Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Puberty at...29 (shuddup)

So last night my boyfriend called me after work. This happens pretty much every night. After the standard hellos he said "Hey...I want you to listen to something." He then proceeded to play "Everything I Do" by Bryan Adams into the phone. Cheesy ballad from a movie about men in tights, you say? True. However, it was still one of the sweetest things anyone had ever done for me. I've never had someone play sappy love songs into the phone for me. Naturally, it made me cry. A lot.

But it also made me think of some old wisdom I wanted to share with the masses, especially those unfamiliar with gay dating. So often GLBT folks don't get a chance to go through the usual dating rituals most American teens endure at the onset of puberty. We develop crushes, feel the surge of hormones, and dream of a first kiss...just like straight people. But because of the bias against same-sex relationships, we don't usually get a chance to date. We don't learn how to ask someone out. We don't learn from rejection, because we're too afraid to ask. We don't learn how to fight with a partner, make up with a partner, or decide if the time is right to even make out with one!

We have to go through the painful, awkward dance that is "courtship" later in life than most people. Granted, as GLBT youth come out at earlier ages this is shifting somewhat; many of us couldn't come out in junior high or high school. It just wasn't safe, especially if you grew up somewhere other than an urban locale, repleat with gay clubs, community centers, and youth groups. Dating is a hard thing to learn. It's even harder when you're a decade behind the learning curve.

Today's homework: Spend some time thinking about how and when you learned to date. Think about how it would have been different if your sexual orientation were different. Discuss it with a friend. Leave a comment here on the blog. Just think. :)

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