This straight mom has no problem talking to her kids about gay couples

Teresa Pelham offers wise guidance to her readers at the Hartford Courant.

She’s able to talk to her children about algebra, Dick Cheney, and same-sex couples with equal ease – and writes, “If given the choice of telling my boys about death and terrorism and hatred or talking about two people who love each other, well, that’s a no-brainer in my book.”

Pelham gets support from Robin McHaelen, founder and executive director of Hartford-based True Colors [Sexual Minority Youth and Family Services of Connecticut]. Robin understands that parents are usually anxious about sex when their kids ask about gay couples.

However, she offers, “A 5-year-old certainly isn’t asking about sex when she asks why someone in her class has two mommies. She’s asking about a family. Kids don’t want to know about what’s going on in any parent’s bedroom. As adults, we put these adult interpretations on them. Instead, say Let’s talk about all the kinds of families there are.

“Depending on the school your child attends, more than half of your child’s classmates may live in a non-traditional household, with grandparents and step-parents and half-siblings sharing a home. Traditional is no longer the norm.

“Raising our kids to not only approve but to be respectful of others and deal successfully with people who are not like them gives them the best start in life,” says McHaelen.

Teresa M. Pelham is a free-lance writer living in Farmington.