Today is GLAAD’s Spirit Day. Did you know? I think a little more advance notice and buzz on the internet was much needed. I didn’t hear about it until yesterday evening before bed. Whatever, though. I did the requisite post on Facebook and on Twitter. So, I decided that even though I didn’t have much time for it, it was time for a talk with Em. She’d had a green outfit planned for today. So, when I woke her up and she was awake enough to listen, we talked about bullying. I told her how this purple was a kind of way to stand up to bullying and tell everyone that it’s not acceptable. I decided that a talk about gay bullying specifically wasn’t really in order for when she just woke up, so I told her I’d tell her more about it once she was having breakfast, but I asked if she wanted to wear purple today. She decided that she did.
So, when she was downstairs for breakfast, after I’d gotten her all set for the day, I sat down with her. We’ve talked about it a bit before, but not much. I’m not sure it really sank in before. It wasn’t a long talk. So, I started out asking her if she knew what “being gay” meant. She said she didn’t. So, I first asked her if she knows how Mommy is a girl and Daddy is a boy and we’re in love with each other. I then told her that sometimes boys love other boys and girls love other girls the same way that Mommy and Daddy love each other. She gave me a bit of a puzzled look, but when I asked if she had any questions, she didn’t. So, I went on to tell her that just because other people were gay, it didn’t make them any better or worse than anyone else, just different. Just like she has blonde hair and one of her good friends has brown hair–neither one is better or worse, just different. We then talked about how some people didn’t like gay people and they were ugly to them and bullied them. I told her that it was never okay to bully anyone. But today we were wearing purple to show everyone that we are friends to people who are different, specifically gay, and we’re not going to be mean to them just because of that. I also told her that there’s been a big problem lately with people being really mean to gay kids lately and that’s why we were doing this today. I also mentioned that there were a lot of names for people who are gay. Some of them are okay and some of them are ugly. I also told her, as I’ve told her before, that if she hears a word she doesn’t know, she’s never going to get in trouble if she says it to ask us what it means. Also, I told her she should never use a word without knowing what it means first.
So, yeah. That was about it. I think that was all pretty age appropriate. Once I finished talking, I asked again if she had any questions. She said she did, but then said that actually she just had something to say and not a question. She then told me, “Mommy, it’s not nice to bully gay people.” My little girl. 🙂 Anyway, I also told her that it was up to her if she wanted to tell anyone why she was wearing purple today. We’ll see how it goes when she gets home today.
Between when I wrote the above part and now, I took a side trip to the It Gets Better Project website and watched a lot of vids. So, of course, I’m now sitting here crying. So, in addition to It Gets Better, I want to list some resources.
- The Trevor Project – A hotline where people are listening or where you’re feeling suicidal. The number is 866-488-7386
- GLBT National Help Center
- GLBTNearMe.org – Gay and gay friendly businesses and resources near you
- GSANetwork.org – Empowering youth activists to fight homophobia and transphobia in schools
- PFLAG – Parents, Families, and Friends of Lesbians and Gays
- Advocates for Youth – Helping young people make informed and responsible decisions about their reproductive and sexual health
- Point Foundation – National LGBT Scholarship Fund
- Scott Hitt Foundation – Paid internships for college students interested in LGBT equality