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15 minutes ago, OKBud said:

 

I hear what you're saying, and I sense the love and respect you're endeavoring to show here. ❤️ 

But to me, it's closer to a tee-totaller. In fact they probably get guff than asexual people more often, as a rule.  

Or, like, gifted people. It gets lonely out in the streets. Still not discrimination. Not even remotely closing in on oppression. 

That’s my gut for ace by itself as a concept. I mean, I don’t really disagree.

But I think what some people are saying is that people who are ace cannot also experience homophobia because they’re ace or that clearly it should be okay for them to stay in communities that are homophobic even if they also identify as gay and I’m saying that’s definitely not true.

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8 minutes ago, StellaM said:

I don't use that concept (queer) at the request of my (lesbian) dd who chooses to prioritise the voices of gay and lesbian elders who still view it as a slur, and have no interest in reclaiming it. So it's hard for me to answer that question.

Do you mean, it's sometimes important for gay men and lesbian women to write about sex in poetry ? Yeah, just like it is for straight poets.

Not always my funnest reads (either way) because I'm pretty disinterested in love/sex as a topic for poetic discourse. I mean, btdt, and I think most people get more interesting the further they write away from their dominant, socially presented identity.

may be cultural difference between our countries- here, many communities have reclaimed the term "queer" and prefer it to label themselves, especially if they don't fall neatly into the binary - but that's not important for my point.

I didn't mean sex being the theme of the poetry. I was referring to the struggles of coming to terms and owning one's orientation as the theme. 

 

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3 minutes ago, regentrude said:

may be cultural difference between our countries- here, many communities have reclaimed the term "queer" and prefer it to label themselves, especially if they don't fall neatly into the binary - but that's not important for my point.

I didn't mean sex being the theme of the poetry. I was referring to the struggles of coming to terms and owning one's orientation as the theme. 

 

 

Yes, but many gay and lesbian people (in the US as well as AU) do NOT use the term.  And if you are asked by a loved one, then you do what the loved one requests, and avoid smooshing some very disparate experiences into one label. 

I am unaware of intersex poets who write about their experience of being 'outisde the binary' (not entirely accurate, as DSD's generally affect either males or females ) but I'd be interested in names if you have time later to share. 

the struggles of coming to terms and owning one's orientation as the theme

Is coming to terms and owning one's homsexual or bisexual orientation a valid theme for poetry? Of course. One among many. 

Is that where I am as a reader at this time ? No.

In a retreat I took in Decemeber, there was quite a bit of self-described 'queer' poetry, and honestly, maybe the selections were just poor, but I found the work incredibly dense and divorced from the sensory world. 

 

 

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On 1/25/2020 at 11:34 AM, Frances said:

Personally, I think it’s silly that our society encourages crushes of any type when kids are still elementary aged. I’ve always been puzzled by parents who think it is so cute for very young kids to “like” each other and even encourage and talk about it to others. It was not at all a thing among my son’s circle of friends (both boys and girls) or at his large homeschool center, until kids reached high school. And these were not conservative, religious people.

During my son’s one semester at a public charter school as an eleven year old, I also thought the teacher’s involvement in discussing this and encouraging it among sixth graders was ridiculous. 

Both my dh and I had crushes in early elementary onward.  We never mentioned it to anyone.  I think it happens quite often but i know we would have been mortified if anyone had noticed (and at least in my case, it was not noticeable-since I never talked with him, stared, etc)  and encouraged such behavior.  Heck- both dh and I weren't interested in anyone encouraging us to date or anything ever.  Dh took a girl to prom.  I walked around with a boy in the 9th grade junior high school graduation field trip to Kings Dominion and we held hands but we didn't take it any further and I moved almost immediately after ninth grade and he would have been going to another high school.  I didn't go to high school prom or any dances though I had been to at least one middle school dance.  Both dh and I started dating in college so in terms of real dating, we were late.  In terms of romantic interest, we were early.

But I agree, children change and what someone says at age 9 may be very different or may not. 

