Thursday, March 25, 2010

You Can Go To Prom, But You Can't Live Here

I reported a few days ago about a boy named Derrick Martin whose school has approved him and his boyfriend to attend prom together...as a couple. This would be a wonderful thing, except that the amount of press surrounding Derrick's prom triumph has proven too much for his parents.

But because of the media attention, Martin’s parents have kicked him out and the teen is staying with a friend, he said.

Even though so many people have been coming out of the woodwork to support Derrick, his boyfriend, and their family, the parents of this young man don't want all of the hullabaloo surrounding having an activist icon. It doesn't matter how many limos you offer to rent or tuxes you send, if the boy doesn't have the support of his parents the whole thing becomes rather bitter tasting.

But, why would parents want to throw their son out on his butt like this? It is estimated that nearly 700,000 gay teens find themselves in this situation, where parents just cannot deal with having a gay, bisexual, or transgender child under their roof. We know people are afraid of what they don't know, but it is strange to think that parents can pretend to legitimately not know their own children, despite sexual orientation.

I actually went through a period with my parents, years ago, where they wanted me to move out, because they just didn't know how to deal with my dating guys. Now we're great, and they love my partner, but there was a time, a very long time, where things were very bad between us. During that time I had resolved that my parents probably would never be a part of my life. I'm glad I'm wrong, but, statistically, I'm one of the lucky ones.

Derrick Martin's story, no doubt, will have a happy ending. He's a handsome young man who's getting plenty of media attention. Even if his parents don't take him back, he'll have the gay community at large to fall back on. If he works this right, he could get book deals, a show on LOGO or Bravo, television appearances, and turn his story into a nice living.

But what about the hundreds of thousands of other teens? Who speaks for them?

Happy prom, Derrick. I hope you use this opportunity to turn 15-minutes of fame into a public outcry against parents kicking their children out of their homes just because they would also like to take their boyfriend or girlfriend to prom.

Love and Lyte,

Fire Lyte

5 comments:

  1. Good for Derrick for bringing this to the forefront and SHAME on his parents. How could you turn your back on your own child? Disgusts me.

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  2. This story struck a chord within me. I worked with teenagers and younger kids for over 20 years. It was in a "church" situation so it was essential that what we discussed was kept private. I saw many families reject their kids. Actually this was one of my reasons for deciding to stop working for "the church". It was hellacious to watch people who espouse to believe in ultimate "forgiveness" to give away their kids to the street or worse. Thanks for posting this story. If only one family works out their feelings and learn acceptance....yeah for you and yeah for them.
    PS...I am very happy pagan now

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  3. There are reasons I don't like to use my real name on the Internet. One of them is that if my parents knew I was bisexual, I'd be out on the streets myself.

    My heart goes out to Derrick, and to the other boys and girls in his same situation. And yes, shame on those parents! Your son needs you right now, more than ever!

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  4. I don't understand this. I have a gay grandson and a lesbian granddaughter. How could I stop loving them just because they choose to live differently from me? They are still the beautiful, loving kids I have loved since they were babies.

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  5. Unfortunately, some people value their beliefs about the sinfulness and awfulness of homosexuality than they value their own loved ones, their own flesh and blood. My heart goes out to any young man or woman who finds themselves alone and without support simply for being honest about who they are. I also count myself blessed that despite the fact that they don't like the fact that I'm gay, my parents still love me and are still there for me in those rare instances that I need their support.

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