So I ordered* the book Godless by Pete Hautman. The book won the National Book Award for Young People's Literature. Not only is he a local author, but the book seemed particularly relevant to the current questions I'm pondering. And I thought it might be a great resource for the four-year-old when she gets old enough to question all the dogma we're providing her.
Specifically, the book is about a kid who is questioning his given religion; Catholocism. He creates his own religion based on the town's water tower. I'm not too far into the book (too much sleeping and playing "battle" with the four-year-old over the weekend. Too little work and otherwise productive activity). Anyway, I literally opened the book to the author's description of kids fighting and calling each other "fags" and "gay".
There's a great Everything But the Girl song (I think its called The Night Caruso Sang or something along those lines) where the narrator worries about explaining the world to his son.
I keep thinking about that NYT article and what was important about it. I can just imagine Maggie walking down her elementary school hallway and hearing some kids call each other derogatory names that represent, really, who her parents are. In my opinion, this is where the real difference lies bewteen kids like Maggie and her heterosexually-parented counterparts. She will understand and feel that stress at an earlier age.
As an aside, did anyone see last week's Will and Grace? There was a hilarious line where Jack brought out a little restaurant guide that he called "Faggot's". Karen corrected him, calling it "Fag-Gots" (emphasis on the second syllable). Then Grace corrected them both, pointing out that it is, in fact, Zagat's! Absolutely incredible writing!
*Note that it was my last order to Amazon.com. See my next post -- an email from the esteemed journalist, Katha Pollit.