TV can be a gateway

A few nights ago my niece told me she learned about my queerness from The Foster’s (ABC Family tv show). My sister used this show to educate her kids about gay people and families. I’m impressed, really. I don’t generally consider my sister to be very good at that kind of conversation. This may be because she was very put off by my gayness a decade ago. 

My niece remembers meeting my last serious girlfriend and she says she’s not judgmental. She is 13 years old, folks. She said “I don’t care who is gay as long as they don’t push it on me”. So I asked what does that phrase mean and she explained she doesn’t like seeing people kissing and making out and telling her she should be that way. Lol. I laugh because in her small Alabama town NO ONE gay is openly affectionate, no freaking way. That’s a death sentence (semi-dramatic, semi-serious statement). The only gay people she knows are my and one of my younger cousins, who is gay on occasion. She says there is a gay guy at her middle school also.. and he’s got “great fashion sense”. I hope she moves away when she’s older so she gets other experience than just tv and us.

I asked her what my sister told her about Uncle Cole and she said nothing. So I explained it like he is like the guy on Foster’s who was Callie’s roommate. She says “oh”. I ask her if she had any questions or wanted to talk about it. She said no and it’s not a big deal.

She’s such a smart kid and I love her to pieces. I hate the situation she’s growing up in. Her life is hard and I had that same experience as a youth. I hurt for her and that she can’t help her parents’ situation or where she grows up. I’m so glad she got to come visit and see something different than country town USA. 


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