When Words Fail

I saw this on my cousin’s Facebook page this morning:

What do you say when your nine-year-old asks you what gay means?

She’s getting some conflicting advice, ranging from

Tell him the truth!
Ask him what he thinks it means.
Use this as a teachable moment to show him what the Bible says.

I know my cousin, so I can imagine that she would struggle with this. But I’m surprised to think that there would be any other option than to tell your child the age-appropriate truth.

Of course I’ve no room to talk. I had a similar incident with Yuki over winter holidays.

Onee Talento is all the rage in Japan at the moment. Onee literally means “older sister,” but in this context it means transgender/cross dressers and effeminate gay men. Usually these “talent,” or TV personalities, are limited to nighttime programming, but they seem to slowly be making their way into prime time.

An animal show that Yuki likes was doing a new year’s special. They sent popular TV personalities to different parts of the world to encounter unusual animals. One of the people participating was an “New Half,” which is the Japanese term for someone who has undergone surgery to change their gender. This person likes to wear frilly, super-girly outfits and looks very much like a woman. Except for her voice. Usually she sounds like a woman, but when caught off-guard her natural, manly tones have a tendency to come out.

Japanese humor being such that it is, most shows end up trying to surprise her and get her to yell like a man. This show was no different. (In spite of being public TV. I was hoping for more.) Ai-chan got stuck tracking down a skunk. That’s an exotic animal to the Japanese, apparently.

Eventually, of course she got sprayed, and the resulting stinkfest made her holler like a baseball umpire.

Yuki thought it was weird that this woman had such a deep voice when she was surprised. I opted not to explain it further. She looks like a woman, she dresses like a woman, she is now, physically, a woman. I let it slide with a “There are lots of different kinds of people in the world, aren’t there?” and in a few minutes he was more interested in the animals than the deep-voiced woman.

Or so I thought. For several days after that, he kept trying to surprise me to see if I would yell like a man.


In other news, Me Too, our resident veggie-lover/fruit-hater, has suddenly increased her repertoire. About a year ago she started eating apples and bananas, then a few months ago she realized she didn’t hate grapes. About a week ago, she started eating mikan, an orange-like fruit. Maybe it is true what they say that eventually the kids will learn to eat a variety if you keep offering it to them.

Or maybe not. I made pancakes for their snack yesterday, and at the same time, I prepared another batch with blueberries in it for today’s breakfast. You’d think I’d put pickles in them. The kids were having none of it. Such a shame, because they were lovely.

Just watching Mary Poppins with Me Too now as we wait for Brother to come home and the glass man to come back. He’s gone to cut some glass to fit into our broken door panes (glass man, not Brother.) And I’m thinking Mary Poppins isn’t a shining example for caregivers. She’s spending a lot of time flirting with Dick van Dyke (not that I can blame her) and those two little kiddies are no where to be seen…


1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. gaijinwife
    Feb 09, 2012 @ 11:42:40

    Oh that’s great – trying to surprise you to see if you’ll holler out like a man. Oh shit, I’ve nearly got tears coming down here in Oita. Than you Y.


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