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How to talk to your kids about Michael Sam

kenny

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Right now the big story on the front page of CNN online is the 'controversial' kiss that Michael Sam gave his boyfriend yesterday when Sam was notified that he is the first openly gay football player to be drafted into the NFL.

The kiss was broadcast live to the world.



People are worried kids may have seen the kiss so here's a little PSA for parents:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q_MLi2wAfdM&feature=share

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makemepretty

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If there's a kid out there in the world that doesn't know gay people exist, then that parent has worse problems than explaining a kiss.
 

kenny

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Why is this front page news?
 

jaysonsmom

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What I tell my kids is that I don't care if you are gay, straight, or extreme animal lover. I don't want to see anyone making out public places. A hug and a peck, no big deal.

When I see people using tongue, I cringe. Period.
 

AprilBaby

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Not many kids read cnn or any news so the kiss is not that big a deal. People kiss every day. I think too much is being made of it. Now let's play some football!!!!
 

TooPatient

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jaysonsmom|1399928805|3671221 said:
What I tell my kids is that I don't care if you are gay, straight, or extreme animal lover. I don't want to see anyone making out public places. A hug and a peck, no big deal.

When I see people using tongue, I cringe. Period.

Yes!

I haven't seen anything about this other than the picture posted above. If it was a quick kiss and hug I don't see a problem. If it was prolonged, I'd have a problem with it no matter who was involved.
 

kenny

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A prolong kiss involving tongues between a man and woman would hot make headlines.

Double standard.
 

TooPatient

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kenny|1399930632|3671252 said:
A prolong kiss involving tongues between a man and woman would hot make headlines.

Double standard.

Neither should make headlines but neither should be done in public.
 

dreamer_dachsie

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kenny|1399928770|3671220 said:
Why is this front page news?
Exactly. But I am glad in some ways it is front page news because it increases the chances that more young gay athletes will see this wonderful role model.

I am very glad that Micheal Sam has the courage to be himself and express his joy naturally. No matter what happens with his NFL career, I think he will have made a huge difference to a lot of people.
 

kenny

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TooPatient|1399930765|3671258 said:
kenny|1399930632|3671252 said:
A prolong kiss involving tongues between a man and woman would hot make headlines.

Double standard.

Neither should make headlines but neither should be done in public.
I'm fine with people expressing love in public.
I'd draw the line at actual sex, but that's just me.
I'm not fine for all the repulsive actions that active NFL members got away with that are listing in the video I posted in my OP.

Our society worships violence and is ashamed of love and the very thing that produces each of us.
Backwards.

Football is a culture oozing with testosterone.
This new gay thing will be interesting to watch.
 

Gypsy

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Dreamer_D|1399931548|3671271 said:
kenny|1399928770|3671220 said:
Why is this front page news?
Exactly. But I am glad in some ways it is front page news because it increases the chances that more young gay athletes will see this wonderful role model.

I am very glad that Micheal Sam has the courage to be himself and express his joy naturally. No matter what happens with his NFL career, I think he will have made a huge difference to a lot of people.
this.
 

AGBF

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kenny|1399925946|3671183 said:
People are worried kids may have seen the kiss so here's a little PSA for parents:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q_MLi2wAfdM&feature=share
kenny,

I absolutely loved that film cilp! I loved it that it gave a long list of NFL players who had been caught doing violent and illegal acts, many targeting the most vulnerable members of the population, NFL members still playing football with impunity, and then held it up against Michael Sam whose "crime" was being gay!

One major slip by the video makers: they left off the worst villain of all (except OJ Simpson). Michael Vick. Multiple murderer and torturer. Sadist and sociopath rewarded with contracts from more than one ball club. I'd veto watching any game in which that son of a you know what played. Why isn't every game in which he plays boycotted by everyone?

AGBF
:saint:
 

purplesparklies

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makemepretty said:
If there's a kid out there in the world that doesn't know gay people exist, then that parent has worse problems than explaining a kiss.

Hmmmm.....I'm curious as to why you feel a judgement is to be made about parents whose kids don't know gay people exist. My boys, ages 9 and 12, know nothing about gay people. Not because we have avoided the discussion or have made judgements. They know nothing about a lot of things, frankly. Just has not come up yet. We do not know any gay people, at least none of which I am aware. We aren't avoiding anyone, just not any in our social circles. Actually, I digress. There is one couple down the street but I don't think my kids have ever noticed that there are only two men living there. If they have, they probably just assume they are roommates. I don't intend to go into details on their relationship anymore than I would for any of our heterosexual neighbors. When the situation arises that my kids need/want information about anything, I am more than happy to discuss it with them but this one has not come up yet.
 

momhappy

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^I agree. My kids (none of them are teens yet), know very little about gay people. The discussion is not yet age-appropriate. As far as public displays of affection, I don't care for it either. It has no place in an NFL draft (straight or gay, but I'd be lying if I said that it don't look even more out of place as a kiss shared between two men). It doesn't seem that odd to me that it became a front page news story - an openly gay man in the NFL is just not something that the world is used to. Personally, I prefer not to see such public displays of affection (straight or gay), but I don't have to talk to my kids about anything because A.) it's not appropriate B.) we don't watch CNN and C.) we don't watch and/or care about football.
 

kenny

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Here's the kiss: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WvY7KNLz0f4
No tongues.

Disgusting, or sweet and touching?

While this gay NFL kiss may upset some today it will go down as an historical moment, much like TV's first interracial kiss.
Today it's so not a big deal that the outrage Star Trek generated in 1968 now seems comical.

It's a struggle dragging along the dinosaurs, but gradually society improves.
Equality is a powerful idea.

screen_shot_2014-05-12_at_6.png
 

Dancing Fire

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Will he be allow to shower with his team mates?
 

kenny

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Dancing Fire|1399944271|3671404 said:
Will he be allow to shower with his team mates?
I assume so.

IMO that is a legit concern, and it'll be interesting to see how this will work out.

FWIW, gay men have been showing with straight men since there have been showers.
 

makemepretty

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I think kids of all ages should know couples come in all shapes and sizes. I believe parents are just being nieve if they think their school age children haven't noticed a gay couple at least once. They're on tv shows, as parents in school and ...everywhere. Even in our rural small towns there are kids with two mommies. It's not a sex thing, it's a relationship thing. In this day and age a child should not be shocked to see a loving embrace by two people any more than seeing their parents hug. More people need to hug!

The kiss was sweet and short and there was nothing inappropriate about it.
 

momhappy

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makemepretty|1399944941|3671414 said:
I think kids of all ages should know couples come in all shapes and sizes. I believe parents are just being nieve if they think their school age children haven't noticed a gay couple at least once. They're on tv shows, as parents in school and ...everywhere. Even in our rural small towns there are kids with two mommies. It's not a sex thing, it's a relationship thing. In this day and age a child should not be shocked to see a loving embrace by two people any more than seeing their parents hug. More people need to hug!

The kiss was sweet and short and there was nothing inappropriate about it.
I didn't say that it was a sex thing (although, it was a kiss that we are talking about, which can be sexual in nature) - and I'm not naive. Both of my kids have a basic awareness and understanding about relationships. At elementary school-age, they know that most couples that they see are male/female. They also know that some relationships are female/female or male/male. My kids went to preschool with a child that had two mommies, so its not like they would be shocked by it (we also have two gay couples in our neighborhood). My children are not old enough to go into certain aspects of relationships (not just sex, but yes, that's part of it). My kids don't care to see heterosexual displays of affection on tv, so I'm guessing that a kiss shared between two men would likely receive the same response. Had they seen it, and asked me about it, I would have said that it is a conversation that we could share when they are older.
 

purplesparklies

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I have no reaction to the clip. It was no big thing and not something that should trigger extensive news coverage. I seldom watch the news so I had not seen it.

I always find it interesting that people feel compelled to comment on how others parent and feel entitled to make judgements based on absolutely zero knowledge. I find the worst offenders are those who have no children. I suppose ignorance can be bliss. I am extremely close to my children and know exactly to what and to whom they have been exposed. They attend a very small private school. I am certain that there are no same sex parents of students who attend their school. I am very familiar with the families of their close friends. They have limited access to television. We typically watch as a family. I am a full-time mom. Trust me. I know my kids.

