Closet Cases And Protective Nets for the Low Hanging Fruit
In all its various forms; sexual abuse and grooming are unacceptable. However, when it comes to the LGBTIQ community; gay youths are increasingly finding themselves in the cross hairs of the pedophiles. Interestingly some of their abusers identify as being “straight”. The indicators go against the stereotype of gay men in particular as being predatory pedophiles who turn otherwise straight children into gay men later. The stereotype is frankly speaking, ridiculous; but that has not stopped it being pushed in the mainstream media and other forms of literature.
The journey starts with the clandestine nature of gay relationships. Young people who are exploring their sexuality find that they have very limited options to explore it. Dave is a senior in Colorado and tells me about his experiences:
“He was just about the only lover I could find. I suspected that there were gay guys in my school but nobody was going to come out with it like that. My uncle just happened to be the first lover I had. It was a very strange experience because I felt close to him but was at the same time disgusted that he would be doing this to me. I also felt anger that he was married with children and was a regular at the Church. Everybody here is a hypocrite. The ones who don’t get caught are the ones who are very good at that game.”
If we as a society, make a conscious decision to prevent gay people from expressing their sexuality; the predators will come in and make things happen. We cannot then turn around and complain about the nasty pedophiles when we are partly responsible for the way that things eventually turn out. We speak of same sex marriage as the great victory of our generation but in reality there are many gay people that are still living in chains. They are subjected to abuse when very young but then nobody is willing to tackle the systemic issues that make them so vulnerable.
Care that Does Not Care
I get very angry when “care” is given as the ideal solution for children who are in abusive families or lack a home. What we know of care so far is that it is an impersonal and regimented scheme that gives very little by way of family life to young people. I am a strong advocate of LGBTIQ youth to be placed with gay-friendly families rather than being taken into care. By this I do not mean that only gay couples can adopt gay children. I mean that only gay friendly couples can adopt gay children. It would be perplexing and totally unacceptable for African American adoptees to be placed with a known member of the Ku Klux Klan. Why then do we place LGBTIQ youth in homes that give every intention of being anti-gay? One of the most harrowing experiences was that of a child that was being converted. Rick will never forget or forgive his adopted family:
“From the very moment I entered the house, it was made absolutely clear that I was an unwelcome guest. Rose who was supposed to be my mum always talked about how dirty gay people were. She did not mean it as if we were not washing but that we were doing dirty things. She used to talk about the filth that roams the street. The family paid a lot of money for me to go to a “therapist” who would help me overcome my “problem”. That guy was just horrendous. He even suggested that if I was ever attracted to a man, I should imagine him covered in feces. For a time, I followed his instructions and was very unhappy about it. When I run away, the first man I met raped me and beat me nearly to death. I woke up in hospital with Rose silently admonishing me. I could see the ‘I told you so” look so clearly. I am so glad I left that nightmare of a family.”
I have had so many stories of children who have been raped repeated and egregiously in care homes. They speak of supervisors who beat them up and then ask for sexual favors in order to lessen the beatings. One even told me of a rather disgusting maxim that used to be a favorite of the caretaker: “One in the bum…no harm done”. The complains to the social worker were never heeded. This was just another “queen” acting up according to them. My heart goes out to children who for no fault of their own are placed in uncaring institutions that continue to abuse them without any serious repercussions.
The Closet Cases Looking for an Outlet
I firmly believe that some of the biggest dangers for a gay person is being in the closet or actually interacting with someone in the closet. These guys and girls always want to prove a point. They will engage in homophobic violence in order to prove that they are not that way inclined. Show me a homophobe and I will show you examples of closet cases. Steven told me about his less than friendly neighbor:
“Dr. Chiltern was always angry for some reason. They used to say that it was because he had not yet found a wife. What they did not know was that the good doctor had been raping me every Tuesday and Thursday and occasional Saturday in his house. It started off as a friendly invitation to play computer games but ended up with him grabbing me and taking me to his house to rape me whenever he wanted. I used to dread getting sick because my father always insisted that we should go to the local doctor. Dr. Chiltern called me a ‘dirty little slut” and would shout obscenities at me and even spit at me when he was raping me. He told me that I was the one who had turned him on and so I had to be nice to him to turn him off. To this day, I cannot stand to be near doctors wearing glasses.”
It is a psychological labyrinth to try and understand the closeted case that turns into a rapid homophobe, or even worse: a child abuser. The most irksome thing about this is that these people are almost always pillars of society. The distinguished priest with many years of service benefits from the naïve parents that routinely bring their children to him for instruction. Any complaints by the victims are disbelieved on the assumption that there is no way someone that is that well respected could have committed such a heinous crime. Of course we know that good people sometimes do horrendous things and that the pillars of the community are not always what they seem.
I know I am going to get a lot of flak for this but my sincere advice to any young person is: do try to stay away from the closet cases. If someone is not courageous enough to live their own lives, you might end up losing yours to them as they struggle to keep up the persona. That is not to say that there are no genuine reasons for staying in the closet. Besides, nobody asks the straight guys to come out. My problem are those closet cases that try to prove their masculinity by targeting gay people. Those people should be vigorously condemned by the LGBTIQ family.
Nightmare on the Internet
There is something about the internet that brings out the very worst of human nature. Maybe it is the casual anonymity. Maybe, it is the free for all posting. Maybe it is the egalitarian attitude. All these things not only feed the trolls that are the bane of our lives; but they also provide pedophiles with a perfect grooming ground. Mathew tells me of how he came to be passed around by a group of older men:
“It all started with a chat. My internet was monitored at home so I used to go out to cafes. The first guy was quite friendly and seemingly harmless. Hendrix was very blond but also very cool. He was my ideal fantasy. What I did not know was that Hendrix was part of a pedophile ring that would pass kids from one to another. One time he accidently sent me a post that said ‘did you enjoy the one last time’. At that point it dawned on me why these older guys seemed to be falling in and out of love with me in turns. One would break up with me and the very same day another would call me to console me with a new relationship. In total I slept with this ring of 13 guys. It made me feel dirty and used to this very day.”
No, we should not ban LGBTIQ kids from the internet. For some of them, the internet is their only solace from a world that they do not understand and one which refuses to understand them in turn. My suggestion is that there ought to be an LGBTIQ safe space on the internet where kids can meet and interact with one another. Preferably there ought to be strict age categorizations in order to avoid potential exploitation. Otherwise, the open network has become a recruiting ground for some rather sick people who get their kicks from abusing children.