"Wow. That sucks dick!"
Are you aware of how frequently I hear this phrase coming out of the mouths of youth that I work with? And how much it reminds me of how far into the shadows of my sexuality I need to be in order to communicate with some of these people?
Yesterday I went out with a youth with whom I have had a good, close relationship for about four years. Unfortunately, it had been about a year since we had last hung out. Admittedly, he is the kid that cared about me as much as I cared about him - when I started approaching depression again about a year ago, he was the only person to call me on it. Unfortunately, he wasn't somebody I could tell the source of my depression to.
But he forced me to deal with it.
Yesterday, we were talking about life over the past year. Oddly enough, this always develops into a discussion about God. So, here I was, a non-church membered, former youth sponsor, former Bible camp counsellor, gay former Christian, gingerly drinking my overly hot Chai Latté and talking about God with a kid that was once in my cabin at camp and who has always struggled with his identity as a Christian. We have mutual concerns over one of his cousins who recently returned from a year at Bible College - he seems more than just different; he seems like he is aiming for conversion. Neither of us like that.
He told me two stories.
One about a tragic event. It "sucked dick".
Another about a university staff member who recently came to his high school to try and promote the university football team and used terms such as "faggot", "pussy", and "queer" in his presentation. He shared his frustration, disgust and embarrassment with me.
My heart sank a bit. Because here is a genuine kid - a great young man who will be a golden adult. Here is a kid who, when he is told something is wrong and understands why (I converted him away from using the term "chick" to describe women a couple years ago - I described to him how it is rather derogatory towards women, even if they don't recognize it as such). Here is one of the friendliest, most charming kids on the planet who sees the most attractive aspect of Christianity as the part he sees in peoples hearts and eyes, hands and feet rather than in their words. Here is a kid who is searching for something so much bigger than he is but who has never had good guidance.
But, like so many out there, here is a kid who has never been properly told how sexual and repressive our daily language is - and has never considered how it can hurt others, unless he is told specific terms to avoid. Like faggot, pussy, and chick.
I wanted to tell him that sucking dick probably isn't actually that bad.
And then to cover myself up, I wanted to remind him that his girlfriend was willing to do it to him.
All that being said, I'm getting ready to love this world. I can feel something happening inside me. There is this light - this cancerous growth - that is altering my actions. It is at once familiar and entirely new; I've felt this before, but I've never felt it when I have had so much freedom to be myself. Love.