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Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Homophobia

This Chick-fil-A controversy seems to have consumed a lot of my time, recently. I found myself arguing with an old friend on Facebook today about it. They posted that they were going to the restaurant today in support of Chick-fil-A, and a bit of a fire storm grew out of the comments to their post. Especially striking was a gay friend of theirs who was upset that our mutual friend was so adamant in their support of Chick-fil-A.

Anyway, in characterizing my view of the controversy I called Dan Cathy, the CEO of Chick-fil-A, an asshole. I got a private message from my friend later asking me to refrain from posting bad language on their Facebook page, since their children might read it. My first thought was that I was much more worried about the potential homophobia they were teaching their children than to whether the children might see “asshole” on a computer screen. However, as I have a child of my own, it got me thinking about what I am doing to prevent bigoted thinking in my daughter. So, at dinner tonight, I broached the subject of homosexuality with my 4 year-old daughter for the first time.

I started by telling her that I had an argument with one of my friends because my friend didn’t think that a kid like her should have two mommies or two daddies, but that children should only have one mommy and one daddy. I asked her if she had any friends that had two mommies or two daddies (she said she didn’t). I told her that I thought that if two girls, or two boys, want to have a baby they should be able to, as long as they love each other and the baby.

I saw that my daughter was thinking this over. After a minute or so, she put this information into the context of how she feels about her best friend: “Well, Tabitha and I love each other.” I have to admit, this response made me very happy. Of course, she has no concept of sexual longing at this point, but she knows love, and understands that she, a girl, certainly loves another girl. I am well aware that it will take a lot more interaction over the years to fully address the issue of homosexuality with my daughter, but I’m glad I’ve started the conversation.

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