Letters to My Gayby No. 2: Gayby Speak Pretty One Day

letters to my gayby 1

By Rebecca Donohue

Editor’s Note: In our first installment, comedian Rebecca Donohue gave her future gayby some advice on oral hygiene. Today, she moves on to a different topic…

I suppose I couldʼve also called this piece, “Arguing with Stupid,” but, I didnʼt want to turn people off. I had an argument the other day with a ʻfriendʼ who claims there is absolutely NO reason for a child (or adult for that matter) to learn a second language because everyone speaks English.

It amazes me that this kind of close mindedness still exists in the world. But, then again, Iʼm not amazed at all. I mean, some people actually think you can still “pray the gay away”. Good lawd. And thereʼs a whole faction of people who actually have an argument in DEFENSE of bullying – itʼs the ʻtrophy generationʼ argument. The trophy generation argument states that weʼve become too ʻsoftʼ on our kids. They need to fight it out, as this fighting and bullying is just a byproduct of growing up and – in the end – it will give our kids a better sense of character.

You have got to be kidding.

Rarely does a black eye or unrelenting harassment do any good. All I can see in it is the harm. The chipping away of oneʼs self confidence and the eroding of a childʼs faith in authority and kindness in other people. Those side effects to me are a horror show with enormous and profound consequences.

I feel almost as strongly about language. Yes, most of the world speaks English. However, most of the world drives a car too that doesnʼt mean driving cars isnʼt hurting the environment. This proliferation of English and the lack of will in Americans, British, and Australians to TRY another language is detrimental, in my opinion. It creates an ethnocentricity that is just plain short-sighted. Most of all, itʼs harmful to ourselves in many ways.

Studies now show your gayby will benefit SCIENTIFICALLY in the following ways if they grow up bilingual:

Scientific Benefits:
*less chance of developing Alzheimers
*forces the brain to resolve inner conflict by strengthening cognitive muscles
*a stronger ability to monitor your environment

Non-scientific benefits that Iʼve made up, but feel will be equally beneficial:
*opens up the world job market for gayby
*opens up the world dating pool for gayby
*combats the Vatican…if the pope can speak a couple of languages, we should have a few gaybies that can too
*helps one feel superior to Rednecks**

**If I really want my child to learn a second language, I will teach him or her Spanish. Currently, I think itʼs the most useful. However, the comedian in me would rather teach my future gayby French because nothing would piss off a redneck more than a well cultured baby of two lesbians who speaks the unholy French. Never mind that Thomas Jefferson was a francophile and that half of Maine used to be greatly French speaking and parts of Louisiana, etc, etc. For me, itʼs the wonderful conversations I can get into with the Redneckers. I picture witty repartees like this:

Redneck: What a cute baby? What does your husband do?

Me: My husband? You mean my wife? Sheʼs a doctor.

Redneck pauses to contemplate this situation. Face of Redneck looks like he is sucking on a lemon.

Me to my gayby: N’ayez pas peur, bébé. Son cou est tellement rouge en raison de l’ignorance.

(Hopefully, this translates to: “Donʼt be afraid, baby. His neck is so read due to ignorance.” If it doesnʼt mean this in French, donʼt blame me, blame Bing Translator. I said I would teach my gayby French, I didnʼt say I could speak it. I am a true American after all.)

The French spoken out loud to my gayby sends the Redneck into a wild tizzy of conservative revulsion. His eyes go wide, his heart quickens, and he says:

Redneck: Youʼre French? Youʼre French? But, you seem so…so…American.

Me: No, we are not French. We are, in fact, American. I simply want my gayby to be as bourgeois as possible in regards to her brain.

Redneck: Boorschwa? Boorschwa? What does that mean? I told you, I donʼt speak no French. I speak the freedom language. English. Now, what the heck does Boorschwa mean?

Me: Iʼm not telling you. This is America. You need to work for it. Iʼm not going to just hand it to you. Who do you think I am, the welfare state?

Since I am now speaking his language, the Redneck asks me for a job. (They are so literal these Rednecks with their bibles and everything else…I mean, I meant look it up on Google, but he took it so literally!) So, I acquiesce and allow him to become our gardner…on our lesbian, organic farm.

The Redneck works hard. He toils and hoes our garden until it becomes a veritable Eden. I notice him near collapse out in the sun one day, so I bring him a fresh glass of lemonade. I strike up a conversation.

“Now that youʼre a member of the proletariat, sweet, Redneck, have you figured out the
meaning of bourgeois?” I ask.

“No,” he says. “But, your human resources girl showed me your health package and it ainʼt worth a sh*t. So, if this French-learning comes with health benefits then Iʼm willing to sign on.”

You see, we can – indeed – all get along.

Rebecca Donohue writes the Sweet Mother blog and spends her nights slinging jokes as a comedian in L.A. You can check out her comedy at www.beckydonohue.com and keep up with her blogging ways at www.sweetmotherlover.wordpress.com.


  1. E.B. de Mas says:

    hilarious… as always :D

  2. Kelley says:

    Ha! That was hilarious, as per usual! I made the bad life decision to read through the #saysomethingniceaboutObama trending hashtag list yesterday. Those conservatives got my blood boiling! The thought of those people interacting with your French-speaking gayby just made me feel better!

