Mom, what’s a lesbonian?

I listen to 567 CapeTalk when I drive.

Today I collect Georgia and Connor and while we are in the car, there is a discussion on the radio about Phumeza Nkolonzi, 22, who died after an unknown gunman kicked in the door to her home in the Cape Town township of Nyanga and opened fire three times in silence.

The term Lesbian was used, and I hear Connor’s cogs in his head turning over and processing the word.

As predicted he turns to me and goes: “Mom what’s a Lesbonian?’

This was the juncture that all parents reach, when you are going to cross “that final threshold…” from which you can never return – the entire ToothFairy and Santa Claus fantasy is over, we have moved straight on to se.x.

I let a few moments go by – primarily to steele myself for this momnt – decided I would go with the simple explanation, instead of trying to soften the blow and go into a long story.

Me: “Lesbians are girls who have sex with girls ….. like a boy has sex with a girl …. but a lesbian does not feel like that about a boy, she feels like that about a girl, and that is a Lesbian…understand?”

Connor: “Yes…… <and then the little hamster is running in his head and the next question comes> …… how does that work, girls have inside bits …. <and he makes the shape you would make if you were showing someone a cup shape with your thumb and middle finger..>

I glance at him – I am on the N1 at this stage, negotiating traffic … now he has figgered out the two inny bits …. so he goes “how does that work …… what are they going to put in there …..”

Me: “What do you think?”

Connor: “Fingers?”

Me: “Sure, that can work…”

Connor takes this information aboard and I explain how girls have sex with girls, and that is referred to as a lesbian, and if a boy has sex with a boy it is referred to as homosexual or gay.  And then I go on to explain that people love who they will love, and if they are a girl and they do not feel those feelings for a boy, and feel that way for a girl, then that is fine.

Connor: “Boys have outside bits <he indicates that with his two pointy-peter fingers…and I can see him trying to work this out> and where do things go in…they don’t have an in part..?”

Again, this is a juncture that all parents must get to with their children – I am glad this one is officially behind me.  Your turn is coming, so brace yourself.

Either you cross this bridge with your child now and discuss it honestly or start pointing at the sky randomly to try to distract your child and say you are sure you just saw Superman.

I chose to blunder ahead.

Me: “Okay, so where do boys have an inside bit?”

Connor: “Er ……….their bum???”

Me: “Yep that could work …….”

Connor: “Gross….”

Me: “My boy, that is the way it is, girls love girls, and boys love boys, and boys and girls love each other too. You love fishing, no one makes you love fishing you just do.  And your sister loves Smurfs.  Nothing I say or do is going to make the two of you not love those things, we all love differently.  As long as you are true to yourself and not hurting anyone, then you are free to love who you want.”

Connor – nodding as the fishing analogy is hitting a spot for him.

This awkward moments parenting is what parenting is about.  I realise this conversation might repulse people and make people angry who are against homosexuality, and I get that.

I understand the biblical message that explains the “religious” stance on this, but I am not teaching my child a religious or belief exercise here.  That is a seperate discussion, at another time.

I want him to be accepting, and I would rather him have frank conversations with me about what he hears and thinks, than him finding this out via another route.

Connor’s other winner question from last week after he saw one of those flag advertising behind an aeroplane was: “Mom, whats MAVERICKS?”

Mavericks by the way was a much easier question than me trying to explain the Israel-Palestine frucus …. it took me abotu 15 minutes, and hten I realised I(again) that I do not totally understand why two nations hate each other in the name of religion and holy land.

Trust me Mavericks is far simpler to explain and understand.  Pretty girls dance and men pay them.  That’s what I said.  Life would be simpler if the Israel/Palestine problem could be explained that simply.

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