NYTimes article: Coming Out in Middle School

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    Sep 25, 2009 8:46 PM GMT
    Big article in this weekend's New York Times magazine section, already online:

    http://www.nytimes.com/2009/09/27/magazine/27out-t.html?_r=2&hp
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    Sep 26, 2009 12:08 AM GMT
    Wow !!! what a different world it is now compared to when I was around 12 and in my early teens, I just hope these kids coming out so young don't end up adding to their grief, but thankfully society is much more open now. There's so many variables involved in a childs identity and opening up themselves to their peers scrutiny, God, I wish them the best, that's all anyone can do is hope it goes well for them.
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    Sep 26, 2009 2:44 AM GMT
    great stories icon_idea.gif
  • jrs1

    Posts: 4388

    Sep 26, 2009 2:59 AM GMT

    I couldn't imagine coming out in middle school, where a misplaced hair gets you to be the brunt of many a joke ... brave peoples.
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    Sep 26, 2009 2:59 AM GMT
    granted im not much older than these kids... it would have been much easier. Hell living at home its a pain just keeping my parents at bay when my Ex calls... granted they know about us they just told me they never want to see it... im like well when we come and visit on holidays whats going to happen? meh... im respectful but still i wish i had parents like those guys.
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    Sep 26, 2009 4:17 AM GMT
    I came out when I was 14 and encountered a lot of the same things these kids did, though reading the article, they definitely came out in a more immediately supportive environment than I did.

    I felt really hopeful after reading this article. For all that mainstream culture may have done to negatively stereotype gay men and lesbians, it's comforting to know that this generation has grown up with enough positive images to claim who they are early enough so that being gay is seen as nothing more than another pedestrian kind of human existence-- equal in every way.
  • GQjock

    Posts: 11649

    Sep 26, 2009 9:10 AM GMT
    Yes ... it is a different world today

    When I was in school in the eighties ... ancient history icon_rolleyes.gif
    I know someone would have been harassed out of the school
    Staying in the closet then was an act of self-preservation
    It's wonderful that young men these days have the freedom of being who they really are
    I recently met a young guy who brought his boyfriend to his prom
    How great is that? icon_cool.gif
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    Sep 26, 2009 12:42 PM GMT
    I'd love to know what GiGi or other guys from Oklahoma think about this.

    These kids are amazing and so are their parents. It just occurs to me that there is a reason that instinct tells us to stay in the closet when we live in places like Tulsa or Marble Falls. Maybe I'm just a grandma but I really worry about these kids safety.

    Kids deserve to be out and they deserve to be safe. How I wish that those were the actual conditions in Tulsa, but I don't believe they are.
  • Mikeylikesit

    Posts: 1021

    Sep 26, 2009 12:43 PM GMT
    Coming out that early is definitely a double edge sword. I think at 10-12 years old you really don't even know who or what you are. Nowadays kids are way too quick to rush and place "labels" on them selves instead of giving time to sort things out. Lets face it, Puberty your hormones & gonads are going crazy....I door knob gets you horny....LMAO....icon_eek.gif
  • Hunter9

    Posts: 1039

    Sep 26, 2009 1:55 PM GMT
    wow, that was a great article. and i knew things were getting better, but not to the degree that the writer implied,,,, anyway, the one portion that hit home was how the internet has changed everything by removing the isolation faction
  • a2507

    Posts: 152

    Sep 26, 2009 3:02 PM GMT
    UrsaMajor saidI'd love to know what GiGi or other guys from Oklahoma think about this.

    These kids are amazing and so are their parents. It just occurs to me that there is a reason that instinct tells us to stay in the closet when we live in places like Tulsa or Marble Falls. Maybe I'm just a grandma but I really worry about these kids safety.

    Kids deserve to be out and they deserve to be safe. How I wish that those were the actual conditions in Tulsa, but I don't believe they are.


    Hey guys,

    There was some Oklahoma bashing back in the 77% stupid high school kids tread (and again, that study was commissioned by an ultra right wing political group in order to work against the Okla. teachers union), but this NY Times article is a good example of a few good things here. Oklahoma is not all Sally Kern and wing nut religious stuff.

    I've known for many years the guys (Tim and Ken) who founded this group and some of the kids too. They're doing great work and have given, given, given of their time and caring. The 14 y. old daughter of a couple of my oldest friends goes there with her girlfriend.

    The Oklahoma Equality Center (LGBT community center) is a 17,000 sf building on the edge of downtown Tulsa. It's the physically largest comm. center in the middle of the US and opened about 6 years ago. It's about a 3/4 million property and was paid for mostly from smaller donations from the community....not with big grants from foundations like centers on the coasts sometimes get. The building lacks $80,000 to be paid in full.

    Very near the OK EQ Center is Youth Services of Tulsa which works with youth at risk and homeless youth. For some years, they've been helping LGBT youth in crisis/need, including those thrown out of their homes.

    Yes, we've got Oral Roberts University (tho' there's for sure gay guys there too) but we've also got the largest Unitarian Universalist congregation in the US. UU's are among the most gay friendly and progressive religious traditions in the States.

    So, yes, we've got our idiots in elected office but Oklahoma County elected Jim Roth, an HRC endorsed gay man, to be county commissioner. And there's Al McAffery, a former OKC cop, who's an openly gay member of the Oklahoma House of Representatives.

    Things aren't perfect here but they're a lot better than they used to be....and they're probably a lot better than coastal/bigger city folks assume.

    Tom in Tulsa




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    Sep 26, 2009 3:22 PM GMT
    The younger they come out, the more normalized we become in a world where are marginalized.
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    Sep 26, 2009 3:36 PM GMT
    Wow, i loved this article. It feels like a breath o fresh air when I read things like this, the world is finally moving the rock they've been under.

    I think the most interesting part of the article, for me at least, was this paragraph:

    When a 12-year-old boy matter-of-factly tells his parents — or a school counselor — that he likes girls, their reaction tends not to be one of disbelief, dismissal or rejection. “No one says to them: ‘Are you sure? You’re too young to know if you like girls. It’s probably just a phase,’ ” says Eileen Ross, the director of the Outlet Program, a support service for gay youth in Mountain View, Calif. “But that’s what we say too often to gay youth. We deny them their feelings and truth in a way we would never do with a heterosexual young person.”

    Should we as parents/adults/elders/etc always question children from now on? Or do we leave the progressive nature of the social acceptance of gay/lesbian/bisexual/etc to now leave it up to the individual to decide on their own. I know what i just wrote is confusing but if you get what im saying weigh in on it. Thanks!
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    Sep 26, 2009 3:54 PM GMT
    These kids are super lucky to have stuff like this.

    I came out in 7th grade and it was horrible. I remember crying in the bath room because some jerk spit a lugi on me and called me a fag. He didn't even know me and I didn't even know him. Then there were the horrible rumors that people started and I didn't even know them.

    But now I am one tough ass bitch!! rawrrrrrrrrrr!!!!!!!icon_razz.gif