Saturday, November 6, 2010

"Never Been Kissed"

Tonight's Glee was about teh gays.

This is a really empty summary, but it's true.

It dared to ask:

What does the world do to people like Kurt - boys who don't fit our mold of masculinity?
What does the world do to people like Coach Beiste - straight women who don't fit our mold of femininity?
And how does what we do affect Dave - the closeted Neanderthal football player?

I grew up gay.  I always was.  Even when I was coming up with a complicated scheme to ask Eric to the Sadie Hawkins Dance or flirting with Nate in French class, every move was made to draw the attention of the girls around us.  At sixteen, I finally opened my mouth and admitted it - to myself, and to my friends.

I was never bullied.  I was never made fun of.  A few friends did tell me that I was going to hell.  But they were friends, and they had the goodness (I do think it was goodness) to tell me what they thought was truth to my face.  In the high school world of cattiness and backstabbing, I was treated like a human being.  (Church was another matter, as I've said before.)

In my senior year, I came out to my entire AP Psychology class.  We were told to re-create the box of ourselves - the outside that we showed to everyone else, and the inside that we hid.  I built a triangle box, and covered it in rainbows, and when the time came for my turn to share whatever I cared to share, I opened the box.

Many of my classmates opened their boxes and bared their souls that day.  But I was the only one to receive a card the next day - started by two of my classmates, and signed by all of them, saying, "Thank you for your courage."
(And yes...I still have it:

And I still have it.)
Now, it was a high school of six hundred to a graduating class, and there were only thirty in AP Psych.  And there was certainly cattiness everywhere, and mean things thought and said.  And I was fighting my own darkness - it wasn't all rainbows and unicorns.  But when I think about how my sexuality was handled - all I remember is love.

My world is not the world for all gay children and youth.  Many of us are born into families that hate us.  Many of us go to church and hear ourselves damned.  Many of us go to school and are mocked and teased and hated even more.

Some of us end up on the street.

Some of us end up on drugs.

Some of us end up in abusive relationships because it's the only place we can find love.

Some of us - Seth, Asher, Justin, Billy, Tyler, Raymond, and now Brandon - can't survive.

And I think all of us feel alone.

I was blessed to be born to a family and a church and a community that loved me.  It is the church's job now to be that community to every one of my suffering queer brothers and sisters.  There is too much hurt in the world, and too much joy to be had, for us to be silent.

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