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Teaching Love and Marriage Equality to My Children

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


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.

Ashley T

Thursday 2nd of May 2013

I love that! Super simple and easy especially to a child that young. Love it!

Lindsey G

Tuesday 30th of April 2013

Great post, Darcy! My daughter is the same - Mom and Dad are just normal to her so that's how she plays, but I've been wondering how to approach this subject and glad I'm doing it right. Teachable moments are continuous, aren't they!?

Jayme H.

Monday 29th of April 2013

I don't understand the argument people use about how to tell their kids about homosexual relationships and what happens. How come they think that they need to go into too many details with young children? How do they talk about heterosexual relationships? It's all about the love two people have for each other.

I love your talk with your child. I totally agree, children learn from your actions and words.

Thank you for sharing your moment.


Darcy Zalewski

Thursday 16th of May 2013

Yeah, why do they go straight to thinking about the sex? Thank you for your comment and feedback, Jayme.

Olivia L

Monday 29th of April 2013

Beautiful! Love, compassion, and understanding start at home. Bravo, mama!

Darcy Zalewski

Thursday 16th of May 2013

Thank you, Olivia. (Sorry for the delay)