Talking to Kids About Gay Marriage

My breakfast conversation with my ten year old this morning:

Me: Today is the day the Court is going to rule if Prop 8 is legal.

Ten year old: Stay tuned for riots.

Me: Do you think there will be rioting?

Ten year old: Are you kidding? Of course! Do you remember how many people where out in the streets after the Mehserle verdict? People are going to feel the injustice. It’s like racism, but for gay people.

Me: We’ll see, it might be overruled.

If you’re agonizing over what to tell your kids about a woman and another woman being married then my suggestion is to look at what you tell yourself about it first. Does your mind instantly envision their honeymoon suite with hot girl on girl brides gone wild porn? Are you consumed by the Sapphic lust that surely oozes through their every orifice, dripping, gushing, contaminating hapless female bystanders, ruining them to missionary style hetero monogamy forever after?

No?

Ok then, that’s a good start.

Now, what do you tell your kids about straight marriage? Do you tell them the only reason that a man and woman are married is so that they can have sex? Really? Do you see a ˜just married’ sign on a car and tell your kids, “Wow, those two people are gonna have the best sex of their lives tonight! I hope she is ovulating and he cums inside her over and over! They should do it doggy style!

No?

Ok then, that’s an even better start. Take a deep breathe and tell your kids what is age appropriate in regards to sex, sexuality and marriage.

This is what I tell my kids about marriage: Marriage is when two people decide to become family.  It’s about promises and intimacy and trust and agreements. Marriage is about devotion and honesty and compromise and recognition. As a society, we value that agreement. We have systems in place that support that agreement.  To designate someone as your spouse carries weight. To be identified as someone’s spouse places you at the very tip top of that person’s priorities. We have laws, rules and regulations that support spouses.

None of this is very sexy. None of this has to do with double ended dildos, dominant or submissive sex positions, lube, nipple clamps or spankings.

I am not married, never have been married, and I’m not in place where marriage feels like a goal. But I know it is an option for me. I know that if I chose to, I can experience that social acknowledgment of partnership. That banks, hospitals, courts and insurance companies will treat the person I have legally identified as my spouse differently than the person I may live with, raise children with and fuck passionately on a regular and exclusive basis.  So can we agree that marriage, as recognized by the state, is not about sex? Really, it is not the children we need to be worrying about. It is the adults who inform the children who make me nervous.

I hear people worrying about “what to tell the children if gay marriage is legalized. How do you tell your children we are a state of bigots? Of racists? Of xenophobes?  Are those easier conversations for us to have simply because sex is not involved?

My ten year old, obviously, is more concerned about what happens when Prop 8 stands. We are Californians, East Bay Californians at that. Injustice is injustice. And like Tupac said, “In California where we riot not rally¦ my son is waiting for windows to get busted.

I tell him that this is one step in a larger process. That regardless of the decision, the courts aren’t finished with it. People on both sides want it to go to the Supreme Court. He asks me how many gay people are on the jury for this verdict.

“Good question, I tell him, “but this is a judge, a single person interpreting the law.

“Well, is he gay? My son asks.

“Not sure, I reply, “Technically, we’re not supposed to know that.

“Right, he says, finishing up his cereal, “and this is why San Francisco is so going to riot. Tell me when it’s announced on Twitter.

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