Should I Have Corrected His Friend When He Used Gay as an Insult?
[Editor's Note: My kids are young and their outside-of-my-choosing friendships are limited as of yet. So I spend my days making sure that they understand appropriate language and respecting others. I'm kind of dreading the day when other kids will not only influence my kids' thoughts and speech... but will bring it into my own home. Womanist Musings recently dealt with her son's friend using the word gay as an insult. Her son asked her to intervene... and she did. Now she's left wondering if she overstepped a boundary. What do you think? -Jenna]
Yesterday Destruction had a sleep over, and so I decided to take the boys to the local pool to swim the afternoon away. On the way home, as the two boys were playing the dozens, his best friend called him gay. Destruction looked at him laughed and said, "you think that's an insult?" When his best friend protested that it was indeed an insult he told him, "if you think calling someone gay is an insult, then you are jackass. Gay people are just like us and there is nothing wrong with being gay. That's what my mom said and she knows alot. Tell him mom. Tell him it's not an insult."
Of course I confirmed everything that Destruction said to his friend. Even as I was doing so, I knew that I was doing an absolute good, but I also wondered what his mother would think when she learned what I had to say. It's one thing to stop a child from being hurt, and another to try and teach them your morals. All in all, his best friend is a really good kid. He is polite and sweet, but I think that as part of embracing his burgeoning masculinity, he has come to believe that being a man or being masculine means attacking gay men and expressing strict heterosexuality.
Photo Credit: -marlith-.
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