Since earlier this week, the media has been ablaze with stories of these high school/college students that have been committing suicide due to the pain of being gay.
However this post is not about it, at least not directly. I can’t say anything different about everyone else has said about these tragedies, as much as I would like. I will just say a blanket “You are special, you will make it through this, and it will get better.” This, I promise to each and every person struggling through high school, gay or straight. This problem goes beyond sexual orientation. This problem involves our youth and being thrown to the bitchy adolescents that will rip apart your soul and mind and feed it to rabid dogs. However. It. Will. Get. Better. I promise. /hugs
But, like I said, this post isn’t about this, at least not directly. As I am self-obsessed, I would like to talk about me. And, strangely, this doesn’t even discuss an experience with high school. This has to do with my parents, my father specifically, and a conversation I had with him over supper one night.
This happened about 8 months ago or sometime around there. Mike was gone for weeks at a time for work and, because I’m super sad when it comes to my culinary skills, I turned to my mommy for food. I knew that my mommy “wouldn’t let her poor baby starve,” so I knew that I could count on her to feed me when Mike, aka my personal chef, was out of town. So, anyways, we were eating supper at their house when dad announced his Big Idea.
Now, I will first start off that my dad is a good man. He has the best of intentions and is genuinely a nice guy, as he was raised in the cornfields and possessed by the evil force that resides in the corn fields (see “Children of the Corn”). However, having said this, sometimes he’s quite insane. Mad, even.
Anyways, he goes on to explain to me his grand idea. He wants to start up a gay support group for this area. At first I find this to be a great idea, as this area needs something like this. We are a small burb in the middle of no where and having a gay support group for teens, and adults alike, can go for help in dealing with the hell of coming out.
However, before expressing my support, I was reminded of me coming out to my parents. Remembering the shame of, after coming out to my parents, being forced to discuss this with my youth pastor and then taken to a councilor to see what was wrong with me, I asked dad what he was planning on preaching at such a support group.
I then saw dad fidget. And when my father fidgets, I know what is going to come out of his mouth is not good. At all.
“Well, I want to tell them the truth. The truth that, even though what they’re doing is sinful, it doesn’t mean that God doesn’t love them. And I’d like for you and Mike to help me.”
So, you want to tell emotional and possibly unstable youth that what they’re feeling, doing, and being is wrong? I mean, in what fantasy world do you think that this is supportive and helpful? Gay teens are, what, twice as likely to kill themselves versus their straight counterparts. You might as well just give them a sharp kitchen knife and tell them the correct way to cut themselves. And then, to want me and my lover/boyfriend/butt buddy to preach that to them?
“Yes, we are the poster child of this sermon! We know that we are living in sin but it’s SUPER. DUPER. OK!”
Sometimes my father gets super excited to help people, I get that. But he really needs to think things through before even bringing the subject up outside of his head.
So, essentially, I answered his question with the following, “Gay teens are highly emotionally charged and if you tell them that what they’re doing/who they are isn’t OK instead of being accepting you will do more harm then good.”
He then asked if any of my gay friends would be interested in going to such a group. Obviously he didn’t hear me about doing more harm then good. Maybe he’s just looking for a large audience to push over the edge, not concerned with the repercussions.
And, hello, I live in the middle of the cornfields. WHAT GAY FRIENDS!!?? I had to whore myself out on the internet to find Mike and I won’t even discuss on the internet what I had to do to convince him to move over here with me, next to the horses and cows.
And my father was shocked that I didn’t have gay friends. Because, obviously, gay people belong to a secret club and I have access to the member roster.
And to be honest, Mike and I tried to have gay friends. But said gay friends always wanted to just have sex with us. And I wouldn’t be totally against such a proposal, but they always end up being slightly stupid. Sorry, I can’t sleep with stupid. Ugly, however, I can fix with a pillow case over their head (if I tell you that I’d like to play “KKK Clan Member Butt Sex,” then sorry you fall into the ugly crowd). But I digress.
After many heated, yet carefully crafted, sentences, I think I convinced Dad that his idea was sheer madness and no one deserved being told that being who they were was wrong. So with a few well spoken words I saved some of our queer youth in the area mental anguish. Go Me.
And to those that are living through hell, aka High School, right now. Trust me guys. It does get better.