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June 26th, 2013

Too Young To Know?

This came across my news feed this morning…

Gay teens? Pew survey confirms gays may suspect their sexual orientation by elementary school

Joshua’s mother, Beatrice Padilla, said, “I always knew in my heart he was going to grow up to be gay.” That didn’t mean, however, she was prepared to learn that day had arrived when her son was in just the fifth grade.

When the boy timidly asked, “Is there something wrong with me?” though, she rallied:

“You eat like everyone else, you sleep like everyone else, you go to school like everyone else. You’re no different,” she said.

He’s now 15 and says that while he never doubted his mother would be supportive, “I don’t think telling a parent at any age gets any easier.”

This is such an old story and I have heard it told and retold among gay people ever since I can remember:   I knew I was different in some fundamental way even then, I just didn’t have the words to express it… I don’t think there is a single one of us who hasn’t heard it over and over and over.   It’s my truth too.   In first grade I knew I liked guys in some distinct way that set me apart from the others and that if I talked about it too much I would get in trouble.

But blabber mouth little young me couldn’t always keep it in.   I remember being teased once by my other classmates about a girl and getting pissed off about it I blurted out that I didn’t like girls, and one of the girls said, “Oh, then you like boys I guess.” and everyone laughed.

I blushed.   Fiercely.   Which only made them laugh more.   Everyone has these school days memories they would rather forget.

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