By Jonathan P.
Fourteen year old Nathan watches a play on a high school stage. He's about to go on, and his face twitches in nervous anticipation. A three inch long scar crosses his neck, right below his right cheek. A grim reminder of what can happen when someone doesn't agree with your sexuality. Nathan is fourteen, and he's gay. The scar came from when his brother, a year old than he, tried to cut his throat because Nathan's homosexuality was causing him stress at school. In a warm bath he's tried to commit suicide, to escape the torture and torments of his own family.
Josh is tall, slender, beautiful, and an intelligent beyond his fifteen years. When he was fourteen he came out to his parents and all his friends. His friends in the moderate southern town accepted it. But his parents, and the wealthy grandparents he stayed with, didn't. Josh would spend hours in his room on chat rooms trying to find people in his area, people he could relate to. In school, like Nathan, he was constantly harassed and picked on because of his homosexuality. The friends he had, could only look on in despair as Josh took the beatings without so much as a tear. His suicide attempt was, in his words, sadly disappointing.
Both of these boys have something in common: They came out early in their lives, and believed that the world in general, their parents, their friends, would all accept it and go on. But the fact of the matter is, no one really ever accepts it. The Generation X'ers of the world can and will eventually accept homosexuality as a natural lifestyle. But the parents of the Nixon years, and the grandparents of the religious Eisenhower years, will never understand, forgive, or condone homosexuality.
Nathan goes to a psychologist three times a week. His mother opened a letter he'd written to a gay friend in another state. She opened it, read it, and immediately believed their was something psychologically wrong with her son. Nathan's parents began sending him to a psychologist, who will never really listen, or try to understand anything Nathan tells him. His only objective, is to make Nathan believe he is not gay, and then collect the money from his parents. Josh on the other hand was kicked out of his grandparents' home, and sent to live with his mother. She refuses to accept his homosexuality, and has begun to send him too, to an overpriced psychologist.
Why is it, that parents think they should try to "cure" their children of the "disease" called homosexuality, rather than try to accept it and love them for who they are? So many gay youth are afraid to come out of the closet, because of what their parents might do or say. Some of them are so afraid to come out of the closet, because they see what has happened to other gay teens who've done the same thing. They've seen the violence displayed in the headlines, the hatred in the protests, and they've heard the hate in the voices of their parents and friends. There was once a saying for Americas queer youth: If your parents are democrat, it's all right to come out to them, but if they're republican, hide your secret with all your might.
The adults of baby boomer children, were brainwashed by a childhood of religious zealotry, and an early adulthood of Republican, bible belt, propaganda. To have a child that is gay, is to have a death sentence put on them, and their other children. If one child is gay, then others will think the other children are gay, and begin the whispers behind backs, and narrow-eyed suspicions. It use to be, that if you had an unruly child, you tried to keep him out of trouble because you, as a parent, were fearful that the repercussions of their actions could in effect, be turned on you. But now it's not that the children are unruly, but they're gay. Somewhere, we all have to stand up and draw the line on what is acceptable and what is cruel. It is cruel to oppress your children and send them away to be "changed". It is cruel to let one of your children, try to murder the other, and not even report it to the police. So many gay youth have committed suicide, because their secret had been revealed, or when they told it to those he trusted and loved, they were too unforgiving and loving.
Some say that coming out to your parents is a real test to their love for you. Coming out to your friends, is a true test to find if they're truly your friends or not. But with this test, this release of fear from your soul, at what cost is all of this priced at? A youth of torture, harassment, brainwashing, and fear? The children of Americas gay youth, are being raped of their child hood, by the homosexual-fearing parents, and children raised by them.
Nathan is currently on the road to "recovery". He's plotted a desperate attempt to convince his parents and his psychologist that he isn't gay. It was all a mistake to get attention, but now he's found a girl to love, a real life, not some mental "disease". He's cut off all his gay friends, the long distance love he could never get at home. They will never know if his brother succeeded in killing him, or he simply committed suicide.
Josh found someone to love, two in fact. He dated one boy his age, and hung out with the other. But when his mother found out, she promptly send him to live with his father in New Orleans. She was not going to have a "faggot" son, "slutting" around and letting boys in and out all the time when she wasn't there. In his new home in New Orleans, Josh hasn't come out to anyone. He's told his father he isn't gay, and it was just a phase he had to go through in becoming a man. One day he might decide to come out of the closet, but not until he's financially secure, and safe from the clutches of his family.
Come out of the closet, its the best thing in your life you can do. But if you do, be prepared to stand up for your right to live and be who you want to be. If you're ready, then do it, but if you're not, and you don't feel comfrotble with coming out, then don't. Only do it when you most feel comfortble. Don't ever use it as a weapon, or defense mechanism, it will only cause you pain in the end. This is your life, your sexuality, your future and ultimately, your responsibility. Welcome to life, please deposit all trash in the disposal containers, and enoy the show.