Houston Chronicle Columnist Instructs Parents to Tell Their Gay Kids to Stay in the Closet for Their Own Safety

Houston Chronicle columnist Kathleen McKinley has penned an incredibly homophobic and irresponsible column suggesting that LGBTQ teens should be told by their parents to stay in the closet for their own safety.

MckinleyMcKinley says she came up with her brilliant idea after reading a People magazine about gay teen suicides due to bullying.

Am I mad at the hateful mean kids who bully and tease these teens? You bet I am. But I am just as mad at the idiotic adults who force our adult views on kids, and pull them into our adult world long before they are mature enough to handle it. The 13 year old that killed himself told his Mom he was gay. She said she already knew and hugged him. She said she just assumed that everyone else would be as accepting as she was.

Really? Have you been around teenagers? They are cruel and mean. They constantly tear each other down. It was bad when I was a teenager, I can only imagine what it’s like now. No, I don’t have to imagine how it is now. This is how it is now. Why in the world would you give teenagers a REASON to tease you? Oh, yes, because the adults tell you to embrace who you are, the only problem? Kids that age are just discovering who they are. They really have no idea yet.  The adults tell you to “come out,” when what we should be telling them is that sex is for adults, and there is plenty of time for figuring out that later.

McKinley then trashes Gay-Straight Alliances:

Because we adults and celebrities and our culture are so determined to sexualize EVERYTHING, we have created a climate where everyone is put into sexual categories (gay, straight, bi-sexual, transgendered, transvestite, sluts, man hos, cougars, ect), which is just so high school, isn’t it?  The 15 year old who committed suicide had started a “Rainbow Club” at his high school. Was there NO ADULT anywhere that could have said that maybe that isn’t such a good idea? Oh, no. Because that would be politically incorrect. Good grief. The idea of a high school club based on who you want to sleep with is absurd to begin with.

She accuses LGBTQ kids of flaunting their sexuality:

If my 13 yr old had told me he was gay, I would have hugged him too. I also would have told him that I would love him no matter what. But I wouldn’t have pretended that he could just put that out there among his peers, and everything would be great. There is NO reason to flaunt sexuality of ANY kind that young.

And says that the "It Gets Better" campaign is killing kids:

These kids were sold a bill of goods by people who thought they were being kind. The “It will get better” campaign just didn’t think it through. They didn’t think about the fact that kids are different from adults. They handle things differently. They react differently. Why? BECAUSE THEY ARE KIDS…They don’t see it getting better no matter how many times Lady Ga Ga says it will. So, enough with our politically correct campaigns aimed at kids. It’s killing them."

Are Adults Also To Blame For Gay Teen Suicides? Yes. [houston chronicle]

(thanks, tipster nathan)

Comments

  1. HadenoughBS says

    We live in a big ass state here in Texas; therefore, we also live with a lot of big ass, well, assoholics like this incredibly ignorant homophobic “Houston Chronicle” columnist. Apparently she’s so stupid she literally doesn’t know her ass from that pie hole in her head (bless her little ol’ heart)!

  2. LiamB says

    I wonder,does she also believe that straight kids should hide their sexuality as well? You know, no dating, or dancing, or holding hands, because all of that is “flaunting” their sexuality. Somehow, I doubt it. Fact is, she just has a problem with gay sexuality.

  3. candideinnc says

    When I was younger, I was hospitalized for depression. They put me in a room with a homophobe. I didn’t hide my gay identity from him. He made all kinds of a stink, and made life unbearable. The so-called professionals at the institution gave me the same advice this crackpot is giving–hide who you are. You can’t be out, it makes life difficult. I left the institution. They did me no good. It is time for society to take up the burden of realizing who the problem is. The problem is not that we are out. The problem is the bigotry. That is where you have to put your efforts…fixing the haters, not the victims.

  4. kit says

    Are adults responsible for teen suicides? Yes — the adults who raise their children to be hateful bullies. The adults who raise their kids to hurt others who are different from them. The adults who twist their kids’ minds so that they think it is OK (or even good) to belittle others, to demean them, to despise them. Adults who condone all that — like McKinley — yes, yes they are responsible for teen suicides.

  5. Alex Parrish says

    Following that logic: Girls should be told to pretend to be boys so they can hide from bullies and not get raped. Black kids should paint themselves white to hide from bullies. Short kids should pretend to be tall so they don’t get bullied. Better yet — why don’t we just teach each of our kids to be a bully? Problem solved! What a tracking moron. This is a professional journalist? Shame!