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On 1/25/2020 at 2:57 PM, klmama said:

Besides reassuring this child that he is very young and that his feelings may change, I would also want him to know that being attracted doesn't mean he has to act on that attraction.  People with same-sex attraction can choose celibacy and can build happy lives for themselves without romantic involvement.  That message doesn't get shared much in our secular society, but it is a welcome relief to those who don't wish to go against their religious beliefs.

This

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On 1/25/2020 at 3:01 PM, Slache said:

I've known several homosexual Christians who've chosen a heterosexual lifestyle as well.

And politicians, celebrities, etc.  Not all were Christian either. 

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3 hours ago, StellaM said:

 

I guess it's no worse than a green card marriage.

I have to say though, and this is not meant as disrespect to you personally, but I think it's much healthier for a gay man and lesbian woman to leave a religion that forces them to live a lie for acceptance. It's really not OK.

Or ya know, move to Melbourne (has a gay friendly mosque..there must be others).

 

There are gay friendly mosques...but they are pretty much exclusively in Western countries...and even in those countries, rare, and limited to large cities.  There are huge expectations of  getting married among Muslims--so I think that is why.  I don't view it as really a green card marriage (know a few of those), because these couples usually live together as friends....and some may even have children together (whether IVF is used, I really wouldn't know.) .  I hope things will continue to change and become more accepting.  I'm optimistic by the reported attitudes towards same sex marriage and such among younger Muslims these days.   Homophobia is a lot like Islamophobia in that it's harder to maintain those beliefs when you know a real gay person or Muslim person (or both) IRL.  Muslim kids these days are likely to have at least one gay friend...or at least know a few gay kids at school.  That helps regardless of what their parents may believe.

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2 hours ago, StellaM said:

Yes, but many gay and lesbian people (in the US as well as AU) do NOT use the term.  And if you are asked by a loved one, then you do what the loved one requests, and avoid smooshing some very disparate experiences into one label. 

I am unaware of intersex poets who write about their experience of being 'outisde the binary' (not entirely accurate, as DSD's generally affect either males or females ) but I'd be interested in names if you have time later to share. 

We may just have to agree that there seems to be no universally accepted way. I have loved ones who label themselves as nonbinary queer and would consider the term intersex offensive (they do not have DSDs ). I am honoring their requests and don't mean to offend your loved ones 🙂

Edited by regentrude

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On 1/25/2020 at 12:57 PM, klmama said:

Besides reassuring this child that he is very young and that his feelings may change, I would also want him to know that being attracted doesn't mean he has to act on that attraction.  People with same-sex attraction can choose celibacy and can build happy lives for themselves without romantic involvement.  That message doesn't get shared much in our secular society, but it is a welcome relief to those who don't wish to go against their religious beliefs.

It is hard for me to imagine that a gay child or teen would find it a “welcome relief” to be explicitly told what celibacy means and that they can follow their religious beliefs as long as they never date, have a boyfriend, experience a first kiss, make out, have a life partner, get married, etc. Unless some faiths allow everything except marriage and consummation of that marriage? I would think it would be devastating and frightening to contemplate that future at such a young age, especially when they are likely already experiencing all of the psychological turmoil of being raised in a religion where homosexuality is strongly condemned and they now realize that applies directly to their life.

Edited by Frances
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19 hours ago, regentrude said:

We may just have to agree that there seems to be no universally accepted way. I have loved ones who label themselves as nonbinary queer and would consider the term intersex offensive (they do not have DSDs ). I am honoring their requests and don't mean to offend your loved ones 🙂

 

Oh, my mistake. I assumed when you said 'outside the binary' you meant intersex, as that's a common error.

Most intersex people are not at all offended by being described as people with DSD's. 

I don't know what nonbinary queer means but of course you should call your loved ones that if they want. 

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19 hours ago, umsami said:

There are gay friendly mosques...but they are pretty much exclusively in Western countries...and even in those countries, rare, and limited to large cities.  There are huge expectations of  getting married among Muslims--so I think that is why.  I don't view it as really a green card marriage (know a few of those), because these couples usually live together as friends....and some may even have children together (whether IVF is used, I really wouldn't know.) .  I hope things will continue to change and become more accepting.  I'm optimistic by the reported attitudes towards same sex marriage and such among younger Muslims these days.   Homophobia is a lot like Islamophobia in that it's harder to maintain those beliefs when you know a real gay person or Muslim person (or both) IRL.  Muslim kids these days are likely to have at least one gay friend...or at least know a few gay kids at school.  That helps regardless of what their parents may believe.

