I am grateful for gay kids.
Their mere presence in the world makes it a better place. Gay kids are unique and effervescent spirits. Most have a wisdom beyond their years. Many are madly creative and unafraid to push the edge. Gay kids are old souls in young bodies. They infuse space and time with a special kind of magic.
Coming of age is hard enough, but coming of age as a gay, lesbian, bisexual or trangender child is all the harder. In the midst of raging hormones, social challenges and the demands of school, gay kids are also forever at risk for being rejected solely on the basis of who they are. Sometimes, their own families are the culprits. Often, gay kids are subjected to bullying, harassment and intimidation. I believe that being a gay adolescent takes phenomenal courage. They face the difficult task of growing their self-esteem in a climate where some public officials-“representatives” of their communities- still find it acceptable to say hateful and outrageous things about gay people. Although homosexuality is not a choice, the Herman Cains of the world continue to argue publicly that it is a choice and an evil one at that. How does a 13 or 14 year- old reconcile that kind of crazy? It takes moxie, enormous strength and advanced emotional intelligence to navigate a world like this.
We adults have fucked things up considerably. We have left a mess for the coming generation. The economy is in shambles. Young people will not necessarily have the same opportunities that we had. An acrimonious divide has wreaked havoc on the American dream. Significant challenges loom large and the future is, at best, ambiguous. But I believe in the next generation and gay kids, in particular, give me hope. If any part of the population has the intelligence, strength, creativity and fire to transform things for the better, it is they. Why? Because by the time they are adults, they will have been tackling difficulties, surpassing obstacles and defying odds for their entire lives. They will be uniquely qualified to lead the revolution.
I am grateful for gay kids.
If you are a gay kid reading this, I want you to know that I have your back. I will fight for you, defend you, advocate for you, cheer for you and hold you. I want you to know that I feel you. No, as a straight, middle- aged woman, I don’t claim to know what it’s like to be a gay adolescent. But I feel your heart. When I pass you on the street, I am so glad you’re there. I will forever celebrate your brilliance.
And to the Sally Kerns, the Rick Santorums, the fundamentalist thugs, the locker room bullies and anyone else of that ilk: If you harm a gay kid-through words or actions-then I will get up in your face. I don’t care who you are. I will bring you down, one bigot at a time. If you are an elected official or public figure and spew hate speech and lies, I will call you out. I will slay you in my blogs. My outcry will be loud and relentless. Now step the hell out of the way and let these young people bloom.
I am grateful for gay kids because they are beautiful and they are our future.
They have the soul and grit to change to world. And I know they will.
For this I am profoundly grateful.