March 05, 2010

I've been thinking about how I want to raise my kids. More specifically, making sure they understand same sex relationships. I couldn't even begin to think about ways to introduce the constructs of gender and sexuality, but I'd want them to see a man and a man together as he/she would see his/her own mommy and daddy--that they are together and in love, and that it's normal.

There's this obvious binary that exists between heterosexuality and homosexuality. Straight is natural, gay is unnatural. Straight is normal, gay is abnormal. Straight is innate, gay is artificial. But only because we've been taught this law of heteronormativity in school and in our homes and in laws.. etc. I can't speak for everyone, but until we're older, we don't really understand sexuality and gender and race. Everything is categorized in ways that are "supposed to be"s. Even with Disney movies and princess stories. We wait for our prince to come rescue us. We dream of the day where we'd be veiled in white, walking down the isle. It's not to say that I am con-Disney princess movies or don't, myself, want to be in a white dress.. but from an early age, it's ingrained in our minds the way things are supposed to be.

I defer from using the word "brainwash" because that's not where I want to go. I think it's just the way we (as a collective whole) choose to see life and the world. It's no one and everyone's fault.

Adrienne Rich calls it a "compulsory heterosexuality", in that being straight is not technically natural, but culturally constructed, rather than a choice.. to a point where this issue is invisible/doesn't exist. Though, she also states that heterosexuality is not only illusory, but an "identity permanently at risk", which takes things a little bit too far for my taste, but we get the point.

I'm sure there are many kids with parents that want to raise their kids the way I do.. the question is: How? One sees stories of parents over-introducing sex in their lives, making it "okay" and exploring sexuality is okay and blah blah blah, but then that kid grows up hating sex more blah blah. The point, what if it backfires? The same way I want my kid to eat Craisins (dried cranberries) because the label says it's "nature's candy" and it definitely tastes like it. What if, instead of introducing candy, I give the kid Craisins because it's healthy and natural, but all of these Craisins make my kid candy crazy later? It's ridiculous! (And this is where I applaud parents for tackling on the task of Parenting.)

I look at Angelina Jolie's ever-growing family, and there's Shiloh. Her parents don't dress her up in dresses and give her dolls. She's in baggy pants, a blazer, and a mohawk. Pants, t-shirt, loose tie around her neck, and a fedora. Her sister is in a purple dress, but she's just fine dressing "like a boy", and her Mommy (oh her Mommy) is fine with it, if not encourages it.