Rumor has it …

My mom: Someone told me you wrote a blog that said you thought Tornado E was gay because he liked watching a scene of two men kissing over and over.

Her tone was serious and slightly “parent.”  I looked over at her to make sure she wasn’t joking.  She can play straight but not as good as that.  Nope.  She was serious.  So my first thought was “what the f-?”

Me: What the hell?  I’ve never written a post on Tornado E’s sexuality.  He’s too young to have sexuality.

My mom: (same tone) That was what I was told.

My mind raced through the list of people who know about my blog and me and would talk to my mother.  And none of them would say something like that.

Me: I don’t know what to tell you, Mom.  I’ve never written anything like that.  Whoever told you that was mistaken*?

*Mistaken as in they are lying, and I want to know who it is because the way you just said that they are trying to make it out that I’m a bad mom and my kid is a freak, and no one has the right to judge my kid.

The moment passed, and my mom left the room as I continued to search for paper to write the grocery list on.  I entered the kitchen a few minutes later.

My mom: Your Cousin’s Wife said you posted a blog post about Tornado E being gay on Facebook.

Again.  What the F-?

I keep the blog separate from my Facebook account.  Very separate.

Think.  Think.  Think.  Th- OH!

Me: No.  A couple of weeks ago I read an article on Facebook where a father (and I could be wrong, it could be the mother) talked about his son watching Glee and identified with the gay character and liked the love scenes.  The father joked that if the boy turned out to be gay and made a dramatic reveal, the father and mother could brush it off and tell the boy they’ve known for years.  The main point of the article was that it was great that shows and movies portrayed healthy loving relationships of all kinds.  But no, I didn’t write it.  I just “liked” it.  Does that show up on the news feed?

My mom: Yes, I think it does.  Why would she think you wrote it?  She showed it to your Cousin, and he read it.  He told us yesterday when he was here.


Me: There’s no way she could believe I wrote it.  When you like or share something, it shows the original author.  She deliberately misinterpreted it.

My mom: Why would she do that?

I could feel my mom’s anger rising.

Me: Because she has self-esteem issues and she needs to put other people down to make herself feel better.  In her eyes and my Cousin’s eyes, I’m a bad mom because I let my son watch men kissing.  I’m a bad mom because I would “allow” my son to be gay.

My mom: Why would they think Tornado E is gay?

Me: Because he’s not “macho” like their boys.  He doesn’t watch professional wrestling.  Not that I would let him.  He’s not big on sports.  He cares about what he likes to wear.

My mom: Like your brother.  Like the ex.

Me: Exactly.  Tornado E is not what they define as a classical boy.  And really, I couldn’t care less.  Tornado E is who Tornado E is.  I just don’t want any one projecting this crap on him.  AND even if he was gay, or if any of my boys were gay, it wouldn’t matter.  I would love and support them no matter what.

My mom: I just don’t know why they are telling these lies.  Your Sister In Law told your Cousin he was wrong and that she has never read anything like that on your blog.  That it didn’t even sound like you.

Oh good.  My Cousin told The Face and my SIL.  So which means they’re telling everyone in the family.  That is awesome.  Easter is going to be a blast.

My mom: I just don’t understand why she would think you wrote this.  Or why you’re a bad mom.

Me: Because they want to.  Remember the Cousin thought I was gay because I didn’t run straight into the arms of another man after my separation.  As though every woman needs a man to be whole.  Consider the source, Mom.  These are crappy people trying to be white trash and taking their boys with them.

My mom: You should unfriend her.

Me: That is an awesome idea.  I’ve wanted to for weeks.  I’m sick of the “Like if you have the best kids in the world” or “Like if you love your kids” or “Like if your husband is your soul mate.”  God, it’s annoying crap.  Not to mention the ignorant “I hate Obama” crap and the “You can have my gun when you pry it from my dead cold hands” crap.

I watched my mom’s face.  She was calculating the damage to my reputation and what needed to be done with damage control.  She was hosting Easter.  She would be calling every family member.  She would put a stop to it.

