You know you are old fashioned when you feel unnerved when people come out saying that they are gay.
My sexual resume has not been entirely heterosexual, but I think I fall pretty squarely in the non-LGBT side of the equation. So, yeah, I’m not gay. Full disclosure. But I have never had any real issue with other people being gay (as long as they are not trying to get in my pants). That said, I cannot help feeling queasy when I see boys coming out to their friends and family about their sexuality at too young an age.
Have you ever heard of Jack Andraka? He actually invented a new test for pancreatic cancer when he was 13 years old. He became a sort of 15-minute celebrity. But he was already openly gay. And this very cute boy was saying on YouTube and other media “I’m 13 years old! I’m gay! And I’m going to labs in universities to study molecular biology! How cool is that!” News flash, kid. Universities are full of pervs. The campuses are filled with people aged 16 to 25 who have nothing on their minds but sex. And not all of them are hetero.
I used to be a pretty boy myself and I know first hand what kind of predators are out there. Hell, I might have been one myself. I was just surfing through YouTube when I came across another young boy who just published his first book, Jamie B. Laurie, who is probably still a teenager. Congrats about the book, but take off that rainbow wrist band, will you? I know it’s empowering and all to accept yourself for what you are, but there is a mean world out there full of bad people and you shouldn’t be exposing yourself this way.
Gay pride is fine. Rainbow flags are fine. But let’s be real here. Pretty young boys should not go around advertising their sexuality to a world full of sick predators. Doesn’t anybody know that boys get raped just as often as girls? And if you think female rape victims are likely to become silent sufferers, when is the last time you heard about a male teenage rape victim pressing charges?
So you were bullied in high school by the other boys because you looked effeminate? You think that’s a problem? Well, you’ve been set up for a big surprise boys.
Am I being old fashioned? Probably. Am I worrying too much? Probably not.
One thought on “Gay Boys Coming Out (Don’t do it!)”
I can sort of understand your being uncomfortable with the tendency for today’s youth to come out at much younger ages than in the past, but isn’t it a bit silly to justify that on the basis that our society is full of predators? Are the predators any less prevalent if their victim is closeted? – The argument doesn’t make sense on a basic level. If predators are *that* common, why would a “pretty boy” go outside at all? Is this maybe stemming from your own discomfort with the idea that young people today are generally more open about being sexual beings than they were when we were 13?
As far as kids being unsafe on university campuses, I think you’re grossly overestimating the risk. Firstly, I doubt that a 13-year-old scholar doing research in a college lab is doing so unsupervised. They also wouldn’t typically be in a situation where they’re living alone in a dorm without a parent or guardian present. Given those facts, the opportunities for malfeasance are probably pretty minimal.
I also know of no evidence to support the idea that being openly gay makes someone more likely to be sexually assaulted than if they stayed closeted. If anything, I would suggest that the reverse might be true, since part of the reason male/male sexual assaults are under-reported is to avoid the stigma of being perceived as gay…
I think what this boils down to is that you and I are part of a generation where the average age of coming out was in the late teens and early 20’s. When I was attending Ohio University in the years leading up to the new millennium, I knew quite a few gay men who came out at 13-16 years of age. It’s reflective of a society where attitudes to sexual differences are evolving seemingly at lightning speed. To us it may seem strange and unnerving, but to them that’s just how it is. I would go so far as to assert that even the nature of “coming out” has fundamentally changed. It no longer means what it used to. To the current generation, while there is still some risk involved, it’s far less of a big deal, and casual acceptance by ones’ peers is more common than not. (results may vary based on where they live, and the religious climate in their families) I might also add that these kids aren’t always making a profound political point or an agonized revelation. Sometimes it’s as simple as saying “I’m here, I’m queer” in the hopes of meeting other LGBT youth. That was almost unheard of in our day, when a positive response was far from certain, but this is a new era, and the support mechanisms for LGBT teens today are far more robust than anything known to our generation.