Straight love? Gay love? Baby, it’s all love.
“Sometimes boys like boys, yuck!” my five-year-old son exclaimed out of the blue as we drove away from his school.
“What’s bad about that?” I asked.
“Sometimes it’s … like you and Daddy love each other! Like that!”
“Who told you that’s yucky?” It wasn’t me or his dad, who have discussed sexuality with him for the same reason we talk about race. We would much rather he learn from us than from strangers or little ones taught to fear and even hate what is unfamiliar.
He named a classmate, as I’d suspected he might. I told him I disagreed and explained why.
We’ve had the same conversation a couple of times since, with me wishing I could do more to counter playground instruction than continuously speechifying* at him.
Today my family took an impromptu trip to Disneyland. We walked in behind a large group of men in red shirts, leaving me wondering if it was for easy group identification or if something bigger was underway.
I got excited when I saw another couple wearing red shirts marked
GAY DAYS ANAHEIM
“It’s Gay Day!” I exclaimed to my husband. I’d wanted my son to see for himself that love is love. Here was his chance!
I pointed out a few happy couples to my son, silently cheering when he expressed no interest whatsoever in any of the couples.** What he parrots with his mouth has not yet, it seems, reached his heart. I will do everything in my power to keep it that way, and rejoice opportunities for him to see that love in all its expressions is still and always that: love, forever worthy of celebration.
* I do so love my speechifying, but it’s not always useful.
** He was a hundred times more interested in donuts the day before. (I measured.)
I hoped to link one of my blog’s most popular posts above, but it was one of those I accidentally deleted last year. I can’t link it, but I can share it again now.
Gay love. Or, as I like to call it, love.
Originally posted October 8, 2011
I knew Stupendous long before I knew Terrific.
“Stu” and I? We took martial arts together a dozen years ago. “Terri,” on the other hand, came into my life five years ago. Just barely.
The evening we met concluded such a miserable day of work-related travel, I very nearly turned my rental car back toward my hotel and skipped our planned meeting. As I drove darkened rural roads on the outskirts of Cupertino, I curse and swore but ultimately believed Stu’s assurances I was almost there. I really would find them, if I stayed the course.
I did find them. And though I could not see it then, finding them in person was an intrinsic piece of my finding my way to the beautiful, blessed life I live now.
When I moved to Los Angeles a year and a half after our Cupertino get-together, Stu and Terri had already beaten me to the Land-o’-Angels punch by several months. We started hanging out, casual friends with sporadically overlapping histories.
Somehow, somewhere, our casual friendship transformed itself into something else. There wasn’t a magical moment of transmogrification; rather, layer by imperceptible layer, we’d built from single-noodle buddydom to an entire eighty-layer lasagna of chosen family.
Help moving into my new apartment? Check. Lobster dinner on Tupperware tubs? Check.
When a little boy’s body was discovered in a dumpster behind my house, it was Stu and Terri who coaxed me to stay with them, where I would feel safe and loved, and not just distraught.
Later still, when I found out my “second mom” had leukemia, Stu and Terri respected my wishes to spend a weekend in silent contemplation–after they drove an hour to deliver a weekend’s worth of groceries, Dr. Pepper, hugs, and words of love.
The two met my terror at learning I was pregnant with loving encouragement, despite my terror-related grumpiness. On their way back from San Diego, where they’d been when they received my frantic phone call, they stopped by my apartment with groceries and a sweet quote about motherhood being about building love from chaos. They told me they had total faith in me, come what may, and that they would do anything in their power to ease my path ahead.
The days since have been overflowing with examples of their doing just that. So abundant are these examples, a testament to Stu and Terri’s powerful love, that there was no question I’d ask them to be my son’s godmothers.
Yes, his godmothers. Two women who love each other–and Li’l D–very much.
This is as right and natural to me as is my sister and her husband being together. It’s so right, I hardly ever think about it. When I do think about it, it’s because I’ve seen words like “perversity,” “sin,” and “immorality” coupled with words like “gay” or “queer.”
After my shock at these bizarre word combinations subsides, I wonder, “Where the heck does this even come from? Do I live in the same world as the folks who wrote this stuff?”
If you saw Stu or Terri love on my little one like he’s their own–which, in very real, very enduring ways, he is–words like “sin” and “perversity” would be the last words on your mind. In fact, if you’re like me, you’d find you have no room in your head for words at all. You’d be way too busy marveling at the goodness of being part of, and bearing witness to, that love. Too busy remembering being lost five years ago on a road outside Cupertino, and being, without even knowing
it at the time, on the verge of truly being found.
If I die too early to see my little man become a full-grown man, Stu and Terri’s stupendous, terrific love is wonderfully, precisely, perfectly everything I want my son to know I felt for him, too.
That’s love, baby. Not orange love. Not zombie love. Not gay love.
If you’ve made it this far, you might also enjoy Twelve times forever, in which I explain to my son how much I will always love him. No matter what.
( But if I were gay, would you turn me away?
As long as you love, you’ll make my every day. )