 

I wouldn't underestimate the extent to which homophobia is present, even as some attitudes change.

And that's in secular society.

Allowing same sex marriage did not 'cure' straight society of their homophobia.

From reading, it seems that faith communities who view same-sex sexual relationships as a sin can compound the internalized homophobia many gay teens feel anyway.

 

 

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4 hours ago, Frances said:

It is hard for me to imagine that a gay child or teen would find it a “welcome relief” to be explicitly told what celibacy means and that they can follow their religious beliefs as long as they never date, have a boyfriend, experience a first kiss, make out, have a life partner, get married, etc. Unless some faiths allow everything except marriage and consummation of that marriage? I would think it would be devastating and frightening to contemplate that future at such a young age, especially when they are likely already experiencing all of the psychological turmoil of being raised in a religion where homosexuality is strongly condemned and they now realize that applies directly to their life.

Sorry for the delay in getting back to you on this topic.  I keep getting interrupted, and I've been struggling to explain this in a way that will make more sense to you.  If this doesn't make sense or offends you, please know that's not my intent.     

I've heard of a number of people choosing the abstinence path, and have known three personally: two young adults from my church and a middle-aged adult I know through a Christian activity. From what I understand from the younger ones, the devastation came when they lost focus on their eternal identity as children of God and accepted the secular focus on their sexuality as their identity, rather than seeing sexuality as just one aspect of their lives.  Realizing that God still loved them freed them to choose to obey Him.  All chose celibacy and are now either working in Christian ministry or pursuing training to work in ministry. I've known them for years, and the single word I would use to describe all three is "joyful."  They are choosing to live their lives doing what they believe God wants them to do, even though it sometimes requires sacrifices.  

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The person I knew who best fit that “joyful” description killed themself. I would be very careful about assuming that someone’s exterior reflects their interior.  

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4 hours ago, klmama said:

Sorry for the delay in getting back to you on this topic.  I keep getting interrupted, and I've been struggling to explain this in a way that will make more sense to you.  If this doesn't make sense or offends you, please know that's not my intent.     

I've heard of a number of people choosing the abstinence path, and have known three personally: two young adults from my church and a middle-aged adult I know through a Christian activity. From what I understand from the younger ones, the devastation came when they lost focus on their eternal identity as children of God and accepted the secular focus on their sexuality as their identity, rather than seeing sexuality as just one aspect of their lives.  Realizing that God still loved them freed them to choose to obey Him.  All chose celibacy and are now either working in Christian ministry or pursuing training to work in ministry. I've known them for years, and the single word I would use to describe all three is "joyful."  They are choosing to live their lives doing what they believe God wants them to do, even though it sometimes requires sacrifices.  

I can imagine that being called to work in ministry could fit better with a life of celibacy, as it’s even required or preferred by some denominations. I still think explaining to a ten year old what staying celibate in order to follow their religious beliefs actually entails could be pretty devastating due simply to the knowledge that they can never have a spouse or life partner. Now maybe if the child is already feeling called to the ministry, it might not be as upsetting.

I think most gay people consider sexuality as just one part of themselves and their identity, just like most heterosexuals. In general, I don’t think there is a secular focus on sexuality as identity, especially for people who aren’t put in the position of choosing between different parts of their identity. I can imagine it might seem that way to individuals in a religion where homosexuality and SSM are viewed as sinful because they would believe that a definitive choice needs to be made. And of course when people are fighting for rights they don’t currently have due to that part of their identity, it is going be in the forefront at times. Since heterosexuals generally aren’t facing discrimination based on their sexual orientation, they have the luxury of never dealing with such a situation.

 

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10 minutes ago, Frances said:

I can imagine that being called to work in ministry could fit better with a life of celibacy, as it’s even required or preferred by some denominations. I still think explaining to a ten year old what staying celibate in order to follow their religious beliefs actually entails could be pretty devastating due simply to the knowledge that they can never have a spouse or life partner. Now maybe if the child is already feeling called to the ministry, it might not be as upsetting.

