I work with children. Children are people. My Momster taught me A) not to lie to people, and B) to stand up for what i believe is right. Today, a conversation broke out amongst the child-people about girls liking girls and boys liking boys. Being a staunch believer in letting people express and explore their opinions, i decidedly sat back and let it play out until it reached a point where my experience and open-mindedness would be helpful - or until someone was rude or hateful.
At one point a very young girl told the room she had a girlfriend. Another, older, girl said something about how that wasn't weird because friends that are girls are called girlfriends. She was quickly corrected by the first girl who informed her that she liked this girlfriend more than a friend and she felt like they might get married when they turned 11 - because she had been told it wasn't illegal after you turn 11. As i was opening my mouth to clear up that misconception, one of the other girls went, "Ew!"
I got mad. I did. I didn't convey my anger, in any way. I did, however, respond to both things.
~No one can get married unti they're 18, not 11. And if you marry her when you're grown, that's fine. It's not gross or "ew". People who love each other get married sometimes, and that is awesome. Whoever thought that was gross, people are who they are and they love who they love - that's their business and not anyone else's. We aren't discussing this any further.
All of the kids eventually filtered away from my area, but the little girl with the girlfriend hung around. When no one else was in earshot she asked me if i thought she was gross. My heart just sort of puked inside me at the thought that someone so new in this world already was doubting and feeling badly about herself. My mouth said, "Not even a little. I think love is a hard thing to figure out. I still have trouble and i didn't even start to try until i was way older than you. You're fine."
I hope she heard that.