Stacey Campfield recently introduced a piece of legislation to prohibit discussion of homosexuality in Tennessee elementary and middle schools. The bill landed in the sub-committee of a committee of some other committee, you know – the one which meets in a dark secret room in the basement of some state building, where these bills are sent to die without ever seeing the light of day. Ah well, it was just the House Education K-12 Subcommittee. Point is this bill had about as much chance of surviving as Frosty two miles outside Hell.
Campfield said the ban is not anti-gay: but intended to place parents in charge of what their children learn about sexuality.
I do not think that classes on sexuality should be taught to children under the eighth grade no matter what direction it goes. […] The topics of sexual orientation are topics best left to parents and guardians. They should be the ones who decide what and when those issues are appropriate to discuss. Not schools.
I have a confession to make. Deep down, in the innermost recesses of my mind, amongst those thoughts I would normally never confess to anyone – I support this bill and any other bill banning the discussion of sex in the classroom but not just same-sex sex, but all sexes having any kind of sex with any other sexed sexes.
I would prefer if parents were allowed to determine when these discussions are appropriate. I, being one of those totally cool & hip moms, would probably have this discussion with my kids early – around age 20 perhaps. You know, if I felt they were ready.
Then, I wake up and I’m in the real world. In the real world, five-year-old Ms. Diva already knows there are same-sex couples because… um, well, there are same-sex couples.
Plus, last year during her 5th Birthday Sleep-Over Slumber Party, the Delightful Miss M, who is all-knowing and wears lipstick because she’s 7, informed Ms. Diva girls could marry girls. Technically, this means Cinderella could wed Sleeping Beauty.
Ms. Diva was shattered… shaken… her world tumbled upside down. She had trouble wrapping her head around news, which could alter every fairy tale she’d ever been told. What do you mean Princesses don’t always marry Princes and live happily ever after?!
She wasn’t being judgmental or intolerant. Heck, her Auntie Deanna is a lesbian. (Well, Deanna is a cousin, but in the South, we take the liberty of assigning our kin more appropriate seeming labels.) Apparently though, the lesbian concept doesn’t register until you apply the same couple composition to to Disney Princesses – at which time it becomes mind-boggling sh!t.
At some point, Mr. Smartypants wandered into the living room and announced girls marrying girls was illegal in the law of the laws – Uncle Lukey said. So, they go to prison for that.
A heated discussion followed. Finally, Diva slapped on the surly liberal-leaning girl attitude, which she most certainly inherited from her Mama, and yelled:
“Shut Up Liar-Face Liar-Pants! Can’t nobody be the boss of that! You marry whom’in you want to marry if’n you got a poofy dress. If you got a poofy dress and the Bible man, you can so too! So, you’re a big Fat Liar Liar! There, yeah so there! Liar!”
(Man, you’ve got to envy the enormous margin of freedom afforded to kindergarten discourse. I cannot count the number of times have I wanted to scream at various folks: “Oh yeah, you’re a big fat liar-pants!” Somewhere along the way, we matured into using only civil words… most of the time.)
When the girls started advancing on my 8-year old future Evangelical Conservative Republican, I entered the room to calm the lipsticked mob.
I tried to remain calm. I concentrated on all the vodka I was gonna drink when the party was over. I mean – my God, this was worse than the whole “How come I am penislessness?” question. (For the record, penislessness means the state of not having a penis. I’ve been assured this is a common question amongst little girls who’ve barged into the bathroom while their brother is taking a leak – only to realize he has something she doesn’t have, which may or may not be normal or even fair for that matter… and you don’t know until you ask.)
I answered the questions in a straightforward and concise manner. No elaborating. I told them: “Yes, girls can marry girls. No, they cannot go to jail. Girls can live with Girls in the same house like mommies and daddies do, but the President Guy says it doesn’t count as being married because they’re both girls.”
Hell yeah, I blamed George Bush. He’s taken credit for so much confusion, laying on this on him wasn’t going to make a big difference.
“No, I don’t know if girls married to girls share their fruit snacks and eyeshadow- probably, I guess. No, there is no law saying you must wear a poofy dress to get married. I don’t know why. There’s just not. Because not everyone wants to get married in a poofy dress. ”
The discussion veered off in 24 different directions, landing finally on how all the girls had Days of the Week Bloomers and wore them on the wrong days, which is some brand hilarious I’ve gotten to old to appreciate. And I was an utter fool because I thought this was the end of the discussion.
Yesterday, on the way home from soccer practice, Diva announced she had figured out why the President Guy won’t allow same-sex unions.
There was that instant and acute discomfort which comes when grown-ups are required to talk about grown-up subjects with people they’ve recently potty trained. Then, I felt a bit of pride. If my kid had figured out the whole gay-rights conundrum, she’s smarter than I am.
And I went on to give that intelligent type response that only a highly-intelligent, well-educated Mommy with a Masters Degree could give. “Uh… Umm… … uh… well, er…. oh, you uh… have?”
“Yes. It is on account of if girls marry girls, they’ll fight over who wears the poofy dress. Fighting is illegal. You go to the Principals office for that.”
“No Diva,” I said, “I don’t think that is it.”
“Are you sure?”
“I’m sure, Diva.”
“Uh, er, um, I, eh… ”
Quick… what’s the answer? Continue reading