Ross: How the suburbs guard ‘birds-and-the-bees’ chatter

May 18, 2022, 9:27 AM | Updated: 9:31 am

“Homosexuality in America,” Life, 26 June 1964, pp. 66-80....

“Homosexuality in America,” Life, 26 June 1964, pp. 66-80.

As I remember – the year was 1964. June. I saw a copy of LIFE magazine on the living room coffee table. Dad subscribed to all the picture magazines.

On that day, LIFE featured a two-page spread captioned “Homosexuality in America.” I was 12 … in the sixth grade … so I picked it up and started reading.

As I recall, within seconds … Mom was there. And she was holding a little book. And she was telling me quietly, but firmly, before you read that, I want you to read this.

Ross: Why Oklahoma’s stance on abortion will echo throughout the country

You see, I hadn’t had the birds-and-bees talk yet. And what my mom handed me was, as I think about it – probably the same book her parents must have given her at a similar moment.

Until then, I thought there was some sort of magic in the wedding ceremony, and that just by standing in church and putting the ring on the woman’s finger – that’s how pregnancy happened. My theory explained beautifully why wedding rings were so important and had to be made of gold.

And if you’re wondering how a 12-year-old could be that naïve … imagine growing up in the suburbs, with no internet, maybe five TV channels showing sitcoms where married couples slept in separate beds, and where the music on the radio could only hint at the existence of S-E-X.

Just so you know – Mom wasn’t only protecting me from homosexuality – I remember we were at the drive-in one night when a preview came on for Barbarella starring Jane Fonda – and before you could say “cleavage,” mom’s hand slammed my eyelids shut.

She was protecting me against HETEROSEXUALITY too.

So, when I saw the story about parents in the Marysville School District wanting control over whether their kids joined a safe space club – I understood.

You want the first say in how your child understands sex.

And as the parent, you absolutely have that right. Just be prepared – because some stuff is baked in.

In my case, despite Dad’s attempts to teach me baseball, I preferred the glee club and musical theater. And despite Mom’s attempt to protect me from Jane Fonda’s cleavage, I embraced heterosexuality.

Not only that – it turns out my favorite Netflix series is Grace and Frankie – which stars … Jane Fonda and is about two supposedly heterosexual men who finally embrace their gayness and marry each other!

What complicated creatures we former children are.

Listen to Seattle’s Morning News with Dave Ross and Colleen O’Brien weekday mornings from 5 – 9 a.m. on KIRO Newsradio, 97.3 FM. Subscribe to the podcast here.

Dave Ross on KIRO Newsradio 97.3 FM
  • listen to dave rossTune in to KIRO Newsradio weekdays at 5am for Dave Ross on Seattle's Morning News.

Dave's Commentary

Dave Ross

Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., speaks during a Senate Appropriations hearing on the President's propo...

Dave Ross

Ross: Republicans are really using the debt crisis to spend more

You are not going to reduce the debt. Especially if you have people like Senator Graham who are using this crisis not to spend less money but to spend more!

9 hours ago

irs funding debt limit bill...

L.B. Gilbert

Ross: IRS funding lost in debt limit bill, tax cheats rejoice

The debt limit bill passed in a classic bi-partisan compromise, and I was actually impressed by last night’s debate.

1 day ago

Irs debt ceiling...

Dave Ross

Ross: IRS has new no-pursuit policy with debt ceiling deal

This debt ceiling deal means the IRS will have to adopt a no-pursuit policy. It means the highway is clear, and all the lights are green.

2 days ago

book ban...

Dave Ross

Ross: Can anybody really ban a book?

For all the talk about a book ban, Dave Ross explains why he's never had any trouble getting any book he wants.

3 days ago

baby branding...

Dave Ross

Ross: Maybe more Americans should consider baby branding

According to Bloomberg, some anxious American and European parents have been hiring branding consultants to name their baby.

7 days ago

ross graffiti...

Dave Ross

Ross: This level of graffiti is like defacing the Great Pyramid

Dave Ross: Graffiti on the highways is bad enough, and to have it center stage at the city’s front door is taking tolerance too far.

8 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Internet Washington...

Major Internet Upgrade and Expansion Planned This Year in Washington State

Comcast is investing $280 million this year to offer multi-gigabit Internet speeds to more than four million locations.

Compassion International...

Brock Huard and Friends Rally Around The Fight for First Campaign

Professional athletes are teaming up to prevent infant mortality and empower women at risk in communities facing severe poverty.

Emergency Preparedness...

Prepare for the next disaster at the Emergency Preparedness Conference

Being prepared before the next emergency arrives is key to preserving businesses and organizations of many kinds.

SHIBA volunteer...

Volunteer to help people understand their Medicare options!

If you’re retired or getting ready to retire and looking for new ways to stay active, becoming a SHIBA volunteer could be for you!

safety from crime...

As crime increases, our safety measures must too

It's easy to be accused of fearmongering regarding crime, but Seattle residents might have good reason to be concerned for their safety.

Comcast Ready for Business Fund...

Ilona Lohrey | President and CEO, GSBA

GSBA is closing the disparity gap with Ready for Business Fund

GSBA, Comcast, and other partners are working to address disparities in access to financial resources with the Ready for Business fund.

Ross: How the suburbs guard ‘birds-and-the-bees’ chatter