I have a relatively new long-distance, internet relationship with youth who lives in Brasil. He is studying theater, is quite talented, and thinks thoughts that are well ahead of his young years!
I see in him that which I wish I had been in my youth as a Gay Man, but remind myself that those were different times and different parts of the world. It still takes a certain amount of bravery to stand up for that which you believe, and speak out against that which you feel is unjust, especially when living in a country that is not too LGBTQ friendly! Currently, Brasil's culture seems to take one step forward on gay issues and then two backward. Willian is in the middle of all of this!
He recently posted on Facebook: "Heteronormativity is unfair to us, it forbids us from so many things, before any experience we have to deal with feelings of humiliation and disapproval, several barriers are created and imposed on us. And everything is so unfair. Our development phase was unfair, our adolescence was unfair, the loves denied to us were unfair."
I responded, saying: So well said my friend Willian Lansten. Reading your comments in some ways brought back all the sorrows of my youth, the agonies, the fears, the regrets, the feelings of being different, and possibly "ill," and times I suffered being discriminated against, if not physically attacked once or twice.
But I would have to add that being outside of the norm helped me to create the strong, thoughtful, compassionate person I was as a young adult, a successful educator, adult, and now as an "old man." Every step of the way informed me as I became who I am, as I witnessed and experienced my relationship with and immense love for my dear Gregory, and continues to inform my everyday actions.
Keep up the battle, it is now up to your generation to fine-tune the work that has come before you to help define and gain acceptance for the LGBTQ Community.
I wish I was there to give you a birthday hug: