Teaching Makayla About God and Being "Gay"
"Mommy, you said to talk about this later but Brother seems gay to me. So will he have a husband then?"
Makayla presented this question to me this morning while her brother was still asleep. Yesterday her brother had expressed a want to kiss Ironman and Spiderman and claimed the only girls he would ever kiss would be his sister and me. Makayla was immediately inquisitive over his sexuality.
"Makayla, like I said, when you were his age, you said you were going to marry me. You also said you were going to marry Strawberry Shortcake. He doesn't understand. He likes Ironman and Spiderman and when he says he wants to kiss them, he just means that he likes them."
"He wears dresses and likes make-up. And he plays with dolls."
"So? You're the person he hangs out with the most and you do those things. He's just copying you. So what if he was gay anyway?"
She looked at me and said, "I think that would be very weird. Bubba should like girls because he is a boy."
"Well, gay men like men and gay women like women. It's how they are born. Like you were born with brown hair. Can you help that you were born with brown hair? Is there something wrong with brown hair?"
"I wish my hair was pink," Makayla sighed.
"Anyway," I said, "Caleb is only four. He likes dresses and make-up and dolls because he's always with you and those are the things you like. He also likes Ironman and Spiderman and tools. And if he grows up to be gay, so what? He's still Caleb."
"You were a boy when you were little so why aren't you gay?" Makayla asked.
"I wasn't actually a boy," I told her, "I was a tomboy, but just because I liked things that MOST boys like, doesn't mean I was gay. And just because Caleb likes what he likes right now doesn't mean he's gay. What worries me is that you seem so worried if he IS gay. He would still be Caleb wouldn't he?"
"Boys should not kiss boys."
"Why?" I asked curiously.
"Because boys should kiss girls."
"Because boys should just kiss girls and not boys. I guess I don't care if other boys are gay but I don't want my brother to kiss boys."
"Mommy...don't you think that's kind of... weird?"
"Not at all," I told her, "When you grow up, you want to marry a boy, right?"
"Of course I want to marry a boy!"
"So you like boys. You were born liking boys. A boy who is gay is born liking boys. A girl who is gay is born liking girls. Wouldn't it be weird if everyone was telling you that you should like GIRLS, even though you really like boys? Wouldn't that be sad? Because I bet it would break my heart if everyone was telling me I was wrong for liking boys just because they think I should like girls, since I love Matt. It would break someone's heart to be told they shouldn't love the person that they love just because they're both boys or something. That's the most hateful thing I've ever heard."
"I would NEVER kiss a girl," Makayla said, "but why do gay people like stuff like that?"
I assumed she was too young to comprehend the genetics and X chromosome and whatnot, so I said, "Because God made them that way. Just like God gave you brown hair, God created some people to be gay. Love is the exact same thing, whether you are gay or not. And God wants us to love everyone, and not think people are weird because of how they were born to love."
"So is Brother gay?"
"I have no idea. And I don't want you talking to him about it because it will confuse him. If he had a big brother, chances are, he wouldn't like wearing dresses and make-up. But you are his big sister and he wants to do what you do and wearing dresses and make-up does NOT make someone gay."
"Boys should NOT wear dresses and make-up," she declared.
"Why?" I asked her.
She gave me a "you are insane" look and said, "Mommy! GIRLS wear dresses and make-up! Not boys!"
"Well, what if a boy liked to wear dresses and make-up?"
"What if Bubba was already a grown up and wore dresses and make-up?!?!?! And painted his NAILS!"
Her confusion was genuine so I treaded carefully.
"Love doesn't care about clothes or make-up or what color your nails are. Love sees your heart, not what you look like. God is love and all he cares about is loving you and NOT what you wear or what color your nails are, whether you're a girl or a boy."
"Well, I didn't know God made gay people anyway."
I wondered what the crap she had overheard from outside influences and said, "God made everybody. And he loves everybody. Who else would have made gay people?"
I felt a wave of anxiety and shushed it down as I asked the Higher Power to give me guidance.
"There is no such thing as the devil. There is only God and love. And just like I am 100% happy with the way I made you, God is 100% happy with the way he made BOTH of us and he is 100% happy with the way he made gay people. He made them on purpose and gay people are just like you and me and they love the exact same as you and me. Just because some men love men and some women love women, does NOT mean God did not make them. God made us all."
Makayla crawled into my lap and said, "God sounds like he is very sweet."
"Sweeter and more loving than you and I could ever imagine," I told her.
"But why would he make gay people anyway?" Makayla asked.
"That is not for us to question," I told her.
"And if Bubba is gay he will not go to Hell? I can say Hell if I'm talking about the place."
I felt frustration over what the crap others have exposed her to and said, "First of all, Bubba is four and you need to stop thinking he is gay because he likes doing the same things you like doing. He is copying you. And there is no such place as Hell. That is an awful place that people made up. There is nothing anyone could ever do, EVER, that would make God put someone in Hell because he isn't capable of anything other than love."
Makayla hopped down.
"God is so confusing," she sighed.
"Why?" I asked her.
"Because everyone says something different about that guy."
"Everyone is different," I told her, "But my friend Amber told me that God views us all as his own little children and as someone who has children, I can promise you, a parent would never do anything other than love their child. And God is even better than a parent because he doesn't even know how to get mad or annoyed; all he knows how to do is love. And THAT is the God you need to keep in your heart."
"OK," she said, clearly bored with my lecture. A few minutes later, I caught her in her room, reading her Bible.
"What part are you reading?" I asked, and noticed she had a marker, drawing in the book.
"Makayla, no!" I said, rushing towards her, "Why are you coloring in your Bible?"
"I'm just remembering how many times it says love in here, Mommy! So far, I've found it fourteen times. And look! Boys in the Bible wear dresses just like Bubba and God PUT THEM IN THE BIBLE!"