I have a lot of friends at work who are straight. Every time We’re out to lunch, a subject of great interest to them are any and all young girls dining around us. They make jokes about the television show where Chris Hanson catches adults in the act of attempting to prey sexually on a minor. Maybe that’s why the idea of a gay man in a room full of children inevidibly leads adults to the conclusion that the gay man wants to have sex with the kids.
This is the stereotype we’re constantly up against as gay men in a judeo Christian society. For some reason, gay = pedophile. It is a prejudice ingrained into the American psyche and enshrined by the myriad lawsuits against the Roman Catholic church.
There’s also a second prejudice at work and that’s the prejudice that refuses to see a 16-18 year old man as being capable of making adult choices when it comes to sexuality. There’s a difference between a seventeen year old boy who makes the choice to go to a gay bar and pick up a signifcantly older gay man because that’s what interests him sexually and a teacher or person in a position of authority using that authority to make a minor child do something they ordinarilly wouldn’t.
At what point does a child become emotionally able to make his or her own choices about sex? That I cannot say. But we’ve all seen movies and television where the attractive under age high-schooled uses his or her good looks to get what they want and manipulate a hapless victim by using society’s prejudice.
I was told a story at breakfast this morning where a gay man in plant city adopted a 15 year old who then cried sexual abuse when an argument didn’t go his way. The foster parent lost his house, job, went to jail and will be labeled a sexual predator the rest of his life because a troubled child decided to do evil to another human being.
I am what us known the gay community as a ‘bear’. Sexually, I like and prefer heavier, older, harier gay men. I an physically repulsed by the idea of looking at younger boys in a sexual context. But can tell you right now, simply because I’m gay it would be very easy to believe that I committed some haveous act on some unsuspecting neighborhood boy or on someone I had been charged with foster parenting.
Do I believe in gay adoption and foster parenting? Of course. Do I believe society will allow gay men and women to adopt and lead happy healthy lives with their children? That’s another question entirely. I doubt it.