How do you answer this question from your 5 yr old daughter:

Lorie - posted on 07/23/2009 ( 35 moms have responded )

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My daughter has recently started questioning what it means to be gay. Will she be gay? Why do boys like boys and girls like girls? Is it wrong? I have no gay/lesbian friends other than co-workers (she has only met a couple of times) and I am not sure where this question came from. But I want to answer this question the best way I can. And I am at a total loss of words because I do not have the life experience to answer a question like this. I might add that my daughter wants details and will not stop until she receives an answer she is thoroughly satisfied with. So far, my answers have not sufficed. Any ideas/suggestions/resources?

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Alycia - posted on 07/24/2009

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Well only you can answer her whether it's right or wrong, because that is purely opinion. As to the question of why some people are gay, you can just be honest and say that you don't know. It's better to be honest and tell her you don't know why some people are gay and other are not, than to make something up.

Amanda - posted on 07/29/2009

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Hello - I have a different take on this that I hope you find helpful. I have often heard it suggested when children ask about sex, babies, etc, to turn the question back on them. The idea being, that often children are seeking a much different answer than we imagine, with our life experience, fears, concerns, and so forth. So, for example, when she asks, "Why do girls like girls" simply ask, "Why do YOU think girls like girls?" or "What makes you think girls like girls?" or "What do girls who like girls do?". Engage her in a conversation, because her answer may help you understand what she wants to know without telling her more than she (or you!) are ready to handle. And hopefully, her answers will be much more innocent than you fear.



Regardless of your personal beliefs, I wish you the best and hope you can answer your daughter without causing fear or confusion for either of you.

Sue - posted on 07/27/2009

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Gang, the daughter is asking more for a definition than for an opinion right now. Reread the question.
I happen to have gay relatives, and I've written it into my will that they should take over care of my son if anything happens to us- w/ my hubby's approval.
They're vibrant, well adjusted young men. One has owned his own bus. as a psychologist for over 10yrs. while the other has been working for almost as long as a lawyer for a toy company and they both have a wonderful sense of humor.
I'd like to address also the infatuation with the bible and G-d's "will".
I would never follow anyone who claimed to have a firm grasp on what G-d's will truely was, because there are more interpretations of that Will than there are people on Earth.
And the minute you start giving your children your opinions about people and their lifestyles, (notice I didn't say "chosen lifestyles" because Gays don't "Choose" to be Gay) you're influencing and forming your child's opinions instead of teaching them to think for themselves and form their own opinions, and further, we really don't have the right to imposed our opinions on any other person or group of people.
When we start influencing our children w/ our own opinions about a group of people, eventually it will come to pass, that our children will think that it is their place to pass judgement on these people and impose their will (thinking it is G-d's) on these people.
Hence the laws written and passed on Gay marriage.
The question then is: To what degree do we want to pass down to our children a legacy of ignorance/homophoia/intolerance.
FOR G-D'S SAKE PEOPLE: Grow up and just tell her that gay people are people who's hormones make them want to marry people of the same sex.
That's the simplistic definition for a 5yr. old. You may then have to explain hormones, of course....................

Jen - posted on 07/24/2009

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Does she go to day care or preschool that maybe another child has gay/lesbian parents or maybe another child told her about it? I would be shocked also if and when my daughter comes home with that question and probably also at a loss of how to answer it.

Well maybe you can explain to her that some boys and girls choose to like other boys and girls instead of a boy liking a girl and a girl liking a boy. Then try to explain to her that there is nothing wrong with choosing to be different and we shouldn't treat them any differently. They are still our friends and we shouldn't be mean to them. Like Kristy said if you are a religious person add in some religious statements about how God doesn't like for people to be gay, but he still loves them as his children. Just keep it neutral as she's probably not old enough to have her own opinion on it yet. Good luck and like the other moms said you can always tell her that you don't know the answer.