I think most gay people consider sexuality as just one part of themselves and their identity, just like most heterosexuals. In general, I don’t think there is a secular focus on sexuality as identity, especially for people who aren’t put in the position of choosing between different parts of their identity. I can imagine it might seem that way to individuals in a religion where homosexuality and SSM are viewed as sinful because they would believe that a definitive choice needs to be made. And of course when people are fighting for rights they don’t currently have due to that part of their identity, it is going be in the forefront at times. Since heterosexuals generally aren’t facing discrimination based on their sexual orientation, they have the luxury of never dealing with such a situation.

 

Thanks for the bold.  I kept trying to comment and it never came out right.

I remember the first time my own brother spoke to me after I told him my ds was transgender. He had ignored me for six months and then called because he was coming to visit family. He wanted to make sure I knew that while he was here there was to be no talking about ds being transgender. It led to quite the conversation but he didn't believe we don't talk about it all the time or that it isn't a huge part of our daily conversations.

Both of my dc are part of the LGBTQ community and it is definitely just one aspect of their lives but isn't some all consuming thing they, and those around them, think about or talk about all the time. One of mine has never even dated and the other had just one short relationship. That isn't where their focus is but they still get condemned just for admitting they are who they are. They're both just normal young adults trying to get through college so their sexuality is definitely not some big focus point for them. 

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2 hours ago, Frances said:

I can imagine that being called to work in ministry could fit better with a life of celibacy, as it’s even required or preferred by some denominations. I still think explaining to a ten year old what staying celibate in order to follow their religious beliefs actually entails could be pretty devastating due simply to the knowledge that they can never have a spouse or life partner. Now maybe if the child is already feeling called to the ministry, it might not be as upsetting.

I think most gay people consider sexuality as just one part of themselves and their identity, just like most heterosexuals. In general, I don’t think there is a secular focus on sexuality as identity, especially for people who aren’t put in the position of choosing between different parts of their identity. I can imagine it might seem that way to individuals in a religion where homosexuality and SSM are viewed as sinful because they would believe that a definitive choice needs to be made. And of course when people are fighting for rights they don’t currently have due to that part of their identity, it is going be in the forefront at times. Since heterosexuals generally aren’t facing discrimination based on their sexual orientation, they have the luxury of never dealing with such a situation.

 

It's late, and I'm tired, so please excuse any incoherence in my answer.  I'm not going to have time to be on here tomorrow, and I wanted to respond.

We don't know how the child described by the OP feels about his same-sex attraction.  Is he scared?  Upset?  Happy?  Unless I've forgotten some important details, all we know is that he told his mom about it.  We're all projecting our own beliefs based on our own experiences and those of people we know, and any one of us or all of us may be wrong about what would help in this particular case.  That's the beauty of this board - having lots of people sharing ideas, so there are more to choose from.  Hopefully, the OP was able to glean something that will actually help her friends.

Regarding secular focus on sexuality as identity....  As an example, the public (secular) schools here and particularly the student affinity groups within the schools push the idea, whether or not they intend to.  They are trying to eliminate discrimination and bullying, but in the process students do absorb that their sexuality IS their identity.  Sometimes it's more blatant, but often it's small things like the previous poster describing that her kids were condemned for admitting "they are who they are."  Not for admitting "they like who they like."  That's how the idea of sexuality as identity is planted, even when people may not be trying to convey that idea.

Sorry, my brain is too tired.  I had more to add, but this took way too long already, and I need to call it a night.  Thanks for the conversation.

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17 minutes ago, klmama said:

It's late, and I'm tired, so please excuse any incoherence in my answer.  I'm not going to have time to be on here tomorrow, and I wanted to respond.

We don't know how the child described by the OP feels about his same-sex attraction.  Is he scared?  Upset?  Happy?  Unless I've forgotten some important details, all we know is that he told his mom about it.  We're all projecting our own beliefs based on our own experiences and those of people we know, and any one of us or all of us may be wrong about what would help in this particular case.  That's the beauty of this board - having lots of people sharing ideas, so there are more to choose from.  Hopefully, the OP was able to glean something that will actually help her friends.

