Thursday, October 10, 2013

Lost Boys

I know this letter has been making the rounds and there is some question about its authenticity, but just in case you haven’t heard about it here is the summary.  A mom kicked her son out because he came out of the closet. He went to his Granddad’s place and his Granddad took him in with open arms. Then the Granddad wrote to his daughter about the situation.

Dear Christine:

I’m disappointed in you as a daughter. You’re correct that we have a “shame in the family”, but mistaken about what it is.

Kicking Chad out of your home simply because he told you he was gay is the real “abomination” here. A parent disowning her child is what goes “against nature”.

The only intelligent thing I heard you saying in all this was that “you didn’t raise your son to be gay”. Of course you didn’t. He was born this way and didn’t choose it any more than he being left-handed. You however, have made a choice of being hurtful, narrow-minded and backward. So, while we are in the business of disowning our children, I think I’ll take this moment to say goodbye to you. I now have a fabulous (as the gays put it) grandson to raise, and I don’t have time for heart-less B-word of a daughter.

If you find your heart, give us a call.

- Dad

Because this letter is all over the internet, opinions, comments and experiences are also posted.  A majority of posters side with the Granddad but there absolutely is a very, very vocal minority.

So, to the Pray-Away-The-Gay folks, here are some stats:

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services estimates that 20 % to 40 % of all homeless youth identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender (LGBT).  Given that between 3 percent and 5 percent of the U.S. population identifies as LGBT, it is safe to conclude that they experience homelessness at a disproportionate rate.

Twenty-five to thirty-three percent of homeless youth have engaged in survival sex. Nearly 50% of LGBT homeless youth have attempted suicide. The number of safe havens for homeless LGBT youth is nearly non-existent when compared to the staggering numbers of LGBT youth on the street.

While stats aren’t the most effective argument tool, they still are pretty telling.  If you know that homeless gay kids have a pretty good chance of becoming a prostitute and / or dying by their own hands, would that change your mind?  Would you let your kid stay in your home if the choice was life or death? Or, despite all that, do you believe something like “toughen-up-in-the in the real world and soon enough you’ll stop this homo silliness” or maybe even the sacrifice of removing one kid will save the rest of the family from biblical destruction.

This brings me to a parallel story about abandoning kids, specifically males, in their early teens.

In the polygamist communities, the older men with influence and power tend to do what dominant males in any group will do. They take the best resources and toss out anything that will potentially become a threat.  In this case, young girls become the desired commodity and obviously not every male can have 20 wives or even one wife.  So a portion of the young men are removed. Some excuse is fabricated and ironically, accusations of being gay is one of the justifications for removal.  The message being sacrifice your child for the good of the family and the good of the community. 

These boys are even worse off than other teens kicked out their houses.  They have little education and few applicable life skills. They don’t know how to apply for a job, access public transportation or use a computer.  The Southern Utah cities call them the Lost Boys and estimate there are about 400 of them in the area, looking for stability

My point? I think most people would agree that one of these situations is absolutely destructive and morally wrong. However, a substantial portion of the population would defend the mother’s treatment of her gay son.  I guess religious intolerance is on a sliding scale.

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