Even with all the progress made in the fight for Equal Rights, it’s still not always an easy thing being a not straight boy in today’s America. With a President hellbent on banning transfolk, a Vice President who seems to think conversion therapy is a good thing, a Supreme Court Justice who probably wouldn’t mind another crack at that whole gays-can-marry thing and an in-power party with the most anti-LGBT platform in history, it can be downright pants-crappingly scary. It’s even worse if you’re a rainbow sheep in an ultraconservative family that wraps its bigotry proudly up in the mistranslated ancient collection of laws of a long gone Middle Eastern kingdom. So is it any wonder why so many boys till choose to keep to the back of the closet?
Because of a lack of common sense, basic human decency and aberrance of science, too many Americans see anything but heteronormative behavior as abominations deserving of a good stamping out. Religious Restoration Acts are becoming the norm in more biblically-inclined states with the sole purpose of legalizing discrimination that a certain Abrahamic god is claimed to have demanded occur before homosexuality was even a thing. Gays are bad, m’kay?
It’s worth noting that laws have been passed to ban the passing of Sharia (which, ironically, also banned Biblical laws at least once because some people don’t understand phrasing is important, even to bigoted dickheads but, hey, they’re stupid asses so is anyone shocked they frakked that all up?) so I doubt Muslims get the same free pass, though that doesn’t stop the more, ahem, extreme ones from doing very bad things to innocent gays, which Tom Cotton thinks is way worse and totally should have all out attention instead of what his party is doing right here at home.
Speaking of the extremists throwing gay men off of buildings, ever notice how much the GOP has in common with them? Republicans and ISIL both think homosexuality is evil and wrong and unnatural; the only difference is Trump’s people haven’t figured out a way to get away with murder. Yeah, I went there. Get at me, bro.
With the GOP doing all it can to strip LGBT folks of their creator endowed rights, is it really a leap to say they’d take us all out if they wouldn’t end up on death row? After all, when the guy in the Oval Office can say, with a straight face, that some Nazis are very fine people, why should I believe that I and my fellow abominations are safe and secure? That attitude is a danger to my right to liberty and happiness pursuit and I’m not keeping quiet about the evil I see every time the dotard doesn’t take a stand defending those who actually need defending.
My grandfather kicked Nazi ass. I never expected I’d need to take up the old family hobby. Yet here we are, in 2017, and Nazis are able to parade through city streets, heads held high, trying to defend memorials to slavery and racism. That’s getting pretty damn close to worst case scenario and with a Grand High Wizard lover in the White House, I don’t know that’ll it get any better until the next presidential election.
Imagine, for a moment, you’re a thirteen-year-old boy who just realized that penis sounds far more appealing than vagina. About 3% of the population go through this so some of you reading may have gone or are going through this very life-altering moment. Now imagine that in addition to the anti-LGBT shit coming from D.C. that your ‘rents voted for the bigot because they hate the gays ‘cause god says so and Trump embodies that biblically-fueled bigotry beautifully.
You know you’re gay; you feel it deep inside. If you accept it, you face a life of secrets and lies in order to not end up hurt, homeless or dead. That’s very possibly depression and self-harm in the making. And if you don’t accept yourself and try to force yourself to be all straight and narrow, your emotional health can still take a steep downturn. And why? Because the porn you keep in that obviously not-what-it’s-marked “Homework” folder is filled with twinks instead of milfs?
It’s not just that in-home life that can be filled with untruths and misdirection. Some boys have it worse and can’t even tell their bestie that they think the boy who sits behind them in science class is the cutest thing ever or hold their boyfriend’s hand at the drive-in or bring their high school sweetheart to the prom junior year because being gay is oh, so very bad and will lead you directly to hell and we can’t have that now, can we?
Now attach the government backing this nonsense and you might see why this country can be so damn frightening for anyone not straight. Laws that treat you like a lesser creature, murders that are all but ignored and evangelicals claiming hurricanes are a boogeyman’s punishment for humane treatment of LGBTers are a lot to take in and fight back against; and if we lose, there’s another right stripped away.
It sounds all kinds of doom and gloom and in some ways it is. “The Land of the Free and the Home of the Brave” might currently guarantee me the right to marry (if I ever crack and actually stop being the whore) but adoption is still out the window in the wrong states (Connecticut, for all the ways it sucks, doesn’t go for that kind of discrimination so they got something going right) and if the Trump administration gets its way, being bisexual could be ground for job refusal and loss if one day I come face-to-face with a business owner who don’t want nothin’ to do wit’ my kind. Oh, and there are people who would hurt or even kill me just because some of my exes happen to have a penis – and authorities might not even give a shit. Because…ass-backwards reasons.
But even with all the bad, there is hope and that’s what I choose to embrace instead of the fear the GOP and their religiously zealot fans promote. I still have faith in America’s (potential) greatness and not the kind Trump promised to drag us back to. There are people out there, some with no skin in the fight, defending the rights and lives of LGBTers, even at risk to themselves.
They’re on the frontlines, making sure that I wake up tomorrow with the rights every American is promised in the Constitution. There are also some trying to help those trapped by cruel ideologies, the kind that groups like ISIL and Putin-minded authority figures in Mother Russia use to murder innocent men with impunity half a world away. Because of what those brave souls do, we may yet see a day when it’s truly okay to be Takei.
Until then, there will be boys afraid to speak their truths, feeling no choice but to hide it away in the deepest parts of themselves. And it’s for them I ask each and every one of you to fight back against what is happening in D.C. and state capitols all over America and beyond. LGBT rights are human rights as long as we keep speaking out and refuse to relent in our struggle for equality. If you can’t for yourself, do it for that scared thirteen-year-old boy who deserves the promised life, liberty and pursuit of happiness.
If you’re that scared boy, remember you’re not alone. It may feel it sometimes but even when you can’t go to your parents, teachers or friends, there is still help. There are organizations in the United States (Teen Line & GLBT National Help Center) and Canada (LGBT Youth Line & BroTalk) and the United Kingdom (Support Line & LGBT Foundation) that will listen. There are more throughout the world; just hit up Google to find one in your country. You can also email me or hit me up on Facebook or Twitter.
Hey y’all! I’m currently accepting questions from #BroTalk readers of the Dear Abby variety for future columns here and on my website. So if you’ve got something that needs answering hit me with it. I’m the only one with access to that email so not even my editor will know who you really are no matter how painful the threats become so you can remain as anonymous as you want.