Cari - posted on 07/23/2009

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I believe you should just tell her how you feel about it. She does know what it means to be gay but I wouldn't go into details since she is only 5. When she is older, you can explain it more detailed. She just has a lot of different questions and she will continue to have even more. Answer it enough to where she feels satisfied and I think that is all she is looking for right now. She will see it out in the world and on tv so I definetly would not ignore it. Hope this helps=)

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Diana - posted on 08/02/2009

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Kavita Kinha daughter is going to be gay I did everything oppisite of what my mom wanted until I got older. You don't put your opnions onto your child it's wrong you can encourage your believes but let them decide. You don't want your child to fear God or feel like because they have feelings that they aren't reconizing what they are that they are a bad child. If you want your child to be close to God you let them develop their own relationship with him. Children learn about these things from school and should be open with your child with any questions they may have obviously you don't go into detail unless they know detail then you may be able to correct what they heard about it that isn't true. Don't know if I was clear enough. But you get the gist of it.

Carin - posted on 08/02/2009

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love has no gender.
people are people and people love, gender is just another trait describing the type of person one is attracted to.

Maureen - posted on 08/01/2009

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Just be honest. Some people grow up and decide they like being with the same sex. Man and a man etc Do not tell her it's wrong or bad in any way. It just is. Please don't lay on the God reference. God does love everyone. Our close friend is gay and my son adores his uncle. In fact we were at his wedding on the weekend. It was lovely and he has an excellent partner. Well suited to each other. What more could you ask for? And my son has a new uncle now. They are family to us. Stressto your child the most important things in relationships are to honor and respect each other. Oh yes, I do live in Canada. We've been enlightened about relationships for a while now. I think the states are catching up. LOL

Kristin - posted on 07/31/2009

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I would just say that love is a magical wonderful thing and all those who have love in their lives are blessed. And in the end that it doesn't really matter who you love, as long as you get to experience love. And that love doesn't discriminate with what you look like on the outside. Love only cares about the inside. Love has no rules, I'm sure we all agree with that one. Its us as a person that makes up the rules.

Nashell - posted on 07/30/2009

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Just remember to keep all your answers age appropriate. This is a perfect chance for you and her to talk about a tough subject, and you can ask her what she knows and maybe depending on her age show her where she can find some answers, like books at the library. This is also a great time to introduce the sex talk. have fun Mine is not there yet but will be one day.

Gabrielle - posted on 07/30/2009

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I really wish people would leave their personal religious beliefs out of these answers. There are plenty of religious people (including some in my own family) who have no problem with gays, focusing more on love than sin or condemnation. Why scare a 5yo with stories about people not obeying God or God not liking them? If she is gay, you'll be scaring her out of ever wanting to talk to you about her sexuality again. Instead of giving her an answer that puts anyone down, I would support Amanda's idea of turning the question back on her. That will help you figure out what she really wants to know and why she's asking. My daughter has already been been around several gay couples (my best friend and the woman who performed my wedding ceremony), and if she ever asks me about being gay and I have to give her a direct answer, I will tell her that I believe people are born in all different ways, and sometimes that means men will fall in love with other men, or women with women, and that it's ok because it's about love. I would NEVER use my religion to tell my child that some people are wrong/bad/evil/sinners. I've read the Tanakh (being Jewish), and I've also done some religious studies, and when you actually examine the words in context with the time and original meaning, the Sodom and Gomorrah story looks pretty different. For some good resources, I would try PFLAG, HRC, and other gay support organizations.

Jessica - posted on 07/30/2009

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I really like Amanda's answer. Maybe your daughter mistakenly thinks that friendships between same gender children are 'gay' because of the definition that a lot of people have been throwing around (i.e. "being gay is when girls like girls"). I think Amanda hit the nail on the head-- find out what your daughter is interested in knowing and possibly that will help you answer her question.

Toni - posted on 07/30/2009

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Hi

You just need to be honest with her and explain that relationships do not always involve a man and a woman who love each other. You need to word it in her terms and explain that it is not wrong it is just the way that some people feel if you are not completely honest with her now she may not come to you for advice in the future

Mary Kay - posted on 07/29/2009

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My mother-in-law is gay and I've told my kids that sometimes boys fall in love with boys and girls fall in love with girls. We don't really understand why and some people don't like it at all because it's different. I told them I dont' know if they will be gay, but as they get older they may begin to wonder and we can talk about it. I'm lucky because I live in a progressive area, so it's not that unusual to see same sex couples and families. Hope that helps.