That being said, I agree that it is a relationship thing. I teach my children that every living creature is to be treated with love and respect. Period. Honestly, I simply don't feel the need to draw attention to it and have a discussion at this point. It would only serve to make them wonder what the big deal is and to question why it warrants a special discussion. They know people are different. We have never sat down and had a discussion about other races, religions, etc. either. If they come to me with questions or a situation arises that warrants some kind of conversation, I am more than open to it. I just know that my kids are not there yet. Not because I am naive or have my head in the sand but just because I know my kids.
 

hlmr

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Dreamer_D|1399931548|3671271 said:
kenny|1399928770|3671220 said:
Why is this front page news?
Exactly. But I am glad in some ways it is front page news because it increases the chances that more young gay athletes will see this wonderful role model.

I am very glad that Micheal Sam has the courage to be himself and express his joy naturally. No matter what happens with his NFL career, I think he will have made a huge difference to a lot of people.
Love this! So true.
 

packrat

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London has asked me questions a few times about different things. I find it harder to talk about God when she comes home and kids have been talking about going to Heaven, b/c I don't know where I stand in my own head. Around here, it's very uncommon to see an openly same sex relationship...I can think of two or three, and they've all been female. Kids soak up so much stuff tho, that you don't even realize. My adoration of Will & Grace, hearing us talk about Niles from Frasier, or our musings about Raj on TBBT, hearing us talk about one of my classmates from school who is gay-we went and hung out w/him one evening when he was back over the summer, so she could've heard us talking about that. Who knows. But I know where I stand on that in my own head, so it's not as hard for me to talk about w/her when she asks why sometimes boys like boys or girls like girls, or asks if it's ok if she marries a girl when she is grown, "I will marry a boy, b/c you did, but if I marry a girl is that ok?" So seeing this kiss, if she happens to see it somewhere or kids talk about it at school, isn't going to be a big deal to her, b/c it's not a big deal to mommy. (and not just b/c I don't give two squirts for football either haha)
 

dreamer_dachsie

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I have no problem with public displays of affection between anyone. So it wouldn't bother me at all if my sons saw that kiss. In fact, I would like them to see it because I want them to grow up knowing that being gay is totally normal and boring, so normal and boring that a man can kiss his boyfriend to celebrate the biggest milestone he has ever achieved in his life and it is no big deal at all! No bigger deal than a man and woman kissing in the same situation -- which I am sure happened at the draft but the cameras weren't tuned in to catch it! Why? Because kissing between men and women is commonplace. I hope one day kissing between men and between women will be just as commonplace.

I have two sons who are five and three and when we talk about relationships I try always to convey that there are lots of different families out there, and lots of different types of romantic couples. I don't like to talk about life as if there is one right way for things to be. My students in my relationships classes at university taught me that -- this new generation is very enlightened and very aware and critical of any teachers talking as if white/straight/privileged/western/married is the best perspective or even the dominant perspective and every other way of being is only interesting as an aberration. Anyway, from them I have adapted and learned not to take anything for granted when it comes to relationships. And I try to talk to my kids the same way in the million conversations we have each week where I am subtly guiding their worldview.

Thought statistically speaking my boys will most likely be straight, if they do turn out to be gay or have friends who are gay, then I want them to know they are loved and their friends are a-ok with us. Or if they are effeminate, or any other way of being that is against the "norm", I want them to know its fine with me too. I try not to make assumptions when I talk to them, like saying, "when you have kids..." (They may not have kids), or "when you meet the woman you will marry..." (Because they might not marry, or marry women if they do). I know some people think that way of communicating takes too much thought, but it doesn't really in my experience, and I want to communicate with my kids in a any that authentically reflects my values, which includes acknowledging and respecting diversity in its many forms.

So my kids know men marry men sometimes, and women marry women, and they know that some kids have parents who live together ands some have kids who live apart, and some kids have the same color skin as their parents and some have different coloured skin from their parents... It's all the same issue to me. Teaching inclusiveness is more basic than just avoiding saying bad things or countering negative ideas your kids express. I think the building blocks of true open-mindedness starts much earlier with our reactions to the simple things they say and do, and the messages we indirectly communicate concerning everyday things in life.
 

missy

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kenny|1399931828|3671276 said:
TooPatient|1399930765|3671258 said:
kenny|1399930632|3671252 said:
A prolong kiss involving tongues between a man and woman would hot make headlines.

