Providing an example: How do I feel about Coconut and Snort’s sexuality?


A real life friend recently found my blog and was decent enough to email me and let me know she was reading. She also asked if it was okay for her to comment on entries. My response? Of course – I love comments.

So she came a little late to the ‘ask me anything’ party that was going on before, but did ask a question after the entry was posted. I am too lazy to go find it and copy and paste it here, but it was something like:

Do you want Snort/Coconut to grow up straight or gay (assuming happiness either way)? Do you think sexuality is nature or nuture?

I want their happiness. Plain and simple. In the arena of love, there are a lot of possibilities out there – not limited to straight or gay, I might add. *wink*

In the interest of brutal honesty, a small part of me would be very pleased if a little bit of the old gay manifested itself (uh oh, here come the conservatives who will point to me as being a dark agent of The Gay Agenda!) but I think that is because of what being queer has meant to me.

It is not just who I fancy, it is who I am. Being different in this way has coloured my perspectives, made me be brave in ways I may not have known otherwise, and opened me up to a well of creativity, joy, and diversity. I hope Coconut and Snort will have those values and opportunities no matter what their sexuality is, and they will be a bit (blessedly!) different because they have two moms/mums, anyway.

I think sexuality is a glistening, mysterious, and primal thing.

I do think we are born who we are. I knew very young – we’re talking by age five, that I was different. I have a gay male friend who knew he liked boys at age 5, me, I just knew I didn’t like them! It took me longer to figure out that my version of ‘normal’ was not society’s.

But I think nurture plays a large part in how we feel about and participate in our sexuality. Are we brave enough to take risks? Is our heart open to love? Were we taught our bodies were beautiful, or did our parents shame us when they caught us masturbating as toddlers? Do we trust ourselves? What about other people?

These are the things life will teach each of us – and at the most basic, early level, that comes from our parents. Even as an adult, I struggled mightily with my parents’ reactions to my coming out. (I came out as bisexual long before I dated an actual girl, I should add. Because being queer – I later identified as a lesbian – is an integral part of who I am, whether or not I was dating anybody!!) As I grew up, it was painfully important for me to have my parents’ approval, it still mattered more than anything else.

Because parents are supposed to love us unconditionally, and suddenly I found there were many conditions placed upon the love I was offered.

I will not place those conditions on Snort and Coconut.

Even now, as babies, I do not participate in the ridiculous competitive shit that some parents seem to thrive on. I want the message to be given to them loud and clear: I love you for who you are, not what you do. You are special, and valued, and cherished. As they grow, this will not be conditional based on who they love, though of course I hope they choose funny, strong, smart, sensitive partners. But what gender those partners are?

During my heady crazy activist years as a VERY out bisexual, I always said I didn’t fall in love with genitals, I fell in love with a person. That is still true. I hope it is true for my children.

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6 Responses to “Providing an example: How do I feel about Coconut and Snort’s sexuality?”

  1. The Barreness Says:

    I’ve got nothing to suggest Lady G’s location on the sexual continuum, but I’m already leaving the door to her being gay, if that’s what she is. I even respond to people who say she’s going to break a lot of boys’ hearts with ‘…or a lot of girls’!’ My first boyfriend from when I was 14 had her gender reassignment surgery this week, and she’s pretty clear that she’s known who she was from a very young age. All I can hope for Lady G is that whoever she is, she finds acceptance and love – and I agree – all I want is for her to be happy.

    • existere Says:

      You don’t need me to say well done, so I will say thank you. Thank you on behalf of Lady G and any of her little friend who may identify as gay. Having a parent offer love and acceptance on this topic – and from such a young age – really is phenomenal and extraordinary. It makes me a little sad that not every parent/child relationship is like this, but on reflection I suppose we are all who we are because of the shit we go through. Lucky for your beautiful one, she knows she’s got someone on her side.

  2. PottyMouthMommy Says:

    omg thank you!!!

    I am happily married to a man- but I did NOT marry his penis. I’ve been bisexual since my early teens. However, I always knew that gender didn’t play a role in my sexuality. I love women as well as men and it has NOTHING to do with sex!!!! It still baffles me how many people don’t seem to understand that sexuality has very little to do with sex, and a whole lot to do with finding the person you are meant to be with, who makes you feel like part of a whole, and fulfills you in your life in ALL ways- not just sexually.

    My daughter, at age nine, has already expressed curiosity about her sexuality. I tell her to be who she is and it doesn’t matter if she decides she wants to spend her life with a man or a woman- as long as SHE is happy in that relationship. That’s really the whole point isn’t it?? To find someone you want to spend your life with and then do so….

  3. Katie B. Says:

    It’s funny how early we as parents (who pay attention) can guess at our children’s sexuality. Like, I’m pretty sure L likes at least boys… and prefers blonds or redheads a couple of years older. A friend has two boys; the 4yo is a hetero playa’, and has been since just a few months old. The 2yo seems likely to end up a major contestant in a drag festival. And? Whatever they end up feeling, that’s okay!

  4. Gnome Says:

    Thanks existere!  As I asked the question I thought it only right to respond.  I found your reply very interesting and well-written, and was struck (by no means for the first time) by the love that surrounds Snort and Coconut.  They are very lucky to have two such wonderful parents.  

    I was interested to know whether you had any preference over S&C being gay or straight, as I assume (though with no evidence to back it up) that if there was guaranteed happiness either way, many heterosexual parents would probably choose for their child to be the same as them.  Although for some this would be because of prejudice or bigotry, for the majority (again I’m just making a lot of unfounded assumptions!) it could stem from the human tendency to gravitate towards what is familiar and known.  And so I wondered if the same applied to you; whether you would choose for your children to be gay because that is what is familiar to you. 

    I wonder if it makes a difference that gay people must be so much more familiar with straight people than is true in reverse.  For straight people who have never directly known someone gay, it is likely that their only point of reference is media stereotypes (one could even say caricatures) where a gay person’s sexuality is their defining characteristic, rather than just one part of who they are. * This can create an image of gay people being somehow a species apart.  So a heterosexual parent may think, “I don’t want my child to be gay” simply because they see being gay as being profoundly differently to themselves – with the result being that they couldn’t relate to or find any common ground with that child.  Rather than being homophobic, it might simply be a case of being homo-unfamiliar.      

    I suppose there was an element of this for me when my best friend (who you may know 😉 ) came out.  I sincerely hope I’m not someone who discriminates, but I had never known anyone gay before, and guess I just had this image of what a lesbian was.  I didn’t disapprove of my friend – on the contrary, I admired her – but for a while I was confused, because the person I knew her as didn’t in any way match my image of a lesbian.  I struggled to fit the two together, until I realised the fairly obvious fact – that she was the same person I’d always known and loved and wasn’t about to morph into a complete stranger.  Which is lucky for me as she’s a great friend!

    *(Just to clarify what I mean here, as I know you feel that being gay IS central to who you are.  What I mean is that a person cannot solely be described as being gay.  Their character, interests, tastes, hopes, ambitions etc may be influenced by their sexuality (as may be the case with nationality, gender etc) but are not pre-determined by it.  Otherwise all gay (or indeed straight) people would be exact clones of each other.)      


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