Thursday, April 11, 2013

"Gay" Is A Bad Word

Sometime back, my 7 year old came home and asked me why is "gay" a bad word.

I asked him why does he think it is a bad word.. he says it is because when they are in school and someone uses the word gay, other children will say, "Oh, you used a bad word, I am going to tell on you to the teacher..."

I can only assume these kids get this sort of info from their parents. Tsk tsk tsk.. what are parents teaching their kids these days... Want to provide at least provide accurate info mah...

So I explained to Ace, "Gay is not a bad word lah. Gay means HAPPY... and what is so bad about being HAPPY?"

A few days ago, Ace came to me and told me that someone in his class said "I am gay!" and someone else said they are going to tell on him to the teacher because he used a bad word.

"He is just saying that he is happy mah, why they must tell on him? I don't understand..."

WAHAHAHAHA! I decided it is time to explain it in MORE details.

I explained to Ace that the word "GAY" has a few meanings. One of them means HAPPY.

The other one means "man in a committed loving relationship not with a woman, but with a man instead."

Because this is not what most people do, it is not so readily accepted in the society yet and some people are embarrassed to talk about it and maybe that is why they label it as a "BAD" word.

I also tried to explain to him that homosexuality is so called illegal in certain countries. For example, in Singapore, "gays" are not allowed to get married and by law, they also cannot be together. (I don't think it is yet age appropriate to tell him they cannot have sex together.I feel it is one thing to explain how and where babies come from scientifically and yet another to explain how men have sex with each other to a 7 year old...)

So maybe because of that, some people also see it as "bad".

Since we are on this topic, I told him that two men who are in love with each other have appealed to the court to take away this law in Singapore.

"But why they make this law  in the first place?"

"I don't know. It was made many many years ago when it was not yet common for people to openly be with a man and so most people accepted it that being with a woman is normal and so they think being with a man is sort of not normal.. and therefore they think is incorrect at the time when they made the law..."

To which my 7 year old replied, "Mummy, why Singapore, this also cannot that also cannot one?"


After I finished laughing... I decided to continue to explain.

"There are also some people who are against taking away this law. For example, there are a group of christians who believe that people who do not follow the bible.. which is a very important book in the christian religion... are wrong. And the bible says that a man should be with a woman... so they think that this is wrong or taking this law again is wrong..."

"That does not mean gay people are bad people or that they are not "normal"... " I explained. Then I pointed out a few gays that Ace would have known and asked him, "Do they look like bad people or abnormal people to you?" And Ace agreed that they are great people.

Then Ace asked me another question that took me by a surprise. "Mummy, so if men will love men, are there women who love women?"

"Yes darling, there are."

"I have a friend who keeps saying 'i am gay i am gay!" in school..." Ace informed me. I told him that his friend was probably just fooling around and may not even understand truly what it means. "Just like you shouldnt make fun of other people's religions, it is not right also to make fun of other people's choice in the type of their partner they want. So I don't think it is very appropriate for children to go around and saying they are gay or that other people are gay."

I explained to him that in my conversations with my "gay" friends, some have shared that they are born this way. "It is not something like HAPPINESS where you can say "I will make a different choice and choose to be happy!" and you become happy. You don't love woman again just because you decide to make a different choice.. in their words, they can't help it. Sometimes you cant help who you love...

I guess I have covered most bases in what I would like to think is accurate info provided... I wonder what Ace will do now if people in school started saying that "Gay" is a bad word again...

PS: Max says I was wrong to give Ace the idea that the law states men cannot love men. "They can love what, just cannot get married.. also, not fair to Singapore also.. since many countries in the world also dun allow same sex marriages as well..."

Too chim and too big a topic lah. Add on next time we have chance to talk about this again...

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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I only wished more parents were like you on this topic! It is refreshing to see and makes me hopeful for the future.