If you don’t know me you’ll simply have to take my word for the fact that I’m gay friendly. I am not a homophobe. I am a supporter of gay rights, including gay marriage rights.
Still, I’ve noticed a weird verbal tic I have. When I refer to the husband of another man, I stumble. I pause a second before saying the word, I stress it in an odd way. You know the first few times you use the word “boyfriend” to describe someone new in your life, or “fiancé” soon after you’re engaged, or “husband” right after you’re married. There’s a funny little hiccup when you say the word, you’re happy to say it, but it isn’t natural to you yet. You’re maybe even a little self-congratulatory when you say it. That’s how I say “husband” when talking about two married men.
I noticed it twice this weekend. Once, when I asked a friend if she knew the husband of a mutual friend of ours. Then again when I introduced the husband of another friend to my parents. I support gay marriage, but simply because of the world in which I grew up the language of gay marriage does not come naturally to me.
But, I noticed something else this weekend. It does come naturally to my children. I was making a list of people and inadvertently left off one of my friends. My daughter looked and said “Don’t you think Uncle V is going to notice that you have his husband on the list and not him?”
There was no pause, there was no hesitation. She has always known men married to other men, women married to other women. She has always known that families come in all different combinations. When she asks which mother of a fellow girl scout is going to be the chaperone she does not blink or stumble looking for the right word. She does not pause to be happy that she lives in a neighborhood where having two mothers is totally normal. As far as she knows, this is the norm everywhere in the world.
Here’s the thing, she is not alone in this world. This generation is full of kids just like her who don’t think twice about two men being married. This is what the world is coming to.
Isn’t it beautiful?