When you signed on to be a gay parent, you knew you would have to education straight people on a regular basis. That was part of the deal. But you probably didn’t consider how often your child—even your very young child—would have to educate others on your behalf. But when you least expect it, a stranger will pat your child’s head and say, “Your mom and dad must be so proud of you!” and unless you’ve prepared your child, he or she won’t know what to say. So follow these simple steps:
1. Define for your child the concept of evolved versus less-evolved people. Try to avoid referring to less-evolved people using the word asshole with children under the age of ten.
2. Explain to your child that less-evolved adults usually make the incorrect assumption that everyone has the same family structure they do.
3. Review the many types of family structures found around the world and the many avenues to parenthood.
4. Model for your child how to respectfully correct a less-evolved adult: “Actually, I don’t have a mom and dad, Mrs. Smith. I have two dads—Daddy Ed and Daddy Gordon. Would you like me to introduce you to them?”
5. Role-play potential scenarios with your child to help him or her practice. Assume the role of the less-evolved adult. Possible role-plays include: at the beach; in the cereal aisle at the grocery story; on a play date; at the dentist’s office; at a birthday party.
6. Brace yourself. Now that you have empowered your child, be prepared for him or her to enlighten every less-evolved adult they encounter at the top of their lungs:
“I have two moms. They’re lesbians. Do you know what lesbians are, because if you don’t, I’ll be happy to explain that for you.”
“I have two dads! They adopted me from an orphanage in Russia. My biological mother couldn’t keep me.”
“I have two moms—and they can’t get married because of people like you!”
“I have a donor—not a dad. And he got 1584 on his SATs! What did you get on your SATs?”
© 2008 by Carrie Smith. All rights reserved.