Here in America we accept that homosexuality exists but nobody wants to talk about it. If you're gay, it's a "figure it out for yourself" type of thing because there still, even in 2008, seems to be a fear that if you talk about homosexuality you might cause a younger person to be gay. Is anyone willing to admit that this silence might be damaging? Is this really how we want to raise our kids -- in a world of denial and make-believe where questions disappear if you ignore them?
For instance: Kids are coming out at younger and younger ages these days. However, in this country by the time a child has the ability to look, listen and learn they've already discovered how our nation treats and accepts those who are gay: not well. I am sure there are many parents out there who are supportive of their child and the lifestyles they lead- wonderful, but a far greater majority casually sling around the word fag, trickling down to kids on the playground, teach boys that to be a "man" you play sports, know what competition is and certainly don't cry. There is no room for sensitivity for the American male child.
We all know how the religious right and conservatives feel about homosexuality. That it's an indecent, immoral and sinful way to be or live. There's no room for fags in sports and if you are gay, you better keep your mouth shut about it! Hell, one of our stay at home moms just said, in response to gay-marriage, "This lifestyle is devastating to those in it and devastating to those around them. In every other area, we work to prevent unhealthy behavior, not sanction it with the force of law.”
Great- so let's apply this to the 12, 13, 14, or 15 year old kid who is realizing they have same-sex attraction. Not only do they have to battle themselves and the realization they are not like the majority of their peers but then they battle the idea of identity themselves. We have authority figures telling us that what we're feeling is wrong, bad and sinful. By the time this youth comes out and forms an identity he/she already has a tremendous amount of baggage when all the other youths are simply living their lives to no abandon.
If a child is particularly beaten down- by their church, their parents, their school or their peers when they come out the baggage is that much heavier. As they approach adulthood it would be common and understandable if they carry feelings of worthlessness, self-loathing and general depression. Is this what we want? All you Christians who believe you're speaking FOR Jesus- do you really think Jesus himself would want this? Whole populations of unhealthy, unhappy kids who go on to lead unhappy and unhealthy lives. This is not because we're gay. It's because YOU can't accept it. Wouldn't you suppose this world would be a better place if children were to feel comfortable with who they are and then approach adulthood in that way?
Then, while living adulthood, the gay male and female are regarded as having socially irresponsible lives. All we do is drink, drug, party and have sex, right? We've all heard the rhetoric before. But let's take a look at where gay men and women are allowed to exercise their freedom. There's certainly no public atmosphere where gays and lesbians can congregate out and open, instead there are only nightclubs, bars and other venues which mix booze with our much needed liberation and socialization. Is this OUR fault? Or is it a product of how this nation accepts and treats gay people? Out of sight, out of mind. The drinking age in this nation is 21. In order for a gay youth to meet, mingle and socialize legally he/she would have to wait until they are 21 in order to feel this liberation when their straight peers have been socializing in appropriate and healthy atmospheres all along.
Yes, of course there are organizations and non-profits everywhere allowing safe havens and healthy meeting areas but I'll be honest in saying that when I was a closeted gay teen trying to make my way through the halls of my high school and desperately awaiting the freedom that graduation would offer, going to my local community center to meet other gay and lesbian youths was about as appealing as going to a Hebrew school dance. Lame, cheesy and just not me. Is it any wonder that the Christopher St. kids are hanging on the street, outside of the bars and clubs and not in the "community center?"
If you're straight, religious and/or conservative and think that gay people or the gay community is a mess understand this is YOUR fault, your doing, your upbringing and not ours. We're just trying to be ourselves, getting through life just as you would- yet we have to lug YOUR baggage around as if it were our own. If you keep it up, certain trends are bound to continue, certain trends like...oh, let's just say High School Shootings.