Finding the Right Words: Standing Firm and Staying Kind
"Sticks and Stones can break my bones but words can break my heart."
People say "We support whatever lifestyle your daughter chooses."
We say... gently but directly... "She doesn't have a lifestyle. She has a life. A good one with someone she loves, and we are delighted."
(Hint: Don't argue. Just repeat or say these again in a similar way- firmly and sincerely.)
People say, "We love the sinner and hate the sin."
We say, "We know some people think that being gay is a sin, but we don't."
People say, "Do you think being gay is biological?"
We say, "We don't know, and we don't care. We are glad to have so many wonderful gay people in our lives. They are the people to whom we go for unconditional love."
People say, "That's so gay."
We say, "I am not clear what you mean. Can you explain?" We say, "People I care about are gay. I am not okay with your using the word this way." We can say, "It sounds like you must mean something else. Can you think of a better word?"
People say, "I'm not comfortable with gay people."
We say, "That's too bad. We find them to be accepting of others. We have learned about unconditional love from our gay friends and family members." We say, " Maybe they are not comfortable with you and don't feel safe. That makes it hard to be very real with someone."
People say, "I am okay with gay people if they don't flaunt it. Why do they have to throw it in our face?"
We say, "We believe all people should have the same rights, and all people should be respectful of others no matter what their orientation."
People say, "I think being gay is gross and disgusting."
We say, "People are often uncomfortable about sexuality. This is private behavior and that is true no matter one's orientation. It is none of our business."
People ask in a rude way trying to be funny or confront us, "Are you gay?"
We can say, "Why would you ask such a personal, inappropriate question?"