Shondale - posted on 07/29/2009

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if you believe in the power of prayer i recommend you pray and allow God to direct your words.......if not please take all opinions in consideration because you did ask for them but in the end be honest with yourself about how you feel about same sex relationships and tell that to your child. because although she's 5 its best that she hears it from you then from someone else. Good Luck

Tracie - posted on 07/29/2009

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i would just be honest and say that sometimes men like men and women like women and its ok to do that. i have gay friends and my seven year old daughter just accepts them for themselves and knows thta the world works differently sometimes and its ok to be different

Katrina - posted on 07/28/2009

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"NO WHERE in the old or new is it writen that it is a sin" -Nicole Jones





Old Testament-Leviticus 18:22-You shall not lie with a male as with a woman. It is an abomination. (Speaking to a man)


New Testament-Romans 1:27-Likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust for one another, men with men committing what is shameful and receiving in themselves the penalty of their error which was due.





You are to love the sinner but not necessarily agree with the sin commited. And also...he who has not sinned (ever) cast the first stone.





God sees sin as sin.





And that's all I will say.





OPEN FLOOR FOR RESPECTFUL AND CIVILIZED CONVERSATION!!!

[deleted account]

For the love of God, please keep religion out of this. It would be like saying " so-and-so is not the same skin color as you because he/she did not follow what God wants"- What the heck is that???!

My kids, 5 and 6, have seen gay couples around- we travel- so I explain that everyone is different. I leave it at that, and that answer satisfies them. NO NEED TO GO INTO DETAILS at this point. It's too much for them, and it's also inappropriate.

Also, quite inappropriate, is to try and infiltrate all this God and Bible nonsense. Please stop that.

Laura - posted on 07/28/2009

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Dear Lorie,
Your daughter is much too young to be introduced to the "madness" below (please no offense to anyone). She is only asking for a definition; gay: person who likes another person of the same gender...period. No need to go into details. When she is a few years older, you can explain to her your view on this issue and allow her to draw her own conclusions. Let her decide for herself. Do talk to her about both sides of the table, though. As parents, it is our responsibility to educate our children, but never to pre-program them to think or act in a certain way. It's their right to be free to do and say as they choose. Good luck!

Leslie - posted on 07/28/2009

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Well, I personally do not believe a person is born this way. I believe it's a choice. I don't want to argue the point because that isn't the question, however that being said, it is discussed in church, etc. At five years old, I would simply tell her what it is, it is when to girls like each other and believe they want to get married. If you are a Christian (BAC) you could simply say that God doesn't believe this is the right thing to do. Just plain and simple.

JOHANNA - posted on 07/28/2009

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Very pertinent question indeed and to be honest there's that much on TV our kids are bound to come up with those questions and I have asked myself too how I would answer. I'm pretty much at a loss as well to be honest because we all have our own etics and opinions and we normally raise our children whithin our own values which sometimes may clash with what the PC society expects from us to teach our kids. I'm new here so I don't know if it exists but if not it could be a good idea to have a sort of child psychology consultants on Circle of Moms who could orientate us about the best way to answer all these types of questions in a sensitive way and according to their ages.

Carolyn - posted on 07/28/2009

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God gives love in different ways and people choose who to use it on. I preferr to love a man because I was able to produce you with only Gods hand and the love I have inside of me, I didn't want help from anyone else but your dad. Men who date/marry men cannot have children without help and women who love women date/marry women cannot have children without help from other people. I chose to kept it between me, God, and your dad. It was the wrong kind of love for me. This way I didn't need any more help than what I already had.

Nicole - posted on 07/27/2009

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I went through12 years of catholic school and not once did i every hear such rot. why bring this GOD into the answer, to write out a passage shows you have to much time on your hands. NO WHERE in the old or new is it writen that it is a sin, to help with this 5 year old. first ask her what she knows. find out how she feels about it then take it from there. my 3 three kids 10, 8, 6. all know what it means to be gay. they see it as a normal part of life. and a choice in line with man and women partnerships. keep it simple. and dont undervalue what she already knows.