Double standard.

Neither should make headlines but neither should be done in public.
I'm fine with people expressing love in public.
I'd draw the line at actual sex, but that's just me.
I'm not fine for all the repulsive actions that active NFL members got away with that are listing in the video I posted in my OP.

Our society worships violence and is ashamed of love and the very thing that produces each of us.
Backwards.


Football is a culture oozing with testosterone.
This new gay thing will be interesting to watch.

AGBF said:
kenny|1399925946|3671183 said:
People are worried kids may have seen the kiss so here's a little PSA for parents:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q_MLi2wAfdM&feature=share
kenny,

I absolutely loved that film cilp! I loved it that it gave a long list of NFL players who had been caught doing violent and illegal acts, many targeting the most vulnerable members of the population, NFL members still playing football with impunity, and then held it up against Michael Sam whose "crime" was being gay!

One major slip by the video makers: they left off the worst villain of all (except OJ Simpson). Michael Vick. Multiple murderer and torturer. Sadist and sociopath rewarded with contracts from more than one ball club. I'd veto watching any game in which that son of a you know what played. Why isn't every game in which he plays boycotted by everyone?

AGBF
:saint:
I agree. It seems as if society is A-OK with displays of violence all around us. I cringe at how often violence is glorified on television and movies and yet here in the US we are still so prudish about displays of love and sex in the movies and TV. It's OK to show someone blowing someone's brains out or bashing their heads in and yet displaying full frontal nudity etc are so much less accepted by our culture. Video games often glorify violence, pain and death and our children are exposed to that on a daily basis. We are becoming desensitized to violence at an alarming rate IMO and it is sad at how outraged some people become when something so natural and wonderful as love is displayed on those same venues.
 

chrono

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Dreamer_D|1399961899|3671531 said:
I have no problem with public displays of affection between anyone. So it wouldn't bother me at all if my sons saw that kiss. In fact, I would like them to see it because I want them to grow up knowing that being gay is totally normal and boring, so normal and boring that a man can kiss his boyfriend to celebrate the biggest milestone he has ever achieved in his life and it is no big deal at all! No bigger deal than a man and woman kissing in the same situation -- which I am sure happened at the draft but the cameras weren't tuned in to catch it! Why? Because kissing between men and women is commonplace. I hope one day kissing between men and between women will be just as commonplace.

I have two sons who are five and three and when we talk about relationships I try always to convey that there are lots of different families out there, and lots of different types of romantic couples. I don't like to talk about life as if there is one right way for things to be. My students in my relationships classes at university taught me that -- this new generation is very enlightened and very aware and critical of any teachers talking as if white/straight/privileged/western/married is the best perspective or even the dominant perspective and every other way of being is only interesting as an aberration. Anyway, from them I have adapted and learned not to take anything for granted when it comes to relationships. And I try to talk to my kids the same way in the million conversations we have each week where I am subtly guiding their worldview.

Thought statistically speaking my boys will most likely be straight, if they do turn out to be gay or have friends who are gay, then I want them to know they are loved and their friends are a-ok with us. Or if they are effeminate, or any other way of being that is against the "norm", I want them to know its fine with me too. I try not to make assumptions when I talk to them, like saying, "when you have kids..." (They may not have kids), or "when you meet the woman you will marry..." (Because they might not marry, or marry women if they do). I know some people think that way of communicating takes too much thought, but it doesn't really in my experience, and I want to communicate with my kids in a any that authentically reflects my values, which includes acknowledging and respecting diversity in its many forms.

So my kids know men marry men sometimes, and women marry women, and they know that some kids have parents who live together ands some have kids who live apart, and some kids have the same color skin as their parents and some have different coloured skin from their parents... It's all the same issue to me. Teaching inclusiveness is more basic than just avoiding saying bad things or countering negative ideas your kids express. I think the building blocks of true open-mindedness starts much earlier with our reactions to the simple things they say and do, and the messages we indirectly communicate concerning everyday things in life.
Dreamer,
I share the same thinking as you. I practise inclusiveness and although I don't point out specifics, I do talk about the very many different types of couples, marriages and families. We saw the kiss on the news and no one in my family blinked an eyelid.
 

momhappy

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purplesparklies|1399947286|3671435 said:
I have no reaction to the clip. It was no big thing and not something that should trigger extensive news coverage. I seldom watch the news so I had not seen it.

