It’s easy to be easy.
It’s easy to be open-minded and liberal
and you know, cool
It’s easy to say you have a gay mom friend and
a couple gay cousins and a gay uncle,
and be supportive and like memes and status updates
and repost them, and watch who likes them too
It’s easy to be at home, in your chair, with your coffee,
and support gay marriage
with a comment
on a page
to watch a decades-old friendship
burn down to ashes,
because how could she be so closeminded,
I mean, c’mon.
when your daughter stands in the kitchen
her eyes soft and misty
her wry smile and a sigh
because she’s just
to be at the park a week later and catch her crushed and crying
to hear out her explanation, the tumbling words
of jealousy and frustration and hurt.
It’s easy to hear her say
who her crush is,
how she knows it’s just like a boy likes a girl,
how she can’t tell because
she knows it would be confusing.
And she is eight and a half
Your daughter is 8 years old.
when your husband gets home,
and you pull him aside quietly,
and you tell him, you tell him cautiously
Your 8 year old daughter has a crush on a girl.
And you both agree
she was born to the right parents.
Who else to accept and support and love her?
And really, it was about time there was a gay girl in the family, right?
what with the uncle and cousins…
O.K. you decide.
You can’t “out” your daughter.
You can’t status update her news.
There will be no “So cute! She has her first crush!”
to second guess.
You Google “young-gay-children”,
You find a few mommy-blogs with
tales of their 6 year old boy wearing pink dresses, and
your heart reaches for those little boys, yet,
You have an 8 year old daughter,
so you message your gay uncle
He can’t remember,
but there was a reason he let the boys chase him around the schoolyard,
That doesn’t help
so you private message
your gay mom friend,
feeling stupid like “hey, you’re gay
so’s my kid!”
You’re grateful she doesn’t accuse you of idiocy
and she eases your mind,
at least SOMEONE knows now, so
you wait for time to reveal your daughter’s path.
to forget for a little while
(brush it off the counter like bread crumbs
assume a youthful confusion, an infatuation…)
and still in love,
and wants to send trinkets and gifts and toys.
Tell her “not a good idea”.
(It kills you to say this.)
“Let’s not confuse her, or make her uncomfortable.”
You try to re-context it,
you say “if it was a boy you liked
we would still act the same”.
and you are relieved ( you are such a hypocrite)
and you hope she never catches on.
to message the other mother,
hoping for/expecting an “oh, isn’t that cute”
(homeschoolers are open-minded, right?)
But you don’t get “awww”
“You must be wrong, you can’t know for sure, she’s too young.”
to want to say
Very. Mean. Things.
Walking to the Gay Pride Festival is easy.
You hold your daughter’s hand
and talk about her Period.
You remind her it could come any day, any time,
and she nods her head,
and your daughter has matured so much
in a year
Because, you know, at nine,
she would have covered her ears
and begged! not to grow up.
It’s easy to watch her smile and hear her say
how cool it is “a parade for gay people”
with lots of rainbows and balloons (and lesbians, you think to yourself
because you struggle with that).
It’s easy to feel strange in this world,
her world, your new world
You ask your daughter how she feels about the girls
who look like boys and dress like boys and carry themselves like boys,
(because you struggle with that too)
and your daughter says “it’s nice
and besides, there are men who
dress like women and
act like women”.
It’s easy to marvel at your daughter and smile at your daughter
and love her so much at that moment…
It’s easy to fear for her
to wonder who will hurt her
or who will break her heart
or break her spirit, or block her path or call her
ugly, evil, spitting names.
It’s easy to fear for her.
(And you remember
a very long time ago
upset with you for falling in love with a black man.
“What about the children?” she begged.
Confused, exasperated… you answer her:
“C’mon Mom. You create a world where that doesn’t matter.”