My previous blog post really had me thinking about back when I was a child. I recently spent a little time at my parents’ house looking through some old photo albums, then went back and borrowed a few of them when folks asked me to post my Green Lantern Halloween costume picture from when I was 11. The more I looked through the pictures, though, the more I wondered about that whole advice thing I said I hated doing. Given the chance, what would I say to myself at such a young age? What advice would I give? What would I say to someone who looked like this?
What could I say to me? Knowing everything I know now, is there any wisdom I could impart on him to make his life easier? To make him happier? The truth is…I’d tell him nothing. I wouldn’t say a thing. Anything I did would change everything I’ve experienced and become over the years. It wouldn’t make me appreciate anything better at that age than I did. Love my parents more? Love my dogs more? It would cheat me out of everything I’ve learned since then. I wouldn’t have learned to appreciate what I had or eventually would have.
I mentioned before that I wasn’t very good in art class. I sucked, actually, and I wasn’t much better in Cub Scouts. Yup, I was in Cub Scouts. Imagine that. And that was before they were kicking us out and telling us we couldn’t be part of the pack. Maybe I couldn’t build an airplane, but I could smile.
Did you know I was on the safety squad in grade school?
Or that I loved playing Atari with my father?
This is all me. These are the memories and pictures of a child who grew up…a gay child who grew up. No, I wasn’t into sports, but I loved me some Star Wars! I could draw Colonial Vipers from Battlestar Galactica (the only thing I could draw, by the way). I watched TV, went to movies, did my homework and longed for summer vacation despite my mother having an unerring need to buy workbooks and make me keep up on lessons. Grrr…
So what does any of this have to do with the here and now? Some of you have children of your own. There’s a chance that one of them might be gay. And, if so, my advice to you is to do the same as my parents did for me. They didn’t treat me different. They never said a thing because there wasn’t a need to. I found myself. All they did was urge me to do my best and to be my best no matter what that would be. They loved me and continued to love me. They comforted me when I was hurt, talked me up when I was down and brought me down when I was a bit too high up.
Sure, it was a different time, but had someone made an issue of my nature, I have no doubt that my parents would have supported me. Lucky for us all that it never happened.
And if it did? I might have put them at ease. You have to admit…can I mug a camera shot or what?
Kage Alan is the Ridley Scott’s Legend watching, Frankie Goes To Hollywood listening author of “A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to My Sexual Orientation,” “Andy Stevenson Vs. the Lord of the Loins” and the first book in a separate series, “Gaylias: Operation Thunderspell.” He is currently up past his bedtime loading the blog post despite an absolutely grueling day.