grateful for the people who consciously seek to raise open-minded children. It really means a lot.
If you’ve ever experienced a situation like this, I’d appreciate your advice on how to deal with the matter!