Twisted! Parenting Tips for Your ‘Gay’ Toddler

Barb Wire

By Rebekah Maxwell

This Week’s Sign the Apocalypse is Upon Us

Every day this world evolves a little braver and newer, doesn’t it? This week’s evolutionary breakthrough comes courtesy of a particularly enlightened columnist at the Huffington Post, who’s advising all parents watch what you say…lest they offend their gay two-year-olds.

In the piece called “Your Toddler Might Be Gay,” Dana Sitar describes how she was taken aback that a stranger assumed her two-year-old could have or would have a “boyfriend.” Partially because no kid should be thinking about pairing off at that young age, which most thinking people understand. But the bulk of Sitar’s indignation goes to those parents “forcing heteronormative assumptions on yet another generation.”

If we keep talking to that little girl for the next 10 years as if it’s her destiny to fall in love with a man (put a pin in the implied sexism and other layers of bigotry for another conversation), how will she react to herself and others if she finds herself attracted to the girls around her, not the boys? Or to both?

How will she respond when every Sunday at brunch, someone in the family asks, “Do you like any of the boys at school?”

How will she treat herself when she realizes she wants to kiss the girl down the street, not the boy next door?

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So age 2 is far too early to talk about heterosexual relationships (the kind that over 96% of people have), but it’s not too early to design your whole family around the potential that if/when their 2-year-old want to kiss a girl, the coming-out party is already planned. In gender-neutral colors, of course.

Sitar continues:

Your little girl might grow up and fall in love with a woman.

She might realize she’s more comfortable being a man.

She might want to have several husbands, wives, boyfriends, or girlfriends at once.

She might not ever be interested in sex or romance at all.

Hence, all parents must carefully craft their verbage and expectations to allow for whatever your child might decide. That is what parents are for, after all: to make sure their children can freely do whatever they want, free of guilt, side-effect, or consequence. And there is no room for neutrality:

Not being a bigot is a huge first step, and I thank you for it.

But it’s not enough to quietly believe in equality. We have to actively practice tolerance and become aware of the presumptions we project. We have to let our kids see a world where their identities are all treated as normal and acceptable, regardless of the odds.

Except if you assume her little daughter might someday want a boyfriend. We don’t want her thinking about that.

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The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Barb Wire.

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