Another bi mommy of a son, monogamous, married (to a guy, that is). Not all that interesting, actually. Pretty indistinguishable from straight at the moment. One of my sisters is a lesbian in a long-term relationship. They have no kids, but are very involved with neices and nephews, which keeps the topic open. But as for your questions (in case they might help, given the low population here … I’m kind of on one end of the range, just barely outside the ‘straight’ definition, I guess):
Is your orientation (in my case) publicly known? My friends and family (with the exception of a few very elderly ones) know I’m bi. Publicly, well, if it comes up, I may discuss it, depending on the venue. I’m fairly open about it.
any trouble? Not so far.
does he know? I have no idea. He’s three. It doesn’t seem real relevant at the moment, but he probably thinks it is normal for men to point out attractive women to their wives, and vice versa… (“Ooh, she’s a babe!” “Yep!”)
What are the circumstances of his birth Standard boring ‘straight-parents’ version. Long labor, as if that mattered in this case.
What benefits do you see by him being raised this way? As opposed to just in an accepting environment? I guess if he ever comes out, it won’t be hard to deal with. Actually, he came out as gay last week (“I’m gay, mommy, I’m a boy and I like boys - I’m just like my aunties”). Okay, he likes girls, too, so maybe he’s bi. Then again, he’s THREE. He has also been farm animals, a spaceman, and a knight in the last 24 hours. He’s asked to marry me, his cousin (female), and probably some of the kids at school. He plays mommy, daddy, and baby, just like many kids. I guess I’d say he has more range to play in without getting his creativity stomped on. I don’t get distressed if he wants to wear the feather boa or play tea party, or carry a purse. We periodically discuss standard gender roles, but more along the lines of ‘most boys’ instead of ‘boys’. Most boys don’t carry blue beaded purses. But some do. And if he wants to wear maribou slippers with his knight costume, I won’t stop him.
Detriments? Hmmm. Well, I remember having to come up with good answers to nosy questions just about my SISTER, back in school. (Not even my mom.) I wasn’t usually fast enough or clever enough, and usually sounded a bit dorky. But then that was probably just ME. I ended up taking on the role of ‘enlightener of the masses’ in jr. high. Any time someone made a crack about lesbians or gays, I’d up and volunteer that they didn’t know what they were talking about, my sister was a lesbian, and she was great. I did stop a few people from talking, got some real questions, and got some dumb ass questions (like, ‘how do you know, did she try something with you?’ I think I replied, ‘she’s a lesbian, not a pervert.’), and some people trying to be nice in the wrong way (like, ‘really, you shouldn’t say things like that about your sister - you can’t beleive everything you hear!’ to which I think I replied, ‘she told me herself’). It was a bit much to ask of a kid, even though nobody asked. I just couldn’t let people be mean or cruel or stupid about lesbians, because I knew one who I cared about. (I hadn’t a clue I was bi at the time… I didn’t know that was an option! Sigh.) I don’t want my son to feel he has to defend me, but he might not tell me that he is doing that. That’s a detriment. I don’t think he should have to defend me to others, even if he wants to. I’m not sure how to prevent it, or manage it. Keep talking about the subject, I suppose, and deal as things come up. And of course, I also don’t want him to feel like he can’t tell anyone, either. That requires judgement that most young kids don’t have.
Actually, I just was discussing this with my sister’s partner. Let me see if I can find the email… darn, I’ll have to have her send me that one in reply, it isn’t in my sent items…
Reconstructing that email: All kids have to learn how to be safe, both socially and sexually. All kids need to learn about peer pressure, friendships, trust, what to be open about (and when and with whom), and what to do when something goes wrong. The implications are different when the family situation is different, but the topics exist for everyone. Whether my son is gay or bi or straight, there will be things I have to talk to him about that EVERY parent should probably be talking about, but may feel that don’t HAVE to say because their family is inside the ‘norm’ (they think). I will make sure that the whole range of content is discussed, because if he is straight, he STILL needs to know that being ‘out’ (or any kind of ‘different’) can put people at risk for violence, emotional torment, and mistrust, that sex requires precautions for everyone, and that giving in to peer pressure can get good people doing stupid and dangerous things. I assume that straight or not, he’ll have friends and/or acquaintances who are all over the spectrum. He may end up being more compassionate, more understanding, and more accepting than the average kid. I consider that a good thing. I just hope things have changed enough that he doesn’t feel he has to defend me (or his aunts) to his friends.
For more answers, you can check the gay parents board on ParentsPlace.com (iVillage), or do a search for other message boards.