Flea had a sleepover this weekend, and one of the guests was her best friend, Zara.
Flea and Zara are really close friends and are really cute together – Flea always makes sure Zara is served snacks on a pink plate, while Zara always lets Flea play with the boy figures when they’re playing with the dolls’ house. Whenever anyone asks Flea if she did anything good at school, the answer is always: "Yes, I played with Zara."
Flea and Zara are such good friends in fact, that Flea’s top wish (after being a dog) is to be Zara’s sister. Failing that, Flea wants to marry Zara so they can live together and have bunk beds, except Flea will probably still come home on weekends.
Last night, Flea and Zara were playing a game with Flea’s Super Scribbler – which is one of those screens where you can draw a picture then wipe it off. After sending secret messages about dogs and cats for a time, Flea painstakingly wrote: “Zara, who do you love?”
Zara thought for a moment, and wrote ‘GORGE’. I don’t think she’s a geology fan, so I’m guessing it was a reference to George, a boy in their class at school.
Flea’s face fell. “Oh,” she said, in a small voice. “I thought you’d say me.”
Zara looked flat-out confused and then laughed at this ridiculous notion. “You can’t love a GIRL, Flea,” she giggled.
“Yes you can, my Mummy says you can marry a girl or a boy, and boys can marry boys, too,” said Flea, looking at me for reassurance. Flea has pretty much always known that some people are gay – after all, we lived in Brighton AND Flea’s old nanny is gay, so although I never really explained it, as such, it was just an accepted fact.
Not so if you’ve grown up in England’s whitest, straightest town, apparently.
Zara’s eyes were like saucers. “NO WAY. You can’t do that,” she said.
She thought about this amazing new possibility for a moment. Then she looked at me. “Can you really? Why would you do that, though?”
Faced with the awe-inspiring responsibility of explaining homosexuality to someone else’s child, I admit I took the cowards way out. “Zara, did you know we’ve got Toy Story 3 on Blu-Ray?”