Every time our country takes a halting step forward in advancing civil rights for women or minorities, a certain faction of Helen Lovejoys inevitably fret that their offspring will be irreparably traumatized (or worse) if they get wind of the existence of same-sex weddings or women wearing pants. Focus on the Family alone has pages of material online to support the parent who want to steer The Children clear of homos and unwed mothers.
And as a parent myself, I have other concerns. 14 months of the Trump Administration have raised many issues I’m frankly bewildered about how to discuss with my kids. So here’s an offer – an explanation exchange, if you will – I’ll explain scaaary concepts like gay marriage and transgender rights to your children if you’ll help me out with mine. Here, I’ll start:
“Kids, sexual orientation is a complicated thing, largely determined by biological and hormonal factors. However, it’s important to realize that it’s perfectly normal if a man wants to marry a man, or a woman wants to marry a woman. Even better, it’s now legal for them to do so in the U.S. So if you see a man holding hands with another man, or a woman kissing a woman, it’s no weirder (or more ‘icky’, to use a word you’re fond of), than when Mom and Dad do the same.”
See how easy that was? If your kids are a little older, you can talk about Obergefell v. Hodges and Prop 8 and how children raised by same-sex couples fare just as well as those raised by hetero couples, especially if their parents are married.
Need another one? Here you go:
“While a lot of people find their gender identity aligns with their sex at birth, some people identify as the opposite (“trans” in a binary gender system), or “fluid,” or a whole host of other identities. This can be hard to understand if you’re not experiencing it yourself, and that’s fine. The important thing to remember is that letting them decide this for themselves allows them to feel included and promotes understanding in others.”
You can also talk about how 17 states still have no legal protection for LGBT employees, or how the Trump Administration rescinded protections in schools for transgender students, ostensibly to protect them, even though heterosexual men are overwhelmingly more likely to sexually abuse a child.
It’s pretty simple. Use declarative statements based on verifiable facts in such a way as to reasonably address the issue, don't talk down to them, and you're home free.
So now if you’ll oblige me, I have a few questions of my own. I’ll lead off with the main ones, and throw in some follow-ups which may crop up.
Who is Stormy Daniels?
What’s a “porn star?”
How does the President know her?
Why won’t he talk bad about her like he talks about everyone else?
Does Trump believe in God?
Then why does he play golf all day on Sunday?
And cheat on his wife?
And take healthcare away from poor and old people?
And deport parents from their families?
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You get the idea.
Finally, there's another one I've been having trouble with:
What's a terrorist?
So the guy who shot all those people in Florida was one, right?
What about the Austin bomber?
I'm assuming, of course, you didn't just come out and use the modifiers "Muslim" or "brown-skinned" in your first answer, in which case your kids have a lot bigger problems.