Do you take this man…

“You mean he asked a girl?” Master Seven asked, lying next to me in bed the next morning.
“Yes,” I lied.
Then changed my mind.
“Actually no. It was a boy,” I said.
“I didn’t know boys could marry boys,” he said thoughtfully.
“They can’t in Australia but they can in some countries,” I said.
We’d let Master Seven stay up late to watch the Big Brother finale, but he’d flaked it right before the winner, Ben, proposed on stage to his boyfriend, also called Ben.
When he’d asked the next morning what happened, I’d hesitated and then told him.
Homosexuality has clearly come a long way in terms of acceptance since I was a child.
I don’t remember ever hearing about boys loving boys or girls loving girls.
I didn’t know anybody who was gay.
I didn’t know OF anybody who was gay.
As far as I knew, gay people didn’t parent the kids I went to school with.
They didn’t get married.
And they didn’t win popularity contests like Big Brother.
Fast forward thirty years, through legislative changes (with Tassie leading the way here in gay law reform), cultural changes (think Melrose Place or Sex and the City), and generational changes (grandpa’s views compared to our childrens’).
For Master Seven’s and Li’l Fatty’s generation, having gay friends, gay parents, gay partners, and gay husbands or wives, will be normal.
So how do we generation X Tasmanian parents, for whom it’s been more a gradual shift than an inherent reality, treat it normally?
I wasn’t sure how to broach it with Master Seven that morning.
By telling him boys marry boys, was I shaping his own sexual orientation?
He was already mulling over what I said, probably thinking how cool it would be to marry his best friend Harry instead of some icky girl.
Would it change the way he looked at boys as he grew up?
How different will all of our kids’ formative teens be when they know they don’t necessarily have to lean toward the opposite sex?
Will more kids be gay?
Did I want my son to be gay?
Probably not.
If forced to choose, I’d probably take the ‘wife’ option (and end up with some god awful daughter-in-law).
But then, it’s not my choice is it?
And I knew, as I watched Ben’s mum shed tears of happiness on the Big Brother stage, that that would be me either way.
Besides, what’s another few boys in the family?


2 thoughts on “Do you take this man…

  1. Hey Ali, i cried when I read this as what you wrote is so true, we all think when our children are born that they will grow up and meet the partner of their dreams and have babies and live happily ever after. But sometimes that dosnt happen, and our children have choices of their own to make, how to tell people they are gay, what will be thought of them. as we live in a very judgemental world. People dont just become gay, they are born like it, and in the end they are no different than you or I. I have met and worked with a few gay people and they make the best friends to have. Thankyou for touching on this subject. xoxox

    • Thanks Tracy. I wasn’t sure whether I would come across as sensitive and modern thinking or old fashioned and judgmental. I pressed delete 100 times and then decided to just be truthful. And you know, it doesn’t matter how I handle it as a mum, you’re right, they are already who they are. And we love them for it. At least it’s a less judgmental world now x

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