The Boy Scouts post reminded me of a conversation I had with Big Kid when we went out of town to the waterpark.
Despite being one of the most caring and empathetic people I've ever met, Big Kid has never had a strong opinion on the subject of gay marriage. The thought made him wrinkle his nose a bit. He once asked why they needed to get married, and I asked why any of us needed to get married. I reminded him that our incredibly intelligent and well-loved friend Edward is gay, has been with his partner for 20 years, and asked if that bothered him? That Edward has found the love of his life, and it's another male? No, he agreed that didn't bother him, but quickly changed the subject.
So I was hesitant when he started with, "Mom, I don't want to be offensive but--about gay people?"
"Who even cares?"
"A lot of people care, Big Kid. If people didn't care, nothing would ever happen. If people didn't care, I still wouldn't be allowed to vote and your school wouldn't allow black kids."
"No, I mean who cares that they're gay? I've been thinking about it and who cares? How do people even have time to get on Facebook or Youtube and complain about who other people want to love?"
"Oh. Yeah. Good question. I'm not sure why they care, I guess it scares them. Also, many think it goes against their religion."
"What scares them? That they will have to turn gay? Because they won't. Gay people just want to be normal, they're not looking for everyone to be gay. Not everyone is in their religion."
"Right. Exactly. But it's different and some are slow to evolve. You know how you were a little squicked out about gay marriage at first?"
"Yeah, but I feel bad about that. I've been thinking and I don't care. It's not my business who they love."
"Exactly. That's great! Gay people aren't trying to annoy or bother the rest of us, they just want to be accepted--I think that's what everyone wants. To just feel normal."
"You know what I think is the worst thing about being a human being?"
"How badly we treat our own kind."
Damn. That is some poignant shit for a 10 year old. It gave me goosebumps.
"Me too. That's why we have to not be those people, and even more so, why we have to speak up when we see people being treated badly."
"If I have kids and they are gay, I might be a little sad because of how bad other people are but I would love them still."
"Me too," I said. "If you or your brother ever had feelings like that, it would not be a blip on my radar. I truly love you both regardless and I want you to be whatever you want to be. If other people were bad to you, I'd beat them down. Do you mind if I ask what inspired all of this thinking?"
"The Macklemore song."
Ahhhhhh. Macklemore. This totally makes up for the time you had him saying, "Damn, that's a cold-ass honky."
I never thought I'd be thanking Macklemore for being the catalyst of a very insightful conversation.