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Powerful stuff

Cole Parker

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This covers much of the gamut of the ongoing debate about homosexuality.

At the start of this, among the assumptions made, and one I heard/read as a teen and young adult, was the assumption that gays are more promiscuous. No. I am quite sure most of the heterosexual people I know have had far, far more chances to find someone without risk of offense or harm, and far more actual experience, whether that's as kids experimenting or teens beginning to date or adults seeking a partner. Are some gay people more sexually active? Probably, but are they any more active than some heterosexual people? Probably not. And my imression is, being gay means you have fewer chances to find that person, at whatever stage in life, or however active you might be, unless you're in that small number, straight or not, who are promiscuous anyway.

I had to wonder how many of those 50's, 60's, and 70's kids getting anti-gay messages drilled into them wondered why their families and churches and schools thought they (the kids) were "with a homosexual" or might be one themselves...or how it must've felt to begin knowing you're gay and have to live through all that. -- And yet, I grew up in the 70's and 80's, and I grew up with that message that being a gay (or homo or fag or queer) was not acceptable, and was likely to get you beaten up or called out or gossiped about. I dealt with that, about me and about other friends, despite none of us (as far as I know) being "involved" with each other in any way other than being friends. -- Yes, it gets to me how people did that and still do that. -- Yes, things are getting better, but the attitude is still too prevalent. Kids/teens still bully or ostracize kids or teens for being (or seeming) gay.


But there are two other things that surprised me personally. -- One, imagine my surprise hearing my hometown news anchors in an article I'd heard at that time. (Houston's Channel 13's Dave Ward and iirc, Melanie Lawson). -- Two, Asher, one of the boys who committed suicide over the past few years, went to a school in the same school district I went to and graduated. I didn't know his family, but you can imagine how it felt to hear it on the news, and know that boy was from a school much like when I grew up. (That school was built after I graduated.) It brought to mind memories of my own school years.

We live in a time when there is some change for the good, real chances for lasting improvement. But there are many who don't want that to happen and are actively working to tear down what little progress there has been, and deny even the need or the reality.

This must change. Or I fear it will get so bad that even the most ordinary of other affection will be deemed too inappropriate. That's no exaggeration. Just ask teachers about policies on any display of affection, including hugging, among students, or between a student and an adult.

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Thank you, Cole...you made me cry.

This is why we write the stories we do. This is why we reach out with a message that says we are normal loving people who just want a place...no, demand a place on our society free from hatred and bigotry. We are entitled to love whom we wish no matter how hateful the retoric becomes. I will stop here before I suggest we bring back the lions and the Coluseum.

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