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How and when to teach kids about homophobia

A two-mom couple offer tips on having this crucial conversation

How and when to teach kids about homophobia

Even as so much changes, kids who tease others from different-type families will always remain. In my day, the boy with the Asian dad was taunted, as was the girl with the single hippie mom. Now, children being children (and bigoted parents being bigoted parents), we can add same-sex couples to the list of potential abuse. 

The children of dual-mom couple Ebony and Denise have experienced it. This social media influencer couple have agreed upon some defensive tactics to teach their three kids (nine-year-old daughter by Ebony, three-year-old twins by Denise, same donor). They share some insight with Popsugar’s Murphey Maroney.

It all began when their daughter came home from gymnastics in tears. “She wasn't upset by the fact that she has two moms, she was upset that somebody would be so mean to make fun of her,” says Denise. “She'd never encountered mean people or mean kids, and so that's when we realized we need to tell her about the other side of society and how some people may not agree with how we live our lives. Now, she's very equipped with navigating these situations. She's aware that we use our platform to discuss these topics, and it honestly helps her in her day-to-day."

Ebony says, “Our model is to always kill people with kindness. We definitely don't want her to retaliate back in a negative way. We told her to say, ‘I understand that you don't understand my family, and that's OK.’ And just leave it at that. We want her to interpret it as ‘I understand that you don't understand.’”

Besides learning how to encounter such hostility from their peers, Ebony and Denise understand other questions will arise. As families like theirs in the LGBTQ+ world grow, and science makes conceiving a child in new ways more of a reality, parents must now entertain questions that didn’t exist a generation ago. For instance, Ebony and Denise’s kids have 20-plus donor siblings, or “diblings.”  

“We're not sure exactly what this conversation is going to look like,” Ebony tells Maroney. "We've reached out to other two-mom families or two-dad families who have children older than our kids to see what their experience was like.”

The main goal is to have the talk. How will the talk go? They will get back to us on that. Suffice to say, it will be interesting.

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