to want to talk about sexual orientation in front of the children?(53 Posts)
Having a weird clash with DH over this. He's not remotely homophobic, has talked positively about how he doesn't care which gender our children want to date (challenged his uncle on that one, was very proud of him at the time), can't wait for a gay couple we're friends with to get married ...
... but he has this strange insistence that we shouldn't talk about it in front of the children. He refused to let us all attend a local pride event because he thought having to explain WHY pride events are important would plant the idea that there might really be a problem with being gay, and he didn't want them exposed to that conflict. The other day I ended up having to mouth the words 'gay' and 'lesbian' because he didn't want to 'spoil their innocence'. We can happily read them 'Tabby McTat' and refer to Prunella and Pat as a couple but I mustn't say lesbian!
I'm not clear on what he thinks we're protecting them from (I'm also not allowed to use the word 'dead'/'die' and neither are they) but thought I ought to check if I was missing something before ploughing on regardless...
He sounds bonkers to be honest.
Why did you 'have' to mouth the words gay and lesbian? Just use the words and if he so wishes, he can mouth them.
so he's all tolerant and great on the surface but really oddly restrictive about keeping the children from it?
and you think he's not homophobic? of course he is.
He sounds like a complete loony.
If he thinks DCs should hear words like 'gay' then he's only pretending to be tolerant.
how old are your kids? he sounds a bit over protective, but that comes in the job description! if they are 2 and 3 I see his point. If they are 12 ad 13, he is maybe being a little unrealistic.
I'm with you,op.
My dc's have always understoid some women love women,and some men love men,and its a complete non issue for them -and they were (sadly) exposed go death very early on and had to have that explained to them.
Children need truth and knowledge to make sense of the world imo.
It's attitudes like your husband's that still means that being gay is 'different' instead of normal. Reminds me of a friend who said they were absolutely not homophobic, no problem what so ever. As long as they didn't have to 'look at it' .
The kids are 2 and 4. And it really does seem to be labels and the socio-politics he's averse to. He didn't freak out when discussing someone who 'had two mummies' or me talking about my friend B and her wife having a baby.
I have wondered if it's the product of his religious boys school where I think there was a lot of homophobia but he just can't seem to see that they way to avoid all that crap is to normalise the words, not treat them as taboo.
YANBU. There's a distinct lack of sensible reasoning going on there.
I only didn't have my regular Saturday out out DS1 in the location of the pride march with DS1 because of the roads and crowds (we have quite a journey to get there, as it is). He knows about the bus that was given a new livery specially for the event and just sees the whole issue as unremarkable. He's more perturbed by goths!
I also struggle to understand the point of view of your DH OP; it isn't really over protection if the 'protection' is in fact causing harm. What is damaging to the innocence of a child about the idea of people falling in love? Sometimes women fall in love with men, sometimes they fall in love with women, and vice versa. I can't see how refusing to impart this information to children is helpful, or squares with not being homophobic at some level.
I would also find the refusal to acknowledge death really worrying. This is doing them no favours in terms of their developing understanding of the world or their emotional life. Coming to terms with the idea and reality of death is hard enough for all human beings, without parents closing down conversation and making the subject taboo.
In a sense I get what he means, why should there be labels such as gay and lesbian, you don't say we are going to see Steve and Joan ...you know the straight couple.
He's being ridiculous - the whole 'spoil their innocence' thing smacks of homophobia. Also - you're an adult - he doesn't get to tell you what's 'not allowed'.
Yeah he's cray cray, sorry. But I think it's a pretty common attitude, though very uncommon for it to be explicitly expressed: you hear [white] people tying themselves in knots rather than having to say out loud that someone is black or Asian or whatever. I think it is motivated by a misguided desire to do the right thing - but obviously it's prejudice against identity/difference that's bad not the mentioning of identity/difference! I guess you need to find a nice way of explaining it to him. Agree that the death thing is not healthy too.
I think I kind of get it,op.
I don't think he's homophobic.
Perhaps he's keen that the kids at their young age don't need to be aware of sexuality whether it be heterosexual or homosexual or bisexual.Its something that maybe at that age its more appropriate for them to relate to in terms of love.And that love doesn't need labels.
I just thought of another example on my way to buy lunch - when I was talking about being happy marriage equality had passed in America I got hushed up with "they don't need to know it was ever banned!".
I think he's trying to create this perfect world for them, which is not going to end well in my opinion.
Juney - fair point on that! :D
Does he let them know meat comes from animals?
DS (7) and I had a great chat about what it means to be Gay. We chatted about loving someone because you think that they're the best thing in the world and not having to love the opposite sex.
I've not felt that he is ready for it until now, we have no gay friends/family to have made it relevant before now.
Hah! Another argument recently is that I'm trying to go semi-veggie and he doesn't want me giving the children food issues!
(In response to your question, I'm not sure to be honest. We go to farms, they know that the chicken we eat and the chicken on the farm have the same name... I can't recall if we've discussed it in any more depth than that.)
He doesn't sound homophobic to me, just like someone who can't cope with having potentially difficult conversations with his children.
He needs to grow a backbone - he isn't doing the children any favours by avoiding the hard questions. Much better for him to find age appropriate ways of answering their questions, so that the detail can build gradually as they grow and their experience and understanding broadens.
I don't agree with your DH, but I can kind of see how he's got to the point of not wanting certain words said.
Our dog died recently. I was in a huge quandry over whether to tell our 3.5 using the words 'dead or died'. Not because I have a problem with them but just because I'm not sure he could process what that actually means and it's such a difficult concept to explain without using the 'heaven' thing - which I didn't want to do.
In the end, I did use the word 'died' but he didn't understand at all and we just had to say she'd gone away and wouldn't be coming back and he was so sad that she doesn't want to live here any more! It's been hugely challenging to explain.
I don't think he's homophobic, I think he's just concerned that if you use certain terms you'll be forced to explain further and it may not be concepts that the children can get to grips with at 2 and 4.
I'm assuming that he also avoids discussing things in the news (such as the recent anniversaries of the bombing in Hiroshima and Nagasaki or 7/7 bombings).
I dont think he is homophobic either. It is not talking about the couple or their baby he has issues with, it is the label.
And yes you wouldnt use straight or heterosexual in day-to-day conversation, so in that respect using gay or lesbian to describe someone or a couple is making them different.
I dont agree with holding back the word died or dead. Children may not have a gull concept of it, but theyll develop it at an appropriate pace to them. My cat died. Me and dh were devestated. We calmly explained to dd aged 3 that the cat had died because he ran onto the road and couldnt come home. She didnt understand died but as she has got she has develoed that understanding. Telling children people / animals have gone away creates issues further down the line imo
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