What do children of same-sex couples call their parents? originally appeared on Quora - the place to gain and share knowledge, empowering people to learn from others and better understand the world.
Answer by Christy Berlemann:
I was at a Starbucks one morning getting my coffee and getting my ear talked off by a cute little girl in that way little kids do. She was standing in line with two older men holding one of their hands. She referred to the one who was holding her hand as dad, and this set the woman off behind me.
"That is ANOTHER reason gays shouldn't have kids. How does she know which one to call dad?!"
Without skipping a beat, she points to the one holding her hand and said,
"That one is dad."
Then she pointed to the other one and said,
"That one is daddy."
"And now we all know which one is the disciplinarian and which one is the softy."
The gay family and I laughed, leaving the woman fuming.
I've gotten a lot of questions, so I thought I would provide a touch of context. The day in question was the first day King County courthouse was performing gay marriages. The couple in question was either on their way to get married or on had just gotten married. The Starbucks was filled with people who were doing the same, and I also was on my way to be a witness.
The woman in question who made the rude comment is from a group of street corner preachers who come to all gay events in Seattle to share their beliefs. You can't have a rational argument with these people. She was fishing for a fight, and she was trying to goad someone into an argument that would ruin their day.
I have found that humour is a much more potent tool to take down people like that. This child engaged not knowing any better, but my comment allowed me to shift the focus away from the woman who was spewing hate back to a family. It also enabled them to feel support. A random person stood up for them to decrease her ability to spread her hate, and that comment was approachable enough that other people in that Starbucks joined in on our conversation.
It's based on a technique mention in this comic on how to address hate.
Also, I thank God for enabling me to be much wittier than I normally am.