Thursday, September 5, 2013

I Don't Want My Sons to be Gay

Last night, my dear son stepped into the car after his first dance class, an occasion that should have elicited bright spirits. Instead, he was downcast. I asked him if he enjoyed his class and he replied, "Well. I enjoyed the dancing. But, a couple of the girls were laughing at me because I was a boy in their dance class."

I didn't know what to say. The owner of the dance studio, a friend of ours, is always looking for male dancers. I've tried for years to get my older two children to dance. And here, persuing an activity that is custom made for my youngest child, that same child is being laughed at.

How do I explain to my child that people are ignorant and can be real assholes? Well, just like that. I apologized to him for living in a place where his love of theater, dance, music, and art is not acceptable. And I told him that if it continued that I was confident Ms. K would take care of it, and I am confident of that fact. 

But it made me angry. This summer one of the moms of one of the little girls in his hip hop camp made the comment that her husband wouldn't let their son dance because it wasn't manly. The only thing he was going to be allowed to do is play football. 

So, maybe I should pull my son out of dance and make him play football. He's got the build for it. While my other two children are long and lean, Dominic is stocky and has wide shoulders. His arm span is wider than mine, solely because of the width of his shoulders. And I'm sure he would make a great football player, but he would hate it. And really? Football is what makes you manly? You can't dance and be manly? I'm glad all my brother's Marine buddies don't know that or his wedding reception wouldn't have been nearly as much fun. 

There I sat, thinking about the road my son is going to have to travel in this part of the country to follow his dreams of musical theater, and all I could think was that I hope none of my children are gay, because I'm pretty sure I would end up in prison.

I like to fight. I like to kick people. When I am stressed, a sure fire way to relieve that stress is to punch something until my knuckles are bloody. And I have a feeling that I might like to relieve the stress of seeing people purposely hurt my babies by bloodying my knuckles on their faces.

But, in all seriousness, I don't want my children to have to put up with all the shame, guilt, pain, and frustration that society puts on them. I don't care if my children are gay, but I care if society hurts them just because of their sexuality. Have you seen the reports of the beatings of gay men in New York City? Do you see people blaming gays for the deaths of our soldiers? Do you hear the vitriol directed at gay people? 

So, when I say that I don't want my sons to be gay, what I'm really saying is that I don't want society to release a flood of vitriol on my children. And the best way to stop that is to teach society to just be nice. And do you know how we teach society to be nice? We teach our children to be nice and that there is never, but never, a valid reason to be mean or make fun of people. That will change the future adults in our society. And make the whole world a better place for everyone. 

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