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I'm bi as I stated somewhere around here <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/winky.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Wink"> I'm in a relationship with a man but we're a very gay supporting home. DP knows I'm bi and is (and has always been) 100% ok with it. We want to raise our children with the mindset that people are people regardless of sexual orientation/race/gender/etc.<br><br>
With all that being said, my oldest son has heard the news that Dumbledore is gay and keeps asking what it means. How in the world do I explain it to him? We don't want him using the word until he knows what it means and we've agreed that it's by no means a bad word we just feel that with ANY word, he shouldn't use it unless he understands the meaning. For ex., he told his brother that he was insignificant and didn't even know what the word meant. When informed of the meaning he said "oh" and told his brother he was sorry. This was the perfect illustration to him of why he needs to know what a word means before using it.<br><br>
After learning what the word means, if he uses it properly, then he is allowed to use it but how do you put it in 5 year old terms?
 

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I'm not a parent, but I am gay and have nieces and nephews and have watched my brother and sister go through the "coming out" process with them on my behalf (they are all close to me and my partner now).<br><br>
I know it's a cliche, but honesty is really the best option here. you could even just say "it means dumbledore fell in love with a man, not a woman." or go into more detail about how some people "marry" or "fall in love with" or "want to spend their lives" with a woman, and some do with a man.<br><br>
That's my feeling. The less dramatic/complicated/over-explanation is best, I think. Treat it as a fact of life but not a big thing (I think sometimes people over-explain this when kids are young and so the kids feel there is something big or scary about it). They'll have plenty of opportunities in society to hear other people's opinions and learn that it is a big deal to other people and therefore it's more complicated. bUt that will come with age. And if it's approached well in the beginning, they'll feel comfortable asking you more questions later on.<br><br>
Just my thoughts. Good luck.<br><br>
Oh, as far as if he can use the word. If he understand through you that it's not an insult but just a word for a "boy" who "likes" other "boys," i doubt he'll use it as an insult. why would he think to if there's no value attached to it? (although i'm sure very soon he'll hear it as an insult from others...but even better, then, that you've already talked to him about it. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/wink1.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="wink1">)
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>Hulahoop</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/9835798"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">I'm not a parent, but I am gay and have nieces and nephews and have watched my brother and sister go through the "coming out" process with them on my behalf (they are all close to me and my partner now).<br><br>
I know it's a cliche, but honesty is really the best option here. you could even just say "it means dumbledore fell in love with a man, not a woman." or go into more detail about how some people "marry" or "fall in love with" or "want to spend their lives" with a woman, and some do with a man.<br><br><b>That's my feeling. The less dramatic/complicated/over-explanation is best, I think. Treat it as a fact of life but not a big thing (I think sometimes people over-explain this when kids are young and so the kids feel there is something big or scary about it). They'll have plenty of opportunities in society to hear other people's opinions and learn that it is a big deal to other people and therefore it's more complicated. bUt that will come with age. And if it's approached well in the beginning, they'll feel comfortable asking you more questions later on.<br></b><br>
Just my thoughts. Good luck.<br><br>
Oh, as far as if he can use the word. If he understand through you that it's not an insult but just a word for a "boy" who "likes" other "boys," i doubt he'll use it as an insult. why would he think to if there's no value attached to it? (although i'm sure very soon he'll hear it as an insult from others...but even better, then, that you've already talked to him about it. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/wink1.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="wink1">)</div>
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We think you have a point. We were just worried that bc he's affectionate and "loves" his friends that he'd get confused but we really think you're right about keeping it simple so we're going to try that. Thanks!
 

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I think Hulahoop said it very well.<br>
The other thought that I has was if your son has friends with gay or lesbian parents, you could mention them as well.<br>
- Cyndi
 

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good point, cyndimo!<br><br>
that reminded me that my sister only outed me to her daughters when the youngest came home from school talking bad about gay people (of course having no idea what "gay" even was). my sister told her that I, my partner, and friends of hers were gay, and that helped put it in perspective. (it also forced my sister to get off her butt and tell them finally! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/wink1.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="wink1">)<br><br>
i should say that at first, my niece had a very hard time with this news. but i think it was exactly because it had been hidden from her for so long. it made her wonder what was "wrong" with being gay if her mom had kind of kept it secret for years. of course it's all good now. they were both flower girls in our wedding!<br><br>
good luck!
 

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I think the words can be confusing, but the concepts are easy for little kids to understand. I doubt my kids would be able to answer the question "what does gay mean?" but they know that some men grow up to love men, and some women grow up to love women. If your son doesn't already know that, then it's definitely time to clue him in! Then, you can explain the meaning of the word "gay" as what it's called when men love men and women love women.<br><br>
I *love* that Dumbledore is gay. Thank you J.K. Rowling!<br><br>
Lex
 
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