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Wait until they are out of High school to come out

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Category: Anti-Violence and Tolerance Forum
Forum Name: For Parents and Teachers
Forum Discription: A place for parents and teachers to find solutions for stopping violence in schools.
Printed Date: Aug 19 2022 at 10:07pm

Topic: Wait until they are out of High school to come out
Posted By: TJF
Subject: Wait until they are out of High school to come out
Date Posted: Jul 09 2008 at 7:30am

I have a different perspective on the role of Gay/lesbian support groups. I think too many of them are filled with activists using schools as a social petrie dish. Children need to be protected from the realities of this imperfect world. There are people out there who will hate you for no good reason and they will do you harm. Thats reality and we as educators and parents have a sacred responsibility to make this clear to kids who may wish to shout out to the world or their school that they are gay and proud.

Not all gay kids are the same. And Im sure they understand not just from a religious or moral perspective that their sexual orientation goes against certain laws of nature. They can see that the species is perpetuated through intercourse between a man and a woman, that their sexual desires played out produce nothing but potential health problems for themselves and those with whom they have sex. This is a basic human understanding of life and no amount of "understanding" by well meaning people or psychologists nor the societal pressures from religious groups and peer groups is going to change that innate understanding.

Plus these kids have other worries to think about for their future. For adults to advise them to "come out" because its "who they are" says that the societies views are paramount rather than their own. Is it not possible for lawrence or any other kid to just be himself without making a grand statement or worse approaching kids who are known to hate him in a condescending or flirtatious way? Reality is that not only is lawrence a kid unable to fully realise the ramifications of his actions but so is the kid who murdered him.  You want to build his self esteem show him he is loved and special, but dont ask him to conduct social experiments with obviously maladjusted kids.

If you look at the case history of the killer you will see that he was tormented as well, inside and out by family and friends.

As a teacher myself here in Korea, I go out of my way to defend the kids who are tormented by others. Human nature or even animal instinct is to sense weakness and exploit it, I know, I have bullied and been bullied. We suffer from inferiority complexes so when we see people inferior to us in some way we pounce. Some kids have bad parents, others bad friends, role models etc. life isnt fair. Our job as parents and teachers is to comfort kids who are struggling and guide them through their schooling to see themselves as we and God sees them. But we must advise against them taking silly risks with their safety. Kids who are still trying to find themselves can react differently to a seemingly innocuous gesture, but some will rspond violently to what they consider a threat, to their reputation their pride their esteem or their honor . We need to help students make it through school safely and I believe that expecting kids to come out of the closet and shout it from the rooftops is putting their safety in danger. That is the reality in an imperfect world.

We can blame the churches, the politicians, the teachers and parents but the solution is for now to avoid provocation until the child is old enough and mature enough to live their lives as openly gay men and women. Wait until they are out of high school!

Posted By: Woodstock
Date Posted: Jul 20 2008 at 1:53pm
What you say sounds reasonable, BUT!!
 I grew up in the South when society was in turmoil over civil rights and school integration. Many said black children should not try to go to all-white schools because they would provoke violence.
 Not that they had a  legal right to do so, and that racism should be eradicated. I was reading a book about Jackie Robinson integrating major league baseball-same argument, he would not be accepted, he might get hurt, etc.
 People have a right to be who they are. Their rights should be protected. What we need to do is not tell gay kids to hide in the closet, but eradicate the sexist,homophobic macho conditioning that boys are brought up with, something that is a threat to  girls and women as well as to kids like Larry.

Posted By: TJF
Date Posted: Jul 20 2008 at 9:54pm
I cant tell you how many times people have tried to connect the fight for black civil rights to the gayrights movement. They are not the same for the primary reason that Gay people can hide who they are Blacks can not.
As a very large man, I have the right to speak loudly, point and stand over people as I argue with them. Its not my fault I am large with a deep voice and a bald head. Just because women  and children are intimidated by me, doesnt mean I have to stop being who i am  to make them feel comfortable!  However, I do lower my voice, sit down and don't point in order to keep the peace and allow the conversation to flow. Why? because sometimes conformity is a sign of respect for all involved.
Jesus once said that nothing that God has created shall be declared unclean. Yet, circumstances may dictate for one not to eat a certain food item because a person you have invited for dinner finds it morally offensive. Therefore, Jesus says dont eat that in order to keep the peace.  Conversley, homosexuality when outwardly expressed through dress, speech or otherwise,  can be construed as morally offensive and in the interest of peace a homosexual, as a sign of respect and humility could desist from such behaviour in that environment.  Just a thought! Wink

