Originally Posted by Kincaid
To everyone... a lot of the responses seem very cool with telling their kids "some people have two grandmas or a mom and a step-mom and some have two mommies." But there is a difference between what it means to have two female primary caregivers versus a child conceived and raised by a gay couple. Are you comfortable with the family structure part, but want to avoid the L-word concept?
Maybe it depends on the people you're close to too. I have noticed that some people DON'T use the "lesbian" to describe themselves (at least not in every day conversation), others do. As I think I've mentioned, my friend and I don't do detailed discussions of our sex lives (though sometimes we do the usual rumble about silly/sweet/aggravating things our partners are doing lately). I guess I never thought about terminology.
I guess it's like African-American to me. I tend to follow my individual friend's lead about how they talk about any specific identifier they might have. It's just comes naturally to me, and seems to be a good way to respect them. I'll assume that lesbians are just as varied as the rest of the world in how they idenify themselves (lesbian/gay/why do I need an identifer/ect), so I'll just follow the individual's lead and explain things as they come up.
My daughter has already asked one of my friends why she calls herself black when she's brown. That was actually a pretty good discussion between the two of them (now she regularly challenges people who say 'white' to say that they're really pink, something she wouldn't have thought about until Rachel brought it up to her!) and me. I know that's not a great metaphor for being gay, but hopefully it illustrates how I like to have the give and take between trusted friends and my family.
OTOH, we have to do a lot of proactive explaining/refuting after grandma and grandpa come for a visit. :P So I'm fine with that too, I just prefer in the case of personal friends for us all to respect each others' terminology and to work out any differences/questions that we have as they come up, if that makes sense.