The term “Trans-Gender” has been thrown around a lot recently. Admittedly, I never really looked into it, nor cared to for that matter. I like my twat and have no desire to have a penis swinging between my legs. My preference for women and my “type” is also pretty well set in stone also. Until very recently, I looked at those “T” s in LGBT to be some outlandish freaks that didn’t belong with the rest of us. How very ignorant and stupid of me. I feel ashamed for even thinking that now. More shamefully, it took a few very high-profile suicides by children, and Bruce Jenner for me to even look into what transgendered meant and how it differentiated from transsexual. Now, I know. Now, I get it.
I certainly won’t waste any time trying to convince anyone that what they believe or think about this issue is “wrong” or “sinful” or “hateful”. I think most people are set in their opinions, and not much is going to change that. There are no statistics, charts, nor impassioned speeches that will convince any of us, that what we think is wrong. So, that’s not my intent. I just know how it feels to be a kid that doesn’t fit in with other kids.
My childhood and teenage years were equal parts awesome and awkward. On the one hand, I had friends, we had shit tons of fun, we got in shit tons of trouble, I played sports, and I did most things that all kids do. But, I’d be lying if I didn’t admit that there was always that place in the back of my head that screamed out, “Once you are able to leave from here, you can actually live your life as you want.”
Like most teenagers, the ones at my school tended to form cliques, packs, etc. You were either a geek or not a geek; an athlete or a cheerleader; in the Beta club or struggling to stay eligible for whatever sport you were playing. The teenage years were rough. They are rough for all teens. You’re awkward, unsure, trying to develop your personality and fit in somewhere. All of that stuff is difficult. We all went through it to some degree. We worried each morning whether something horrible would happen to us at school like getting laughed at about our clothes, or someone walking in on you while you were trying to poop at school. The usual stuff.
I had an extra fear, though. I was not like the rest of my friends. I was a girl who liked girls. And that had to be kept a secret or else my life would have been destroyed, so I thought. If anyone knew for a fact, that I was gay, I would have been ostracized from my family and my friends. My female friends would all think I liked them, “like that”, and my guy friends would think I was a freak. That is what I honestly thought. To be truthful, I can’t say that some of them didn’t have those exact thoughts creep into their heads when they did find out years later. I don’t care either way, now, so it seems silly.
It’s been 23 years since I graduated from high school. Things are much different now. Kids are much more accepting of things that used to be considered unacceptable. My 17-year-old has gay friends who are openly gay, and aren’t afraid to admit to it. I see “baby lesbians” locked at the lips on the sidewalk in front of her school, boys holding hands, etc. This is not to say that they each have had wonderful experiences with their families. They have not.
But, as an adult, it really bothers me. Hearing a child talk about how their family reacted to their disclosure. I just don’t see how any parent can treat their own child the way some of these kids are treated. These are children. I wonder how it would look if for instance a straight kids parents disowned them because they didn’t like the kid’s boyfriend or girlfriend? To me, it is essentially the same principle. You don’t like your child’s choice so you threaten to disown them, kick them out, make them go to therapy, switch their ADHD medication, or any number of things I’ve heard and read.
I find it to be sickening. It’s damn hard to be a teenager. Teens are hard to deal with, in general. Dealing with a LGBT teen- they’re always waiting on the other shoe to drop- can be very difficult. If they have a significant other, chances are that kid has been the first person that child has truly opened themselves up to. Their relationships can become very all-encompassing and intense. Not to say that straight kids don’t get a bit cray as well, but with young LGBT kids things are a bit more intense. They’ve spent most of their young lives in a veil of secrecy within themselves. They’ve just had a couple of extra anxieties than straight kids have.
I can’t help but think this makes them more vulnerable. It makes them need their parent that much more. They need that trust and that knowledge that no matter what, they are and will be loved. What they don’t need is to hear the oft-used phrase “Hate the sin, not the sinner.” You’re basically telling your child that the only reason you love them is because you have to. Because Jesus.
They don’t need that shit. What they need are their parents. They need their parent to parent them. Not to belittle them, their feelings, their choices, or their thoughts. As a parent, you’re supposed to guide them, enable them, and lead them to water, so to speak. It is not your job to determine what kind of water is in that pond. Any parent that’s been through a teenager knows, that the most accurate way to see them fail or fuck up, is to try to control their actions or dictate what they do. You wanna see them drown? Tell them they can’t go swimming.
These stories I read about some of these LGBT kids are sickening. The bullying that they endure is bad enough. But the parental mistreatment is what infuriates me. As many people in this world that are unable to even have a child, or that have lost a child, and would give anything for the opportunity to be a parent; for me to see people in a sense, mistreating their own kid because of that child’s sexuality or gender identity, it grinds at my soul. Putting that kid in therapy seems the wrong move. They are not the ones in the family that need it. Parenting is not about control. Or at least it shouldn’t be.
I could ramble on and on for days about this. I guess my point, or my complaint, is that for any child to feel that they have no one, that they are not loved, that nobody cares about them, just because of how they feel about another human being, is just wrong. It’s wrong on too many levels to even list.
What I can list though, is four kids that have taken their own lives two months into the year due to bullying and in some cases, lack of proper parental give a fuck.
Ash Haffner (NC), Leela Alcorn (OH), Zander Mahaffey (GA), and Melonie Rose (MD) did not have to die. All they needed was someone to “get it” and to stick up for them. Someone to just love them.