Wednesday, March 22, 2006

The Voice of Gay Youth

You 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.


At 22/3/06 3:46 PM, Anonymous shorty said...

Wow, very inspiring article indeed! I can't believe that was written by a 16 year old. At 16 I didn't even know the closet I was in had a way out. But maybe my being in the closet for 20+ years has made me more aware that repression is real; made me kinder towards anyone struggling with hidden demons. I bet your emotional life has been deepened by the isolated years. Do you think so?

At 27/3/06 8:49 AM, Blogger Brady said...

Shorty- did you read this link? I know how you like to only read the personal stuff ;-)

But, yeah, what a great article/speech.

And, yes, I agree with that. My mom and I were actually talking about the same topic last night.


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