Editor's note: The author, Andy, is a 14-year-old junior high student in Columbia. He was encouraged to submit this essay to the Missourian by one of his teachers. His last name is withheld by request.
I’m 14 years old, and yes, I am gay. I know it's not a walk in the park for any teen to grow up and “change.” I would say my life is a normal one. However, I fear that one day I will be in my boyfriend's arms and he’ll ask me to marry him. There lies the fear that I’ll have to give up being myself. I have been through talks about phases. I believe strongly this is no phase. I’m writing this article so that maybe one person will read this, and try to help my cause.
It is within everyone that you have to be a better person, live for a better cause, and provide for the better life. It's my story, or rather struggle, that I hope you’ll see why America needs its views changed on homosexuality.
I have As in every class, I like baseball and football, and I also write. If you looked at me you’d have no idea I’m gay. If you got to know me and studied me, you’d see. I may be 14 and may not know that the world isn’t bad, but I see America degrading its people, and everything Americans do against gay people is against even our founding fathers’ words. Below I’m going to describe the U.S. Constitution.
The preamble states “We the people of the United States, in order to form a more perfect union.” Right there America came together to end the hate, the killings and even the churches overpowering people's lives. That’s all I need. Earlier in the start of our country, even the British knew that Separation of Church and State was needed. Today this rule still is active. However, we deny this rule and use it to stop America from being ruined.
I know religion has played a big part in the government's mind over allowing homosexuals to marry. But realize every time you say no, more gays come on board the fight for rights. Every time you say no, you’ll be ruining a couple's life by not giving the “partner” rights to the deceased’s belongings, which means even kids you love will have to go live with grandparents, sisters or family members.
Every time you say no, you also avoid the best way to handle the problem.
If gay marriage were allowed in America, under the Separation of Church and State, each church then would have the right to practice it. They then wouldn’t have to fight; then homosexual men and women would be able to share a bond, to give rights to their spouse, and wouldn’t have to give up their home state to be married.
Same-sex marriage is legal in one state — Massachusetts. Eight states ban same-sex marriage, and the constitution bans same-sex marriage. America has the principal that being different is OK. However, the American youth have been brought up to think this is bad, being homosexual is bad. I know that every time I hear “that’s gay” to describe something it hurts. You may think it is no big deal. Well every day countless students in America will say "that’s gay."
Out of those students, some will go on and bash gay people in public areas. The rest will teach their kids being a homosexual is wrong. I will not, nor can I change your view. But if being gay is so “bad,” then don’t be gay! If you ruin a person's life over them being gay you're going against their “freedom to be heard.” And I understand that everyone lives, grows and dies. But Americans, wake up, smell the roses and live your own life!
I’ll end my story by saying Harvey Milk died in the name of a perfect union. Bill Clinton was smart and gave homosexuals the right to defend our country. And you have the power to make up your own mind, whether you're for or against it. Homosexual marriage is going to work. Now or later. No one has the right to hide. Stop making them!