Saturday, July 28, 2007
what I've been up too...
The time seems to pass ever so quickly these days, week after week, month after month, I honestly don't know where it has all gone. I have also been a very bad blogger. There are a number of reasons why I have taken so much time in between posts, the least of which is that my blog is being read by many who are close to me. I am not saying it has completely prevented me from posting, if that were the case, I would have abandoned the blog entirely, or deleted it. I learned my lesson the last time, and it won't happen again. I am who I am, and nobody is going to change that, no matter what sort of negativity and insults they throw my way. If they feel the need to lash out because of their own ignorance, then lash away, they will be there looking like a fool in the end, not me.
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I have a topic for discussion today in any case, and it's not one which will be received well by all who happen upon this place (my sidebar excluded of course, I am talking about certain ignorant lurkers).
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What would you do if your teenager came to you and (somewhat reluctantly) admitted that they believed they were Gay? What would your reaction be?
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This paragraph serves well as an introduction to my own answer, it is taken from this site.

"Unconditional love provides the cornerstone for a child’s self-esteem. It’s the love that communicates to a child, “I believe in you, I’m here for you, and I love you no matter what.” Unfortunately, what many kids get is conditional love. The “I love you if…” or “Yes, but…” kind of love that is impossible for children to obtain and erodes their self-esteem. "
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ok now for my answer...
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Homosexuality is not a choice (as if this is new news) and we, as parents, have to be very careful how we react (should we have a negative disposition when it comes to what has been coined "that lifestyle"), when confronted by our child who has had the strength (and yes even in this day and age it takes great courage for a child to admit they are having these feelings) to come to us, open up, and talk about their innermost feelings. I consider it a blessing they are comfortable enough to discuss it, and so should any parent.
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I realize that for some of us who were raised and grew up in an atmosphere where homosexuality was cast in a negative light (which even today seems to be more the case than not) it might be very difficult to accept that our child might be gay. There may be worries about the child's future, about (and unjustly of course) promiscuity, Aids, a lifetime of ostracization by "society", and the last and most important concern, loneliness. Given all of this it is understandable (I do not mean to imply these conclusions/assumptions are the result of anything other than pure ignorance, but in all fairness we can not at first hold them against the parent, we are after all, only human and subject to ideals and beliefs formed by our enviornment, society, and life experience). Given this, a parent might initially suffer deep and heart wrenching angst when confronted with this "revelation" his or her child has chosen to share.
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This is where a parent's inner strength and unconditional love and support for their child must arise above all, no matter the parent's own biases and preconceived notions regarding homosexuality and "the homosexual lifestyle" (which is almost as ridiculous as the phrase "heterosexual lifestyle", there is no such thing in my opinion, only the stereotypes, which are surely a minority).
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To the parent... this is not about you, this is your child reaching out to you and asking for your acceptance. Your own personal biases must be put aside, or discussed privately with other adult family and friends and not to be forced upon your child in a momentary display of personal weakness. The child should not be the receiving ground for your own insecurities and biases, teenagers (some more than others) have enough of these issues going through their heads without absorbing or being subjected to yours. The fact is they have done nothing wrong and casting negative comments upon them will serve no purpose but to cause them even more emotional confusion. Think before you react. A silent initial reaction (if the only way) is far less detrimental to a fragile teenage psyche than a verbal assault.
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one last thing....
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Recently a co-worker discovered that one of her teenage sons had been perusing pornography on the internet, which she quickly reacted to by taking away his computer. I agree with her decision of course, and I would have done the same thing. In this day and age, ten minutes alone with a computer can unlock a world of in-appropriate web sites. It is no different really than when many of us were young and would steal our father's "dirty magazines" or videos while parents were away. It is a normal thing for a teenager to be curious about their sexuality. We all did it, some even took it further than mags/videos, some experienced the "real thing" with peers. As I said it is a NORMAL part of growing up and discovering oneself. I only mention this co-worker because it was homosexual pornography that her son had been searching for on the internet. You might have thought the child had been looking up sites on beastiality or necrophelia, somehow to her homosexual pornography could be likened to those two truly disturbing "interests" and it saddened me. The fact is the teenager is not abnormal, there is nothing out of the ordinary about his actions, given that he was unsupervised at that time and free to explore what his hormones were beckoning him to. He should be reprimanded yes, and punished accordingly by taking away internet privledges, but certainly not made to feel like he is a deviant, and that is how she handled it. He hadn't come to her evidently and talked about his feelings, so essentially it was a double shock to her system and she went with her gut reaction, which in my opinion was completely wrong.
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My step-father knew I was taking his magazines out of the bedstand in my parents bedroom when I was 13/14 yet my parents never said a word to me. One day they vanished and I could never again find where he had hidden them. That, to me was the type of reaction appropriate to the situation. But then again they were straight magazines, so why worry?
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ok so...
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Hope everyone is having a great weekend .. :)
3 Comments:
Blogger Doug said...
A very deep topic, which you covered admirably.

Something I'd add: when a parent conceives of a child growing up gay and all the trials of being gay, they somehow think the child's life would be some utopia if s/he were straight. You mentioned promiscuity, AIDS, being ostracized, and being lonely. How would being straight solve any of these? At least being gay removes the probability of teenage pregnancy.

Great post. I hope you're doing well. *hugs*

Blogger Brad said...
I agree with Doug. This is a well written post. It made me wonder what my dad feelings were with my coming out.

Blogger Scotty said...
I have been down this road with my son...when he was 10...of course now he says he is straight. In both cases i told him that whatever he was is OK as long as he is happy.

Great post!