Friday, February 24, 2012

Gay at 7??

Ok so I was going to talk about a different video by the Young Turks that my boyfriend had shown me, depicting Rick Santorum talking about repealing Don't Ask, Don't Tell and how military men cannot trust queer men in the barracks, let alone in combat. But we all know he is... ignorant (to say the least), so I figured I would show this much more interesting video instead.

The two hosts, Cenk and Ana, are discussing a mother who blogs about her 7 year old son. At one point, she blogged about how her son came out to them, telling them that he is gay, and they not only just accepted it, but went out of their way to talk to teachers about it and may have "encouraged" his "gayness" by celebrating it. Then a discussion springs between the two anchors and some of the crew about what the parents should/should not have done and whether or not a 7 year old can determine her/his sexual orientation. I thought some of their points were interesting and just wanted to talk about them.

I tend to agree with Ana, and I find it funny that the main point most of the other people bring up is that 7 years old is just way too young to determine your sexual orientation. The parents should have just let it be because in a year or so (or even just a month), the little boy and his short attention span will just move on and define himself in some other way. They give examples of jobs they wanted to have when they were young and how that would be ridiculous or completely uninteresting now. Then Ana fires back with a great counter point about how she knew when she was five that she was straight, which most people never think to say. When do straight people realize they are straight? Personally, after reading studies about gender development and sexual orientation, I think it is a lot younger than people think. Most people get a sense of their own gender identity/conception around the time they are 5-7 years old, and most of the queer people that I know or have come into contact with have said that they either knew they were LGBTQ or "different" than others before they were 10 years old. So maybe 7 years old is not too young and that is when most everyone starts noting their sexuality, but heterosexual people do not notice it as extensively because their feelings are "normal" and reinforced by their parents, their schools, the media, society, etc. The comments on the video reflect most people's inability to fathom this development at such a young age.

Another point brought up is whether the parents should actively go out and reinforce their son's proclamation like go to his school and talk to the teachers or "celebrate" his gayness. I understand the concern I suppose, and I do think it is somewhat of a tricky situation. Because if the little boy really does not understand what it means to be gay, then this could supposedly put him in a social situation in which he feels he needs to be gay later on down the road. I guess it is as if he has become the token gay  kid and identifies as straight later, his parents' actions could come back to bite him. But I find it funny that they are almost trying to protect his possibly heterosexuality, even though he is saying he is homosexual. It is like we have to at all costs leave this possibility open for him and not damage it for later on I suppose. Then Ana again brings up a good point too. No one should tell her/his child to be quiet (and by extension ashamed) to be gay. No parent should teach her/his child to be ashamed about any  part of their being. But most everyone is saying that they should not celebrate nor suppress his homosexuality, to which Ana asks what is the worst case scenario? Later on if he feels he is straight, he can just say that and I am sure people will not oppose him because that is the norm, whereas the other way around would be much more difficult and he would also have negative feelings associated with his gayness because his parents pretty much just ignored it/did not take it seriously. 

1 comment:

  1. I think it also does not help that many people in this society believe that loving a man somehow makes you less of a man. Because of this fact the guys on the show, I think, are bothered by the thought of having a gay son and that somehow their son's sexual orientation is a reflection on them.