“Is it really gay?” I’ve asked that question countless times over the years of my teenage boys. “Would someone who is gay agree with you? Would you say it in front of them? If not, you’re using the word incorrectly.”
Last night the boys and I watched the video below. It’s a must see. I had seen it before and was sharing it with them for the first time. Instead of watching the video I watched their faces and their body language. The boys nodded in agreement, got squirmy when Ash compared the word gay to other words we use inappropriately (one of the most poignant parts of the video) and I loved when Noah exclaimed upon seeing this still shot:
“That guy is awesome,” and Keenan responded with, “Pure BOSS.” Because? That guy is awesome. I want to high five the crap out of that guy. And I wanted to high five my kids too. They get it.
Noah recently asked me why I would not allow Colt to be a part of the Boy Scouts of America.
“They don’t allow gay people to be a part of their organization,” I responded.
“I don’t understand,” Noah replied.
“What do you mean you don’t understand?” I asked.
“What do you mean they don’t allow gay people to be a part of it?” He asked.
“That’s what I mean. They don’t allow gay people to be scout leaders.” I said.
“I don’t get it.” He said.
That was our actual conversation. I love that he doesn’t get it. In his 16 year old brain, having been raised in a family that teaches acceptance, he couldn’t find a place to make sense of such nonsense. Why? Because there is no sense to be made of such nonsense.
My boys couldn’t care less if someone is gay, black, white or purple. Yet, the word gay has flown from their mouths as easily as an eye roll from their eyes. Why? Because they don’t understand the magnitude of the word to those around them. After years of asking, “Is it really gay?” I don’t hear the word from them anymore. But? I am not around them when they are hanging out with their buddies. So, just in case they act like normal teenagers and do dumb crap in front of their friends they don’t do in front of me, I shared this video with them. I am pretty sure they now have a VERY clear understanding of the word gay and it’s proper and improper uses.
Watch the video yourself. Then watch it with your tweens and teens. Every time they, you, anyone uses the word gay incorrectly, “…the effect it has on the gay kid in the room or the kid who has gay relatives is that being gay is less than or inferior to,” says Ash Beckham in this video. Don’t let your kid be the kid making others feel less than.