The great thing about having an open dialogue with your kids when it comes to sex is...sometimes you get these great questions coming home! Questions that really make you stop and think and say...yeah...why is that? Why do we do that? Why do we think that? And sometimes it forces you to actually come up with answers.
I had one such great question from my #1 son (age 17) a while back. He wanted to know my thoughts on the whole Gay Pride movement. The parades, the events, etc. He'd been having a discussion with a friend of his who, although he claimed to have "nothing against gays" (doesn't that little phrase just make your butt clench because you know there's a "but" coming?), he wondered why did they need to have this whole "Gay Pride" thing going on? Straight people don't have a Pride week. What makes the gay population so special?
Now, keep in mind that #1 son is keenly aware of my views on homosexuality. I'm quite vocal about my outrage over the Prop 8 issue, and I have attended the Pride parade in the past. I write M/M sexual fiction for God's sake...frankly, I find it kinda hot...so I'd be the ultimate hypocrite if I had any issues with "gay rights."
But, having said that...his question really did make me stop and think. It's a valid point. If gays want to be seen as equal to straights, why should that mean they have special privileges...like a whole week to, quite literally, strut their stuff in public.
But...ah...then it hit me. There's the rub! as Hamlet once said--and don't you wonder if he was sexually confused? He was confused about just about everything else. Anyway...I digress. The rub is that gays are not equal! Not yet. Not by a long shot. Oh, we've come a long way, for sure. Teachers can no longer be persecuted or fired because of their sexual orientation. And there are even support groups in most highschools for gay students and their friends. But...hang on. If there's a need for a support group, doesn't that imply a need for...well...support? Don't recall seeing any straight support groups listed in the yearbooks lately.
I asked my son if he'd think anything of seeing a boy and girl exchange a quick peck in the halls at school. "No. Of course not." But would you feel the same about seeing two boys do that? "Uh..." Yeah. That might cause a stir.
So therein lies the need for Gay Pride. The fact is, we're still a bit touchy about the homosexual experience. We know about it, but don't want to know too much. And, God forbid, we actually see evidence of it! Hence, a gay couple can't feel truly comfortable displaying their choices, or affection, too overtly in public.
So maybe the Pride Parade is a bit shocking and a bitin your face with a lot of junk being displayed in, at times, rather unexpected ways. But we need that. We need to have Gay Pride flaunted in our face so that we get used to it. It demystifies it. Makes it less scary. The more you see, the less you worry about what you don't see. So, that was my answer to my son.
The day that Adam Lambert can kiss his keyboard player without it being a newsworthy event (and let's face it that was the real source of controversy), the day that a gay couple can happily kiss each other goodbye at the airport without worrying that one of them may get accosted for it later...that will be the day that there is no longer a need for Gay Pride. And I, for one, look forward to that day.
Then again...Gay Pride is a lot of fun! All the colors and the music and the simple joy of seeing these people truly be themselves without equivocation or fear. There's something special about that. Witnessing the occasional penis flopping above a set of high heels is a small price to pay for all that.
So read, comment, ask questions, rant and rave...but most of all enjoy and open your mind to possibilities!