Friday, October 21, 2011

Soaked and Thinking

As the temperature struggled to reach 50f in the city, along the Lake Huron coast, it was no higher than 45f. A cold Northern wind was fighting against our umbrellas as the rain pummeled us. I was soaked right to the bone. My black suit seemed extra dark with all the water it was holding and my shoes made squishy noises as I walked. I could hear the waves crashing on the shore across the street, loud and clear over the sounds of the wind through the tall pines.

As I stood there being sprayed from the tires of every passing car, it didn't bother me that I had to stand out there in such weather. My mind drifted at times. It drifted to the fact that in a week, I'll be heading for the tropics. It drifted to the funeral that was about to happen. And the fact that the deceased would never again get to experience everything that I was experiencing at that moment. But I didn't think of the funeral that was about to happen in the little lakeside church I was standing in front of. I thought of the funeral of a young man that I never got the chance to meet. I thought of Jamie Hubley, a gay 15 year old that took his own life last Friday.
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.


That corgi :) said...

I agree with you Stew, we should accept kids as they are and I really think you made good points if we are forcing kids to define any of their personality, likes, etc when they are still in high school. I know when my son was in high school and just graduated, some of the kids he hanged around with were getting into lots of trouble, using drugs, etc but I reminded myself that he, as well as his friends, might not be the same kids in three to four or more years down the line, that the Joe of then would not necessarily be the Joe in years ahead with maturity, etc. I hope you get my point with what I'm saying.

that's my thoughts, for what they are worth :)


Stew said...

Your point is well received Betty.
Thank you for your input.