This week, Camp Mama began with Cub Scout Day Camp, a week of boy activities at the headquarters of the Boy Scouts of America in Los Angeles, an organization known for their open discrimination against "open or avowed" homosexuals, and ended with...a gay wedding. Because that's the way we roll here at Second Blooming.
Jude hadn't been totally sold on attending Cub Scout Day Camp this year, as he had attended it two years ago and deemed it "boring". But their theme this year was "The Olympics", so of course my track and field/swimming obsessed child was convinced. I must admit that I pressed the matter a bit for two reasons - 1. Camp was M - F from 8:00 am to 4:00 pm! 2. All of this alone time for Mama only cost $75!
But I'm afraid Jude ended up deeply disappointed by the whole thing. The "Olympic" sports they played were baseball, soccer and basketball, which I guess are events in the Olympics, but which Jude deemed "lame". And on Friday they were scheduled to go down to the LA Colosseum, and do track events on the actual Olympic track, but they ended up not able to get in. Sigh. And they were supposed to then go swimming in the real Olympic pool from the 1984 Olympics, but the pool was closed because of a sewage leak! They did, however, get to do some events at the USC track. Jude managed to win a Gold Medal in the long jump! And a Silver Medal in the 50 meter dash. So that was some consolation.
The gay wedding, was really a Domestic Partnership Celebration (still no legal gay marriage in California, don't get me started) for my ex-choir director, Rodger, and his partner Tye.
In dealing with this whole gay marriage thing with Jude, I realized that I was perhaps a bit of a hypocrite. Despite all of my support for gay marriage and gay rights, I have never really dealt with explaining it all to Jude. I mean, he knows what gay is, that some people fall in love with, and want to spend their lives with someone of the same sex, as opposed to the way Mama and Daddy are.
And a while back we had a talk because his friends were saying things like "That is so gay!" or "He's so gay!". And we talked about how that is a wrong thing to say for several reasons. For one thing, kids at their age are too young to know whether or not they are gay (though I think that this is really the age where people start to figure it out), and that if someone is gay that it's nothing wrong, that it's just the way God made them, and that on top of everything, it is a ridiculous name to call someone because it's simply a descriptive word - it would be like saying "He is so blond!" or "He is so tall!" Which he seemed to understand. And I told him that we had lots of friends who were gay. But he never asked me who, and so I didn't tell him. I have a rule of thumb that when it comes to things about sex, I only answer the questions he wants to know the answers to.
So when this Domestic Partnership Celebration came up, I was a little unsure how to proceed. I tried to be casual...
"Jude, we've been invited to a party on Saturday which is going to be really fun! You remember Rodger, don't you?"
Of course he remembers Rodger, he's one of his very favorite people.
"Did I ever mention that Rodger is gay?"
I had not.
"Well, Rodger and his partner, Tye, have decided that they want to make a commitment to each other to stay together always and forever, just the way Mama and Daddy did!"
I then got into a brief and probably boring political lecture about the legality of gay marriage, which I will spare you all.
"And lots of the people from my choir will be there, and it will mean so much to Rodger for you to share the day with him, and Julianna and Isabella will be there, so you'll have other kids to play with! [Julianna and Isabella are the oft-mentioned daughters of my friends Lynn and Darren, mentioned at length HERE] So how does that sound to you?"
At this point, I looked at Jude, and he had a decidedly "ICK" look on his face.
"Oh no!" I thought "My child is a homophobe!"
But then Jude said "Are they going to talk the whole time?!"
He wasn't thinking "Ick" about the gay marriage, he was thinking "Ick" about hanging out with the girls all that time, and worried that they'd drive him crazy!
In fact, the entire gay marriage thing didn't phase him for an instant. Even all the traditional wedding stuff like cake cutting, and posing for sweet couple pictures. We had a great time, and he and the girls got along fabulously (I'm sorry, I had to work in the word fabulous at least once in a piece about a gay wedding). As we left, he hugged Rodger and Tye and told them "Congratulations."
So that's the week at Camp Mama. Boy Scouts of America/Gay Men. I happen to love contradictions.