God, Gay Kids and A Sex-Obsessed Gospel Goon
Not sure if you’re in the know, but GM was kind of an idiot when she was a teenager. I’ve been told most people are in their teen years, but damn, I was bad.
Every once in a while I go back and flip through all my old journals and the entries from when I was a teen make me want to summon Ahnold to go back in time and take care o’ that shit. Seriously. It’s all, “I love Chris! I love Mike! Andrew is so Hot!”
You’ve been around here a while. You know I spent a lot of time travelling the world with my parents when I was a teenager. I’m fucking sitting in a goddamned temple on a hill in Bali, looking out over rolling green rice steps, writing, “LEONARDO DICAPRIO IS SO HOT!”
I’m not proud of this. In fact, my cheeks are burning as I write it. I was a full-blown idiot back then and no one can deny it. Exploring my own sexuality, in the most vapid way possible, was pretty much like 99.9% of who I was at that point in time. I mean, just look at it:
GM’s top ten most gorgeous guys has changed since then.
I was a virgin then. I’d never even had a boyfriend, or had a single date. I’d only ever been kissed once by a guy and that was one of those peck-and-run situations when I was in grade 2. My constant ramblings about cute guys, and complete inability to choose just one to love, had nothing at all to do with sex, and everything to do with a fury of brand new hormones I didn’t really understand. It wasn’t about getting laid, it wasn’t about marriage, it wasn’t even about relationships. This was just about me, exploring who I was becoming. It was about me, growing into me, and trying to express it.
Sometimes, I can’t help but wonder what would have happened if everyone around me tried to stifle that. If my parents or my teachers or my friends saw my scribblings about my latest crush in a notebook and tried to tell me it was wrong. I wonder what it would feel like if the entire world closed in on me trying to get me to believe that the powerful feelings I barely understood myself somehow indicated that something was wrong with me. How would it feel if I was forced to hate myself for feeling these things?
I mean, I couldn’t even be forced to realize I was in the middle of Bangkok, in the dusty, humid soup of South East Asia, trying pad thai for the first time, because my waiter was too fucking cute. My diary entry about that day was not about Thai food, it wasn’t about being in one of the most notorious cities in the world, or seeing the golden temples peeking through behind the concrete buildings, or riding along the canal watching kids bathe and swim in the water our tour guide made us shield from ourselves. No, it wasn’t about the poverty or the inescapable sex trade or the markets. My diary entry about that day was about the cute waiter. The cute goddamned waiter. #NoHoly.
I’m so ashamed.
I was rendered all but completely brain dead by the hormones that were coursing through my body like radioactive waste. It wasn’t just new and powerful and inescapable. This was my entire being when I was 15 and I couldn’t even ignore it standing knee-deep in the worst poverty I’d ever witnessed, claws of the desperate and destitute grabbing for my blonde hair and my Canadian money and my childish innocence. I was blind to everything and everyone except the nearest somewhat decent-looking boy. It’s all I saw, it’s all I cared about, it’s all I knew.
I was lucky no one ever tried to shame me for this. I was lucky to be free to explore this side of me as a teenager. I was lucky the objects of my attraction were male.
Sadly, millions of teenagers around the world are shamed for just as powerful hormones, and just as life-altering emotions, just as blinding feelings they don’t understand. We all know how hard it is to go through puberty. Imagine what it would feel like if everyone you knew and loved were adamant that the way you were going through puberty was wrong. You’re 15. You’re awkward enough. Now everyone says you’re just not the right kind of awkward.
That’s why gay kids kill themselves.
One of the most common and significant charges leveled against the traditional Christian understanding of sexuality and marriage is that it is damaging. Denying someone’s sexuality is seen as denying who that person really is. It’s telling people to repress something central to their identity and ability to flourish. This is harmful to anyone, but especially to teenagers coming to terms with their sexuality while still at a young age. Christians, it is claimed, are to blame for gay teenagers killing themselves.