Christa - posted on 07/27/2009

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God would just want us to accept all people's induviduality and love them for who they are!!

Ashley - posted on 07/27/2009

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*sigh* like my dad always said, "you just can't reason with the unreasonable"

[deleted account]

Hmm Nicole..

Guess you really did NOT read what I wrote.



Twice I spoke of LOVING all people:

"Nobody here on this board spoke of discriminating against anyone.

But we are supposed to raise our children to fear G-d and His commandments, and to show love to all people, even those who hate us. "



No matter how hard you try to keep God out of anything- there He is in the midst of it. He is everywhere, He sees all that we do, He knows what is in our hearts, and loves every person, even though we ALL daily sin. Homosexuality is one of those sins, just as lying, stealing, gossiping, swearing, disobeying our parents, murder, adultery, sex outside of marriage, and wrongfully desiring what belongs to others. He does not prevent us from doing evil- that is a result of our own free will.



So if we all do these sins, what does God want from us?

He wants us to repent, ask for forgiveness and turn away from that behavior.

We are to show LOVE as God shows love to us. While we were yet sinners, Jesus died for us.



Where in the Bible does God tell us that the gay lifestyle is OK?

If you would show me where that is I'll be happy to give it a second look.



Lorie asked for opinions, and those who gave opinions regarding the Christian viewpoint have been questioned and contradicted by those who perhaps do not share that view.

I am simply correcting those who mistakenly believe that God appoves of homosexuality, because based on His Word, He does not.

If you want to know what God thinks on this subject, go to His Word.

You don't have to like me or believe me and you can contradict what I have said all you like.

I did not think up the message I quoted above- it is God's message.

If you don't like it- take it up with HIM.

You may not like Him, you may hate Him, but He LOVES you.

Nicole - posted on 07/27/2009

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Juli you should kept your GOD out of this, teach your child to love all people. Boy or girl. Explain that it doesn't matter who you fall in love with just that they are loving, kind and careing toward's her. Is that not the most important thing for your child to grow up knowing?

Kelly - posted on 07/27/2009

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It's pretty clear that she understands what gay means but I'm not sure she understands the "like" part in this case. Make sure that she understands just because she "likes" a girl does not mean she is gay. There is a difference in a friend "like" and a love-like relationship. Certainly we know the difference but to a 5 year old I'm sure that can be a little complicated. If you are married or have a boyfriend explain to her the difference your feelings are for him versus another male or female friend.

Ashley - posted on 07/27/2009

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where in all of that did it say the "gay lifestyle is not acceptable to Him"???!!! It references "homosexual immorality" ie sodomy NOT "gay lifestyle".

[deleted account]

In reviewing the posts, I don't think anyone mentioned "G-d's Will" specifically.

None of us, I am sure, would venture to say that we "know" G-d's will.

But we DO know how G-d feels about certain sins because He has made it abundantly clear that homosexuality is not OK:

Genesis 18 & 19 of the Tanakh:

Genesis 18:20 - 33

20 So the LORD told Abraham, “I have heard a great outcry from Sodom and Gomorrah, because their sin is so flagrant. 21 I am going down to see if their actions are as wicked as I have heard. If not, I want to know.”

22 The other men turned and headed toward Sodom, but the LORD remained with Abraham. 23 Abraham approached him and said, “Will you sweep away both the righteous and the wicked? 24 Suppose you find fifty righteous people living there in the city—will you still sweep it away and not spare it for their sakes? 25 Surely you wouldn’t do such a thing, destroying the righteous along with the wicked. Why, you would be treating the righteous and the wicked exactly the same! Surely you wouldn’t do that! Should not the Judge of all the earth do what is right?”

26 And the LORD replied, “If I find fifty righteous people in Sodom, I will spare the entire city for their sake.”

27 Then Abraham spoke again. “Since I have begun, let me speak further to my Lord, even though I am but dust and ashes. 28 Suppose there are only forty-five righteous people rather than fifty? Will you destroy the whole city for lack of five?”

And the LORD said, “I will not destroy it if I find forty-five righteous people there.”

