Our little girls home town is a lovely place to live but has the odd funny onion lurking. A lady in a cafe today had this to say;
Lady “What a beautiful baby boy.”
Me “Thank you, she’s a girl.”
Lady “So why have you dressed her in blue?”
Me “(Staying jovial despite the warning signs) because it matches her superman coat.”
Lady “(by this stage she’d turned) I suppose you’re of this new generation that are trying to bring up children gay from the start because it’s fashionable.(looking round the otherwise empty cafe as if expecting some kind of ‘amen sister’ back up from crowds)”
Me “umm, sorry, you don’t bring up children as gay. She either is or isn’t. We’re only bringing her up as a superhero.(staying loyal to ‘jovial’)”
(At this stage my slice of Madeira cake arrived which only seemed to anger her more – perhaps Madeira is the cake of choice for other horrendous groups of society…like happy people perhaps)
Lady “(massively unimpressed and wrapping her little rain hat round her head, either ready to leave or to protect her brain from my dangerous parenting style) I’ll pray for her.”
Me “well happily other people will pray better for her and not with lots of extra clauses but for exactly who she is and actually I’m not religious anyway but even if she grows up wanting to be religious I will support her whatever she wants.”
She actually left three words in to ‘Danielle’s final thought of the day’ and it wasn’t the most eloquent I’ve ever been but the waitress gave me a half hearted supportive smile so I’m chalking it up as a win and I ate my Madeira cake triumphantly with my gorgeous smiley daughter next to me.
But I couldn’t believe the viewpoint – my daughter is in blue (plus superman coat today) ergo we are trying to make her gay (this is also making the assumption that clothes are the way to push this..). She said it out loud and still didn’t see how ridiculous the viewpoint was. I’m almost sad that she was religious because she instantly became this awful stereotype, when I know many religious people who don’t have a negative view on gay people (or the colour blue as far as I’m aware). I truly nearly left it out of the anecdote because it’s irrelevant. She’s got an awfully narrow minded opinion but it remains her opinion and that’s fine. I was offended she implied that I was trying to push my daughter to be gay, I was offended that she implied there was anything negative to say about the possibility of my daughter being gay! But I will also defend her right to have that opinion, however much I disagree with it.
My main problem with people with such strong views is how they try to shame others with their opinions. I was embarrassed to be approached so negatively as if I was doing something wrong and if I wasn’t headstrong or confident (also read ‘pig headedly stubborn’) in how I want to raise my daughter, I might have gone home and changed her so as to blend in more. But that’s not who I am. And while she doesn’t have her own say, my husband and I have decided to dress her as we see fit, which includes ‘girly’ pink clothes, more neutral clothes, superhero themed clothes, all colours of the spectrum, really anything goes! And I really hope Scarlett grows up knowing she can be whoever she truly is; whether that be gay, straight or anything in between and that she has the confidence to be whoever she wants to be; ballet dancer, fireman, builder, administrator or full time Mum. So that if anyone tries to question her, she’ll have the confidence to smile, politely explain how she feels on the matter and most importantly never change for anyone. Suffice to say, I don’t think Scarlett and I made a friend today, but that’s ok – Scarlett can definitely do without friends who base their opinions on one (adorable) outfit!
And that, dear friends, concludes my soapbox rant of the day!