Thursday, February 08, 2007

Gay teens coming out earlier to peers and family

Hallelujah! This is great news. Thank you, George Bush. Thank you, Karl Rove. Thank you, James Dobson. Thank you, Papa Ratzi. And a big fat wet smooch to all you homophobic wing-nuts out there who helped make this such a “flaming” success. This wouldn’t have happened without your help:

Gay teenagers are "coming out" earlier than ever, and many feel better about themselves than earlier generations of gays, youth leaders and researchers say. The change is happening in the wake of opinion polls that show growing acceptance of gays, more supportive adults and positive gay role models in popular media.

I really believe that one day the Republican Party will rue the day they connected themselves to the hips of religious extremists like James Dobson, Jerry Falwell, and Pat Robertson.

Andrew Sullivan is thinking it spells disaster for them too:

The accelerating pace of social acceptance [of gays], whether you like it or not, is an empirical fact. I wonder how many Republicans realize that the Rove strategy of appealing to fundamentalist faith as the critical political ideology of the right could eventually destroy the conservative movement. It might have secured a few short-term victories, but at the expense of medium-term coherence as a coalition and long-term collapse. And I have a suspicion that the collapse could come sooner than some might imagine.

Well that collapse Andrew speaks of ----- can’t happen soon enough for this Seething Mom.



Jarred said...

You know, this is one of those topics I have mixed feelings about. On the one hand, I'm glad that gay youth are coming out at younger ages. I sometimes think of the numerous opportunities I probably missed simply because I waited until just before I graduated college, not to mention the turmoil I put myself through during high school and most of college. So in that sense, I'm quite happy to see young people starting out on the path of self-acceptance sooner.

At the same time, I find myself hoping that the youth doing so are doing so out of informed courage rather than brazen idealism. While things certainly have gotten better over the past several years and sources of support are far more numerous these days, there are still those various dangers in coming out -- especially if someone does so to the "wrong person." And I do hope that these young people have not forgotten that and are still doing what they can to keep themselves safe when necessary.

Darth Gateau said...

Hi. My comment isn't really about your latest post but about your blog in general. I've just read your post about how you found out about your son and it literally had my heart pounding.

I'm 37 years old and have only in the last two weeks told my parents I'm gay. It was the most difficult conversation I think I've ever had. It took my dad a little longer than my mum to be able to speak. I decided, before I told them, that they're my parents and no matter what their reaction, I would still/could only always love them.
I'm proud to say that, like you, they found it a bit of a shock but they recovered fairly quickly to emphasise that they could not stop loving me because of the recent turn of events.

You're doing your son proud and your country should look to people like you as a shining example of understanding, tolerance and above all love.

Laura said...

Hehe. It is true that teenagers are coming out more, and earlier. I'm 17, and fairly open about the fact that I'm bisexual. While my mother and I have not had a conversation (it simply has never come up) in which I "came out" per se, she did walk in on my girlfriend and I cuddling on my bed and watching a movie; to which her only response was "Turn the light on.", which we did, and never heard another word about it. We are also open at school, holding hands in the hallways and answering truthfully when asked about it. Occasionally, there's a negative comment, but that is increasingly rare, and as the only (out) same-sex couple in school, we've become simply part of the woodwork, and no one really notices anymore.
I know several...okay, many "queer" (when I say that, it is not derogatory, it is simply a general term for gay/lesbian/bisexual, to save me the trouble of typing gay/lesbian/bisexual repeated times) teenagers who are younger than I am, 13, 14, 15, 16 years old, and are completely comfortable and open about their sexualities. This could be because of their environment (most of them attend the homeschooling center I used to), but I think it says something about our society, dare I say, our society's growth.
The dangers in coming out are numerous, and if you are a queer teen, or know one, you are well-aware of what those dangers are. Sad fact is that barring a revolution of our world into a utopian society, those dangers will always, always be present and active. However, as time goes on, the benefits continue to arise and will eventually trump the fallbacks; simply because as our culture adapts and accepts, progresses forward, we gain a little more equality, and a little more strength, every day. That, to me, is enough encouragement to develop some faith and trust in our world.