The Year of Moving Forward

The Year of Moving Forward
At our 4 person wedding reception in DC

Friday, January 21, 2011

Put it to rest

Let's put it to rest.

It's not a choice.

Like Peter said,

While I don’t advertise being gay, I never steer away from an opportunity to educate the straight world that gay is who we are and it’s OK. That it’s the way God created us, and that they can either get over it - or spend their lives fuming about it. That is the only choice in the matter!

Many of you have seen my entry on Born This Way, a web site where ordinary people submit pictures depicting early signs that they were gay.

The site is full of mostly happy stories by mostly adults remembering mostly joyful times of their mostly innocent childhoods.

But then there are some that just make you think. The pictures don't always tell the whole story.

Here's John, age 5.

Somewhat typical of many of the photos, John's pose is certainly suggestive of a fabulousness that many gay kids exhibit at an early age.

But John goes on to explain that this photo was taken "before the taunting, before the indoctrination, before the forced sports, before the shame, before the Southern and the gothic."

And, John says the boy in the photo is clearly being himself, but that he "doesn't remember him," but takes "great joy in knowing that somewhere inside me is the boy in this photo."

Now, would a 5 year old boy "choose" to steer himself into situations that elicit taunting and shame?

Or take Matt, another southern boy, at age 6.

Matt joined the Cub Scouts that year. If I remember Cub Scouts correctly, it was about teaching boys the traits that make them into honorable men. Traits like honesty, and being truthful.

Matt was just being honest when he shared his dream of what he would be when he grew up at a scout meeting where they were all sitting around telling what they wanted to be (firemen, astronauts, bee farmers, or the Incredible Hulk).

He was just being truthful and honest when his turn came around.

When it came to me I honestly told the room: 'My husband is going to be a policeman, and I'll be living in a 3-bedroom house, with flowers and a beagle - and I'll make the best ice cream in the world.'

My suspicion about not fitting in was solidified at that moment.

Everyone got upset, and the Scout Master started yelling at me - 'You can't do that! You're an abomination, a heathen!' - and my personal favorite - 'Devil Child!' (you know the drill).

The Scout Master then made me sit outside on the front steps of the church by myself, while they finished their meeting. As night crept in, I remember feeling so lonely and afraid. I must have been out there for a couple hours by the time the meeting ended.

When all the laughing kids came spilling out of the church and into their parents' cars, I asked the Scout Master about calling my mom to let her know the meeting had ended. And he loudly declared 'Oh, I KNOW whoever put you up to this is coming to get you!' Then he left me alone, at night, sitting in front of this locked church, in the dark. I had to get the janitor that came later, to call my mom.

So I guess all that talk of being honest and telling the truth...well maybe they were just trying to prepare him for Don't Ask Don't Tell. I mean, under that policy service members were expected to lie about who they are. Cub Scouts (and Boy Scouts) are expected to do the same, I guess.

And I don't think Matt would "choose" to continue on with being gay after this ridicule (and after what happened when his mom picked him on his link and read).

Here is my little story on Born this Way. Nothing quite that dramatic.

Click on Born this Way and read a few of the stories. And then try to justify saying that being gay, or lesbian, or bisexual or transgender is a choice. You can't do it. Because it is not.

1 comment:

DJ Paul V. said...

Many thanks for covering my "Born This Way" blog! And, showing two of the hardest submissions to read. I mean that in the most positive way, because people need to know: these feelings are real, and there are gay kids feeling this way as we speak.

The blog features the dark and the light, and I think both are equally important!

Best, Paul V.