Well, this weekend has been an education in accepting things as they are. This is kinda the official end, since I didn’t have to work due to Columbus Day. I’m not even going to touch on that particular topic as I have mixed feelings about it. This is also National Coming Out day. I don’t have quite the mixed feelings about the latter as I do the former.
Riverside Pride went very well in one respect and not so well in another. From my job perspective, we did 3 tests in the 8 hours we were there. In our defense; it was over a hundred most of the afternoon, the event was on blacktop which reflects heat viciously and there was little advance notice of the event. We did give out many condoms which included our 800 number so that people could call to find a testing location at a better and less heated time.
What went well was the speech that Will Phillips gave on bullying. I enjoyed spending time with him and his mother Laura and father Jay. They are a remarkable family. I was also pleased that I had the honor of writing their letters of recognition from the Jeffery Owens Community Center which sponsored, hosted and ran the Pride event. I felt bad that the heat was so intense. The Phillips family isn’t used to dry desert heat. Still, things went well over all.
Spending Sunday recovering from lack of sleep the day before was very good. I caught up on my Facebook apps and just read a majority of the day. Aaron isn’t feeling well which sucks. I am just glad I didn’t catch what he did. Hopefully I’ll dodge it altogether.
I was rather floored when I saw that Will Phillips came out as Bi today. It gives me mixed feelings. If ever an eleven year old knew his own mind, he does. I also understand where his father is coming from too. It may be early, it may not be. Individual variation is pretty standard when it comes to timing of discovering a person’s sexuality. I am more curious to know what Will thinks. How did he reach his conclusion? What does sexuality mean to him at his particular age? Why choose now to decide?
He is more fortunate than some in that his parents will give him unconditional support. I watched their interactions on Saturday and saw all the hallmarks of good parenting. There is a lot of love there. There are also boundaries. I don’t have much worry for him in that respect. His home town, that could be tricky. Probably no more so than for many others. With his visibility though, it is harder to blend in since many eyes will be on him constantly.
Then, to end the day, I read about another teen suicide relating to sexuality. My heart keeps getting hammered with each new one. I know this has been going on unreported in the media for decades. I know that this is NOT new. It makes me bleed for all those that we don’t know about. For all those that did not say anything and just quietly left the world without saying why.
I wanted to pull out a sword and start swinging at a fundie that was spewing ever so gentle condemnation on a friend’s Facebook post today. You cannot change the mind of a fanatic. It is a pointless exercise in futility. I also cannot say nothing. Silence is consent. Silence means only the one voice is heard and who knows who may be listening that needs to hear opposition to fanaticism. I will not likely be silent again in the face of these people’s voices. I won’t let another teen hear the condemnation without hearing the hope.