Saturday 22 October 2016

Raising kids the gay way

What's the point of being gay if you're going to get married and have children anyway?

Eilis O'Hanlon

Published 15/06/2015 | 02:30

Contented: Graham Norton arrives for the House of Fraser British Academy of Television Awards at the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane in London. Photo: Ian West/PA Wire
Contented: Graham Norton arrives for the House of Fraser British Academy of Television Awards at the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane in London. Photo: Ian West/PA Wire
Eilish O'Hanlon

It used to be every parent's greatest fear that their child would grow up to be gay. What would the neighbours think? What would the vicar say?

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It was never a problem for me. Far from being afraid that my children would turn out to be gay, that has always been my dearest ambition.

At least one of them, anyway. You're not a hip-and-happening middle-class family these days unless you have a minimum of one gay child. We're all like those Jewish mothers in the old jokes, standing by the sea as her son flails in the water, shouting: "Won't somebody please dive in and save my son, the doctor!" The only difference is that doctors are 10-a-penny these days, and having a lawyer as a child is more shame than any mother should ever have to stand, whereas gay children are still something of a minority.

Though even that won't last. You know how it is when a trend catches on. Soon, the whole country's at it. "I have a gay child." "Well, I have two." "Damn! Foiled again."

In my case, wanting gay children is nothing to do with keeping up with the Joneses, but simply in order to cut down on babysitting in the future. As far as I'm concerned, I did my bit. I raised three children. I had the sleepless nights. The fights over homework. The endless round of cleaning. Not having a life of my own. Never having any money.

Once the children got to a certain age, I just wanted to sit back and enjoy a well-earned rest. The problem with straight children is that they tend to get hooked up with members of the opposite sex and start producing kids of their own. If they were gay, they could indulge instead in a merry round of pregnancy-free sex.

No kids for them. No babysitting for me. It was a win-win situation for all.

So I spent their childhood carefully indoctrinating them in the ways of the gays. "That's Ellen DeGeneres," I'd say as I was flicking channels. "She's married, you know. To a woman. A woman. Are you taking all this in?"

Or: "Isn't Graham Norton great? He's gay, you know. Doesn't have any kids at all, and just look how contented and funny he is. Makes you think, eh?"

I also never let them read any of those nauseatingly politically correct picture books with titles like Heather Has Two Mummies, because I didn't want them to start thinking that being gay was just the same as being straight, and that parenthood would be part of the deal. Though if there'd been books called Heather Has Two Hot Lesbian Lovers, A Cat, And Lots Of Disposable Income Thanks To A Wise Decision To Remain Childless, then I'd definitely have encouraged them to read those.

Now I realise it was all in vain. The gay people have let everyone down by becoming as tame and domesticated as the rest of us. They were meant to be trailblazers for a new freedom, without tedious domestic commitments. Instead, they no sooner got equality than they started settling down and breeding too.

What the hell were they thinking? Equality should mean getting the benefits of being equal with straight people - not the worst bits. The sleepless nights. The not-having-any-money. See previous list for further details. Dear 21st-Century gay people, you could've escaped that trap. Instead you walked right into it, and the tragedy is that your poor parents are now trapped in there too, minding your ruddy children.

I'm not giving up, though. I still think there's a chance to save future generations from the same mistake. My previous mistake was being too subtle. I thought simply trying to make them gay would be enough. Now I see that they have to be the right sort of gay.

Clearly, if I am going to save my as yet non-existent grandchildren from making the same mistake, I have to up the propaganda levels to Defcon One. Prepare for some serious brainwashing. I'll get me some militant anti-bourgeois uber-gay folk, if it's the last thing I do.

Come on, kids, repeat after me. "Whadda we want?" "No kids!" "When do we not want them?" "Forever!" Now that's what I call sensible child-rearing.

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