About a Girl: We Are Family

Yesterday I was watching The Birdcage at home with my daughter and my mom. My kid was mostly watching TV in the other room, but she wandered back in towards the end of the movie. Well, that was a defining moment in raising your child.

Towards the end of the movie as Gene Hackman and Diane Wiest have been led to believe that they are meeting their future son-in-law’s parents (Robin Williams and Nathan Lane as a woman), it is revealed that Nathan Lane is not a woman, but a man in drag and that their future son in law was raised by two gay men.

This scene totally confused my daughter. “How can he be the mom? He’s a boy.” So I had to sit down and explain, about 3x, that the other lady had the son-in-law, Val, and that the two men raised him. My mom started getting frustrated because she couldn’t hear the movie, but I had to stop her because it was very important to me that my daughter grasp this concept.

She always knew, cause I’ve taught her, that sometimes boys wear dresses, sometimes boys wear make-up, sometimes boys kiss other boys, but yesterday I had to teach her that sometimes boys marry other boys. And no, as I explained, boys can’t have babies in their tummies, but they can help kids who don’t have a home by giving them a place to live and taking care of them like daddies.

This seemed to satisfy her at any rate because we’ve seen movies or such where the kids might have lost a parent or both parents. I simply explained that her dad married a girl, but Val’s dad married a boy.

That’s the second time we’re watching a movie and I end up giving my kid a lesson about life. I should really look into this whole idea of teaching my daughter such large concept through fun accessible movies. Not all movies are negative influences on society and not all positive influences revolve around Sesame Street.


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