Homophobia Doesn’t Have To Exist

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While I was growing up, I never knew homophobia existed. I just knew of gay people, people that like other people of the same sex, like I did. In fact, when I saw news coverage for a failed attempt to pass same-sex marriage legislation in New York, when I was very young, I was surprised that there wasn’t already marriage equality.
I never even experienced homophobia until I was a freshman and I was told that I couldn’t bring another boy to a dance at my catholic high school. I always knew that there were those people “disagreeing” with it (Like, it’s something that can be disagreed with?) based on “biblical” principles but, those people are few and irrelevant.
I don’t mean to brag but, I had a very happy experience compared to other gay teens. My happy gay childhood may be because I was raised in a suburb of Buffalo, a progressive city in a progressive state in a progressive area of the country, or it may be because times are changing quickly & for the better but, I believe that the biggest influence on my childhood were my parents. My parents always surrounded me with all kinds of people, and they loved and accepted me.
That’s a big deal. Especially considering that some kids are kicked out of their homes, disowned, beat up, or sometimes even killed for being who they are.
My experience, one with little homophobia or hate isn’t one that always happens. As mentioned above, any number of horrible things could happen to a teenager that comes out. However it doesn’t have to be.
If you’re a parent, and you suspect your child may be gay, or if they’ve come out to you, don’t think that you’ve failed as a parent, or that your child is anything less. Your child has always been gay. Nothing has changed, they’ve just chosen to reveal a part of their life to you.  Nothing is wrong with being gay.
If you’re a gay teen and you feel like you’re in a bad situation, contact people for help. You’re not alone.
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