Me: Mom.  I don’t care if they think I’m a bad mom.  I know I’m not.  Hell, I know I’m a better parent than they are.  They just can’t wrap their minds around not spanking your kid and being ok if your kid decides to wear nail polish.  I don’t rule my children with an iron fist.  The only thing I care is that no one judges Tornado E.

I hugged my mom.  Speaking of kids, I decided to make sure mine weren’t causing trouble somewhere.  I started walking out the door.

Me: And Mom, I would never watch Glee.

Open Letter to the Boy Scouts of America

I just heard you were considering lifting the ban on keeping gay leaders and boys out of Boy Scouts.  Congratulations.  Admitting there is a problem is the first step.  The second is healing.

Just tp assure you that I know who you are, I was a Girl Scout for eight years.  I worked in the organization for two.  My brothers were both Boy Scouts.  My parents were very involved in their troop.  My baby brother made Eagle Scout.  My eldest son is working on his Wolf Badge.  My middle son wants to join as soon as he’s old enough.  I’m sure my third son will follow his brothers’ footsteps.  So I have a vested stake in your organization.  I believe in a lot of things you do.  Except the bigotry.  I think it is my responsibility to discuss sexual orientation and religious beliefs with my children, and those beliefs and personal understanding has nothing to do with you.

Personally, I think you’re a little confused.  I’m sure when you came up with the ban you thought you were protecting boys.  You were keeping them from being indoctrinated into the gay lifestyle.  I don’t know about you.  But there was never an older boy who took me aside and indoctrinated me into the heterosexual lifestyle.  I assure you my father would have taken care of that boy.  Nor did I chose the heterosexual lifestyle.  It is just part of who I am. 

Now that we established that none of us “chose” to be the sexual lifestyles we are, we can discuss what else you were trying to protect those boys from.  You were trying to protect them from sexual predators.  You were afraid that some gay older boy of 17 will make sexual advances on some young, impressionable boy of 14.  Let’s work on that scenario.  What if it was some straight older boy of 17 who decides to make sexual advances on some young, impressionable little sister of another scout on a camping trip?  What would you do?  How would you feel?  If you’re not outraged and disgusted, then we have a much bigger problem here.  The correct answer is you deal with the boy who is making unwanted advances with strict discipline and a call to the police.  What if it was a young leader of 22 making sexual advances of a sixteen-year-old sister of another scout?  Again, the feeling should be disgust and outrage, and the action should be a strict disciplinary action and a call to the police..  What if a female adult leader or a mother makes sexual contact with one of the boys?  Again the feeling should be disgust and outrage, and the action should be strict disciplinary action and a call to the police.  Sexual predators are about taking advantage of their authority, their power, to thrust themselves on someone weaker.  It’s not about gay or straight.  It’s about power.  If you ban gays, you let the monsters who claim heterosexuality just waltz in.  If you  need an example, Jerry Sandusky.

There is your practical answer for the conservatives.  The new policy should be about protecting boys from predators.  “There should be no inappropriate touching, sexual advances, or relationships.”  Have your lawyers work it out.

But if we want to talk about the emotional impact, let’s think of the Boy Scout, who has just come to terms he is gay.  This boy must feel very alone and scared and worried.  What will his parents think?  What will his family think?  What will his friends think?  What about his leader and troop?  You are telling him to lie if he wants to stay in the Boy Scouts.  You’re telling him not to be morally straight, not to be honest with himself or others.  You’re asking him to go against his oath that you have made him swear at every Boy Scout function.  You’re telling him not to be brave, like it says in your laws.

What do you teach all the other boys in your organization?  They shouldn’t be loyal to their gay friends.  They shouldn’t be kind, friendly, or courteous to gay people.  They shouldn’t be brave, helpful, or trustworthy towards gay people.  That’s the problem with bigotry, it undermines all the good in the world.

So Boy Scouts of America, are you going to live up to your oath and law?