In most child/parental relationships, the parentals give the child “the talk,” but in gay relationships, especially lesbian ones, parents come to the child and ask for the talk…
“How do you…have the sex?”
This isn’t how it’s supposed to work people! The parent is supposed to be the one who’s knowledgeable and can explain these things to their kids! I got explained in gross detail (pun intended) how heterosexual sex works (which turned out to be completely useless to me) but my parents were like “you’re on your own” with the gay stuff.
Reasoning behind this, from my own parents’ perspectives were:
1) Assumed I’d be straight.
2) “We didn’t want to put the idea [that you might be gay] in your head” – actual quote from parental that I received when I asked why they never talked to me about their opinions on gay activity.
3) Mainly concerned about my not getting pregnant.
4) Were religious and they told me it was wrong to have sex before marriage.
Now I am not a parent, but I can tell you that as someone who was a gay/lgbt child, that the reasons my parents had for what they did tell me and what they didn’t tell me were not ones that helped me in the slightest. I appreciate that they tried.
1) My parents assumed I’d be straight.
Do not assume your child is straight. Every kid, be they gay or straight, deserves to know how sex works so it’s less scary, they know what to expect, and they can be health-conscious. I know parents don’t want to think about gay sex or how it works, or about their child having any kind of sex, but if you think it’s important to tell your kid about heterosexual sex for the same reasons, then you need to also tell your kid about gay sex because yes, they might have sex with the same gender or both genders at some point.
2) “We didn’t want to put the idea [that you might be gay] in your head”
Yeah, I don’t even think I need to go into this one but let it suffice to say that upbringing has nothing to do with whether or not you’re gay (it can only affect whether or not you chose to live honestly about your orientation).
3) My parents were mainly concerned about my not getting pregnant.
Yes, it’s true that if your child is having sex with someone of the same gender, they aren’t going to get pregnant so you may be thinking that as far as body issues are concerned, why worry? Have you ever heard of STD’s? Those, (unlike the rest of society) are not biased and anyone who’s having sex can get them. Everything from small, curable STD’s to big one like AIDS/HIV is contractible during sex and it doesn’t matter what your orientation is. AIDS is actually a reasonable concern, but there are ways to lessen your chances of getting it while still engaging in sexual attactivies. Teaching kids to communicate and not be ashamed of talking about gay/lgbt sex is one of the most important ways to do this. Feeling ashamed to talk about it, especially because it’s same-sex, can cause problems with communication between partners and for an individual who needs to be tested or request educational materials on the subject (information that they may not have needed to begin with, if more parents and teachers were willing to talk about gay sex).
4) My parents were religious and they told me it was wrong to have sex before marriage.
I think most people know the counter-arguments to this one. If you assume your child will not have sex before marriage simply because you think or tell them it’s wrong, you are sadly mistaken. If your child even MIGHT have sex, wouldn’t you rather they at least do so safely? Wouldn’t you rather they were at least emotionally prepared to handle it in a way that won’t leave them feeling in-the-dark or abused? Here’s the other thing, in many states, in many countries, gay marriage isn’t even legal. Are you really going to just tell them to wait around until everyone else comes to their senses? Often, parents who are religious enough to say “wait until marriage” already do not believe it’s ok to be gay at all (not all believe this, but yes, many are homophobic). I’m going to tell you the same thing I would tell parents with straight kids…you really think they’re not going to do it just because you say so? Wouldn’t you rather that if they chose to do so that at least they’re informed?
Again, I am not a parent. I can only imagine all the strength and wisdom it takes to be a good one. My parents were great parents (in my opinion) and obviously, they still did things that I don’t agree with both on purpose, and by accident. If they had known that they were raising two gay kids…maybe they would have done it differently, but they could only work with what they had been taught by their own parents, friends, and other family, and public health information available at the time. As a gay person, I cannot even begin to tell you, how much easier this would have made so many aspects of my life, and not just the sexual parts.
It is my strong opinion that you owe it to your kid’s emotional and physical well-being to educate yourself on gay sex, because you do not know for a fact who they’re going to be attracted to and what type of sexual activities they will chose to engage in (and how early). If you do believe in giving your kids “the talk,” then realize they deserve the WHOLE talk. This includes the fact, that there is a small chance, they might even have little to no interest in sexual activity at all – that they may be asexual. And, that in a world FULL of sexual talk and attention, they deserve to know that if that’s not what they want, then there is nothing wrong with them.
In addition to this, I believe that sex education classes and health classes need to start talking about gay sex regularly in their classrooms – if no other reason, for the health implications alone. Kids ARE going to have sex, and some of them will engage in gay sex, whether or not the schools/public like it. So if you’re going to teach about heterosexual sex, you should teach them about lgbt sex too. Chances are, more than 20% of your students/children will need to know this information.
LGBT and asexual children/people deserve an equal amount of applicable information regarding their future sex lives as heterosexual people. Information and access to knowledge is one of the most powerful contributors to a person’s quality of life. If over 20% of the public is not getting the same amount of applicable information, we are not being treated equally.