Sunday, September 03, 2006

The Token Heterosexual and My Wise 4 Year Old Son

I have a good friend at work who is gay. Him and his partner, J, have a 2 year old son. Today we went to his 2nd birthday party. He is ALL of 2 and everything is "mine, mine, mine!" Understandable for us adults, but not for CJ, who often asks me, "Why is B acting like that?" But that's not the wise part. I will get to that.

Anyway, as usual, we were the token hetero people with the exception of R's parents and his aunts. Andrew was the center of attention among all the lesbos and gays who either had children of their own running around or desperately wanted a child. He did very well being passed around the crowd from person to person.

When we get invited to their parties, it's a chance to see life from the other side - to be part of the world as a minority. The lesbians are staring at my boobs, the guys are checking out D, and I try my best to mingle with the partiers who are not striking up any conversations with me at all except to compliment me on what a cute baby I have (D had to work today, so he wasn't at this one). It's like this everytime R & J have a get together that we are invivted to. And I understand it's vice-versa for them: the first time D's mom met R, she asked him, "Where's your wife?" And to make things more confusing for her, they are white and their adopted son is black. What's an 80 year old woman from Toledo to think?

One thing I find interesting is that in the 3 years I have been friends with R, CJ has not asked me once, "Where is his wife?" Which is such a perfect representation of how at first we are so forgiving, so unaware of stereotypes and standards, that he is completely oblivious to the fact that this is a unique situation. Too bad we all can't look at the world like a 4 year old. I myself am a guilty party, too. Maybe I could learn something from CJ once in a while.


Blogger Kristi said...

Out of the mouths of babes.

I agree. Prejudice and hatred are learned behaviors. I was very fortunate to have forward thinking parents when it came to these topics, so I grew up very accepting in a super conservative town.

8:54 PM

Blogger Kate said...

Yes, I'm hoping he stays that way. I think exposure to all sorts of lifestyles and people will continue to reinforce it.

10:39 AM


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