Posted By: Woodstock
Date Posted: Jul 23 2008 at 10:52am
And why should anyone have to hide who they are? And by the way light-skinned blacks have tried to hide by "passing " as white.
 Your point about speaking softly and politely has to with good manners,the way one treats others. And as for the food reference, no, I would not serve a practicing Jewish or Muslim friend pork,or alcohol to a Mennonite friend. But I would hope they would respect my right to follow my own conscience.
 As for expression by dress and so forth, I remember back when long hair became fashionable for men and boys. Some folks reacted with distaste, even rage and violence. Long hair on men was something they associated with everything bad-communism, drugs, and yes homosexuality. Their was a scene in the movie classic ""Easy Rider" when Peter Fonda and Dennis Hopper were called "Yankee queers" based on their appearance.
 Should those of us with long hair have cut it to appease these people, with their closed minds and prejudices, hidden our identity of being something other than people who went to church and voted Republican?
 Oscar Wilde said that "selfishness was not living as one wishes, its wanting others to live as one wishes." How true.
 Its fine to try to respect others rights and feelings, not at the cost of one's dignity. I might not initiate say a political discussion with someone whose views I knew were diametrically opposed to my own. But if they brought it up I would not stand by passively and not respond with my own views.

Posted By: amatterofopinion
Date Posted: Aug 16 2008 at 1:47am
personally, I feel this entire situation comes down to a matter of respect.

the school dress policy was not respected and was violated which lead to the "attention" factor in this case.
If there someone bullying  larry, then larry's rights as an individual and "to be himself" were not respected...
but in the same context, if larry did send this kid a valentine knowing he was straight (and/or possibly homophobic) he was not respecting the other person's right to be himself  and not want this sort of "attention" thrusted upon him. even worse- if this other kid was in the closet and larry drew attention to him... can you imagine how he might feel?

Stories such as this always draw my attention because they seem to be one sided. I hear a lot of people saying "hate" driven crime here but I hear very few people speaking of respect for other's opinions and lifestyles.... unless they are gay. So what about respect for straight folks way of life?

I know plenty of gay males who like to shove it down your throat that they are gay.... hitting on and rubbing on straight guys they know are homophobic including but not limited to talking about their sexual adventures in public places with vioces one stop short of a yell. It's great that some people are gay and some people are straight and some people are bi. I'm bi. There is no reason for the whole world to know all the details of my last night sex romp. Nor is there any reason to make advances at someone who has told you they are not interested- regardless of if it's attraction based or sexuality based.

respect starts when EVERYONE starts considering other people involved in the situation and their "preferences" and respects that. If a girl indicates to me that she is not interested, we don't have another word about it out of respect for her opinion and preferences. I don't try to talk her into it (for forcing her into a uncomfortable situation which puts her on a publicly displayed offensive position), I don't publicly give her gifts (or privately for that matter)and I don't keep trying- That's respect.

I'm actually disgusted and saddened by the situation at the same time... saddened at the loss of not one life (larry's) but the waste of both boys' lives. I'm disgusted  by the lack of intervention  by ALL ADULTS in knowledge of this situation prior to the shooting. And last- I'm really fearful of what is going to happen to this shooter after he goes to jail. If he is  homophobic then he is being sentenced to his worst nightmare which I'm sure he wasn't considering when he pulled the trigger. The way I see it, both of these children were the age of "young adults".... and young adults should be looking to adults for guidance. Where were the adults and the guidance?

while I feel for the parents in this situation and send my condolences on the loss of their child, I do not feel they should win anything from the school district in their case regarding the school dress code. Parents are the first line of defense and the school is the second. It is not the state's responsibility to look out for and care for your child's well being- it's the parents. You made the child (or adopted in some cases), it's your responsibility to care for the child.

Posted By: belovedreborn
Date Posted: Aug 19 2008 at 4:51pm

My Dear TJF,
As I read what I have written I realize I have barely begun to cover the simplistic, not well thought out and not well written first paragraph of your commentary.  I have decided to submit it as I have written it.  In re-reading your entire commentary I am so very tempted to respond to each of your statements, line by line and word for word.  I sense that this would be too long for a reply to the forum.  This is a forum and if there are those who would like to see a longer  more complete reply to your commentary they will say so.  I doubt this will be the case.  Simplicity, being what it is, the ultimate complexity, therefore WYSIWYG!