29 Then Abraham pressed his request further. “Suppose there are only forty?”

And the LORD replied, “I will not destroy it for the sake of the forty.”

30 “Please don’t be angry, my Lord,” Abraham pleaded. “Let me speak—suppose only thirty righteous people are found?”

And the LORD replied, “I will not destroy it if I find thirty.”

31 Then Abraham said, “Since I have dared to speak to the Lord, let me continue—suppose there are only twenty?”

And the LORD replied, “Then I will not destroy it for the sake of the twenty.”

32 Finally, Abraham said, “Lord, please don’t be angry with me if I speak one more time. Suppose only ten are found there?”

And the LORD replied, “Then I will not destroy it for the sake of the ten.”

33 When the LORD had finished his conversation with Abraham, he went on his way, and Abraham returned to his tent.



Genesis 19

Sodom and Gomorrah Destroyed

1 That evening the two angels came to the entrance of the city of Sodom. Lot was sitting there, and when he saw them, he stood up to meet them. Then he welcomed them and bowed with his face to the ground. 2 “My lords,” he said, “come to my home to wash your feet, and be my guests for the night. You may then get up early in the morning and be on your way again.”

“Oh no,” they replied. “We’ll just spend the night out here in the city square.”

3 But Lot insisted, so at last they went home with him. Lot prepared a feast for them, complete with fresh bread made without yeast, and they ate. 4 But before they retired for the night, all the men of Sodom, young and old, came from all over the city and surrounded the house. 5 They shouted to Lot, “Where are the men who came to spend the night with you? Bring them out to us so we can have sex with them!”

6 So Lot stepped outside to talk to them, shutting the door behind him. 7 “Please, my brothers,” he begged, “don’t do such a wicked thing. 8 Look, I have two virgin daughters. Let me bring them out to you, and you can do with them as you wish. But please, leave these men alone, for they are my guests and are under my protection.”

9 “Stand back!” they shouted. “This fellow came to town as an outsider, and now he’s acting like our judge! We’ll treat you far worse than those other men!” And they lunged toward Lot to break down the door.

10 But the two angels[a] reached out, pulled Lot into the house, and bolted the door. 11 Then they blinded all the men, young and old, who were at the door of the house, so they gave up trying to get inside.

12 Meanwhile, the angels questioned Lot. “Do you have any other relatives here in the city?” they asked. “Get them out of this place—your sons-in-law, sons, daughters, or anyone else. 13 For we are about to destroy this city completely. The outcry against this place is so great it has reached the LORD, and he has sent us to destroy it.”

14 So Lot rushed out to tell his daughters’ fiancés, “Quick, get out of the city! The LORD is about to destroy it.” But the young men thought he was only joking.

15 At dawn the next morning the angels became insistent. “Hurry,” they said to Lot. “Take your wife and your two daughters who are here. Get out right now, or you will be swept away in the destruction of the city!”

16 When Lot still hesitated, the angels seized his hand and the hands of his wife and two daughters and rushed them to safety outside the city, for the LORD was merciful. 17 When they were safely out of the city, one of the angels ordered, “Run for your lives! And don’t look back or stop anywhere in the valley! Escape to the mountains, or you will be swept away!”

18 “Oh no, my lord!” Lot begged. 19 “You have been so gracious to me and saved my life, and you have shown such great kindness. But I cannot go to the mountains. Disaster would catch up to me there, and I would soon die. 20 See, there is a small village nearby. Please let me go there instead; don’t you see how small it is? Then my life will be saved.”

21 “All right,” the angel said, “I will grant your request. I will not destroy the little village. 22 But hurry! Escape to it, for I can do nothing until you arrive there.” (This explains why that village was known as Zoar, which means “little place.”)

23 Lot reached the village just as the sun was rising over the horizon. 24 Then the LORD rained down fire and burning sulfur from the sky on Sodom and Gomorrah. 25 He utterly destroyed them, along with the other cities and villages of the plain, wiping out all the people and every bit of vegetation. 26 But Lot’s wife looked back as she was following behind him, and she turned into a pillar of salt.

