Is It Okay?

A friend sent me this article and thought that I should comment on it. The title of the article is “My Son Is Gay” and the first words of the post are:

“Or he’s not. I don’t care. He is still my son. And he is 5. And I am his mother. And if you have a problem with anything mentioned above, I don’t want to know you.”

The blog post is written by a frustrated mother who allowed her 5 year old son to wear a Daphne (from Scooby Doo) costume to school for Halloween. She is not frustrated with the costume he chose but instead with the reactions from other mothers and she defends her son’s choice.

What concerns me the most is that her son expressed anxiety about the possibility that people would make fun of him.

“Then as we got closer to the actual day, he stared to hem and haw about it. After some discussion it comes out that he is afraid people will laugh at him. I pointed out that some people will because it is a cute and clever costume. He insists their laughter would be of the ‘making fun’ kind. I blow it off. Seriously, who would make fun of a child in costume?

And then the big day arrives. We get dressed up. We drop Squirt at his preschool and head over to his. Boo doesn’t want to get out of the car. He’s afraid of what people will say and do to him. I convince him to go inside. He halts at the door. He’s visibly nervous. I chalk it up to him being a bit of a worrier in general. Seriously, WHO WOULD MAKE FUN OF A CHILD IN A  COSTUME ON HALLOWEEN? So he walks in.”

To me, “Who would make fun of a child in costume?” is a valid question. This mother assumes that everyone does not have prejudices, preconceived notions, etc. Although wearing a costume should not produce ridicule or bullying, depending on the type of costume, it could happen.

She goes on to say that several mothers were critical of her and her son.

“But it also was heartbreaking to me that my sweet, kind-hearted five year old was right to be worried… And he, at 5, was concerned about how they would perceive him and what would happen to him.

Just as it was heartbreaking to those parents that have lost their children recently due to bullying. IT IS NOT OK TO BULLY. Even if you wrap it up in a bow and call it ‘concern.’  Those women were trying to bully me. And my son. MY son.”

I agree! In my opinion, the other mothers should not have reacted the way they did in front of the writer’s son. If they have an opinion (which they obviously did), they should have expressed it a private discussion with the mother.

Personally, I don’t think that that this boy dressing up like a girl makes him gay. A girl dressing up like a boy won’t make her gay either. In fact, role play for young boys and girls is important for development as this quote off of Focus on the Family suggests:

Is it normal and healthy for young children to participate in cross-sex behavior?

Of course! The whole world of a child is exploration. The role of the parent is to make sure their children explore and learn about their world in safe and directed ways. My son has four sisters, and when he was very small he loved to play dress up with his sisters, even in their own dresses and sparkly shoes. This is fine at 2 years old. Not so much at 8 years old! It is important for parents to not overreact to such behavior but to slowly guide it in gender-proper directions. That is how kids learn.

Remember, most little boys and girls have never been men or women before, and they need both mother and father to show them what being one is like, as well as what it is not!”

But, I would have protected my child from even having to face criticism in the first place. Playing dress up/role play at home with siblings and friends is one thing. Going to school is completely different.

Another issue that I have with the situation is that the writer questions the other mother’s Christianity (her son goes to a church preschool). She does not say whether or not she is a Christian herself. Throughout the article, she is supportive of her son and states that if he is gay (now or in the future) she is okay with that.

“If he wants to carry a purse, or marry a man, or paint fingernails with his best girlfriend, then ok. My job as his mother is not to stifle that man that he will be, but to help him along his way. Mine is not to dictate what is ‘normal’ and what is not, but to help him become a good person.”

Since I do not know this mother, I am not going to say “Yes, she is a Christian” or “No, she is not.” So I will say my opinion based on both possibilities.

1. If she is not a Christian, she probably does not view the Bible as an authority over her life. So, we as Christians should use grace instead of judgement. It is okay to state your opinion and your Biblical reasoning to someone but (whether you are speaking to a Christian or not) should do so in a respectful and loving way.

2. If she is a Christian, we should still use grace! Her opinion could be formed because of lack of understanding or because she refuses to believe the Bible on this issue; either way it is between her and God. Again, it is okay to state your opinion and your Biblical reasoning to someone but should do so in a respectful and loving way.

There is a difference in being supportive of your child as a person and being supportive of the choices your child makes. The Bible clearly says that we are to Train up a child in the way he should go…” Proverbs 22:6 (KJV) In other words, we as parents are to teach our children the difference between right and wrong and we are to teach them morals and values. If we view the Bible as God’s Word and as an authority over our lives, this applies to the subject of homosexuality as well. As Neil says,

  • 100% of the verses addressing homosexual behavior denounce it as sin in the clearest and strongest possible terms.
  • 100% of the verses referencing God’s ideal for marriage involve one man and one woman.
  • 100% of the verses referencing parenting involve moms and dads with unique roles (or at least a set of male and female parents guiding the children).
  • 0% of 31,173 Bible verses refer to homosexual behavior in a positive or even benign way or even hint at the acceptability of homosexual unions.

[See here for a full article that discusses pro-gay theology.]

All that being said, in God’s eyes, homosexuality is a sin but so is adultery, stealing, pride, greed, etc. Does any of these facts mean that we should love our children any less if they choose to be gay in the future?  Or should these facts keep us from being friends with someone who chooses that lifestyle? NO, absolutely not! Loving our family and friends and supporting them as people does not mean that we have to agree with or support the choices that they make.
*****
“The acts of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God. But the fruit of the spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.” Galatians 5:19-23

5 comments on “Is It Okay?

  1. Good points, Alysa. Even if you take out the gay issue, the mother should have done a better job of protecting her son.

    P.S. Thanks for the link!

  2. Excellent response to this article. Thank you for using such a loving tone while still speaking the truth. I hope that I am always able to demonstrate God’s love to everyone – gay or not.

  3. Alysa, you did a great job of addressing this…………….”How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe on him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher?” Romans 10:14

  4. Aly – I am so proud of you! This is not an easy topic to discuss, and you have handled it with such grace! Thanks for being bold in proclaiming the love of Christ… true love and grace that ONLY come through Jesus. May God continue to help us see EVERYONE through his eyes. We miss you and your family! 🙂

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