Gay teenagers are not ending their own lives because you’re denying their sexuality, jeeballs. They’re ending their lives because puberty is hard enough without everyone telling you you’re doing it wrong. They’re ending their lives because everyone hopes to fall in love one day, and you’re telling them that if they do, they’re wrong. They’re ending their lives because maybe they already are in love and got smacked around and bullied for who they’ve fallen for.
This isn’t a matter of denying sexuality. This isn’t even about sex, though it hardly surprises me that a pew-warmer can’t see that, ’cause to jeebots, everything is about sex. This is about a child going through a stage that was gut-wrenchingly awkward for every last one of us, only this child, well he’s got the fucking nerve to be doing it wrong.
You won’t find Jesus teaching that your life isn’t worth living if you can’t be fulfilled sexually—that a life without sex is no life at all.
That’s right. I won’t find Jesus teaching that, because I won’t find Jesus teaching anything. Fucker’s been dead a while if he ever lived in the first place. Even if he was still lurking in the dust of your favourite haunted house, and his moans from the rectory were barely audible… “Sex is not everything! There’s more to life than sex!” it wouldn’t change a thing.
A gay child does not kill himself because of sex, you sanctimonious crosslicker. He kills himself because he feels that thing we all felt, that made us so powerfully awkward. That thing that made our easy world of Hot Wheels and Barbie Dolls suddenly become strange and warped and scary. That thing that made going to school every morning stressful, that made shopping for clothes torture, that made changing for gym class induce panic attacks. That thing that made each and every one of us question how we looked, how we acted and feel judged near every moment of every day. That thing, that thing that made us afraid of who we were, who we are, and who we might become. That terrifying fucking thing that made us complete morons.
A gay kid kills himself because he’s feeling that thing. That same crippling bullshit we all did, except in his case, he’s being told it’s wrong. In his case, his parents might be telling him he’s sick. His church is telling him he’s an abomination and the most powerful being in the Universe does not approve of the way his awkward stage is turning out. In his case, he’s getting called names, pranked, bullied and beat up for it. While I may have come home one day to taunts from my brother of, “Courtney and Chris, sitting in a tree, k-i-s-s-i-n-g”, gay kids can come home to packed bags, frowning parents and a one-way ticket to a pray-away-the-gay camp.
Gay children kill themselves because you think this is just about sex. Gay kids kill themselves because you’re so devoid of depth you can’t see, it’s about everything. It’s about their whole world and their entire being. Gay kids kill themselves because they are backed into a corner of self-loathing and fear.
Of all people, we Christians should feel the most grief at this problem, since we know the supreme value God places on all human life.
Then fucking act like it. Stop cheapening the despair that gay teenagers feel by reducing it to nothing more than not getting laid. Stop projecting your own Christian obsession with sex onto them. Maybe try to sit down with a gay teenager and ask them what is the most difficult thing about being a gay teen. If you honestly think the answer has anything to do with sex, well, you make 15-year-old GM, drooling over Leo’s latest Tiger Beat centrefold, oblivious to being in the middle of a Hindu temple in Indonesia, look like a goddamned (#NoHoly) genius.
The gospel shows us that there is forgiveness for all who have sinned sexually, and it liberates us from the mindset that sex is intrinsic to human fulfillment.
Right. That’s why y’all are so hung up on how everyone else canoodles. That’s why so many of you are obsessed with your neighbour’s get-on. That’s why the priests poke, why the nuns nibble and why Sacristy Sally is secretly sacking your coworker’s husband Steve.
Nah, Mr. Allberry. You know as well as I do, that it’s the church crowd who can’t seem to separate sex from every other aspect of life. You use your own hangup with sex to reduce the problems of a gay child to nothing more than sexual frustration. A child, Mr. Allberry. A child.
You sexualize a child.
Then you condemn him as an abomination.
And then you wonder why he kills himself.
You, my friend, are the abomination.