I always find it interesting that people feel compelled to comment on how others parent and feel entitled to make judgements based on absolutely zero knowledge. I find the worst offenders are those who have no children. I suppose ignorance can be bliss. I am extremely close to my children and know exactly to what and to whom they have been exposed. They attend a very small private school. I am certain that there are no same sex parents of students who attend their school. I am very familiar with the families of their close friends. They have limited access to television. We typically watch as a family. I am a full-time mom. Trust me. I know my kids.

That being said, I agree that it is a relationship thing. I teach my children that every living creature is to be treated with love and respect. Period. Honestly, I simply don't feel the need to draw attention to it and have a discussion at this point. It would only serve to make them wonder what the big deal is and to question why it warrants a special discussion. They know people are different. We have never sat down and had a discussion about other races, religions, etc. either. If they come to me with questions or a situation arises that warrants some kind of conversation, I am more than open to it. I just know that my kids are not there yet. Not because I am naive or have my head in the sand but just because I know my kids.
I agree with much of this and after reading some of the commentary here, I also find it interesting when people like to tell parents how to do their jobs as parents. It's really none of anyone's business how or when any of us chooses to talk to our kids about things like homosexual relationships.
I also teach my kids to treat all living creatures with love & respect. Period. When the timing is right, then I'm sure that we'll go into more detail, but until then, I don't need someone telling me how to parent. That was not meant to come off as me being harsh or getting defensive - it just is what it is. Each family should choose what's right for them and it's not up to anyone else to decide what/when/who/how is appropriate. My children are at an age where obviously we limit exposure to things like violence, things that are sexual in nature, swearing, etc. Despite the fact that the kiss was simply a kiss (and not overtly sexual), it still leads to conversations that include more detailed information about relationships, intimacy, etc. and it's not a discussion that we feel is appropriate at this time (except for very general terms in regards to relationships).
 

Dancing Fire

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momhappy|1399989098|3671648 said:
purplesparklies|1399947286|3671435 said:
I have no reaction to the clip. It was no big thing and not something that should trigger extensive news coverage. I seldom watch the news so I had not seen it.

I always find it interesting that people feel compelled to comment on how others parent and feel entitled to make judgements based on absolutely zero knowledge. I find the worst offenders are those who have no children. I suppose ignorance can be bliss. I am extremely close to my children and know exactly to what and to whom they have been exposed. They attend a very small private school. I am certain that there are no same sex parents of students who attend their school. I am very familiar with the families of their close friends. They have limited access to television. We typically watch as a family. I am a full-time mom. Trust me. I know my kids.

That being said, I agree that it is a relationship thing. I teach my children that every living creature is to be treated with love and respect. Period. Honestly, I simply don't feel the need to draw attention to it and have a discussion at this point. It would only serve to make them wonder what the big deal is and to question why it warrants a special discussion. They know people are different. We have never sat down and had a discussion about other races, religions, etc. either. If they come to me with questions or a situation arises that warrants some kind of conversation, I am more than open to it. I just know that my kids are not there yet. Not because I am naive or have my head in the sand but just because I know my kids.
I agree with much of this and after reading some of the commentary here, I also find it interesting when people like to tell parents how to do their jobs as parents. It's really none of anyone's business how or when any of us chooses to talk to our kids about things like homosexual relationships.
I also teach my kids to treat all living creatures with love & respect. Period. When the timing is right, then I'm sure that we'll go into more detail, but until then, I don't need someone telling me how to parent. That was not meant to come off as me being harsh or getting defensive - it just is what it is. Each family should choose what's right for them and it's not up to anyone else to decide what/when/who/how is appropriate. My children are at an age where obviously we limit exposure to things like violence, things that are sexual in nature, swearing, etc. Despite the fact that the kiss was simply a kiss (and not overtly sexual), it still leads to conversations that include more detailed information about relationships, intimacy, etc. and it's not a discussion that we feel is appropriate at this time (except for very general terms in regards to relationships).
:appl: :appl: :appl:
 

kenny

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momhappy|1399989098|3671648 said:
It's really none of anyone's business how or when any of us chooses to talk to our kids about things like homosexual relationships.
Legally I may have no say in how you raise your kids, but I do have something to say about it.
You are forming tomorrows voters who can deny or give civil rights and equality to groups like gays.

