We came out when we were at the end of our teen years. Before those days, we were Straight. In other words, for us, being an adolescent meant being a Straight adolescent. We never really got to have relationships that felt complete in what could be called our “formative” years. It’s easy to be bitter over something like that, but we’re grateful that we at least came out before our twenties and rejoice in the fact that we feel like we’ve made up for lost ground.
The loss of time as an adolescent can be rationalized in the sense that on the day you come out you start over as a twelve-year-old. In a sense, the discovery of teen or adolescent life begins from that day, since you were unable to do it when you actually were a teen. In this view, when you come out at 22, that’s your “AGE 12”. When you’re 23, you’re “13”, and so on… At 24 you’re making the same kind of mistakes or learning the same things about relationships as you would have if you’d been able to be out and safely yourself when you were actually 14.
This weekend, at the GSA conference in Madison, we saw the future of our human race. It was embodied in a group of 80 teenagers, all high school students from GSAs around Wisconsin, convening for a weekend of workshops, sessions, and relationship-building. Many of these young people were newly out or just coming out. But they were all in their early teens. There’s perhaps nothing more magical than what we saw: people with the freedom to be who they are when they’re 14, the freedom to develop relationships and learn all those things in a healthy, natural, and accepted way, just like every other 14-year-old in America.
Thank God we’ve reached this point as a society. There really are no words to express how great things are, how happy we are, how incredible this is. The future is going to be so bright. It’s going to be stunning. This weekend was such an exceptionally moving time for both of us. Queer youth have a brilliant future ahead and this is an unstoppable movement. The time is come. Hallelujah.