  6. Allen says

    You see the problem with you GAYS is NOT that we refuse to give you the same rights we have; ….It’s that you KEEP asking for them. Cant you just shut up…

    These people are unbelievable

  7. Dastius Krazitauc says

    She talks about kids coming out to their parents, parents being supportive, and then receiving abuse from other kids. What if it is the other way around? What if they are rejected at home, and the only place they can receive any support is from fellow students in a “Rainbow Club” at school? Kids should have options for sources of support.

  8. Moses says

    Has anyone actually read what she wrote? This woman is not homophobic at all. The world of adults IS different than kids and adolescents. She has some totally valid point: particularly about it being inappropriate to flaunt sexuality at a young age, and how hostile adolescents can be. I don’t think the It Get’s Better campaign is killing kids, but I still see that she’s looking out for the best interests of kids.

  9. LiamB says

    So, Moses, do you also propose that the straight kids be forced to stop flaunting their sexuality too? Because by dating, holding hands or just gossiping about who they like, they are flaunting their sexuality. Being honest about being gay isn’t “flaunting sexuality.” Dating someone isn’t “flaunting sexuality.” These kids would only be flaunting their sexuality if they were engaging in over the top displays of sex in public. And if your are going to ask the gay kids to hide their sexuality, you’d better be expecting the same thing from the straight kids.

    As it is, expecting teenagers to not be sexual is plain ignorant. In spite of whatever sexual mores society wishes to enforce, biology will always be stronger. Teens are going to be sexual, because nature expects them to be.

  10. yonquersconquers says

    Just HIDE HIDE HIDE until you’re 21 presumably and hope they don’t notice you.

    What terrific far-seeing advice. If you pretend you’re not there then Kathleen McKinley will too. Problem solved,

  11. Mark says

    The real problem I see with all of her comments is the short-sighted connection made between sexual orientation and sex. Yes, as a gay man, I only want to have sex with other men. But also: I only want to seek the companionship of men. High school is exactly the time when students are starting to learn what it is like to have someone special, to be someone special for someone else, and all the good and bad that comes along with that. I agree that 13 year-olds probably shouldn’t be all up in your business about who they’re having sex with, but I absolutely think it’s appropriate for 13 year-olds to be able to open about the kind of companionship they seek.

    And furthermore, high school is ALSO a time for emotional & personal development. Being LGBT is not just about who you have sex with or how you feel about your own gender: it is also a part of your identity. It comes with a culture (like it or not), and it is a minority. Asking students to put off thinking about their identity as an individual in the context of being LGBT and their identity as an LGBT individual in the context of the world at large is just impeding their maturation. Why put that off?

    Blerg. So many misconceptions in that article. And what Kit said is perfect: the real problem are the parents who teach their kids that bullying is okay.

  12. NE Rich says

    I’m only just 50 y/o but I feel that I was a teen a very different time, seems like centuries ago and it was just the 70’s. Back then in Middle America only the very brave (or crazy) would “come out” in High School.
    Most of us just counted down the years and days and hours before we could ESCAPE the silent torment while “out” straight classmates went on with what seemed to be “normal” adolescence. Four years seemed like a 1000 back then.

    For many of us we bare the emotional scars to this day sadly,

    This woman is far too young to have lived in that world and far too short sighted to understand that the “political correctness” she decries is simply time and society moving on. History is never a smooth road.

  13. kit says

    @ Moses: Honey, living in fear of being found out for your true nature is in nobody’s “best interests.” I think if you read some LGBTQ history, you will find that life was not better when we all had to hide.

  14. Jack M says

    The flaw in her and many others’ thinking is that they refuse to understand and believe that teenagers have sexual and emotional desires. They do, and that is why they manifest, whether the child is straight or gay.

  15. Tyler says

    I have 2 kids ages 6 and 8. My husband and I just had this discussion. We are completely open and I’m sure their friends will know we are gay. Who knows if either of them will turn out to be gay? But I agree that it is certainly a valid option to be smart about who you tell, especially when you are a teenager, and especially if you live in a very homophobic area. If they ever tell me they think they might be gay, I would tell my kids that they need to take some time to figure it out for sure. And if they are sure, I would warn them about what they might experience if they come out at school, but tell them I’m proud of them and would help them weather any blowback they get. But I would also tell them that it’s perfectly fine with me if they want to wait a while to tell people if they feel like it would be unsafe to talk about it. As a parent you want your kids to have the best experience growing up as possible. It would be best if they could come out and be themselves and date who they want to, etc. In many places in the country and at this point in history, though, that might not be the best experience for them. We don’t need our kids to be fighting our battles for us.

