"Mom, I'm gay."
The scene: Bedtime. Brushing teeth.
James, do you know what that word means?
You shouldn't use any word that you don't know what it means.
Oh, okay. (back to teeth brushing)
"Mom, what does that word mean?"
I said, "Gay is when boys love boys, and girls love girls, kind of like how Mom and Dad love each other."
"Ohhhhh!" (more teeth brushing)
"Mom, I'm gay with Grandma Rose...cuz I love her."
I guess I didn't explain it as well as I thought! I left it alone mostly but I did tell him that there are other kinds of love and we love our family, our friends, and all people in different ways.
He's only five so I don't overwhelm him with details. Kind of like when he asked me how babies are made. Just enough info to answer the first questions, but expecting to expand on it when he can handle it. (I should blog about that one too!). I did want to be careful and not call "Gay" a bad word. I was more concerned that he wasn't using the word correctly and then where did he hear it used? Jim thinks I probably have said it around James when I've described things at work. I think I always use "GLBT" to describe gay, lesbian issues though. Maybe but I'm thinking he picked up the word somewhere else.
Is it silly that I was secretly excited that we started this conversation so young?? I've always thought I'd be prepared if James told us he was gay but I imagined a ten year old or something (yes, it happens earlier than you think, especially if there are open, supportive parents like I plan us to be!)
Anyway, I'll always be glad to answer my son's questions.
I spoke with James' teacher too, more to tell her the funny little story, but also to tell her that James has a new word. This was also significant because she is gay. She was very quick to tell me that it isn't something they discuss in school, the general topic and also her personal life, but I was just as quick to reassure her that that wasn't a concern at all! No worries from me. She did laugh with me over this story and tell me she'd let me know if anything else comes up.
Oh but there's more!
The initial conversation with James was on Monday. Today he told me, "I'm gay with Sid. I love him." Sid is a boy at school. I reminded him about the different kinds of love and what he's telling me is that he loves Sid like a friend and not like he wants to hug and kiss him.
James gave me a WTF look and told me, "Mom, there is NO kissing at school."
I know James loves me too. He gave me a fistful of "flowers" today (: