Thursday, November 11, 2010

Parental Responsibility Regarding Homosexuality

In response to this blog:

First of all, you are taking your son to a church preschool, but you're surprised that the adults there don't approve of your son's costume? Maybe you personally don't have any morals regarding sexuality (I was hesitant to make the purchase, not because it was a cross gendered situation, but because 5 year olds have a tendency to change their minds.). But how on Earth could you be surprised that Christianity (and the people that adhere to it's teaching) does?

If you dressed your teen-aged daughter in a bacon bikini and sent her to a fundamentalist Muslim school, would you be surprised and offended if the adults there do not smile and accept her with open arms? Or would you expect there to be some sort of backlash and rebuke (and even fear for her safety) from what you know is contrary to their teachings about modesty and disgust for pork?

So why is it different for Christianity? The Bible is pretty clear on what God thinks of homosexuality (it's a sin), so if you don't agree with it, then don't let your son go to a CHURCH preschool. Or if you DO want him to still go to the school, then please respect the beliefs and morals that accompany the associated religion, no matter which one it is.

Then as we got closer to the actual day, he stared to hem and haw about it. After some discussion it comes out that he is afraid people will laugh at him. I pointed out that some people will because it is a cute and clever costume. He insists their laughter would be of the ‘making fun’ kind. I blow it off. Seriously, who would make fun of a child in costume?

Boo doesn’t want to get out of the car. He’s afraid of what people will say and do to him. I convince him to go inside. He halts at the door. He’s visibly nervous. I chalk it up to him being a bit of a worrier in general. Seriously, WHO WOULD MAKE FUN OF A CHILD IN A COSTUME ON HALLOWEEN?

Maybe you were home schooled (lack of social exposure?), or maybe you were so popular (and isolated?) that you never experienced children making fun of each other. But if so, then let me provide some clarity: Kids make fun of each other. At every chance they get. You can attribute this to whatever you want to (insecurity, establishing natural social division, or perhaps just plain evil), but that's just the way it is, and has always been.

If you don't know this, then you are either seriously ignorant, or in incredible denial. But if you DO know this, then you purposefully misled your son to believe that it didn't exist, despite his very valid fears about it.

If my daughter had dressed as Batman, no one would have thought twice about it. No one.

I had to think about this for a while, because while it IS true, I had a hard time figuring out why. But I think I got it. At this point in his maturity, your son doesn't have any masculine qualities to combat his feminine appearance. So he looks very much like a girl.

However, at this point in a girl's maturation, she still looks very feminine (no facial hair, no bulging muscles, smooth skin, probably long hair, etc), even if dressed up as Batman. If, however, a woman did appear very masculine (have you heard the term "butch"?), then she would in all likelihood be made fun of, just like a boy who looks like a girl. That doesn't make it right, but it certainly isn't unexpected either.

Just as it was heartbreaking to those parents that have lost their children recently due to bullying. IT IS NOT OK TO BULLY. Even if you wrap it up in a bow and call it ‘concern.’ Those women were trying to bully me. And my son. MY son.

There is a significant difference between bullying and trying to persuade, convince, or even lovingly rebuke. And there is nothing in the situation as you described it that indicated anything but these ladies gently trying to provide clarity to you about the situation you put your son in.

If a set of purple sparkly tights and a velvety dress is what makes my baby happy one night, then so be it. If he wants to carry a purse, or marry a man, or paint fingernails with his best girlfriend, then ok. My job as his mother is not to stifle that man that he will be, but to help him along his way. Mine is not to dictate what is ‘normal’ and what is not, but to help him become a good person.

Making your child happy is certainly a part of being a mother. But it's also your job to TEACH your child. About how to survive, about right from wrong, and about the laws, both legally AND socially that govern our society. And it IS your job to dictate what is 'normal', because he has no idea what that is yet. Now, if he chooses to deviate from what you taught him, then that is up to him. But you still have to TEACH him first.


esspotle said...

Well said. I think this mother is a little on the ignorant side, based on her assumptions of how people would react to her son's costume choice.
What sort of bugs me is that the mother treats homosexuality like something someone is born with. I disagree with that notion.
She never mentions a husband in her blog post, so I assume she's a single mother. Her son being surrounded by an older sister and a mother can easily influence him to be more feminine. With no male role models, her son has no example of masculinity. I know that's not the central point of her blog, but it just bugs me that people think it's an inherent way of life. I believe it develops because of an unhealthy/broken family life. Just had to get that off my chest.

Anonymous said...

Crossdressing doesn't entail homosexuality. Transvestites have been known to have happy healthy marriages and children. He didn't kiss a boy, he dressed as a girl.

Consider your arguments before you post them.

Anonymous said...

Crossdressing doesn't entail homosexuality. Transvestites have been known to have happy healthy marriages and children. He didn't kiss a boy, he dressed as a girl.

Consider your arguments before you post them.

Anonymous said...

i think that mother is practicing unconditional love, which I understand to be central to the teachings of Jesus Christ. Although not mentioned in this particular post, she is married to a cop. The notion that someone is homosexuality is a result of a "broken home" is more than a little ignorant.

derrr said...

define "normal".

Just because the majority of society thinks one way, doesn't make it right or "normal". She's teaching her son to be himself, despite what others think or expect. As you Christians put it, "what would Jesus do?" I don't think he would be criticizing her for supporting and loving her son, gay, straight, trans, whatever he is or is not.

Oh, and IT WAS A HALLOWEEN COSTUME. People need to loosen up.

Nicole said...

I followed your link from the comments in the Nerdy Apple Bottom blog because I was interested in reading what a less mean-spirited negative response to her post would sound like. I'm a lesbian with a partner (and still-married parents who love us both), so of course there's a lot that you're saying that I just don't agree with at all. I'll just focus on this --

What's amoral about a boy wearing a dress? We could have an argument about what the Bible has to say about homosexuality, but I don't think there's much in there about cross dressing. 100 years ago, women wearing pants was considered by Christians to be immoral -- fashion comes and goes (along with a lot of other things). Let's leave morality to judge our actions and how we treat others, not what we and our children wear.

Thanks for making an effort at crafting your argument in a way that isn't virulently offensive -- you're right, that's just counter-productive.

Anonymous said...

This is actually ridiculous. "It is important to teach your child" - I think she is well aware of that. It is more important to teach a child values of acceptance and kindness rather than automatically noticing what is 'different' and 'abnormal' (to you - might I add) and thinking it's wrong. We aren't even talking about cross-dressing we are talking about Halloween, I see nothing wrong with what he wanted to wear. As for gay being a choice... ha. If he was Shaggy and dressed in mens clothing I'm sure he would still yearn to be in the dress - it's just how it is, he didn't choose to feel that way. Just like you have a choice to be Christian and believe that it's wrong for a CHILD to DRESS UP for a costume holiday people don't have a CHOICE to be GAY. Why would anyone choose to be gay if it's a known fact that you will get teased and ridiculed by ignorant, close minded people. I don't think anyone would choose that. God accepts everyone, also. Gay or not. Sure, it's a sin, but so is having sex before marriage and 99% of people do that anyways and aren't ridiculed and thought of as 'different'.

Katie said...

like most others, i also linked here from the original post out of curiosity. I personally appreciate that you were "nice" as opposed to just saying the mother was stupid, or whatever most other people that disagreed said.

its a halloween costume...not like he was just wearing a dress for the fun of it. so why should he get made fun of at a christian school? the whole bacon bikini..quite farstretched for a comparison.

and as far as girls dressing as does NOT matter if they look masculine or feminine. if one is acceptable, both should be acceptable. a 5 year old girl can still easily look like a boy in a batman costume, especially if you cover up the hair. would a christian school say that is wrong? I highly doubt yourself even made it seem like no big deal. Not fair.

Normal?? Please, inform me. What is normal? Normal is technically the average...averages are made up of lots of ranges of things. So the average 6 year old is in kindergarten....does that mean that those 5 year olds not yet in kindergarten are dumb? Or the ones that are already in first grade, are they more intelligent? Or more related to your post...its normal for girls to wear skirts and dresses. I almost never wear either one. Does that make me abnormal? It is impossible for everybody to just be "normal."

I probably have more to say, but it wont matter. You have your opinion, I have mine, the original poster has hers, everybody has their own. She didnt post that article for you, or for me. She did it to express her opinion and she shouldnt be told its wrong. Last I checked, it wasnt wrong to have an opinion.