Regarding secular focus on sexuality as identity....  As an example, the public (secular) schools here and particularly the student affinity groups within the schools push the idea, whether or not they intend to.  They are trying to eliminate discrimination and bullying, but in the process students do absorb that their sexuality IS their identity.  Sometimes it's more blatant, but often it's small things like the previous poster describing that her kids were condemned for admitting "they are who they are."  Not for admitting "they like who they like."  That's how the idea of sexuality as identity is planted, even when people may not be trying to convey that idea.

Sorry, my brain is too tired.  I had more to add, but this took way too long already, and I need to call it a night.  Thanks for the conversation.

I absolutely agree we are all likely projecting our own beliefs and experiences on the situation. Having been a devout Catholic for the first half of my life, surrounded by close evangelical friends in college and young adulthood, then a Methodist and now agnostic, I’ve definitely experienced a range of beliefs, both directly and indirectly. I also really like hearing and learning from all of the different perspectives on this board and really appreciate your thoughtful posts on this topic.

And I don’t disagree that in some secular situations, especially more recently, people or institutions can encourage the idea that sexuality is identity, whether purposefully or not. As I mentioned in my earlier post and you mention above, dealing with discrimination is one such time when it can come to the forefront, even for people for whom it’s not normally the case. But I also think it can it arise in situations where someone is not free, due to their religion, family of origin, and/or culture to simply follow who they are, just as heterosexuals do. It can create such psychological distress and turmoil and even danger that it takes on a much larger role in their identity. I’ve certainly read about many such cases, some unfortunately ending in suicide. I’m extremely thankful that my son grew up in a time, place, family, and religion where it really could be just one part of his identity, just like it is for most heterosexuals. And in my personal experience, he is not unique. 

I hope you have a good night’s sleep. I actually just woke up from an ill-timed nap, as I was trying to sleep off a bad headache brought on by a stressful day at work. Hopefully I will still be able to sleep well tonight. I’ve enjoyed the conversation and appreciate your posts.

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5 hours ago, klmama said:

It's late, and I'm tired, so please excuse any incoherence in my answer.  I'm not going to have time to be on here tomorrow, and I wanted to respond.

We don't know how the child described by the OP feels about his same-sex attraction.  Is he scared?  Upset?  Happy?  Unless I've forgotten some important details, all we know is that he told his mom about it.  We're all projecting our own beliefs based on our own experiences and those of people we know, and any one of us or all of us may be wrong about what would help in this particular case.  That's the beauty of this board - having lots of people sharing ideas, so there are more to choose from.  Hopefully, the OP was able to glean something that will actually help her friends.

Regarding secular focus on sexuality as identity....  As an example, the public (secular) schools here and particularly the student affinity groups within the schools push the idea, whether or not they intend to.  They are trying to eliminate discrimination and bullying, but in the process students do absorb that their sexuality IS their identity.  Sometimes it's more blatant, but often it's small things like the previous poster describing that her kids were condemned for admitting "they are who they are."  Not for admitting "they like who they like."  That's how the idea of sexuality as identity is planted, even when people may not be trying to convey that idea.

Sorry, my brain is too tired.  I had more to add, but this took way too long already, and I need to call it a night.  Thanks for the conversation.


Until December 2018, I worked at  public high school with an active GSA.  I saw kids in those clubs that have rich multifaceted identities.  They would tell you they ARE students and athletes, and dancers and mathematicians, and Christians and Jews.  Many of them are friends and allies to my students with significant disabilities.  And some of them know that they are lesbian or gay or straight, while others just know that they have questions.  
 

Being my husband’s wife, the person he loves, and the mother of his children is an important part of my identity, and that is all wrapped up with being a straight woman.  If you told me I could no longer say that I am his wife, and should instead simply say “I like DH”, well this website probably has filters to prevent me from saying what I’d think.

If the children in your community  are growing up with the message that saying “I am gay” or “I am straight” or “I love Jordan” is somehow incompatible with saying “I am a baseball player” or “I am a musician” or “I love Jesus” then that’s likely something they are learning from society and not from a club at school.  