  16. say what says

    The “it gets better” campaign and gagas song (sited by the columnist so why I site them) were response to the killings.

    The killings did not start after said campaings

    Her logic is completely flawed

  17. Rin says

    @Alex Parrish

    Girls DO dress like boys, actually. And girls that wear modest clothing like LL Bean or Lands End get treated better–well, aren’t groped, teased, or sexualized–than girls who wear tight fitting tops or short-shorts. I’m not arguing if this is “right”–nor is this lady. We’re saying this is just how it is. Gay kids shouldn’t be bullied, teased, hurt, or have anything happen to them other than being accepted, loved, and appreciated. Same goes for girls and other minorities.

    However, thinking that clubs or laws will change the hardness in the hearts of other kids or human nature itself (which a lot of you are citing in regards to sexuality) is preposterous. It won’t happen. Kids must be educated to learn math. Kids must be educated to be kind and tolerant. Schools are doing neither.

    What she is saying is not homophobic or sexist–since she’s also speaking to the sexualization of young girls. She’s saying that her opinion is better to be safe than sorry. It is an opinion and an approach. It is saying that while women should be allowed to wear their bras and panties and walk down the street without being raped, wearing your bra and panties and walking down the street will get you raped…so put some clothes on.

    Do I necessarily 100% agree with her? No, but I see what she’s saying.

    I’ve thought a lot about what if one of my children were gay. I’d love them, tell them its what Nature decided for them, and that God loves them as much as Mommy does. However, if I saw that they were being picked on at school instead of having them start a gay club as the solution I would probably either homeschool them or move them to a school where things were more tolerant. My job is to keep my child alive and get them through school. Their life is more important than anything else.

    Now, call me overprotective or say I’m hurting their growth and development all you want, but … I’ll do what I have to do to keep my babies safe and the entire rest of the world can hate me for it. No one loves my children like I do. I have watched them grow from tiny babies in my arms to the kind young children they are today. It would outrage people on this site if one of them were battered by school kids for being gay. It would end my own life if my child was battered to death for being gay.

    And that’s the parent difference. We don’t get a choice to have a political or philosophical view on our children. They are our entire existence. There is no life without them in it.

    Hell, at 25 or 30 they can yell at me for stifling them…but I’d just be happy that at 25 or 30 they were alive for me to stifle them.

  18. Pete n SFO says

    Orientation does not equate with sex.

    Because a child recognizes orientation, does not mean they act on it, or frankly there would never have been a concept of the ‘virgin bride’.

    I get what she’s saying, but the whole premise is wrong. She ought to be asking, what is it going to take for others to simply let people live their own lives in peace & exactly why they feel they have the right to weigh-in on the lives of others.

    Because if we get to do that, darling, I have some suggestions for all of you.

  19. Francis says

    Middle-aged conservative Republican women from Texas are NOT the people who should be injecting their 2 cents into a situation they don’t understand. And I’m really, really tired and beyond annoyed of constantly hearing out-of-touch people, straight AND gay, injecting their 2 cents into a debate they need to stay out of. I won’t necessarily call her article homophobic; what it is, is incredibly ignorant and a woman who is out of the loop of the real world of today.

    What she’s saying is she’s coming from a position of “let kids grow up without having to deal with adult issues” mentality. The problem with that is, that part of growing up is growing into who you are as a person, including ones’ SEXUALITY. It’s not something you just shut down, especially when you’re a teen. Especially in the world of today when there is imagery, videos, websites, all dedicated to sex. Another problem is that she keeps connecting sex and sexuality when they are different subjects.

    People like her also don’t realize a lot of gay kids cannot just blend in, and being perceived as gay is essentially the same as actually being out. She is so concerned about protecting kids, but the only way to protect kids from anti-gay discrimination—is by fighting against anti-gay discrimination. It’s just too much blind ignorance. I want to be upset, but really, all I can do is shake my head.

