I haven’t posted in awhile for reasons I promise to reveal in future blogs but for now I’m back here with a new website name. I’ll be making some changes and you’ll see that in the course of the coming months. Exciting things, I promise. For now, allow me to talk about something that has been bugging since I saw this video:
The gist of it is Austin, an openly gay teenager from a private school, was called on by his principal to ask him to ‘go back in the closet’ from whence he came. It was an all out inquisition if you ask me, calling his parents as if he cheated on a test or something worse and told them that he had to delete all his posts on social media regarding his sexual orientation and basically act like a ‘normal’ dude, whatever that is.
We all already know how I feel about gay rights. Granted I was vague about why I became such a strong advocate in the first place but I never faltered about my stance on it. I would be lying if I said wasn’t seething when I first saw this video but the logical side of me calmed me down enough to write this entry.
There are merits to the principal’s decision, much as I hate to admit it. Writing that feels like swallowing salty water when you know you’re about to drown. It’s a private institution, with its own moral code or whatever bullcrap the admin or board of trustees feed the students to blindly follow. The principal may have A. had his hands tied himself or B. he’s just as homophobic as the rest of his academic peers. For his sake, I hope it’s A. because all he’ll need to get over his lack of spine is a bit push in the right direction which I hope this entry does for him. If it’s the latter, then he has some serious learning to do because regardless of what he believes there was a better way of delivering this to a teenager already having a hard time. If this is how you let every person whose going through the same thing feel then you shouldn’t be dealing with coming-of-age teenagers who might already be picked on every day for who they are.
There are enough bigots in the world. Trust me, these kids don’t need reminding.
I was 16 when my best friend of 4 years came out to me. He came out to a whole group of people he just met at uni before he told me and to be honest with you it broke my heart. Much as I tried, I couldn’t talk to him for days the way I used to even if he was going back to school in a week. If you’re wagging your finger thinking I’m no different from that principal, you’re wrong. That’s not it at all although someone who knew me less would have taken it that way.
I’ve been replaying in my head over and over again what I did to make him feel like he couldn’t tell me. He said it wasn’t a big deal, that he would have told me anyway but he didn’t and I couldn’t help but feel that there was something I did that convinced him I won’t love him anyway or more because he was honest with me. Was it because I come from a pious Christian family? Is it because I was in an all girl religious group in high school? I couldn’t bring myself to talk to him because so much guilt was eating me up like some terminal disease and it made me feel so sick.
I never talked about this because since then I’ve had some traumatic experiences concerning other gay friends and how they’re treated. I’m not always proud of how I defended them so I usually just avoided the topic altogether. I’m not much for emotions as most of you already know but I thought it was important to share what I realized after that.
I DIDN’T DO ANYTHING.
I’ve always felt strongly about gay rights, always defended them in my head, wrote stories I never published supporting them but that was it. I never did anything openly to reassure anyone in my life that I’ll be there for them, love them and support them regardless of what their sexual orientation is. Not since recently at least. It doesn’t mean shit if you fight for them in your head. They don’t know that because often those who criticize them are louder than those who rally behind them. It’s unfortunate but it’s a fact, one which I hope this small blog from some unknown corner of world changes in some little way.
So Austin I may not be able to convince the world to be kinder and more accepting of you and those just like you, much as I want to, but I hope you know that there’s one girl, insignificant as she is to the statistics of 7 billion people, who celebrates you for who you are. Who you choose to love is just one part of you, albeit and important one, don’t let them box you for that. The world will get over their ignorance one day and you should know that you’re one of the reasons why they did.
Stay strong Austins of the world. We’re slowly finding our voice to fight for you.
As for my friend, you know who you are. I hope you’re reading this and feeling how much you are loved. If, my dear readers, you want to make someone else feel the same, share this blog and that video. Show them that we’re better than the jerks who treat them badly. #niceinternet #supportgayrights