Tuesday, March 20, 2007

When I was in college I had to do a paper on homosexuality. I don’t remember what the title of the paper was but I wanted to have valid research. I called the Gay Alliance organization and they invited me in to speak to several of their groups. I was appreciative and very enlightened at the meeting. The people in the meeting were open, talkative and honest. I remember that the consensus was that people who are interested in the same sex was either born that way, it came from their environment, or introduced to it through molestation, experimentation, etc. I learned a lot but still that was so very long ago. Still, I have never had a problem with people expressing their sexuality and still don’t.

At the meetings that I attended and from the research that I gathered I felt that I understood the choices that people make or rather the choices that some felt were made for them. Yet, lately I have been feeling conflicted about young teens coming out.

If you are between the ages of 12-18 do you really know if you prefer to love the same sex? So many teens in our area are announcing that they are gay, that the schools are starting gay clubs to make sure that they are showing diversity. But still I wondered, how they can really know if they are so young. I have had so many parents call me to say that their child has made this announcement. I have even talked to several teens that came to discuss this. Finally last night I saw a young man who went to school with my daughter. Unfortunately, I did not recognize him because he has changed his name is now dressing like a girl and is quite beautiful. He was with four other former males. They had all the attention of every man on that parking lot. I guess I just don’t understand if this is a trend, experimentation, or is it real.

I’m not looking for negative comments. I am looking for what to say when teens say to me that I am now gay or bi-sexual. It is not up to us to judge anyone but to come to an understanding.

What’s going on?


Nancy said...

Wow. I truly believe that people are hard wired in their sexuality because I know someone who is gay and always has been -- his life has been extremely difficult, and he would not have chosen it if it were up to him.

In grade school we were chased by boys who were obviously attracted to us. I think we can feel it early on...but body dysmorphic disorder and then a change to the other gender, even without surgery, at the age of 12 scares the daylights out of me. I don't know what the answer is for these kids, but my heart breaks for them as they struggle. They have a long road ahead of them for sure.

Great post.

BostonPobble said...

I knew I was heterosexual early, early on. My biosister knew she was bisexual early, early on. Only I was the one who people (other than our parents who were Just Fine with biosis) didn't think was Going Through A Phase. It struck me how many people were willing to think that about biosis when not a single person thought it about me.

Perhaps the upcoming generation is more open than we were. Perhaps they use sexuality as shock value the same way my friends and I used black clothing and black lipstick.

As for what to say when someone tells you they are gay or bi, that's something really only you can decide. My experience with it as I have watched my friends and biosis go through it is that honesty is better than patronizing or condescending. If you have questions, ask them. If you think it's okay, say that. If you are concerned about it, be concerned about it. Just make sure this person knows you love them still/regardless. If it is a shock value stage, they will later appreciate your support while they were going through that rebellious part. If it is not a stage and is actually who they are (which you need to be ready for as sexuality does tend to be known early on), they will appreciate your honesty and love throughout their lives.

Of course, this and a buck fifty... ;)

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