As a mid-40-something, it’s easy for me to lapse into hope that the world is a much better place for gay teens and young adults than 25-30 years ago. Maybe all the talk about gays and ex-gays isn’t impacting them as much as I worry it is.

Wandering around a few blogs, it becomes rapidly apparent that the challenges remain. Here’s a sample. (Note: Bits of strong language ahead.)

Alex talks about childhood hopes and dreams and today’s realities:

So this is where I am. I’m 17, and I drive my own Mustang just got my permit. I’ve been dating my girl for three years now and I’m popping the question next week I’m gay, which in itself is an incredible journey through hate, intolerance, and self-loathing. I work as a personal assistant to a lawyer I have a crappy job at Applebee’s that I have to save up for my car to spend on myself. I have many friends have a few people who really matter to me. I have a 4.3 GPA barley keep my C average. I am going to be a doctor nurse. These are my realities.

From one of the most recent updates to Justin‘s blog, in April 2003:

Just this last summer (July) I came out to my family, my dad was/is a really bad alcholic & when I came home one day he was drunk screaming at me and this is how it went. He was screaming putting me down as usual so I stood right in his face & said, “you know I accept you being a drunkin asshole, Why can’t you except me being gay?” Thats when it happened he beat the shit out of me to the ponit I had to have medical attention. Yeah I know to some of you who are reading this it’s just another poor coming out story another sorry faggit geting what he deserves.

He continues by explaining that “I put my dad in jail,” from which legal aftershocks were still occuring almost a year later, with his parents reminding him “it is all my fault I screwed up their lives”.

A poignant self-description that defies labels:

I am a 22 year old male who is still questioning his sexuality. I find men quite beautiful, but I simply cannot classify myself as gay or bisexual until I find out for sure if I like girls or not – I’m still inexperienced in the girl department. Music, computers, my friends and boys are my passion at the moment. I love them all and wouldn’t know where I would be without any of them.

From a blog which has been dormant since this post last August:

ME an Jon called it quits I actually cheated on him so we would end the relationship.. why do u ask well I was informed by him that HE would never marry a gay guy or anything an that also when he turned 25 he plannd the following REGARDLESS of how the relationship was doing…

  1. DUmp Me
  2. Find A chick
  3. Knock her up

now I got to thinking an WAS LIKE WHY AM I STILLL WITH HIM Am i not setting myslef up for heartache if i stay = so eventually it was ended after a him choking me which didnt hurt me physically but EMOTIONALLY…. from the moment after he did that I had died inside….I am slowly returning to normal… dear jon had always told me to stop talking like a fag…

Title of the blog: Jon+Jason=PUREHAPPINESS

The work remains, friends, in creating the world we want to live in, a world that is safe, a world that allows and challenges young folks to develop vibrant adult lives regardless of whether they are same-sex-attracted or not, religious, or questioning, or conservative, liberal, or elsewhere.

In lazy moments my brain meanders onto a vision of a book: Gay, Ex-gay, In Between, None of the Above or Nunya Business: A Primer for Youth and Parents. Ideally it would be written by folks from many perspectives, unearthing common threads. Even bring a small group of PFLAG and PFOX folks together to talk about shared experiences.

Am I dreamin’? Sure.

But, amidst all of the war-talk that surrounds these cultural battles, I’m just crazy enough to dream about alternatives.

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