Anonymous said...

While I thought it odd that she didn't think the other kids would make fun of him, did you notice she was right? None of the kids ever had a problem with it only the parents did.

I also have always found it odd when people seem to think that homosexuality a choice. (This was from one of your commentors not you.) The only reason anyone would have to sincerely believe that sexuality was a choice, was if they themselves got to choose it. In which case every single one of these people are outing themselves as bisexual without even realizing it.

I don't believe the Bible actually saying anything of the sort about homosexuality. I've read the phrases people like to quote and then I've gone on to read the entire story associated with them. That is not what those handful of stories were ever about. I could go into it, but there have already been many website and well documented explanations of the original text and what it had to say previously to the prejudice mistranslations.

Obviously looking at facts doesn't change the opinions of people that love to blindly follow their leaders. At eight years old I had the fight with my pastor and no pastor has ever been able to convince me that they are right. It is just completely inconstant with everything else that they say about Jesus Christ. Seven of the ten commandments are about how you treat your fellow man. How many are about homosexuality? None! Unless you want to count the one on adultery, but that on heterosexuals also it isn't just for homosexuals. Which is why I wouldn't count it.

I think that condemning this one thing, whilst you continue to eat bacon just screams you missed the point the Bible was trying to make.

Anonymous said...

esspotle: ummm, you are totally and completely wrong in your reasoning. apparently you didn't see (or bother looking for) this:

broken, unhealthy family life? nope. and so what if he is feminine, and so what if he chooses to be more feminine? it does none of us any harm, and the injustice is when something is imposed on him. which his family *isn't* doing. he is self-determining in figuring out who he is, and they are supporting him and guiding him to be a good *person.* end of story.

so you can "disagree" all you want, it doesn't make you any less wrong or (to use your word) "ignorant"

please try to learn to be more accepting of people.

Shelley Renee Schoenrock said...

Well, this is a tough subject for me. Now, reading the post again, if the child seemed hesistant AFTER the purchase, I would have asked if they wanted something else. If he felt funny about coming out of the car, that would have said to me, he really WAS not quite happy with his choice.
That being said, regardless of your child going to a christian preschool or not, is it not our place to make people feel loved and appreciated no matter what? The adults here were very wrong and very judgemental over a costume.
No...homosexuality is not a choice. Science is showing its probably a wash of hormones in the womb, ie: male child being washed with female hormones in a critical phase of developement, and vise versa. Regardless, I dont believe God would create someone to be loathed or treated so badly. I believe its a result of sin, period. Also, lets not forget, being a homosexual is NOT a sin, the ACT of homosexual sex is the sin, and we need to learn the difference. Remember, some made themselve Eunichs,can you imagine way? I could go on forever just on that subject alone. I have a minor in theology, albeit its been over 20 years since then, but the bible is very clear about it being sin to lay with the same sex, but.....regardless, Christ loves us all. Now, I believe her making such a fuss and saying he may be gay at this age, is way off base. Just the child showing some apprehension of wearing the custom shows to me he may have thought he made the wrong choice. There is no EVIDENCE to show that homosexuaity if the result of a broken family. Believe that all you want, but unless you have the facts to support that, its just YOUR opinon. Now, I must ask this, if your child, being reared in a christian home says they are gay, are you going to turn them away? Not I. Just because I tolerate things, does not mean I accept them. But I could never turn my heart away from my child and I dont believe God does either. If one is gay, thats, according to my biblical readings, their cross to bear, and sadly, that means you must remain celibate, become the eunich of the bible in order to serve God faithfully. Otherwise, refuse to judge you, its not my right. God is the only judge. Christians are only called to judge other BROTHERS AND SISTERS, thats all.
We are taught (btw, I loathe when someone says, you PEOPLE, OR YOU CHRISTIANS) to rear our children in the paths they should go, if they choose another path, its up to them. Otherwise, we did our job, but our job is NOT to teach hate and such disgust that the parents of this preschool did.Conterproductive to the love we are told to show. Till you have a gay family member, you will never know what it means. I say, watch, Prayers for Bobby, and you never feel the same again.

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