  20. Bart says

    Here’s another very stupid woman who cannot grasp the difference between sexuality for sex. On top of it, if she had a gay child, she would hug them and tell them to hide it from their peers. Well by her pretzel logic, she couldn’t have a gay child or any child who knows their sexuality because that equates to sex. And since she doesn’t know the difference, how could they know they were gay or straight? Also, she would then tell them to hide it which means BE ASHAMED. The message is, “I love you but you’re horrible.”

    F*ck stupid people. The fact she’s basing this on a People magazine article tells me where her level of intelligence stops anyway.

    She should be ashamed of her ignorance.

  21. Francis says

    Actually, thinking about it a little deeper, it makes me pretty angry, this “solution” to the issue of anti-gay bullying. It’s effectively saying if you don’t want to be anti-gay bullied, be less gay or stop “flaunting” your homosexuality. Don’t like gay hate, don’t be gay. It makes me angry because it once AGAIN makes it seem as if homosexuality is the ultimate issue, even if that isn’t the intent. It makes “gay” seem like a vice, like it’s shameful. Now more than ever we have to stand up for ourselves and our LGBT children, and straight children as well, are bullied kids. Deflecting the issue isn’t the answer.

  22. Jamie says

    However, thinking that clubs or laws will change the hardness in the hearts of other kids or human nature itself (which a lot of you are citing in regards to sexuality) is preposterous.

    I’m sorry but the visual presence of GSA groups ARE making a huge impact on hate. Look at the stats. Younger people are more accepting of gay people than older. When something is open, when people can see that gay people are not these scary predators that the church tries to demonize them into then attitudes change. GSA or rainbow groups are not ONLY for gay people. They are for people who want to end the hate. Who want to fight homophobia through education and openness. You can’t fight homophobia by pretending gay does not exist.

  23. justinw says

    “Flaunting sexuality”? Yet another person who seems to think gay is only about sex. It’s not. It’s also about your heart beats for. It’s also about love, and to tell a kid to deny his or her capacity for love because someone else disapproves is a huge disservice to that kid. Sure, help them be discreet if the local situation calls for it, but for God’s sake, give them some outlet to let their hearts *speak*.

  24. Wendy says

    “Girls DO dress like boys, actually. And girls that wear modest clothing like LL Bean or Lands End get treated better–well, aren’t groped, teased, or sexualized–than girls who wear tight fitting tops or short-shorts.

    Read more: http://www.towleroad.com/2011/11/houston-chronicle-columnist-instructs-parents-to-tell-their-gay-kids-to-stay-in-the-closet-for-their.html#ixzz1ckP4hDnG

    Actually, Rin, with all due respect, you’re full of crap about this point right here.

    I graduated high school in 1996. I was a pretty average kid, I dressed like a boy in baggy jeans and t-shirts, I hid the shape of my body… and I still got harrassed. Every day.

    People aren’t picked on just because they’re different. Bullies go after the “weak members of the herd” — the members that other people won’t protect.

    No one protected me when I was being pinned up against a wall and groped against my will. They were too busy being glad it wasn’t them, and trying to get out of sight of the bullies attacking me before the bullies turned on them.

    In my niece’s school, the Gay-Straight Alliance club protects EVERYONE. When the kids who are in that club see bullying happening, no matter what, they step in. They let the bully know, hey jackass, we’re watching you. We see what you’re doing and every time you do it we’re going to raise hell. And they do. And guess what? Bullying has gone down. Tolerance of others has gone up.

    I find it sad that your solution to the issue of your potentially gay child being bullied is to sequester your child, instead of even trying to stop the bullying. You’ll be teaching your children that the solution to all their problems is to pretend it’s not happening and run away. Is that the kind of problem-solving ability you want to give your children? Do you really want to create adults that can’t help themselves when they’re in a bad spot? Because that’s what you will be doing if you end up with a gay kid and you turn tail and run away when they’re bullied. You’ll also be telling that child of yours that you won’t speak out for them when they are being wronged, you’ll just put them in a new, strange situation instead of helping them stand their ground. How awful.

  25. says

    Not surprisingly, she is confusing sex with sexuality, she is assuming that young gay people can simply flip a “normal” switch, act straight, and therefore protect themselves from being targeted, she is doubtful that any young person could possibly actually know they are gay long before they have sex, she is letting bullies off the hook by focusing the blame on those who are different and the parents and adults who actually embrace the difference in their children. All misguided presumptions based on info pulled out of her a$$.

