Friday, October 21, 2011
Soaked and Thinking
I can't get it out of my head that yet another teen has chosen to not wait and experience all that this life has to offer. My heart goes out to all that knew and loved him. I'm sure that he had the love and support of those around him. His youtube videos reflected a young man that was comfortable and proud of who he was.
You may think at this point, this is going to be another post about bullying. But it's not!
My concern is that with all the hype over coming out and being proud of who you are, perhaps we are wrongly encouraging our youth to come out too soon. At 15, you've barely begun to think about sex. No matter if you are straight or gay or anywhere in between, maybe we should lay off the kids and let them be kids. Why do you have to announce what you like, when you've only just begun to realize it yourself.
I knew when I walked in to the kindergarten class at the ripe age of 5, that I liked boys better than girls. But I had no idea why. And I didn't care. As everyone else started to "go steady" with a girl, I just figured that it hadn't happened for me yet. If you would have asked me in Junior High School, if I was straight or gay, I couldn't have answered you.
Last spring, a good friend text me in the middle of the night. She was very upset and couldn't sleep. Her 13 year old son had come out to her that night and she was afraid for his safety, having come out at such a young age. We texted, emailed and talked, until they were both more comfortable with his proclamation. I think now, we've all come to a better place about the situation.
At first, I was proud of such a young man to make such an announcement. I was in my 30's before I did it. Perhaps, I waited too long. Perhaps, he didn't wait long enough. It's OK to be yourself, whoever that is, but sometimes, you need to find out who you are, before you go and announce it to everyone. I know our friends son will be fine because he has some of the greatest parents I've ever seen and plenty of friends to fall back on as well.
Back to my point though, I think as a society, we are forcing our kids to make these decisions way before they need to. And it seems the more we fight for gay equality, the earlier these kids are making the jump from kid to adult. So what's the answer? In my opinion, we should accept kids no matter what. And if Jimmy wants to date Sally this week and Joey next week, then let him be.
That's my opinion, I'd love to hear the opinions from all sides on this one.