How Modern Family is Saving Social Morals from Themselves

and other funny stories.

We hosted a dinner party for three women and three men. Two of the women are in a long-term relationship. One of the men is in a long-term relationship with one of the women. That leaves two men unaccounted for.

Our two male guests happened to be wearing the same shirt.


“Time to play: Who wore it best?”


“Mom, are they like Mitch and Cam from Modern Family?”

That’s right, like a pair of wedding rings, the same shirt on two people now signals to my 11-year-old: We are a couple. He apparently missed the end of the episode when Mitch ends up wearing the same outfit as his sister, Claire (by this time Cam had soiled his and wore something else).

The moral of the story: Kids take examples from their world forward with them into new experiences and guess at what they mean. Notice he made no reference to the lesbian couple that he has known for half of his life. The numbers worked, the outfits matched, the answer was obvious.

Ash Beckham at TEDxBoulder describes coming out of the closet to a four-year-old. It wasn’t on purpose, but it was life-changing.

Beckham dismantled “coming out of the closet” as a confession about sexuality. Coming out of the closet is just a hard conversation, and we all have hard conversations, says Beckham. “There is no harder, there is just hard.” Whether your conversation is about losing your job, telling someone you are terminally ill, or about homosexuality and gender, it’s a hard conversation and coming out of the closet is the only way to end it. (By the way, it’s not lost on me that Beckham is also wearing a shirt that matches Cam’s that matches Mitch’s that match’s Claire’s.)

Sorting out who was a couple at our dinner party wasn’t a hard conversation for my 11-year-old, just a logic problem.


Live within limits without limiting life

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About ahemmayispeak

Environmentalist Egalitarian Engineer Writer There, I finally said it. View all posts by ahemmayispeak

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