Friday, May 16, 2014

When your teenage daughter asks, "Dad, can my gay boyfriend come to my room?"

 “The greatest trick the devil ever pulled was convincing the world he doesn't exist.” –Charles Baudelaire                                    

No, really. One might think that I’ve had at least my share of curve balls. Fate or the patron saint of single parenting or who or what is in charge of fairness would throw me a marshmallow now and then. I don’t buy all that, “God-only-gives-us-that-which-we-can- handle,” bullshit. Uncle!

So, here’s the latest. I have what I consider to be a very reasonable, standing rule for my teenage daughters: boys are not allowed on the second floor. The second floor is where the bedrooms are, of course. When The Favorite Son is old enough for such a rule to be relevant, he will also have to adhere to it for girls.

One of the Beautiful Daughters has a friend who is a boy. I’ve known this boy for a few years and, frankly, I like the kid. He’s a top student. He’s polite. He’s funny. I’ve met and spoken to his parents on several occasions. According to my Beautiful Daughter, the boy is gay and she doesn’t think it’s fair that she shouldn’t be able to bring him into her room. Moreover, both she and her sister look at me like I’m some out-of-touch knuckle-dragger because I continue to refuse to allow this boy north of the first floor.

Neanderthal. Resemblance?
Look, I have no intention of making this a discussion about my or anyone else’s attitude toward homosexuality other than to say that, philosophically, I’m libertarian. So, when my daughter has asked, “Why can’t Johnny come upstairs to my room, Dad? Nothing’s going to happen, Dad. You know he’s gay,” my answer has consistently been, “When it comes to the ‘No Boys on the Second Floor Rule,’ I don’t check any of your friends’ sexual preference at the door. Frankly, that’s not my business and I don’t care. If your friends carry their plumbing on the outside of their bodies, however, they don’t go upstairs.”

If that makes me a Neanderthal, well, all I have to say is, “Ooga booga.”

1 comment:

Kim Sumner-Mayer said...

Considering that sexual preference is often more fluid among teenagers than it is among adults, and that experimentation is one of the ways a teen gets to know for sure, I think this is a very reasonable and good policy. I'm right there with you on the knuckle dragging and I'm right there with you on being willing to put up with the Neanderthal perceptions. It's our job to be their parents, not their friends, and sometimes that means being unpopular, right?