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Teaching Love and Marriage Equality to My Children

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Have you ever heard someone ask how they are supposed to explain gay marriage to their children? Today, I have an answer. An answer taught by my own toddler. An answer so simple that I missed it.

I support marriage equality, yet I’ve been practicing an answer in my head, waiting for the day my daughter asks. Except, that question might never be asked.

So how do you explain gay marriage to children?

It’s simple – you don’t. You just explain marriage.

The other day while Rissa played with her toys, I overheard something…

The tale of two horses

image

Two identical horses galloped in front of the entertainment center. A smaller one also jumped around.

“Neigh, neigh! C’mon, daddy horsey.” Clomp, clomp, clomp. “You too, daddy,” Rissa said to the second horse.

“Did you say baby horsey has two daddies?” I asked, surprised, but with a smile.

“Hmm…It’s mommy and daddy and baby horsey!”

She interchanges our “titles” at times without realizing it, which seemed to be the case here.

“Oh, okay. Some have two mommies or two daddies though,” I said.

She continued playing. She didn’t ask me why or how there could be two dads or two moms. She didn’t laugh or get upset. She just went on playing.

What’s different?

See, she doesn’t notice differences like many adults do. She looks to me for cues on what is appropriate, what is safe, and what is bad (ok food is the only exception). Rissa doesn’t think two mommies or two daddies are wrong or unnatural. She just knows in her world there is a mom and a dad.

If we don’t make a big deal out of it… If we treat everyone in the same way, she won’t be bothered by their choices. She hasn’t questioned differences in skin color or size. Everyone is called “friend.” In the future I don’t think she’ll ask why a same sex couple is together. Instead, she probably would question why not.

Tolerance and acceptance start at home. If our kids ask, let’s not be afraid to answer them. Better yet, show them you support equality in a way that they’ll never question it.

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