The Christian Right Is Right, Gays Make Gays
A recent personal experience got me thinking about the assertion that a lot of Christian Right, Mormons, and people in general think, that if a gay is around a child they will make the child gay. This type of thinking has kept gay teachers out of the school system in certain cases, thrown good gay Scout Leaders out of scouting and in most recent days this fear was used to keep gays from continuing to have the right to marry in California. I read with everyone else the stories on the websites telling people that if you let gays marry, they will teach kids about gay sex in the school system (and most say that they will teach kids in the second grade to really get you going – this is misconstrued by a book that was read in a second grade class about two princes that fall in love and end up living happily ever after running a kingdom together in a classroom in Massachusetts). People with sense know that this isn’t how gays become gays but apparently that “sense” is not something shared by enough people…yet. So I began to think about my own life and my life experiences and do you know what I discovered? The Christian Right is right, gays make gays – Don’t Get Me Started!
For as long as I can remember (and there are photos and old movies to prove it) I have sung, danced and performed. And even though my life has taken a corporate turn, I still put on my emotional makeup each day and enter the theatre that is my life and believe me when I say, the show I perform is exhausting but well worth it. Make no mistake about it, it’s no longer me playing the role of “Barnaby” in Hello Dolly, it’s me playing me (just with a little more flair) going through life as this character that is still being written. Only recently did I begin to think about the start of this character that is me and how it was formed.
A lot of who I am is due to my family. They were the ones who influenced me from the beginning and lo and behold, I’m not from a two Mommy or two Daddy home so right there I should be straight according to the theories. (My brother is straight but I am not.) My parents are still married, my father and I have a healthy and close relationship (so there goes that theory too about gay men being created due to absentee relationships with their fathers or something). I was in theatre from an early age and some may say that it was this exposure to the casts of people from all different walks of life and lifestyle that created my gayness. Maybe it did to a certain extent but I never wanted to be gay because someone I knew was gay, I was gay from my earliest recollections because it’s just who I was something I always knew to be true.
Around the time that I was twelve or so I started to take dance classes seriously. I loved it. To someone who had been told by his first tap teacher on his first day of tap class when he was like six years old that his mind was going faster than his feet and his feet were never going to catch up (I never went back to that class again) I appreciated every minute in class and worked really hard. Dance came naturally to me but the discipline to master the technique was something that you really had to love in order to make it happen. Natural ability is one thing, having the right teacher is another thing altogether. I have worked with great dancers who learned bad habits from a less than great teacher that it has caused injuries in their careers much earlier than they should ever have encountered. So take this as my commercial for you parents who want to put your kids into dance, find a teacher that is completely qualified.
I’m not sure how my parents found the studio where I was to take but it was across town and the teacher’s name was Gary. I can’t remember really how tall he was I can only remember that he had this haircut that was a boyish cut with bangs on his forehead and he had his signature aviator glasses on which had a gradient color of rose on the lenses. He was dynamic and the many people who took at the studio were enamored with him and his abilities (as is the case with most studios). Did I cut my hair like Gary’s? Did I beg to own a cheap pair of sunglasses that looked like Gary’s? You bet. I wanted to be like him because he was an amazing dancer and everyone loved him.
Gary became a part of our family. And with Gary came his partner, Bill. I don’t ever remember thinking that this was strange or odd that they were two men who were in love they were just Gary and Bill. I don’t really remember the two of them ever holding hands or “making out”( as some would have you believe gays can’t keep their hands off one another) I think the only signs I ever saw were a hug here or there but I remember feeling relieved at meeting them. That’s the best word I can think of, “relieved” because it let me know that I wasn’t going to have to spend my life alone because I was gay. You see, there were no gay role models when I was a kid that let you believe you could have a life that didn’t exist outside a sitcom or the center square on Hollywood Squares. I may have been beaten up at school called a “sissy” every day but when I was in dance class I was just Scott and when I was around Gary and Bill, I got that they loved one another and were partners and it gave me hope for my future. Instead of believing what was being hurled at me by bullies at school or what was laughed at on television, here was a real life example that there were gay men who could be committed to one another and share their lives.
I stopped going to dance class (I can’t really remember why at this point) and Gary and Bill broke up and went their separate ways but what Gary taught me in dance class and what both Gary and Bill taught me about being a gay man is something so priceless and cherished by me that I don’t know that I’ll ever be able to tell them how much it meant to me. Unfortunately Gary passed away recently and I hadn’t seen him in probably thirty years (it’s been that long since I’ve seen Bill too, I think). Much to no one’s surprise, Bill took a major role in making Gary’s memorial service.
So while some may see gay men being in children’s lives harmful or something awful, I’m here to tell you that it simply isn’t true. Gary and Bill taught me that it was okay to accept myself for who I was and I can’t help but believe a small part of my success as a man who has been with another man for over twenty years now in a completely monogamous relationship is thanks to Gary and Bill as individuals and as a couple. And maybe that’s the way that I “pay” them back, by living my authentic self every day with a man by my side who loves me and whom I love. So while some may think it’s a negative thing I know in my heart and soul that my success as a man and a human being is indeed thanks to a gay man, two gay men, straight people who accepted me and loved me for me and the many other mentors and teachers along the way. So instead of thinking it as negative as many would have you believe, I know it’s a positive thing. The Christian Right is right, gays make gays – Don’t Get Me Started!
Read More Scott @ www.somelikeitscott.com