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June 05, 2019

Happy Pride and Talking to Your Kids

June is Pride Month, aka LGBT Pride month, aka one love month, aka rainbow everything month. 

And I'm totally on board. Always.

I was raised in a fairly liberal, Catholic family. And while I don't ever remember discussing homosexuality (not at home or at school), there was always an acceptance. And I use the word acceptance intentionally here because I don't like the word tolerant. I tolerate mosquitos because they exist, despite the fact that I don't like them. This is not the same thing.
I know the gay rights movement has come a LONG way in the last 20 years, but I also know there is still a lot of work and awareness that needs to be delivered.

As a child, I remember Ellen's coming out and the first gay kiss on television, and how it kind of shocked the world. I've read and watched how a wave formed and closets opened more freely; there were fewer whispers and hushes. People started to open up.

In high school, I watched Queer as Folk with my mom, every single Monday night. And it was just like any other sexy soap opera we watched -- with fewer women. I don't remember ever feeling shocked or confused or upset -- and why would I be?

Today, I have many dear friends who are gay, I've walked in the Toronto Pride Parade at least twice (and had a blast doing it), and produced the York Pride Parade Special on the cable station where I worked. Note: I had to fight for this production and prove that it was an important story to tell -- it was, and it is.

It's important to note that while the gay rights movement has made serious advances, there are still inequities, funding losses and judgement in and around the community. Hate crimes are still very much alive and we need to ensure that we are moving the discussion and acceptance forward, not backward.

So how do you talk to your kids about it? 

Well, in my opinion, you just do. 

As a parent, there has never been hesitation to discuss LGBTQ to our daughters. There's not a whole lot to censor, because this is our world. 
  • You educate them and equip them with knowledge so that if you're walking down the street and they see a same-sex couple, they are not gawking and giggling, but maybe they'll say hello or good morning. 

  • We've discussed that love is universal, and sometimes men love men, and women love women. Sometimes, people who are born as girls (we use these terms as they're young) feel more comfortable being a boy, and so on. 

  • We openly watch television shows with gay characters, like Modern Family and Will & Grace, and even Young & the Restless has a lesbian couple. 

  • We even fly the rainbow flag every June. Absolutely we do. And when the girls ask me why storefronts have rainbows in their windows, I tell them. 

And you know what's fascinating about kids? Well, lots of things, but I love watching their brains think. When I answer their questions, they think, they process, and they move on. They're not confused by any of it. It just IS. And that makes ME super proud.

And my hope is that they will take these feelings of acceptance and pride and continue spreading the love for everyone.

Because in our home -- in our family -- love is love is love. Happy Pride.

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  1. You’re an amazing family and setting the best and ONLY example we should set for our kids. Love is love. Period. End of story.

  2. I absolutely think you were setting a wonderful example for your family, the bottom line is that love is love. End of story- keep up the great job mama!

  3. We have open conversations about everything and my kids are hilarious and always say l"ove is love, what's the big deal?" if they hear something on the radio or in the news. Keep on keeping on!


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