I wasn't sure whether to post this, and I know that he's too young to understand what he said, but I felt the need to tackle this with my son.
Arguing with Gracie last night, Alex decided that when the usual come backs and pokes and prods were not having any effect, he pushed her and said, "You're so gay!"
I asked him why he'd said that to his five year old sister and he said it was because she was annoying him. I then went on to enquire as to whether or not he actually knew what being gay meant, because he is after all only seven and I haven't exactly discussed the finer points of sexuality with him yet. He said his friend had told him it was when two ladies or two men kiss each other. I agreed that people are gay do kiss each other and that he was perfectly correct - but asked why he felt the need to call his sister "gay" because he was annoyed with her. He said it was because his friend's dad said it was wrong for two men to kiss each other, or two ladies.
So basically what it boils down to is that because of the bigotry and ignorance of someone else's parent, my son and some of his classmates have been using the term "gay" as a derogatory remark. As you can imagine, given my choice of genre which puts those little extra treats in his hands, I was rather annoyed myself.
I explained to my son that it is perfectly normal for someone to be gay. That it doesn't matter who you love. What matters is that you love them and they love you. I explained that some families have two daddies, some have two mummies and others have a mummy and a daddy, like ours does. But that doesn't mean that the ones that have two of the same parent are any different than ours, because they all have one thing in common. The most fundamental and important thing in common. I was very proud when Alex interrupted me and said, "Is it that they all love each other?" I agreed that that was the most important factor in any family, regardless of its make up - that they all love the same.
He promised me that he wouldn't listen to what other people say anymore and will only make up his own mind. I hope I am instilling in him the fact that he is his own person and free to be whatever and with whoever he wants to be, because at the end of the day, he is a wonderful boy with the capacity for lots of love and it is his decision who he gives that to, not someone else's daddy.