    Your gayby is going to be one impressive, Red Neck-battling gem!

    • rebecca says:

      haaaahaaa, well, we all need to do our part, now don’t we. ;) i would love it, love it. just call me your sistah in arms. i don’t know how you read that hashtag stuff, i would have lost my marbles. xo, beck

  3. This is something I feel so passionately about and so I’m glad you’re writing about it! I have witnessed first-hand the wonders of imparting a second language to kids. I taught English to 4-10 YOs in Korea for two years and the benefits these kids gleaned from this supplement to their education are innumerable. It’s a relatively recent development in education that people aren’t submerged in several second languages throughout their entire education, but with my own child I will buck the trend. That’s why when we’re up nursing her at 4 AM, we’re also tuning in to a Harvard-produced French language program on PBS. You gotta start somewhere, right? :)

  4. crubin says:

    Thanks for a funny spin on an important topic. I can do the French thing, but I wish in retrospect I had learned Spanish instead. That is on my to-do list. If only there was enough time…

    Love to read you wherever you are!

    • rebecca says:

      looollll, oh, ems. your kid is going to be a brainiac for sure. i feel so passionately about this, you have no idea. all of my colombian relatives speak two languages and here we sit like a basket of bricks, barely understanding one. i hate it. but, it really is a thing done by the rich in a lot of other countries. we could have an immersion, PUBLIC, education program here. we just choose not to. and it saddens me. thanks for reading. here’s two a gaggle of bilingual gaybies and straightbies. xoxo, beck

    • rebecca says:

      i so hear you, carrie. in another life i’m a cia agent who never goes anywhere, but spends all of her time at the cia language learning institute. a girl must dream. lol. xo, beck

  5. Fishy says:

    Those who think everyone speaks English have clearly never been to South Florida. Hilarious as usual.

    • rebecca says:

      es verdad eso. sorry, couldn’t resist, fishy. or should i say pescado. notice i’m doing none of this in french! because i know nothing of it. but, oooohhh, i so wish i did. ;) thanks for reading, friend. xo, sm

  6. “Boorschwa” would make a wonderful name for a lesbian-owned shop that sells trucker hats, plaid shirts, croched beer cozies, and lace up boots that appeal to both red-necks and fashionable gayby parents.

  7. A cheap shot at rednecks *and* a tip of the hat to David Sedaris? Magnifique!

  8. Great read Becky. I’m down for anything that combats the Vatican.

  9. boozilla says:

    Brilliant and right on. I like your optimism too: about detente (!!see??FRENCH!!) with…the peppermint people.

  10. Speaker7 says:

    Another non-scientific benefit of learning another language – less jingoism

  11. Andrea Flory says:

    lmao – Very clever Anyu! If you and Gayby ever come to Australia I will babysit /and/ teach Gayby a smattering of Hungarian. You never know, it might come in useful one day when Gayby grows up and wants to order a porkolt instead of a gulyasleves :D [Apologies to the purists but I couldn't find the correct accents].

    • rebecca says:

      hungarian!!! like the dude who wrote basic instinct? he was a hungarian, or is, i believe… anyhoot, you rock. love the comment and gayby and i will get on a jet plane to see ya for sure!

  12. colinaquila says:

    I love how you can make me laugh about a subject that makes me worry a lot: I really want to have kids, but since I’m gay I get really worried about the reaction of other people, specialy my family, which is really homophobic.
    I’m brazilian, by the way, and found out that learning different languages as I grew was really great. It also stimulates the interest for different cultures and, I think, makes the person less prejudiced too.

    • rebecca says:

      colin, thank you for this wonderful comment. you know, the WORLD is full of haters. what i’m trying to do – in my small way – is say, I’ve got your back. And I do. And a lot of others do. We’re here for you, my friend. So, stay strong. Making your family, in spite of hateful sentiments is a wonderfully courageous thing and I’m here to back you up on that, any day. Much love, Becky

  13. There’s a MAJOR flaw in your scenario: Rednecks don’t know French. They don’t know France even exists. They know French Fries, and that’s about as cultured as they get.

    I agree with people learning a second language. I wish my Spanish was better. I was too busy eating burritos and drinking tequila to learn the actual language. I’m 20 pounds heavier, and only speak English. I make good decisions.

    • rebecca says:

      bwwwaaahhhhhaaa, jen, i heart you. hard. i think i have the same, ‘spanish problem’. i don’t call it mexican, i call it ‘mexican’t’ because i can’t stop eating it!!! xoxoxo, momma b

  14. Kanerva says:

    There are many arguments and theories about bilingualism, for me having lived in Finland for 10 years, I wish I wish I wish I’d been exposed to learning a language in my youth (and earlier)! Our son is truly bilingual and it’s amazing to ‘see’ him switch back and forth effortlessly.

    We lived in Florida for a short while and one of the saddest experiences for me was meeting a Puerto Rican family that insisted on speaking only English with their children, “because we are in America now, and Americans speak English”. The mother of the family was quite torn over this as it meant the children were unable to communicate with grandparents and other relatives still in Puerto Rica. They were missing out on forging not just important family bonds, also cultural references as well.

    Btw, one parent one language is the model we follow.


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