Drawing the line

It was a very nice conversation.  Flowing freely, no awkward pauses, which is not characteristic of a conversation with me.  I was feeling really good- that I was maybe making a friend.  I don’t have a lot of close friends here, so this was a very nice change- to have someone to talk with.
The topic turned to school choice.  The School Board has attempted to enact zoning rules, but they themselves are unwilling to abide by them, so nobody abides by them.  We basically pick where we want our kids to go and if you know the right people, or there is room at the end of the “preferred” list, you may get a shot at getting your kid there.
Back to the topic.
She was thinking about one school in particular, but had recently heard some things about that school that were horrifying to her.
Friend: I heard from some friends at church (not our church, but we’re in the South, you can imagine) who have kids there, so this isn’t some third-hand story, this is the real thing.  They said that there is a little boy that goes to that school who is in the 5th grade who has been asking (gulp) other little boys out.
Me: Yes?
Friend: Well, that really freaks me out!
Me: Well, obviously, he’s gay.
Friend: Well, I think he has probably been influenced.
Me: Um, if he’s gay, he’s gay.  There’s not much anyone can do about that.

Friend: Well. . .  um, but it freaks me out that he is asking people out.  My son has no concept of boyfriend/girlfriend.
Me: Neither does my daughter, and it does freak me out a little bit that she is approaching that age.  I hope it is later than 5th grade for sure!
The rest was pretty benign.  At the time I was seeing red, trying not to get freaked out at her, but at the same time (sadly) I didn’t want to upset her and risk losing a budding friendship.  Shameful I know.  I don’t need intolerant friends, but maybe, just maybe I can spread a little knowledge which may breed some tolerance.
I can just see these ladies, standing in groups all over town, at different events, different ladies even, discussing this “horrific” occurrence.
What makes me even more sick is this poor ten year old kid who had unknowingly turned the entire county against him with the mere utterance of his innocent desire.  I can imagine that possibly this kid didn’t even ask anyone out.  He could be the textbook gay kid: slightly effeminate, maybe doesn’t fit in quite like the other kids.  He may have very innocently asked another kid if he wanted to hang out sometime- a playdate for the 5th grade set.  Straight kid freaks out and turns the invite into some prepubescent freak-fest and before first recess the entire school has it out for the gay kid.
I am positively ill about it.
What about this kid’s parents?  Yeah, maybe they are the pron-addicted nymphomaniacs that these church ladies are making them out to be.  But not likely.  I would love to figure out who these people are and invite them over.  I’d like to create a float for the Christmas parade with all of us holding hands and waving rainbow flags.
It’s time to have another little chat with Daughter, but this time about misunderstanding and intolerance, and acceptance, and sticking up for the oppressed and picked-upon.  The time is approaching that she will need to know about it.  Maybe its good that I don’t make friends easily.  I would be losing them all over the place when I made my opinion known.  But, I see the line being drawn, and I know exactly which side I will be on.
I hope next time I’ll be more prepared to stick to it.
Now, how to teach “the doctrine?”

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