    So, she prefers the days when bullied gay kids suffered in their silent closets, were afraid to tell any adult or parent about their shameful secret, and those who bullied were never blamed because gay kids thought that being targeted and hated was just how it went.

    I’d prefer to go back to a time when any ignorant person with a bogus opinion didn’t have a platform for spouting their cluelessness!

  26. anon says

    Each case of persistent bullying needs to be handled separately because the facts are crucial to the outcome. There is no general pattern nor advice that will apply to all situations. Seeking out helpful adults is the only first step that might be universal.

  27. Tom in long beach says

    One of my biggest memories of what is now called middle school and high school was boys and girls hanging all over one another and walking around holding hand and even walking around with hands on each others butts. So the straits got to “flaunt” their sexuality while I was a scared rabbit in the closet that got tormented constantly anyway. Its just like the PDA issues going on all over the place. You are oppressed, then just be a good little fag or, dyke and stay in the closet. Don’t confuse the small minded bigots that need to see you as an equal human being. Know your place and stay in it! Just keep things they way they were in the past cause that did not work anyway.

  28. Paul b. says

    Chalk this up to another ignorant blonde! Nothing more. But, as a “natural blonde” (yes, I said that!) I take personal offense to bimbo’s like this one who help foster the “dumb blonde” falacy. I’m blonde & from TX…not a good combination…but I’m proud to say that I’ve acquired my GED and am looking into employment at a Houston newspaper outfit where they hire the learning impaired.

  29. jamal49 says

    Somebody needs to tell that bleached-blonde ass-wipe bimbo that being gay is about one’s HUMANITY and not just about sex. I knew I was gay, queer, different, long before sex EVER entered the equation. Being LGBT is about who we ARE, the essence of our humanity, our spiritual selves, our emotional selves. She doesn’t write this garbage in a vacuum either. Those are the things making the rounds on right-wing media as of late. Blame the victim. Blame the family and friends of the victim. Blame the culture. Blame liberals. Blame everyone and everything except the conservatives, the “family-values” peddlers, the “guardians” of American morality. God forbid that any anti-bullying or anti-hate law should hold evangelicals and the rest of their hateful religious mafia accountable for their complicit if not implicit role in the deaths of those young gay men.

  30. Paul R says

    This woman is ignorant but not hateful. I was out at 13, and that was 26 years ago. So much depends on so much. The state where a kid lives. His or her friends. His or her enemies. The type of school—meaning, the environment fostered by those teaching and in charge. The socio-demographics of the school. The personality of the potential victim.

    I got off easy in one high school, had a hard time in another, and a medium-OK time in junior high (before I came out, but was obviously gay).

    Parents, teachers, and administrators need to recognize (easily identifiable) potential targets and protect them. End of story.

  31. Jack says

    Fortunately the lines between good and evil are not so tightly drawn as they used to be. I applaud this woman — and see it as a sign of our advancement — that she would hug her 13-year-old and tell him or her that she would love them no matter what. That would have made a huge difference to me! It is understandable that parents (like Cher, for example) at first hurt to see their kids have to face a difficult road. The mistake they make is not being able to see that, for us, being closeted is a far worse choice. But, not being gay, it’s a little much for us to expect them to fathom this like we do, right off the bat. This woman needs education — not outright condemnation — and we need thicker skin, and less name-calling.

  32. says

    I can sort of see where the woman is coming from. She’s correct that adults too often expect adult behavior from children; but she fails to understand that you don’t have to “come out” to get bullied. Worse, she thinks being Gay is only about sex. I wasn’t beaten up as a child for who I had sex with. I wasn’t having sex. They targeted me because I was too feminine for their liking.

    Ms. McKinley’s advice also misses the mark because, just like “It Gets Better”, it won’t stop bullying. She blames the victim. She’s basically saying “this is how it is, and you’d better get used to it. If you’re openly Gay in school, you’ll get what you’re asking for.” In the final analysis, she’s nothing but a cheerleader for the sh*tty status quo.

  33. says

    I don’t know what to say other than I couldn’t disagree with her more. And she presented her views in such a way as to make it seem like she was expressing concern for these students well being.

    But upon closer scrutiny, you see it for what it really is: blatant homophobia.

  34. Jay says

    My heart goes out to all the young gays in America. I live in the wonderfully liberal UK, and if a columnist was to come out with this tripe she would be proverbially lynched in the national media.

  35. Rin says

    @Wendy,

    IF parents had more say in how schools run things then I would agree with you.

    There is reality and then there is philosophy of how reality should be. It is the jobs of good people like yourselves to advocate and promote sound philosophy and political ideology.

    It is the job of parents to:

    1) protect
    2) instruct in how your own child behaves
    3) nurture and love
    4) provide safe haven, food, etc.

    Ask any parent of a dead gay child today what they would do if they could do it all over again and my guess is all of them would say “home school”.

    Is it teaching them to run?

    That’s interesting because Nature gives us two choices: Fight or Flight. Having grown up in Detroit in an extremely violent neighborhood where fights and beatings were common…I’d say running is an intelligent option.

    Fighting works when the playing field is equal or even, IE if I had control over the school’s policies or if my child was the same size as a bully. When outnumbered even the military retreats tactically.

    There is value in living to fight another day, Wendy. I’m sorry, but that is the case.

    Thirteen years olds, first of all, shouldn’t even be put into this position where these tough choices should have to be made. Schools should do more to protect children. When they don’t…it’s up to the parents.

    Homeschooling doesn’t “hurt” your child provided there is a good reason for it. To protect them from ideas they don’t like is a bad reason. To protect them from being hurt by a mob of mean, horrid children is a good reason.

    All day schools are a modern phenomenon. Ancient peoples spent most of their time, at home, with their families until they were adults and ready to leave. We’ve been told to put our kids into schools, to give them these huge decisions before they are ready…I’m not sure its always the best.

    There is nothing wrong with being gay or a nerd or chubby or Muslim or ugly or any of the other typical reasons for bullies picking on someone. The WRONG is entirely on the bully.

    By sending a 13 year old to school and telling them that they can join a club when their physical life is in danger is irresponsible and as a parent I’m NOT going to put my child in harms way so that I can have them take a moral stand. That’s for adults to do.

    Now, if no one is picking on them and they are happy kids…stay in school. If they are being hurt and abused…home school and extra-curricular activities.

    It is very easy to say what should be done about other people’s kids based on what you wish you would have done at their age. I wish I would have turned around and pummeled this girl Julia my freshman year, but…I didn’t and that’s how it goes.

    My job now is to be an over-protective parent to make up for the fact that crappy, bigoted parents exist and foist their beliefs off on others.

    When I taught I did what I could to try and change things. That was my job as a teacher. Being a mom means that I have to be a Tiger in the shadows. I’ll fight so my kids don’t have to, or I’ll take them somewhere happier if they’re unhappy.

    Hate me for it if you will, but I intend to have two live adults that will complain about how overprotective I was during Thanksgiving visits.

  36. MrRoboto says

    Anyone trying to say, “I sort of understand this woman, she’s not hateful or homophobic, she’s just ignorant,” ought to click through to her blog post and read her italicized responses as TexasSparkle to the many outraged commenters. Her responses make it clear to me that not only is she hateful AND homophobic, she’s ignorant as well. Though I don’t wish it on the child, I do wish a gay child on her. I think, then, we’d see the veracity behind her claim that she’d love and support that child.

  37. says

    Wow, people are really piling on this woman.

    At least, in this day and age, the conversation is about being out as a teenager verses the concerns a parent has about protecting their child.

    Rather than involving parents who completely shut their child out because they’re gay (although it still happens).

    Some of these comments suggest this woman is the Anti-Christ. Just wow.

  38. Hollywood, CA says

    “Kids that age are just discovering who they are… The adults tell you to “come out,” when what we should be telling them is that sex is for adults, and there is plenty of time for figuring out that later.”

    This is one of the fundamental hurtles that gay people face in regards to straight people understanding the difference between being GAY, Being a HOMOSEXUAL, and GAY SEX. This ignorance is not isolated, and we have all got to get out there and teach these people the difference.

    Kids should be told that it’s okay to be a homosexual. Just like it’s okay to be left-handed. Kids should also be told that being “gay,” is also okay. You have every right to express who you are and what you like. And, just like straight sex, gay sex conversations should be age appropriate.

    So, educate the people around you at every opportunity you get.

  39. The Perfessor says

    This woman is no better than the people who blame women for getting raped. It’s not the women’s fault–it’s the rapist’s! This is the same thing–it’s not a kid’s fault if he or she is bullied–it’s the bullies who are doing the bullying.

