The (Same) Sex Talk
I was twelve when my mother sat me down one Saturday afternoon and pulled out a couple pamphlets on female reproduction, ones that I’m so sure she got from the local drug store. The next two hours would be awkward for both of us. I had questions about everything from "Do boys have hair down there?" to "Exactly how many holes do I have?" But when it was over, I’d completed the important rights of passage into young womanhood.
It wasn’t until I was fourteen that I realized my crazy cousin Melvo’s "good friend" Josh didn’t sleep in a different bed at night, but no one ever talked to me about that. Homosexuality was just something I had to figure out on my own, and in the beginning, I got a lot of things wrong.
I remembered this while speaking with a close friend shortly after Frank Oceans big "announcement." I asked how he’d explain homosexuality to his son. My friend–one of the most intelligent people I know–admitted he really hadn’t thought about it and, quite frankly, didn’t think it was necessary.
Times have changed since I learned the birds and the bees. "Don’t Ask Don’t Tell" has been repealed, openly gay characters anchor television shows and gay marriage is slowly becoming legal in many parts of the country. Homosexuality is losing its taboo and becoming an accepted presence in society, so are we doing our children a disservice by not explaining it to them as we would heterosexuality?
My friend was incredibly candid. He would be more comfortable discussing the topic with his daughters than his son, wondering if "exposing" him to a world was going to encourage him to try it. Again, I disagreed.
Often times parents don’t have the ‘sex talk’ until the child has already exhibited signs of curiosity. It’s not a pep talk to ‘get in the game’. But the point is to educate your child, making sure they know how to correctly use and protect their bodies. And more importantly, the sex talk is to help prepare them to understand how interpersonal relationships will change between men and women…so shouldn’t that include men and men and women and women as well?
Let’s say you don’t (for whatever reason) ‘agree’ with homosexuality, wouldn’t you still want to make sure your child is fully equipped to understand the world around them? And the fact is, be it conversation on the play ground, an openly gay teacher, same-sex parents and even the choir director in their church, children are being exposed to homosexuality. So do parents have the responsibility to include the topic in their education?
Let’s be honest, what’s the fear here, that your son would see this information as an instructional guide to homosexual living? What are the numbers on people becoming gay by suggestion? The flip side is purposefully giving your child less information based on personal beliefs and (perhaps) discomfort. And isn’t the point to send them out in the world as equipped as possible?
But then again, what do I know? I don’t have children yet and my dog is already into humping other males.*--JasFly
*Yes, I know this is a sign of dominance and not sexual intention, but you get my point*