27 Abraham got up early that morning and hurried out to the place where he had stood in the LORD’s presence. 28 He looked out across the plain toward Sodom and Gomorrah and watched as columns of smoke rose from the cities like smoke from a furnace.

29 But God had listened to Abraham’s request and kept Lot safe, removing him from the disaster that engulfed the cities on the plain.





Also, for those who read from the New Testament :

1 Corinthians 6:

1 Corinthians 6:9 - 20

9Do you not know that the wicked will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor male prostitutes nor homosexual offenders 10nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God.



11And that is what some of you were. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.



Sexual Immorality

12"Everything is permissible for me"—but not everything is beneficial. "Everything is permissible for me"—but I will not be mastered by anything. 13"Food for the stomach and the stomach for food"—but God will destroy them both. The body is not meant for sexual immorality, but for the Lord, and the Lord for the body. 14By his power God raised the Lord from the dead, and he will raise us also. 15Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ himself? Shall I then take the members of Christ and unite them with a prostitute? Never! 16Do you not know that he who unites himself with a prostitute is one with her in body? For it is said, "The two will become one flesh."[b] 17But he who unites himself with the Lord is one with him in spirit.

18Flee from sexual immorality. All other sins a man commits are outside his body, but he who sins sexually sins against his own body. 19Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; 20you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your body.



So God made it clear that the gay lifestyle is not acceptable to Him, any more than adultery, stealing or murdering is. He also made it very clear that He forgives the sins of those who repent of them- no matter what the sin.



Nobody here on this board spoke of discriminating against anyone.

But we are supposed to raise our children to fear G-d and His commandments, and to show love to all people, even those who hate us.



THE TRUE QUESTION is one of trust- who do you trust to teach your children: G-d, or the media? G-d's Word- the Tanakh (Old Testament) and the Christian New Testament are reliable Truth. We need not question was G-d has told us in His Word.

We have every right to question the untested opinion of the liberal media, who with all their collective worldly intelligence have less wisdom than G-d has in His little toe!



Yes, we MUST NOT discriminate against anyone. Jesus taught us to LOVE. He also taught us to tell the TRUTH. This we must also do.



G-d Bless you!

Ashley - posted on 07/27/2009

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Dear GOD don't listen to Kristy!!!!! The answer is simple. Like Christa said, Sometimes people love the opposite sex, sometimes they love the same sex. Don't you dare bring God into this one. You cannot name a single verse from the scriptures where it says "being gay is wrong" and being gay is so incredibly far from bad people/murderers. How dare you put them in the same category! Lorie, this might be a good time to explain that hate is not the answer to anything also because someday she will meet people like Kristy too.

Kavita - posted on 07/27/2009

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First of all, try u find out that from where she got that information so that you can avoid any more questions like this. Secondly, you need to know that how much she knows about Gay as there is no harm in having girl friends for girls and boy friends for boys. If she really knows the exact meaning of Gay and the relationship between 2 Gays then you
can tell in a polite way but with firm voice that” Gays are the people who disobey their parents and make God feel unhappy. She can not be like them as she is a loving daughter
who cares about her parents and God.” In her age, kids are really worried about the happiness of their parents (especially mother) and a bit scared of God.

Christa - posted on 07/27/2009

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Why not just say that all people are different and that some boys like boys and some girls like girls?/?

[deleted account]

I agree with Alycia, just tell her you don't know....if you give her your opinion on it as she grows up she will have the same opinion as your her role model, i'm sure you want her to grow up with her own opinions/ideas and not yours or some else's...Good Luck

Kristy - posted on 07/23/2009

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Wow! That is a hard question. I would recommend to tell her what you feel. She obviously knows what gay means - that boys like boys and girls like girls, so you have that part covered. If you are a religious person I would try to explain that God makes all kinds of people and some times those people don't always follow what God tells them. Just like God makes bad people/murders it doesn't mean that you will become that kind of person. I would also add that in God's eyes being gay is wrong, but that it is also wrong to discriminate against people. God teaches us to love everyone and spread his word so we should not be mean or cruel to gay couples.

I hope this helps you find a way to explain it to her even if you have to compare to other types of people that she already understands.

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