Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Growing Up Gay

Your host, young and gay, circa 1978. The hat belonged to my sister. And yes, that is what you think it is on the shirt.

Not a bad article about how families deal with realizing their child is gay, from the the Murdoch-owned Wall Street Journal about gay kids, even though for a bit I though the writer was about to give far too much time and credence to the whack-jobs at the entirely bogus ACP. This line hit home:

In some cases, children who grow up believing that homosexuality isn't acceptable may try to deny and ignore their own feelings. "We call it going underground," says Dr. Perrin. "They live that way until they are 30 or 40 and say, 'I just can't do it anymore.' Or maybe some of them their whole life live in a pretend world of not feeling quite right but it's the best compromise they can make to feel accepted."

I know what that's like, especially growing up here in the Midwest, where suspicion and hatred of gays can still be pretty high. This article at The New York Times covers some of the same territory. Despite the way the world has changed over the past thirty years or so, the prejudice that young gays often encounter is sometimes overwhelming. If sometimes we seem a bit over-passionate in fighting for gay equality, much of it may have to do with our memories of what it was like to be young, gay, and very often alone.

Keep fighting for equality, and keep working to give these young gay kids hope. Harvey Milk showed us the way; we need to stick with the fight for as long as it takes.


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