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On 1/28/2020 at 12:59 AM, klmama said:

Regarding secular focus on sexuality as identity....   but in the process students do absorb that their sexuality IS their identity. 

I think it's more complicated. Societal norms are incredibly pervasive, and once we pause to examine how much of our life is ruled by heteronormative gender based expectations, it becomes exhausting. It's not just the overt teachings of your home or church, but the representation in media, in the books and films the child is exposed to since infancy. The princess ends up with the prince. That's how it is supposed to be. Ad nauseam.  So if you don't fit that pattern (either because of your sexual orientation, or because you do not identify with your birth assigned gender), wouldn't that have to become important for your identity?

I am a woman married to a man and have been with my husband for 32 years - that constitutes a big part of my identity, and the identity society ascribes to me. Only I have the luxury of not having to think about it, since it's the default (just like, being white in a county where 93% of the population are Caucasian, I have the luxury of not having to think about that either).  I obviously also derive identity from other things, but it would be disingenuous to claim that this isn't an important part. 

 

Edited by regentrude
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Also, often times it is other people making that identity a big deal and not the person themselves.

Youngest didn't have any big coming out moment. We knew since she was about 14 that she liked girls and it was no big deal. It was certain family who would constantly ask about boys when they would see her. Finally, she told them she liked girls to get them to stop asking why she wasn't dating any cute boys. She's 18 and has never even dated but certain people still think it's a big fat deal (sin) that if/when she does date it will be girls. That's on them, not on her. 

Oldest didn't make a big deal either. Family was simply told he was transgender and had a new name. Then, he went on with his life. They, again, are the ones that made it such a huge issue. 

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IIRC this is a 10yo we're talking about.  At that age, most kids don't even want to think about having sex - it's still gross and scary.  So giving a kid the idea that s/he could actually live a whole life without having sex might indeed be a good thought for him/her.  I recall wishing my religion had nuns like the Catholic religion.  😛

The idea that the deep lifelong implications of this need to be explained to a 10yo who thinks he is gay?  I'm a "no" on that.

A single / celibate life is a legitimate option regardless of one's inborn sexual orientation.

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Do people think heteronormativity is bad on a societal scale? 

Seems to me that a binary, sexually reproducing species is going to be heteronormative. This isn't just a matter of culture, there's basic biology at the foundation.

So... when there is a norm, any norm, individuals who find themselves outside the norm are going to encounter stress points. There are a variety of ways of dealing with that on an individual and societal scale, but railing against the existence of the norm (not saying that is happening in this thread, but I see it a lot in general discourse) when that norm is based in fundamental reproductive reality seems unproductive.

Unpopular opinion I know, but I'm quite confident that any healthy human society will be heteronormative. 

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Ten year olds are about in fifth grade, maybe fourth. Many of them are becoming curious about what sex is. I'm in my 50s and well before the internet, by sixth grade, I knew I liked boys. My friend, also in sixth grade, used to go to middle school basketball games and would sneak out and make out with boys. That was in the 1970s in rural Montana. Ten might be a little young yet, but if a child is curious enough to begin asking questions about sexuality, they likely can find all kinds of information on the internet some of which, IMO, is not appropriate for that age. That is why it's so important to let them know they can come to a parent to ask questions. No need to get into the nitty gritty but just let them know they can come to you.

Celibacy only works if the individual truly wants that. It's entirely possible for them to lead a secret life so that they don't get shunned by their family or community. It does happen.

 

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4 hours ago, regentrude said:

(just like, being white in a county where 93% of the population are Caucasian, I have the luxury of not having to think about that either). 

Did you mean your state? The US is about 72% white if you include Hispanics who self-identify as white, about 60% if you don't. 

Edited by katilac
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20 minutes ago, BeachGal said:

Ten year olds are about in fifth grade, maybe fourth. Many of them are becoming curious about what sex is. I'm in my 50s and well before the internet, by sixth grade, I knew I liked boys. My friend, also in sixth grade, used to go to middle school basketball games and would sneak out and make out with boys. That was in the 1970s in rural Montana. Ten might be a little young yet, but if a child is curious enough to begin asking questions about sexuality, they likely can find all kinds of information on the internet some of which, IMO, is not appropriate for that age. That is why it's so important to let them know they can come to a parent to ask questions. No need to get into the nitty gritty but just let them know they can come to you.

