Sparkles & Stretchmarks: A UK Parenting & Pregnancy Blog: Kids React To Gay Marriage

Saturday, 10 January 2015

Kids React To Gay Marriage



Tonight I settled down after a long evening of bedtime battles with my toddler to relax watching some YouTube and stuffing my face with leftover Christmas chocolates...much as I do most evenings (Don't judge!)

I spent a little time clicking through the YouTubers I usually watch regularly....and I found myself watching a Miranda Sings video showing her reaction to a recent video on The Fine Brothers Kids React channel....this led me on to the Kids React video series, where I stumbled across a title that intrigued me...

Kids React To Gay Marriage.



So I clicked on to it...not really knowing what to expect.

What followed was a 16 minute long roller coaster of emotions.

I don't think any other YouTube video has ever made me FEEL as much as this one did. 

Mostly, I felt uplifted and almost excited to hear the eloquent and insightful comments put forward by the group of 5-13 year old kids from California giving their reactions to viral videos of marriage proposals by same sex couples and then answering a series of questions around the subject of gay marriage and the treatment of gay people in society.

Most of the kids in the video were supportive & understanding - they seemed to completely grasp the concept of love being love and the need for all human beings to be completely equal. They seemed to struggle, much as I do myself, to understand why so many members of our society have such problems grasping the importance of the need for equality. 
They seemed to become exasperated at hearing how gay people are treated throughout the world.

Their reactions gave me hope for the future - if all of the children society are raising right now grow up to have these opinions then there's hope for us all, right?

But there was one child in the video - Lucas, aged 5 - an adorable little guy who at first seems to understand what he's seeing. He asks "Are they gay?"....and when the producer off screen answers yes, he simply says "Ohhh".

But further in to the video, he shares his views more.

When asked how the video made him feel, he replies "I'm sad...Gay is bad for you".

When asked "Why do you think that?" his response is "I don't know".

Well...there I went in tears for the rest of video.

I can think of few things sadder than this.

A 5 year old child - a blank canvas - surely too young to have reached this conclusion all by himself?

What a strong opinion to have, without the slightest inclination as to why he has it.

This makes it very clear to me that this is the opinion of someone responsible for bringing him up - his inability to reason or justify his thoughts show this. 

I wonder if this is the opinion he'll always hold. Is it too late for him now to form his own, unbiased opinion on a subject like this? Or has his mind been forever tarnished with the opinion of those around him?

Watching this video really brought home to me just how much responsibility is on your shoulders when you become a parent.

I guess I hadn't really thought about it before....I'd focused on the responsibility of keeping my son safe, of educating him, of trying to instill a good work ethic....but I hadn't given a great deal of thought to the responsibility of raising a human being who will go out into the world with the opinions he forms and live his life accordingly.

What a huge responsibility that is.

More than anything I want to raise accepting, well-rounded children who understand and respect every human beings right to be treated fairly.

If I heard Tyne saying the things that this child said, I would feel I had failed completely as a parent.

He will certainly never hear those things from me, but how do I stop him from hearing them from other people? It's my job as his mother to not only ensure he doesn't hear any of the negative, but to ensure he hears the positive - simply ignoring the existence of these issues isn't going to be enough to combat the things he might hear out there in the world.

He needs to know the facts - he needs to be told from the start that sometimes men love men, sometimes women love women. That some children have two mummies, and some children have two daddies, some children don't have one or the other and some children don't have any.

I don't want these things to come as a surprise to him, and I don't want the chance to arise for anybody elses opinions to cloud his judgement.

I wish there were more opportunities to make this part of a childs every day life.

Sure I guess we're going in the right direction with the suggestion that the movie Frozen features the very first gay couple to be seen in a Disney movie - but what a very subtle reference it is, and not even one that's been confirmed (As far as I am aware).

I need more opportunities to present these things to him as part of normal life.

I need more same sex couples on kids tv shows and adverts - I need more opportunities to show my children that its just as normal to see a relationship between a same sex couple as it is to see the opposite sex...otherwise how will he understand this?

I can tell him all day long that its perfectly normal but without seeing it for himself, how will he understand that?



I remember back in the 90's, when Eastenders had a big story line about a gay couple - it was the first on screen kiss between two men before the watershed on British TV and I remember a family member sounding off about how upset he was with the whole thing because his then 4 year old child had seen it and asked questions.

He didn't want to have to answer those questions and he was furious that a TV show had made his child aware of the existence of those people - that child is a well rounded adult now and as far as I am aware, hasn't been damaged in anyway by seeing what they did! 

Even as recently as a couple of years back, a well known brand had to withdraw an advert for a home cleaning product because there had so many complaints to OFCOM - what did the advert show? 
It showed a normal family - parents and kids - having breakfast together. One of the parents kissed the other on the cheek on their way out to work.
Nice and simple, wholesome family stuff .

The problem? They were both men.

Shock horror!

And so this is what I'm up against.

