Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Who CAN you date?

A quick perusal of this blog indicates that I have been more vocal about who my children cannot date, but haven't really given any guidance about who they CAN date.

Let's talk about that.

We all know you can actually date anyone you damn well please. Eventually. While under my roof, both of my children can date either boys or girls, hopefully within a 5 year age range while still under the age of 18.

Let me be explicit: this is not an episode of Glee. I DON'T CARE WHETHER YOU ARE STRAIGHT OR GAY OR BI-SEXUAL. I don't need my kids to be happy all the time, or popular or straight. I don't care if you are gay for one second. By the time you are figuring out your sexuality, Don't Ask Don't Tell will be repealed (hopefully) and "coming out" will not be such a big freaking deal. I can't wait until sexual preference is as bland a fact about someone as his or her height. I hope the next Supreme Court Justice is gay, and I hope there is absolutely no press about it, because really, WHO CARES who about the genitals of Justice's partner? I care about the Justice's mind, his or her experience, his or her politics, and his or her position on the issues that I really care about. It be nice of there were no allegations of sexual harassment lodged against the putative new Justice, as this country doesn't need that again.

On the one hand, my children's sexuality is really none of my business. On the other hand, I love them and something being none of my business has NEVER stopped me before. It's certainly not stopping me during motherhood.

Also, it's 2010 and whether they are gay or straight I only hope my children can date people who can teach them lessons (the fun kind and the hard kind) and who make them laugh (and cry) and who add to their life stories, which, at the center is THEM, though I may try to stick my head in the frame more than they will like.

This is all on my mind because today there is a nationwide movement to recognize how bullying gay teens has led to devastating consequences, including an alarming increase of teen suicides. We were supposed to wear purple today to support anti-bullying efforts and to commemorate the lives of young people who's pain over their sexual preference led them to their deaths. I already know from watching Sadie get hurt over and over again in hundreds of small ways, that I can't prevent my kids from hurting. And, after a few playdates where Sadie bit another child or stole toys from other children, it's clear I can't entirely prevent my kids from hurting others. I wish I could. I can't. All I can do is make it clear in any way I know how that I accept my kids' and their choices and I love them and I hope to create a home full of tolerance and joy and celebration of all kinds of different people. Regardless of what happens to them as they venture forth to school, or chess matches or gymnastics or knitting circles, they will have a home that is free from bullying and shame around sexuality and expressions of "difference."

So, to sum up:

My kids are still not allowed to date David Hasselhoff, but same sex dating will be cherished and respected just like opposite sex dating.

AND NO TEXTING WHILE DRIVING to anyone of any gender.

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