  40. Scrufff says

    I’m in complete agreement with @TylerNov 4, 2011 9:43:01 AM. For some kids, coming out in a hostile environment is not a healthy choice. There’s so many factors involved: school policies, what part of the country, having a mentor or a network of supportive friends etc.

    I came out at the tender age of 14 in 1977 to my best friend, he in turn admitted he was gay as well. Our BFF’s were chubby girls who were also outsiders, they were all supportive as well and as time went on other gay kids where drawn to our circle of queer, weirdos, nerds, punks etc, all of us outsiders. And thankfully there was strength in numbers and we helped each other out thru bullying, fights, sexual harassment etc.

    If i had gone thru this ALONE, i would have had completely different experience with bullying and such. But having friends to back you up made a huge difference. It also helped that a grew up in S. California, in a very liberal part of town and where the very progressive gay community center had (and still does today) various teen programs to which my friends and I (gay and straight) were all able to enjoy.

    remember this was the 70’s so I was VERY lucky due to my particular set of circumstances and location in which i lived. A lot of kids do not have half if any of the things i had at 14. so if its dangerous to come out publicly, tell you trusted friends, parents if they’re cool. and wait a bit till you get older, because it did does get better.

  41. MKe says

    That’s what my parents did too. It was funny how they didn’t realize that everyone knew I was gay before I started telling my friends anyway. It didn’t make me any safer.

  42. Scrufff says

    PS: Revenge of the Nerds.
    On of my best friends a straight nerdy punk who was small for his age and really skinny, thus he was picked. but again he had us for support and back up.

    after high school he formed a band that became quite successful first locally, then nationally and even had an international following. when he played gigs in S. Cal, he always kept vigil for the high school bullies that harassed us. and if he ever saw them at one of his concerts, he’d have the bouncers rough them up and then throw them out of the concert space. It was very satisfying for all of us to witness 😉

  43. Matt S says

    And hey, all you teenaged girls, if you don’t want to raped, don’t go to college. Just stay home.

    I mean, we can’t blame the rapists and the bullies for their bad behavior, can we? We shouldn’t strive to make college campuses and grade schools safe places for everyone? That’s too hard. You victims should just stop making these people target you.

    What an idiot this woman is.

  44. Southern Comfort says

    Kathleen is a wretched harpie in every way.

    I got my first automated spray tan at the gay-owned and operated Eclipse salon in the Montrose neighborhood of Houston and Kathleen came in right behind me. We were the first customers of the day and the machine malfunctioned, glopping on the tanning agent unevenly and far too thick. She got into the machine while I was hurriedly trying to rub it all in. When I went to quietly ask the lady that showed me how to work the machine if the stuff was supposed to be that thick, Kathleen started screaming at the top of her lungs like she’d been stabbed in the kooter.

    She went on a hysterical tirade, berating the employees and running around like a chicken with her head cut off shouting, “LOOK AT ME! JUST LOOK AT ME!!!” over and over and over. When the lady who worked there finally convinced her to go home and shower before she ended up with a camo-print tan, she turned to me and offered to clean me up herself and give me a complementary air brush tan to even me out.

    She said, “I’m happy to do this for you, because you were cool about all this. I would never do this for her. She’s a b*tch. She’s always like that. She can f*ck off. Bad thing is that she writes for the paper and now she’ll probably bad-mouth us all over town.”

    By the way, Kathleen is far, far heftier in person than that photo suggests.

  45. Jason 2 says

    Orientation does not equate with sex. Orientation does not equate with sex. Orientation does not equate with sex. Orientation does not equate with sex. Orientation does not equate with sex. Orientation does not equate with sex. Orientation does not equate with sex. …

    Why can’t people get this?

  46. JR In Tx says

    When i saw the headline, i knew this had to be about “TexasSparkle.” She’s a moron. You can always count on her “columns” to be stupid, offensive, ignorant, or all three.

  47. says

    Where to even begin?

    I think I’ve decided a litmus test for homophobia is when being gay is reduced all the way down to sex.

    It’s very telling when she says that 13 year olds shouldn’t be told to come out because they “shouldn’t be thinking about sex.” That suggests coming out = a sexual thing, when in reality it has nothing to do with sex.

    I’m willing to bet the majority of gay people have at least experimented with other guys before they “came out,” to say nothing of the closet cases that spend decades — or their entire lifetime — in the closet. That they haven’t “come out” doesn’t mean they aren’t having gay sex.

    Then, of course, there are people who come out before they have sex… because they don’t need to have sex to know that they’re gay. Again, in this case, “coming out” has little to nothing to do with sex.

    Of course kids don’t know exactly who they are when they’re 13. It takes a lifetime to find that out, if even such a question can ever really be quantified in any meaningful way — since we’re all in a constant state of changing.

    However, what she doesn’t realize is that without coming out, it’s very hard to really explore who you really are. Being in the closet is the conscious decision to spend your life hiding who you are, boxing huge swaths of who you are up inside so that it becomes *impossible* to even approach finding out an answer to that question.

    I remember when I was still in the closet and the irrational fear I had over each and every thing I did and whether or not those things would “out” me.

    There were so many lost opportunities back then, and I did a bunch of things that I otherwise didn’t want to do. Being closeted prevented me from ever trying out for any drama club shows in high school until I finally said to hell with it midway through my JR year, and I ended up with a lead in my first serious drama the next season, as a SR. I was so upset with myself back then, because I knew how much I loved doing that and missed out on years of it. Mostly because I was afraid people would call me gay!

    That’s what being in the closet does to people. There is no possible way for someone to explore who they are if they’re told they have to stay in the closet, because any thought of that exploration is gone, and in its place life becomes about keeping the big secret. Straight people who want to throw out bigoted comments like that, without knowing what the hell they’re talking about, need to STFU.

  48. bruce says

    This Right-wing dingbat is a classic example of EVERYTHING WRONG in the world!

    She is completely blind to common sense and the REALITY of what gay young people must struggle with every single day at school…

    WAKE UP!

  49. David says

    It’s not a disservice to anyone to give them forewarning and tell them what’s ‘out there’ and to beware of it and be careful. It’s not pretending gay doesn’t exists. It’s more a matter of self-preservation. And unless there are strict laws that replace the “slap on the wrist” to those bullies and criminalize such behavior, until these bullies get it into their thick heads that they will do time for what they’ve done, then in some cases, in some towns, she might be right. Bullying is hate our society is filled with hate especially when you have a major organized religion such as Christianity preaching hate. Do we want a bunch of your martyrs or would we prefer our kids to grow up in a society in which hate will eventually be non-existent. Would you send your kids out to stand in front of an ongoing train knowing that they might get killed?

  50. contragenic says

    In order to put an end to all this discrimination mess, I suggest we all just turn green, when it is impossible to hide there is really no point in trying. McKinley is just one more shining example of Amerikan sexual immaturity.

  51. says

    Well, she does say some dumb stuff, but she also has a point. Teens (and adults) can be vicious. If a gay kid goes to a school without a strong support system for queer kids in a conservative and homophobic area then it IS better to be on the lowdown rather than risk constant emotional and possible physical abuse. Yeah, it sucks that has to happen, and hopefully eventually the time will come where queer kids can be out everywhere, but until that day comes, many kids in many areas need to play it by ear. The entire country isn’t ready for gay 13 year olds. Personally, I’d rather see a SAFE, emotionally non traumatized, closety teen make it to 18 and freedom, than an abused, depressed, potentially dead martyr in a box.

  52. says

    Giving kids the message that the only accpetable sexuality is straight and if anyone says anything else THEY have a problem is”sexualizing” high school.

    The idea that “gay” or “straight” is all about who has sex with who (and who sticks what in where) is the fundamental error in how conservatives like this regard the rights and dignity of people who are different. They condition their children from BIRTH to fit into a traditional concept of gender behavior, gender roles and gender norms. The last part of that structure that they can still make legally enforceable is “a marriage is one man and one woman.” If that is reinforced for them, they will push on to undo legal rights for women and children, and take society back to their Golden Age Never-Never Land of Perfect Patriarchy.

    Straight allies are not just fighting for LGTTBQ human rights. We are also fighting for our own! I refuse to let Kathleen McKinley & Kin control anyone’s life, including my own!

  53. Jerry6 says

    The advise is sound. So long as bigoted School teachers and officials condone bullying by their refusal to punish the bullyiers (Throw them out of the school), our gay children are at risk. Also, sometimes it may be the gay child’s fault he is bullied. One of my sons is gay, but his personality is such that he was liked by his school mates and had many friends, so that when he did come out, it was a “so what” event. Actually, the school principle called him to his office one day after school was out,and tried to seduce him. My son mearly said to him “No thanks; your not my type”, and left his office.

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