Celibacy only works if the individual truly wants that. It's entirely possible for them to lead a secret life so that they don't get shunned by their family or community. It does happen.

 

Keeping in mind that boys tend to be about 2 years behind girls in maturity ....

If a boy that age is hyper interested or trying to engage sexually, that is a red flag for sexual abuse.  It's that uncommon.

Of course it's possible this particular child is the exception, but I think it much more likely that he is not making plans to engage in sexual activities.  It cannot hurt to let him know that celibacy is an option for people who aren't interested in what most adults in the community do.

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7 minutes ago, katilac said:

Did you mean your state? The US is about 72% white if you include Hispanics who self-identify as white, about 60% if you don't. 

No, as I said, I was referring to my county. My county is 93% white. Rural Midwest.

Edited by regentrude
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6 minutes ago, regentrude said:

No, as I said, I was referring to my county. My county is 93% white. Rural Midwest.

Oh, we don't have counties in my state, the word never registers with me! #teamparish

 

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14 minutes ago, SKL said:

Keeping in mind that boys tend to be about 2 years behind girls in maturity ....

If a boy that age is hyper interested or trying to engage sexually, that is a red flag for sexual abuse.  It's that uncommon.

Of course it's possible this particular child is the exception, but I think it much more likely that he is not making plans to engage in sexual activities.  It cannot hurt to let him know that celibacy is an option for people who aren't interested in what most adults in the community do.

 

Re-read what I said. I did not say 10 year old boys are "engaging in sex." I said they are becoming curious and their curiosity could lead them to check out inappropriate content on the internet. And that is why it's important to keep the doors of communication open.

I further said that my girl friend began making out (only kissing) with boys from our class -- all sixth graders so about age 11 -- back in the 1970s. I don't think it's all that out of the norm at least it wasn't from what I saw.

I have absolutely no problem with individuals being celibate or talking to their children about living a celibate life. In fact, I've had that conversation myself with my gay son, but we also emphasized that if he decided he'd rather not be celibate, that's fine, too. He's been in a relationship for almost two years with a very nice young man. It's okay with us. I'd much rather he know that he can be fully honest with us. We will not reject him.

 

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21 minutes ago, BeachGal said:

 

Re-read what I said. I did not say 10 year old boys are "engaging in sex." I said they are becoming curious and their curiosity could lead them to check out inappropriate content on the internet. And that is why it's important to keep the doors of communication open.

I further said that my girl friend began making out (only kissing) with boys from our class -- all sixth graders so about age 11 -- back in the 1970s. I don't think it's all that out of the norm at least it wasn't from what I saw.

I have absolutely no problem with individuals being celibate or talking to their children about living a celibate life. In fact, I've had that conversation myself with my gay son, but we also emphasized that if he decided he'd rather not be celibate, that's fine, too. He's been in a relationship for almost two years with a very nice young man. It's okay with us. I'd much rather he know that he can be fully honest with us. We will not reject him.

 

I agree with encouraging open communication, which goes both ways, albeit tailored to the child's age.

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5 hours ago, SKL said:

IIRC this is a 10yo we're talking about.  At that age, most kids don't even want to think about having sex - it's still gross and scary.  So giving a kid the idea that s/he could actually live a whole life without having sex might indeed be a good thought for him/her.  I recall wishing my religion had nuns like the Catholic religion.  😛

The idea that the deep lifelong implications of this need to be explained to a 10yo who thinks he is gay?  I'm a "no" on that.

A single / celibate life is a legitimate option regardless of one's inborn sexual orientation.

 

I think that telling kids that they can be gay and not experience disapproval in certain religious communities if they just don't have sex is dishonest.  The reality, is that there are religious communities who continue to fight against LGBT people's rights to marry, adopt children, serve as leaders in activities involving youth, etc . . .   Recently I read an article about a girl who was kicked out of her Christian high school for posting a picture of herself on social media eating a cake decorated in the colors of the rainbow.  

