NO, NO, NO!! NOT MCCONAHY, THAT'S NOT FAIR, WE ALREADY HAVE THOMAS WITH THE LIMP ON OUR TEAM. WE SHOULDN'T HAVE TO TAKE THE SISSY... HE PLAYS WITH DOLLS!
And yet I was constantly reminded by adults that these were the best years of my life.
I'm so glad I've gone on to prove them wrong.
I just had an
epiphany of sorts, a realization.
Rather than attempt
to speak for all LGBT people or minorities, I will limit my observation to my
own experience as a gay man.
We hear speak of
Peter Pan Syndrome, or a man's desire to remain a boy forever, to never grow
up. But, if we were to really explore the truth, I'd be left to questions how
many of us grown gay men ever got to really experience the carefree experience
Many of us were just
doing our best to tread water socially, and even academically, Our contemporaries sense something about us
that even we were unaware of, but which we received in the form of countless
subtle and often blatant messages that we were not good enough, not strong
enough, not properly equipped. We were some how defective, lacking, latecomers
to the game.
In fact, when it
came time to choose teams for any games,
we were the last ones chosen, standing
on the sidelines, unwanted, unchosen, wishing
we were invisible as the opposing teams discussed reasons that shouldn't have
to choose is. Eventually the teacher
would "assign" us to a team, maybe even granting that team a handicap
for their obligation.
You'd think it would
be fortunate if we had another one on the sidelines like ourselves, someone to
share our shame of being inadequate. But, if there was he'd invariably be
assigned to the other team as a means to balance out the odds, even the score.
So, we often grow
older unprepared to be men because we lacked the experience of being boys. We're accused of having Peter Pan Syndrome,
we may even claim it for ourselves in a cheeky manner, a way of apologizing for
the fact that we're somewhat irresponsible when the truth may be that we
haven't a fucking clue how to step up to the plate.
We often go on to
live our lives failing to aspire to any number of things, due to the fact that
we're so accustomed to disappointment and being left behind that we dare not
get our hopes up. What's the point of
aspiring to be on a team. In fact, your
presence in the pool of potential choices only goes on beyond the first and
second round because your mere presence there is unnoticed and you pose no
threat to the opposition.
No, you've learned
to wait around for your assigned team, your designated course. You're accustomed to being culled out and
left to scoop up the spoils.
But, as adults we're
not dealing with the games of children, but the true competition of life.
Fortunately if your of my generation you're not lead to believe that every
participant walks home with a trophy, but realize that it not only do you as a
gay man have to strive to be "good enough" to prove your mettle. No,
you have to transcend and rise above the competition to be recognized as an
equal. You almost have to win to even
earn the opportunity to be recognized as a loser if you fall short. I dare say that this dynamic is not exclusive
to being a gay man, an LGBT person, but to minorities and people of color as
We often allow this dynamic to effect every facet of our lives, not just social and professional, but in the boundaries we set for romantic relationships as well. We may even fill our bodies with toxic booze and alcohol to make our toxic relationship seem more appropriate.
Fortunately it appears as though we may be entering a period where society will
have to permit us a role in creating the rules and setting the goals of the
game. We can no longer fall back on our Peter Pan excuse, but must step
up and take what is ours. I know that I
for one have got to get busy. I will
not settle for scraps today.