My daughter has always had a strong need to support those whose rights have been diminished or violated by others, and thus she expresses concern at the opposition to gay marriage. It has gotten to the point that “allows gay marriage” is right up there on the list along with “somewhat affordable” and “good weather” when it comes to requirements a travel destination should preferably have. This is despite the fact that there is no one in the family with marriage plans any time soon, gay or otherwise, which gets me closer to my point…
Lately she has been asking what we think her preference will be. Will she like boys or girls (or both *faints*)? My response: “You’re eleven, wait until you’re a teenager and the hormones kick in. You’ll just know.” A generation or so ago, this was a topic that rarely came up, especially in straight households like ours. It was assumed that you would grow up to like the opposite gender the same as your parents had, and if you didn’t – well, that was possible but unlikely or even uncomfortable, so it wasn’t much food for thought. Whatever my daughter’s preference might end up being, there is never going to be that moment of realization or coming out of the closet of generations past. It’s just going to be an answer to a question, and that’s it.
It’s a question I have been getting pestered with enough lately. No kid likes to hear that they aren’t going to get an answer any time in the near future. I have done my best to explain that whomever we are attracted to has little to do with what our rational mind tells us we should be attracted to, and thus our sexuality really is something that our hormones – rather than our minds – tend to dictate. Yes, our minds can take over and tell us not to listen to our bodies – I used to do that every time my hormones told me that I should be interested in a cute blonde dread-locked stoner dropout that was never ever going to grow up (I still wonder how that would have turned out) – but we cannot ignore those hormones completely.
I know, I’ve considered wholly ignoring my annoyingly straight urges for what seems like a simpler life. I have to say that I’ve always thought life as a lesbian could have its advantages. Unplanned pregnancies would be a thing of distant legends and I wouldn’t find myself stuck in a gender specific role that has me slaving over the stove for pretty much every meal. In reality, I ended up with a man who was raised in a idyllic gender-sorted 1950s household (with parents from that actual era). Thanks to that upbringing, he cannot even cook an egg without burning down the house or endangering the health of everyone around. Earlier today, I thoughtlessly offered up a grapefruit for him to cut for his breakfast, since the rest of us were eating something foreign to his taste buds. His stricken and horrified expression at the unprepared piece of fruit made it obvious that I had just asked him to do the most complex task on earth. If he were a woman and I could just get breakfast in bed now and then… I’m just saying it sounds like bliss. I did hang out with lesbians for the longest time in university and quite enjoyed the company as friends. I just couldn’t get my hormones to behave in a way that would make me actually attracted to them, despite my brain saying that it would be a blissful and breakfast in bed filled existence.
As for my hopes for my daughter, when she grows up I hope she finds happiness and someone that can cook an egg, whatever gender they might be.
Note: my daughter approved this post, although she did object to my feigning fainting at bisexuality and my stereotyping women into the role of people that provide breakfast in bed. I guess even now I’m still considered old school.