The Voice of Gay YouthYou know, I often wish I had come out as gay earlier in life. I didn't come out officially until I was 22, after graduating from college, and even then it was a big ordeal for me. I'm not really that old now, but when I was in high school, the climate surrounding gay kids just wasn't the same.
I didn't know a single openly gay student before I graduated in 1997, and nationwide, there were only abou 100 GSA clubs in high schools nationwide compared to nearly 3,000 today (my high school was not one of them).
I wish I would have had been given both the environment and the courage to come out back then. That and the understanding that I have now, I guess. I was in speech and debate in high school, and I know I would have been a good advocate for the cause. My personality and demeanor today really make people question their stereotypes of what a gay person is "supposed" to be, so I know it would have done the same back then.
Plus, I think my emotional life would have been a lot more "normal" if I had come out, but that's a different issue altogether.
Anyway, I'm writing all of this because I was reminded of how powerful the voice of gay youth really can be. This article/speech is written by a gay 16 year old about his interaction with a Virgina Senator in a local townhall-style meeting. It is well thought out and seems to have been a very powerful speech. It's great to see. Maybe it will even give me the motivation to get more politically active now that I am out of high school, who knows.