Nick Cannon Doesn't Understand How to Explain Gay People to Kids

Nick Cannon did a radio interview with Power 105's The Breakfast Club on Friday morning and got into a weird discussion about how difficult it is to explain gayness and sexuality to children.


Cannon, who’s typically very forthcoming in these interviews, spends the majority of the time talking about his relationship with Mariah Carey (with whom he has two kids), their divorce and the idea of being “damaged.” Toward the end, co-host DJ Envy asks Cannon—since he serves as the Chairman of Teen Nick—what he thinks about the gay married couple being introduced on the cartoon Loud House. Cannon totally botches his response, saying he supports the decision and yet tries to separate himself from it. “I didn’t have nothing to do with that. That was a different department,” he says, with a laugh. “I support it, I salute it. But that wasn’t in my jurisdiction.” Weird.

The group then gets into the idea of adults explaining gayness to children. “As a parent, I’ve often struggled with this for one reason. If I haven’t had the conversation with my child yet, then I feel like I’m taken off guard. Because you’ve gotta have the conversation,” says Cannon. “I was in a situation where there was a teacher who actually had a male partner as well and I was like, Alright, I gotta figure out how to have the conversation. And once you have the conversation, it’s fine. My children, I feel like, are super intelligent. But I could imagine if someone who was against that and then they saw that...This is America so we have the right to feel however they want to feel.”

Cannon jokes that we all were sort of exposed to seemingly gay cartoon characters in our childhood and references Scooby and Shaggy, Fred and Barney. Mostly, this is him failing in his explanation of the nuance required to explain gayness and sexuality to children at various ages, while appearing to lean on the “What will I tell my child?” argument that’s often used as a cover-up for a person’s views on gay people, through the veil of parental obligations.

Cannon continues, breaking down how he might talk about sexuality with his own kids. “This is the world we live in so we can’t act like it doesn’t exist. I actually don’t care because if you look at the core of it, it’s called sexual preference. It’s what you prefer. It’s what those people prefer,” he says. Yikes. “So if I could tell my son, ‘That’s what they like. You don’t have to like what they like. That’s what they prefer. You like what you prefer.’ And it’s as simple as that for kids. When you can break it down so simple for children, they’re like, ‘Oh okay, well I don’t care. They got two dads. They got two moms. I got a mommy and a daddy.’” Ahhh, Mariah help him.

Culture Editor, Jezebel


The Noble Renard

It’s always amusing to me when people are like “but how do I tell my kiiiiiiiiiiids.” Because those people have never conceptualized being gay as not being something primarily sexual. And I think that’s partly because of the phrase “sexual preference” and “homosexual,” but also because so many straight people just really can’t get over their own obsession with dicks in butts.

It’s also that straight people don’t realize that they’re telling kids about heterosexual relationships all the time, but they never think of it that way because to them it’s default and doesn’t need explaining. If you introduce a kid to your adult married friends, you don’t say “Hey little Johnny, this is Samantha and Archibald, he likes to stick his penis inside of her and she pegs him sometimes too!” And yet you are still telling your children their sexual orientation by introducing them as a couple.

Like, come on guys, it’s not rocket science. “You know how mommy and daddy love each other? Well, Dan and Steven love each other too!”