Family / Kids / Parenting

Gay little conversations with little gays

It was 4:45 AM and I had snuck into my six-year-old’s bedroom for one last kiss before heading to the airport. My muffled attempts to get ready as quietly as possible had woken him anyway — he’s a light sleeper — and I figured that I might as well take advantage of his wakefulness to get in a bit of love. He turned over, groggily, to hug me goodbye, and to whisper his version of sweet nothings in my ear:

“Will you bring us some souvenirs?”

Not, “Goodbye, Mom!” or, “I love you!” or even, “Have a good trip!”

Just a reminder to bring him some stuff.

But that’s okay. I’m happy that my children are well-enough adjusted that they barely blink an eye when one of their parents leaves town. Nay, instead of being distraught by our leave-takings, they view them as opportunity for material gain.

Maybe that’s because I’ve attended a few conferences of late, and when there are conferences, there is conference swag.

It so happened that I was going to the inaugural SalonLGBTQ in Atlanta, Georgia — joining several VQ bloggers plus a host of the most accomplished and gayest names in social media. In the two and a half days of the salon, I met a ton of very smart people, learned so much (including how much there is to know about the world of social media marketing and how little I do know about it), ate many tacos (and no, that is NOT a euphemism — get your mind out of the gutter), and connected or reconnected with some of my favorite friends, bloggers, and online personalities. I have to say it: real life does so often trump online.

And, most important, I scored some good swag.

The kids are the proud recipients of some cool MailChimp knitted monkey hats, as well as some glow-in-the-dark electronic swords. Full disclosure: the swords actually came from a different conference, also at the Renaissance Midtown Atlanta. They were just sitting there, obvious leftovers, and so, because I have very few inhibitions when it comes to free stuff, I kindly suggested to the guys at the registration table that I had a couple of kids at home who would kindly take the swords off their hands. They handed them over, whereupon I and several other VQ bloggers immediately engaged in some vicious sword battles.

 

Epic Sword Battles of Queer People

(And no, that’s not a euphemism either. Jeez.)

Salon Q Deborah sword

For me and my partner, I snagged a couple of Logo TV tank tops:

P1030274

I didn’t think we’d wear our matching tanks out together that often in public (we’re not the matching-outfits kind of dykes), but I did think that they might make cute pajamas. And I was right. I wore my gay little tank top to bed last Friday night, which meant I was wearing it on Saturday morning when my eight-year-old, Rowan, looked up midway through his breakfast.

“Everyone’s…a… little gay,” he read out loud.

He paused for a moment. “Well,” he said. “That’s true.”

“I think so,” I said. “I mean, I guess that there are some people who are a lot gay, but I think that everyone has at least a little bit of gay in them.”

“I’m a little bit gay because I have gay parents,” he said. “And you’re gay because you and Rachel are, like, married. But you’re only a little bit gay because we have a father.”

“Hmm.” This could get complicated. “But Rob” — our sperm donor and the boys’ much-loved, long-distance donor dad — “is gay.”

He took this in stride. “Also, everyone who I know is gay has a sister or brother who isn’t gay.” He lists his various aunts and uncles, all of whom are in heterosexual relationships. “So, they’re all kind of gay.”

“Yeah,” I said —and I thought back to all those 20-something conversations with my brother, my in-laws, where we talked about the fluidity of desire, where we agreed everyone, whether or not they care to acknowledge it, is pretty much on some spectrum as opposed to wholly gay or straight —  “I think that’s probably true.”

“And Gaga” — one of the boys’ grandmothers — “is gay.”

“Yeah.” Rowan continued to contemplate and eat his pancakes. “And the cats are gay. Because they’re both girls.”

“Maybe,” I said. “We may never be able to tell for sure.”

By then, he had finished with the conversation, turned back to his book and his food. I poured myself another cup of tea and smiled as I replayed the conversation in my head.

It hadn’t really occurred to me that wearing a tank top with a gay slogan in the privacy of my own home could count as a political act, but in the wake of my conversation with Rowan, it clearly was.
PHOTO CREDIT: CASEY CAREY-BROWN, STACEY JILL CALVERT AND SUSAN GOLDBERG

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6 Comments

  1. Pingback: Mama Non Grata » Blog Archive A gay little time over at VillageQ » Mama Non Grata

  2. 🙂 The cats are gay. Love it.

  3. I love that his definition of a “little gay” is essentially anyone that is in anyway associated with an actual gay person. That’s priceless!

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