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Snowy Gilchrist

June 1999

"Mama, I am..."

Sometimes ye Yanks are quite lucky in the States - there are many parents who would support their gay kids openly and in public - it's a total different story in Europe.

Yes, there is a small fledging group in England - but they are still "small" - with Section 28 in our legalisation, it is a very difficult and thorny issue - where promotion of "homosexuality" or support for young gay people are not encouraged in educational institutions due to the Section 28.

Betty DeGeneres, which Jeff Walsh did an interview on the oasismag.com cover interview (a few months ago), is a non-gay activist, getting involved in educating the public about our culture, our society so on.

In Europe, we are much more political-aware than our counterparts in North America - but the big drawback is that we don't know where we, as the young gay Europeans, would turn our heads to.

Chris Morris, a young handsome dish, took the Westminster Government to the European Courts - to force the Government to lower the Age of Consent from 18 years to 16 years - to be on the equal par as our straight counterparts - it was a very successful move.

But with the House of Lords being nothing but a real thinking-tank of pathetic people with no links with reality (there are some lords who are very realistic but still a few Lords). Oh, enough of me waffle - the Lords have turned down the Age of Consent twice so far - enraged the nation - the Lords went around, saying "Oh, we can't make our young people in an endangered situation - we can't let people abuse our young people, 'em perverts..." whereas the real story is that 95% of child-abusers are straight, not gay - this survey was taken by a British university. And that the fact remains the same - the public "support" the idea of equality for gay people.

Even the so-called "Nation's Favourite Paper", the "Sun" got snubbed in by the public for its homophobic attitude (after all, it's a chauvinistic, racist and anti-liberal newspaper purchasing by the working class of England - but it have lost so much of its popularity, seeing that one in two school-leavers go to university nowadays in England whereas it was one in seven five years ago).

But once the Age of Consent is taking place, it don't mean it will solve all our problems at once - there are so much to tackle - for instance, the bullying in schools on gay children, better support for gay people, the de-colonisation of gay people by the medical society, better recognition of our boyfriends/girlfriends (god, don't ask me to use the word "partner"!), and most importantly (for me), marriages in the Church - the Roman Catholic church...

I surf quite a lot on the Internet and the IRC - I often meet gay people in a designated room for us young gays of England - with some out of England - I often enjoy my time there - sometimes I meet people my age and agree to meet up - it's often a good move - but it's a pity there is no sense of community (like on the mIRC) among the crowd at your local gay pub, even a gay club - too much bitterness and self-obsession (over the clothes, over the waist size, over his hair-do so on...)

I met a 21 years old guy there - who turned out to be from the same area where I was born and bred - up in Northern Ireland - he was a very frustrated closet - he was very LONELY - he kept asking me if I am really "out". I feel sorry, feeling SO bitter that there is no support group for young gay people - either that or they are not encouraged by local authorities in Ulster.

There are many youth groups out in England - but not enough to be done about - I admire youth workers, youth officers and inspirable people who work hard to help young gay people.

I am, at the moment, trying to help a guy, a good friend, to set up a support network for young gay deaf people - to create something for us young deaf gay people to get together to understand each other - rather than being in the club where we may get exploited by older gay people who think we are nothing but chickens for them.

But it won't be an easy move - but it will be worth it all at the end - after all, I agree with someone on that saying "Each help will get you a brick in heaven - someone is building your house in heaven with bricks - more goodwill will get him more bricks so you will get either a small or a large house up there..."

A cute thought anyway!

But the most important thing is to be there for them - and be their role model - and give them empowerment - after all, empowerment is the best thing you can do and give - it will enrich and advance other people's lives.

Without empowerment, what's the point to be there for?

There will be the London Mardi Gras on 3rd July - and I'll be there...

Snowy Gilchrist
snowy@dna.ie


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