DLand - Uncomfortable Questions

Dangit, I have lots to say and feel about Colin's entry but not a lot of time today. I still haven't filled you all in on my trip to Philly and everything else that's been happening over the past few weeks. But we'll start with this for now.Were I to see those two men kissing on the Metro, my reaction would have been to grin at them and go back to what I was doing. Maybe they were newlyweds. I like seeing two people who are obviously in love or even in lust enjoying each others' company. I don't need them to re-enact a scene from “Blowjob on the Orient Express” in front of me, but mostly because that's tacky in general. But I take some vicarious joy in seeing any two people happy like that. I would be much happier to see them kissing than to see one of them alone and crying or to watch a married couple obviously fighting in an adjacent car. As for how I would explain it to a child, I thought back to when I was a little kid and was watching television with my mother. I must have been six-ish so that would have made it the early 1980's when the AIDS crisis was fresh and still primarily a gay issue. There was a “made for TV” movie on about a man who was gay and his family's reaction. I remember distinctly turning to my mother and asking her what it meant when they called him “gay.” She told me plainly that gay meant “he likes men more than he likes women or in the same way that other men like women.” And I said, “oh, ok.” And that was that. That was our big conversation about homosexuality. I remember being slightly confused by the angry look on the movie father's face but I knew that my parents didn't have that look, so it must be alright (or nothing to get worked up about). And I remember later in my teenage life talking to my parents about other parents expressing dismay over their own adult children being homosexual. My parents general reaction was, “So what. There are a lot of other worse things your kid could tell you. He or she is healthy and happy and can still get a job (nowadays) and possibly even still give you beautiful grandchildren. What's for you to worry about? Would you rather they tell you he just robbed a bank or she has cancer or even that she's a smoker (something controllable and far more likely to hurt her).” So overall, I'm sad that those men made Colin uncomfortable. I don't know that Colin can protect his children (or any parent can) from a situation that he may not be comfortable explaining. Every parent talks about the awkward question that a child asks years before the parent is ready to answer it. It would be like shielding a child from death, homelessness, guns or - to use more “deviant” examples body piercings, tattoos, or vegans. Were I a child, I would rather have Colin tell me his views on homosexuality than hear it from some ignorant classmate who heard it from some joke his father told. And were I Colin, I would rather want the opportunity to explain homosexuality to my kids at any age (or better yet, at multiple stages of their lives) rather than protect them from it. I worry more about having to explain in a calm way to my (hypothetical) child about why that man is yelling and why the lady with him is crying.