We talked about slavery last year, and that blew her 9-year-old mind. "Well, honey, it's like this: White guys from Europe would sail to Africa, kidnap Africans, and sell them to other white guys in the new United States." The idea of buying and selling human beings just made no sense to her.
Last night, we got into discussions of gay marriage and discrimination based on who you prefer. I think it was even harder for her to grasp than slavery. I told her about how people get beaten up or killed just because they happen to be gay. "Why do they do that? Why do they beat people up because they are gay?" I gave her an abbreviated, non-sexual explanation of being fearful of something that they feel is gross. That's the best I can do.
I explained how some parents will even abandon their children because the kid is gay. "Imagine that in five years, you told me and Mom, 'Hey, I think I like girls, not boys', and we said 'That's not OK, get out of my house forever.' Can you even imagine that?"
Gay-hating makes even less sense than slavery. At least slavery has a certain amount of fiscal benefit. "Hey, look, free labor!" That at least makes sense why plantation owners would want to do that, right? But hating gays?
It's so bizarre to be in the situation of having to explain to someone "Here is something about the world that is so completely fucked up."
The mighty Louis CK has a fantastic (NSFW) bit on this.
You see someone stand up on a talk show and say "How am I supposed to explain to my child that two men are getting married?" I dunno, it's your shitty kid, you fuckin' tell 'im. Why is that anybody else's problem? Two guys are in love but they can't get married because you don't want to talk to your ugly child for fuckin' five minutes?
I'll extend that. Never mind you explaining two men getting married to your kid. How do I explain to my kid that you give a shit?