I’ve been mulling over this post (My Son is Gay) all week, and have come to the conclusion that my thoughts just won’t fit in that little comment box. So here we go.

To recap: this is a story about a 5 year old boy who decided to dress up as Daphne from Scooby Doo for Halloween. It was written by his mother, who didn’t see anything wrong with that.

And just to be clear, I don’t see anything wrong with that either.

What is perplexing to me is she didn’t think anyone else would see anything wrong with that. Really? You’ve never run into a close-minded, judgemental, homophobe before? Honey, let me introduce you to my Great Aunt Gertrude.

Two things bother me about this story. First is, of course, the reactions of the other mothers. It was nothing short of disgusting. You are the grown ups. Your kids are taking their cues from you. And thus we see how it takes not years, but generations to overcome some of society’s more bone-headed ideas.

But then there is the mother’s shock at the train of events. Dismay? Yes. Anger? Absolutely. But shock?

I was reminded of a similar story, of a mom who agonized over whether to let her kindergarten-age son wear his favourite pink shirt on the first day of school. In the end, she did. The other kids laughed. And the really sad part is, he never wore that shirt again. In both stories, the son got hurt. The difference between the two stories is that one mother could see the possible consequences, and made a conscious decision. The other, apparently, could not.

From the time our babies start to move we tread a fine line between letting them explore and protecting them from hurt. My daughter has a fair few bruises I could have protected her from, including a few that I probably should have. It’s a delicate balancing act, and not even hindsight is 20/20. Should this mom have ‘allowed’ this? I don’t know, and neither does anyone else. Will her son grow from the experience? Maybe. Will some of the people around him? I hope so.

In neither story would I presume to gainsay the mother’s decision. Both offered opportunities to grow, as well as the potential for hurt. I don’t look forward to having to make these decisions myself, it’s hard enough deciding how much leeway to allow my toddler as she navigates the stairs. I only hope my daughters survive the ordeal and don’t hate me at the end of it. But it seems rather naive, and possibly a little disingenuous, to not have seen trouble brewing.

I don’t worry that my daughter is going to grow up to be a ladybug. But DH and I do speculate, from time to time, on the possibility that our daughters might be gay. There’s even a bit of relish at the thought of how it would send Aunt Gertie into an apoplexy; one rivalled only by a conversion to Islam, or a decision to run for the NDP.

I hear mom now has a lineup of gigs on the talk-show circuit. Consequences indeed.