I’ll be brief.
I’m taking you back to probably the year 2005. My eight year old daughter seemed a little confused. She was looking at a photo in my office and said to me, “No mama. That’s not right.” It was a group photo of dancers posing after a performance at a New Year’s Eve fundraiser for the Cascade Theatre, and I was pointing out the people she knew.
I said, “There’s Jana, there’s James Santos, and there’s his husband Brian.”
She looked up at me, and said, “No mama. That’s not right. Husbands don’t have husbands. Husbands have wives.”
I was kind of hoping she’d say that, because it finally gave me the opportunity to have a teaching moment. A good teaching moment, but one that had just never come up before in discussion.
“Well, actually, some husbands do have husbands. And some women have wives. It’s allowed in Hawaii, Massachusetts, and eventually, someday, all the other states will get on board. At least I hope so. Because if you want to get married, and share a house and a bank account and maybe some kids with someone, I don’t think it should matter if that person has the same plumbing as you do or not. So yeah, James and Brian are married.”
I still think that was one of the most important lessons I ever taught her. That love is love is love. And between consenting adults, the heart doesn’t necessarily care whether you have a penis or a vagina.
“Oh,” she said. “That’s cool.”
And that was that. I was kind of surprised at the time that no more discussion was needed or expected on the topic. But I’ve also learned that while children need to be taught how to hate, they understand love.
That’s all I think I really need to say about Shasta County’s issue du jour. Except for the Big Fat Gay Playlist below that my daughter (now a Senior at Southern Oregon University, one of the most LGBT+ friendly universities in the nation) put together for you to enjoy.
I sure am glad that lesson stuck.