On the rare occasions that these images are presented to our children as normal, complaints are made and they're soon gone again.

I'm not sure what I can do about any of this - I guess all I can do is try my hardest to ensure that my children know exactly how the world works - that relationships can occur between any mix of genders, and that is all normal. I guess they also need to know that there are some people out there with closed minds and hearts who don't think that's ok...I guess I should welcome any questions, and I should be completely honest. That's all I can do.

I hope beyond hope that my children grow up to emulate the 99% of children in the above video - I'll be truly devastated if they don't.




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57 comments:

  1. Great blog. Thanks for another view on this issue. My hope is that one day, "gay rights" will be a non-issue, as everyone will just have equal rights.

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  2. Always surprising how simple yet correct children are. They oftentimes don't understand or know the "why" but their basic understanding of human begins and life lead them to the correct conclusions.

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  3. I'm bisexual I fully support this. It reminds me of this video... about Children's reactions to domestic violence... https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b2OcKQ_mbiQ

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  4. One of my best friends is a gay man. He and his husband are open about being gay and quite rightly so. I hope one day that men and woman can be open about their sexuality without anyone even blinking an eye at it.

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  5. Interesting read. I think the sad thing is that there is pressure on children from both sides of the argument to make a 'decision' about their sexuality, often at an age where they haven't a clue about life and 'what they want to be'

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  6. Children need to learn to accept people for who they are from a young age, it's the only way to stamp out prejudices. Our children are the adults of tomorrow. Great blog post x

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  7. children hear their parents and repeat them. if we teach a child that the Sun is green they will believe and argue with others because that's how they've been taught. Education starts at home simple as that. if we teach them respect and understanding that's what they will follow.

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  8. It just goes to show you that kids take in a lot more than we think.. and it's wrong to project your views onto them.. explain it to them and let them make up their own minds.

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  9. My parents are friends with a male gay married couple, therefore my sons grow up with it being normal, my son once asked about them living together, i replied they are in love and got married - end of story :)

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  10. Only by educating our children today can we get rid of all prejudice and discrimination tomorrow. EJ Dunn

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  11. I think everyone should have the same rights no matter what their sexual preference is. We need to see more blog posts on this topic. I never see this .. ever!

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  12. I hope one day that kids won't ever face prejudice or think that it's 'wrong' to be in a same-sex partnership. To me it's normal and I wish that everyone had the same view!

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  13. I get so upset with prejudice over this issue, why would anyone even think twice in this day and age about it.

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  14. worrying how such a 'modern' world can still have so many old fashioned views.

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  15. Interesting Article, I agree with the comment from Neil firth NeilF,

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  16. one thing i havent discussed with my boys, does make you think where they get their opinions from at this age

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  17. Very interesting, really makes you think.

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  18. I think it's great that kids are taught about diversity and equality nowadays. Lets hope that in a non to distant future ignorant and bigoted people will be very few and far between.

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  19. interesting informative article, thanks xx

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  20. Very informative, thanks for the read :) x

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  21. This is really interesting, I will have to have a look on youtube

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  22. I think it's so interesting to get opinions from children

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  23. Great article. Very well written.

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  24. I am all for equal rights for everyone. This was a very well written article.

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  25. Great article

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  26. Great article. Kids reactions are great

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  27. It's good to see how open minded children can be, a lot of adults could learn from them.

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  28. Great article, my own personal view is that kids are accepting of anything and anyone, if they're not then it's usually becauce of the influence and views of thier parents

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  29. How on Earth can a 5 year old say that? Of course I don't blame him, I blame his parents. Absolutely awful.
    I'm bringing my children up to be accepting of all races, religions, sexualities and everything in between.
    I wish all parents would.

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  30. Great blog post. Really enjoyed this read.

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  31. Very interesting post, it is important to teach children tolerance and respect for sexual or other differences.

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  32. This is a brilliant interesting article, it has certainly made me think, thankyou for sharing :)

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  33. Great article. I find it sad when kids pick up homophobic opinions without even thinking about why they have that opinion. Oh, and I had to google the gay couple in Frozen - I'd completely missed it!

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  34. I agree how can a little one so young have such a negative view on other human beings? :( Great post.

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  35. This is very interseting to read and really makes you think

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  36. Thank you for your thoughtful commentary. Lots to think about here.

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  37. Great article, those kind of questions by children should not make feel adults awkward to answer them.

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  38. I totally agree with you on this! Great post.

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  39. Fantastic review and makes you think

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  40. Very thought provoking. Children are what they are exposed to whether it be on TV, YouTube or their parents thoughts & comments. We have always been open & honest with our children & answered any questions they have had about same sex relationships, race & disablilties, etc to the best of our ability without prejudice or inflicting any views we may have on them. My Hubby & I are in a mixed race relationship so have had a few looks & questions along the way, thankfully the kids seem well balanced & have no prejudice against anyone.

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  41. very eye opening people should be allowed to live how they want happiness ,something everyone looks for should be for all

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  42. Interesting article, good read

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