How nice it must be to live in a perfect world...or is it those rose colored glasses you have on.
This might be sage advice, except that one's sexual awareness which includes ones gender awareness and ones awareness of sexual desires that may or may not coincide with a person's church and society, rarely wait until they are "out of High School."  These issues are usually played out on the panorama of school beginning in Junior High School and they are rarely able to be hidden from others and certainly if they are it takes a very focused and very fearful  person to do this.  These years are, for the human child imbued with much, fantasy, feeling, experiment and learning in all areas of life that will ultimately lead to a life, if one is very lucky, that is inherently acceptable to the individual, regardless of societies mores, and is a life lead with out fear or shame.  As far as I am concerned, forcing any young person to wait until they are out of High School is sentencing them to those years filled with shame and fear, "Will I be found out?"  There is no conceivable way that you can convince me that those years I spent in Junior High School and High School and the thirty years afterward that I lived in abject fear, often paralyzing fear, and turmoil of someone finding out I was transgendered was better for me than if I had had some form of outreach in school that helped me to accept myself and showed me how worthwhile I was.  Coming from one who survived this I will tell you that you are SIMPLY WRONG, and because of this blood was shed and lives were lost.  Understanding and compassion DO NOT happen in a vacuum, especially the false vacuum you espouse when you say, "Wait until after High School."

I also absolutely disagree with and take supreme umbrage at this opening statement of yours,

>> "I have a different perspective on the role of Gay/lesbian support groups. I think too many of them are filled with activists using schools as a social petrie dish. Children need to be protected from the realities of this imperfect world.">> 

This is a purely homophobic comment that comes straight out of the church and societies first not be different, do not be a blip on the screen.  You are imperfect and you are not worthy, you are different in a shameful way and it will not be tolerated.  Oh would that it were so that children COULD be protected from the realities in this imperfect world.   Bull puckey, when then is it that a child is to learn that this is an imperfect world and when then is it that he is to trained and given the tools to participate and survive in "this imperfect world."  Pity the poor soul (and I mean their Soul) that reaches the world as an adult after High School, and then having no tools, training or survival skills, has to navigate successfully through this tainted world.  Do you propose, perhaps, an extra year after High School when we break the news to them..."Oh, by the way, we didn't give the whole story to you; now that you are out of High School we need to tell you the world is imperfect, not nice, terrifying and just simply doesn't give a tinker's damn about you as an individual.  All you queers, trannies and lesbians are not accepted and you are probably in a group that has one of the highest suicide rates and you will live in stultifying fear for the rest of your life as a result of simply who you are.  TJF, I come from your training program and I am, thankfully, a two-time suicide survivor.  I know many just like me and I know more that did not fail in their suicide attempts brought about by fear, lack of understanding, lack of compassion, lack of love, browbeating, beatings, and most of all an inability to reach that awareness that they were loved and were worthy of love and that this had to start with them loving themselves FIRST and ABOVE ALL, BEFORE ALL!  This path is more correctly begun early on as one is discovering those things about themselves that society and the church may condemn and heap shame upon.  It is here in those tender, immensely expressive, exploratory and provocative years of the formation of their sexual drive and identity that they need to begin to understand the pain of the real world and given the tools of love and compassion for all in order meet the onslaught of your "imperfect world."  The foremost tools for survival in this uncaring and imperfect world are acceptance and love of oneself, which lead to acceptance and love of others, whomever they may be and a well developed sense of compassion for all, (this is true Christ Consciousness) and forgiveness.  These are the only tools that can stand against the onslaught of hate and aggression that those of us graced with difference have at our disposal.  It is with these tools that those of us who are graced with difference will ultimately move the world away from hate.   These tools are very contagious.  These are the tools I have had to learn to use, I could have learned them in Jr or High School if there had been a single caring individual who would have been willing to mentor me from their heart at that age.  Instead you demean it and fill it with the hate of the church and determine that these are breeding grounds promulgated by people who have an agenda to create more of us.  I am WHO I AM!  I have always been so.  No person could have influenced me to become transgendered I was simply created this way by the Creator and First Source of all life and spirit.

Lastly, you say you are a teacher.  This scare the hell out of me.  I don't want this to be an ad hominem attack of you; but, I find your inability or unwillingness to use proper punctuation a bit boring and gets in the way of my belief that you are a teacher, at least with any real training... perhaps it is just a lazy style of writing that you have developed for situations such as this.  In any case, for me, it diminishes your argument a great deal.

All of us, you included, and the hate makers whoever they are or will be, I believe are only asking for a safe place to simply be free to express our core self, the self that is the self of our soul.  I think you sense this and in your own way you are trying to do this.  In that I applaud you, I just think the sooner one understands the difficulties the sooner one is capable of coping and surviving and moving forward.

A'A I ka Hula, Waiho Ka Hilahila, I Ka Hale
("Live with passion, EMBRACE CHANGE, Do not fear it" )




A'A I ka Hula, Waiho Ka Hilahila, I Ka Hale
("Live with passion, EMBRACE CHANGE, Do not fear it" )

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