One Teenager in Ten- ed. Ann Heron

(Not discussed by the group but written in a personal capacity.)oti10

A collection of short autobiographies by some gay teenagers in the states. Despite the days of liberation and the so-called permissive society, it is quite clear that most of these kids have suffered considerable pain in terms of the loss of friends and the isolation they feel as a result of their sexuality. There seems to have been no progress here since the past two generations. Where there has been progress is in terms of guilt-feelings. The past two generations will have probably had less ostracism because they will have been less honest, indeed less sure, about themselves but they will have faced guilt and self-doubt about their sexuality, assuming themselves to be the only ones in an age when the subject was never mentioned except by comedians in jokes and in condemnatory sermons.

Clergy and teachers need to be more clued up on this subject, not least because their employers are amongst the more repressive and they risk trouble if they seriously care pastorally for gay teenagers. Gay teachers and gay clergy are the most vulnerable and yet the most knowledgeable – their role is probably to spread their gospel to ‘straight’ clergy and teachers for the latter to act. Individuals have exercised tremendous pastoral care in the past but society at large is still very prejudiced to the extent that gayness if probably the largest intolerance-area, despite gay people forming society’s biggest minority group after the elderly.

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