You have the legal right to isolate and homeschool your kids to become Nazis or teach your daughters they can only get to heaven by being one of 15 wives serving one man.
Just expect disapproval for what leaks out of the privacy of your home.

A civilized society has standards.
Standards change, especially when it comes to civil rights being denied like women not being allowed to vote.
Gay used to be bad. Not any longer.

There are certainly age-appropriate graduation of details for discussions of romance and sex when talking to kids.
But I argue that discussing straight ones earlier than gay ones is harmful to your kids and to society.
It sends the message that gay is bad and straight is good.

That's why your, "… things like homosexual relationships" comment stood out.

Why different treatment for straight and gay?
(Must be a bad thing if mommy won't bring it up or answers my question with, "Well discuss THAT when you are old enough.)

This is how self-hatred and low self-esteem starts at an early age if your kids are gay.
If they are straight it's how the seed of homophobia is planted early on.
I speak from experience; it surely worked on me.
The romantic/sex part of Kenny's development lagged 10 or 15 years because what I felt and who I was inside had no place in society.
It was all hushed up by the "nice and moral" people.

Waiting till later to discuss this as one of those 'naughty' subjects is bad because our earliest wiring is the hardest to rewire.
To this day I still struggling to shake the negative self-image instilled by this faux-morality.

That's why yesterday's NFL-Gay kiss live on TV was huge to me.
It wasn't just a kiss; it was a revolution, culturally speaking.

The NFL is a powerful symbol in our machismo male culture.
Fireworks of celebration went off in my head when I read that NFL members who tweeted to condemn the kiss were fined by the NFL.

Finally the kind of people who beat the shit out of me, physically and psychologically, for being gay 45 years ago are being disciplined AND it's all being broadcast to society that this shit is not morality, it's bigotry, and it has to stop! :appl:

IMO the people shocked and outraged by yesterday's kiss got exactly what they needed to help drag them out of the dark ages.
 

soxfan

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momhappy|1399989098|3671648 said:
purplesparklies|1399947286|3671435 said:
I have no reaction to the clip. It was no big thing and not something that should trigger extensive news coverage. I seldom watch the news so I had not seen it.

I always find it interesting that people feel compelled to comment on how others parent and feel entitled to make judgements based on absolutely zero knowledge. I find the worst offenders are those who have no children. I suppose ignorance can be bliss. I am extremely close to my children and know exactly to what and to whom they have been exposed. They attend a very small private school. I am certain that there are no same sex parents of students who attend their school. I am very familiar with the families of their close friends. They have limited access to television. We typically watch as a family. I am a full-time mom. Trust me. I know my kids.

That being said, I agree that it is a relationship thing. I teach my children that every living creature is to be treated with love and respect. Period. Honestly, I simply don't feel the need to draw attention to it and have a discussion at this point. It would only serve to make them wonder what the big deal is and to question why it warrants a special discussion. They know people are different. We have never sat down and had a discussion about other races, religions, etc. either. If they come to me with questions or a situation arises that warrants some kind of conversation, I am more than open to it. I just know that my kids are not there yet. Not because I am naive or have my head in the sand but just because I know my kids.
I agree with much of this and after reading some of the commentary here, I also find it interesting when people like to tell parents how to do their jobs as parents. It's really none of anyone's business how or when any of us chooses to talk to our kids about things like homosexual relationships.
I also teach my kids to treat all living creatures with love & respect. Period. When the timing is right, then I'm sure that we'll go into more detail, but until then, I don't need someone telling me how to parent. That was not meant to come off as me being harsh or getting defensive - it just is what it is. Each family should choose what's right for them and it's not up to anyone else to decide what/when/who/how is appropriate. My children are at an age where obviously we limit exposure to things like violence, things that are sexual in nature, swearing, etc. Despite the fact that the kiss was simply a kiss (and not overtly sexual), it still leads to conversations that include more detailed information about relationships, intimacy, etc. and it's not a discussion that we feel is appropriate at this time (except for very general terms in regards to relationships).
Well said, Momhappy.
 
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