>The other day, I had a conversation with my BFF about the FPK. She mentioned how worried she and her hubby are about him and the way that he is expressing himself of late. She is worried about how angry he seems… perhaps even moreso than the average teen. I guess I can see that, and I’ve chalked a lot of that anger up to the fact that he is dealing with anxiety and clinical depression on top of the usual teen angst and hormonal crap.
The part of the conversation that has stuck with me though is this. She wondered why the FPK seems to be so angry about his sexual identity. “We love him and are ok with him being gay, so why should he be so angry?” I didn’t really have an answer right then, but I’ve been thinking about it…
I think his anger is the same as any oppressed person- which sounds a little crazy given that we are privileged white people who have more than enough to eat, a roof over our heads and all the gadgets that come along with a middle class American lifestyle. Yes, he’s spoiled. Yes, he gets away with stuff at home until we clamp down on him (or have adult meltdowns like I did today).
And yet, the reality is that he is not fully part of that privileged class. There are things that my friends’ daughters can take for granted. They will both have access to things that the FPK may never see- based solely on the fact that he is gay.
-They can serve in the armed forces as openly practicing heterosexuals, married or single.
-They will be able to marry in any of the 50 states and not have to worry if they move to another.
-They will have access to insurance, tax breaks, and access to their partners should they be incapacitated in hospitals.
-They can be foster parents or adopt (as single women or when married).
-They will be able to own property together and be assured that it will be distributed according to their wills.
-They can serve as ordained elders, deacons or ministers in any denomination (that recognizes that women may serve, of course) without enforced lifelong celibacy.
Now, most teens aren’t thinking about those things… Most teens aren’t thinking about these things because, frankly, they don’t look past the decision in front of them right this instant. And, the reality is that 90% of teens aren’t gay and don’t have reason to consider any of them. But my teen isn’t “most teens.” He’s very aware politically, watching closely the happenings in denominations and states across the country. And it makes him angry.
If looking at the future weren’t maddening enough, going to back to school means that he must navigate the hallways with students and faculty members who are anything from homophobic to religiously opposed to gays, from accepting to looking for a token gay friend, and from confused to obliviously rude. And it makes him angry.
To be honest, it makes me angry, too.