Most 10 year olds are not interested in sex, or planning on having sex, but they are certainly interested in other things on that list.   My oldest started telling me at age 5 about how he was going to name his first son Spongebob and his second son Pikachu.  At 7 he asked me how he could make sure his kids were all boys and not girls.  At 9 my middle kid expressed opinions on the question of whether he'd wear a suit or a tuxedo if he was the one getting married.   My youngest, who is 9, has talked about wanting to coach youth hockey.  So, while kids this age may not be planning on having sex in the immediate future, they are thinking about and planning activities that might be closed to them if they chose to be both members of certain religious groups and openly gay.  

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12 minutes ago, CuriousMomof3 said:

 

I think that telling kids that they can be gay and not experience disapproval in certain religious communities if they just don't have sex is dishonest.  The reality, is that there are religious communities who continue to fight against LGBT people's rights to marry, adopt children, serve as leaders in activities involving youth, etc . . .   Recently I read an article about a girl who was kicked out of her Christian high school for posting a picture of herself on social media eating a cake decorated in the colors of the rainbow.  

Most 10 year olds are not interested in sex, or planning on having sex, but they are certainly interested in other things on that list.   My oldest started telling me at age 5 about how he was going to name his first son Spongebob and his second son Pikachu.  At 7 he asked me how he could make sure his kids were all boys and not girls.  At 9 my middle kid expressed opinions on the question of whether he'd wear a suit or a tuxedo if he was the one getting married.   My youngest, who is 9, has talked about wanting to coach youth hockey.  So, while kids this age may not be planning on having sex in the immediate future, they are thinking about and planning activities that might be closed to them if they chose to be both members of certain religious groups and openly gay.  

Well all this is true whether or not a child mentions at age 10 that s/he thinks s/he is gay.

Not really sure what the suggestion is.  Tell this 10yo kid he needs to walk away from Islam and all Muslims?  Tell him his life is likely to be hell if it's true that he's gay?  Write a letter to the mosque insisting that the message be changed to welcome gay people?

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Just now, SKL said:

Well all this is true whether or not a child mentions at age 10 that s/he thinks s/he is gay.

Not really sure what the suggestion is.  Tell this 10yo kid he needs to walk away from Islam and all Muslims?  Tell him his life is likely to be hell if it's true that he's gay?  Write a letter to the mosque insisting that the message be changed to welcome gay people?


I think all of your suggestions are bad, but not any worse than "don't worry you can just be celibate and everything will be fine".  Because that's a bald faced lie. In order to be accepted as a member of many religiously conservative community a gay person needs to give up a lot more than sex.  

How about "I love you.  This doesn't make a whit of difference in how I feel about you and I'm really proud of you for telling me.  This might make things hard, but know that I'll help you and stand beside you as we figure this out.  It's probably be safer if we're thoughtful about who and how we share this, because unfortunately the world is not as it should be."  

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We don't need to figure out this child's entire life right now. She asked what she should say. Some of us said to tell him to be quiet and some of us said to be supportive. They can probably figure the rest out on their own.

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56 minutes ago, Slache said:

We don't need to figure out this child's entire life right now.

 

We probably could if we put our heads to it though. lol

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13 hours ago, maize said:

Do people think heteronormativity is bad on a societal scale? 

Seems to me that a binary, sexually reproducing species is going to be heteronormative. This isn't just a matter of culture, there's basic biology at the foundation.

So... when there is a norm, any norm, individuals who find themselves outside the norm are going to encounter stress points. There are a variety of ways of dealing with that on an individual and societal scale, but railing against the existence of the norm (not saying that is happening in this thread, but I see it a lot in general discourse) when that norm is based in fundamental reproductive reality seems unproductive.

Unpopular opinion I know, but I'm quite confident that any healthy human society will be heteronormative. 

 

Any continuing human society MUST be largely heteronormative!

I mean, c'mon, it's how the species survives 🙂

It's pretty easy to accept that AND accept that minority of people are gay. Who knows why that minority of people are gay? There's probably some reason. But we'd be in strife as a species if most people resisted or desisted from the heteronorm.

 

 

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