My aunt contacted me one weekday afternoon, asking if I could watch her adopted sons at her house when they came home from school. She needed to pick up farming and yard equipment from a seller and couldn’t bring the kids along.
“It will only be for an hour or two,” she promised over the phone call. “They’ll be busy doing homework or playing in their rooms, anyway. You won’t even notice them.”
I love my little cousins, and it’s always a blast to hang out with them, so I accepted. My mom drove me over that afternoon and I took the house keys from my aunt, who was already halfway down the driveway. She left, and I went inside to hang out until the kids’ school bus came.
“Hey, Sara!” The boys call out as they walk in the front door. Backpacks are hauled off to bedrooms and tablets are brought out as the twins crash on the couch, ready to challenge the other in the usual loud, violent videogame.
“How was school, guys?” I ask, speaking over the noise. One of the twins (Twin #1) pauses his game and looks up at me, much to the dismay of his brother. “It was pretty fun. Not a lot happened. Oh yeah, I think one of the guys in my class is gay.”
This catches me off guard, and I look at him with a surprised expression. “Really? Why do you think that?” My cousin goes on to tell me that the boy in question is quite flamboyant in class, and that led my cousin to suspect the boy’s sexuality.
“How does that make you feel?” I asked, genuinely curious for the answer. The topic of sexuality have never come up around these boys, at least never any times that I had witnessed. Being pretty obvious at the whole lesbian persona, myself, I wondered if these boys felt any different about those that were, well, different from them.
“I don’t care if he’s gay,” Twin #1 says with a shrug. “If it makes him happy, then I’m happy for him. He’s a really cool guy. If he likes other guys, I’m cool with that.”
“Yeah, everybody is a little gay inside,” Twin #2 pipes up, also pausing his game. “People can just like people. It doesn’t matter. I don’t think anybody is born liking just one specific set of person, you know?”
I nod thoughtfully, trying to hide the huge smile that wanted so badly to appear. “So, neither of you would worry if a girl liked another girl? Or maybe a person liked both a boy and a girl?”
“I would be happy that they found who they like in life,” Twin #1 replies. “Everyone can do what they want to. As long as no one is getting hurt.”
Am I talking to the future equality leaders of the world or what?
“And if, say, somebody of one gender wanted to become someone of the opposite gender,” I mention, trying to squeeze in as many parts of the spectrum as I can without overwhelming the boys. “Would you guys still talk to them and be okay with what they were doing?”
“We already see people like that out in public,” Twin #2 says matter-of-factly. “Some of them actually look really good, you know, how they’re dressed and all of that.”
“There’s a girl at school that everybody looks at in the hallway. She kind of dresses like a boy. No one really says anything to her, but I always say “Hi” when we pass each other. I think we have the same shirt.” Twin #1 smiles as he says this, proud of that fact.
I can’t help but grin at this point, and I turn to look at his brother. “What was that you said? ‘Everyone is a little gay inside’?” I already knew what he had said; I was just so giddy to hear it again. These were twelve-year-old boys I was talking to. About gender expression and the LGBTQ spectrum, and they were totally supportive of it!! How could you not smile about that? Especially being a member of the spectrum, myself.
“Yeah, it’s true,” Twin #2 replies. “Maybe when we’re born, our minds don’t immediately have the thought, ‘Oh, I should like a girl’ or ‘I should like a boy’. Maybe we all just like everybody when we’re born. We figure out the details later on.”
I felt like I should have a camera recording or something, to document such a situation, but the fact that this was happening in such a such a sudden, raw moment made it that much more special. It gets so exhausting to hear all of the back and forth about gay marriage, gay acceptance in society, and everybody’s fighting everybody. It’s really refreshing to hear such positivity coming from two boys that aren’t even teenagers yet. Doesn’t that just put everything in perspective for you? These two boys have more love and acceptance in them than anyone I’ve met. And, what’s that? They’re twelve! I can only imagine how things will go when they start growing up into teenagers, then into adults. I hope this acceptance sticks with them in the long run. We could really use a lot more people like them.