In America the term “Sexual Offender” is used to classify anyone who has ever been convicted of any sex related crime.
Everyone from pedophiles and serial rapists to 18 year old persons who have sex with someone who is 17 or less even if the sex is consensual but the parents press charges.
Somehow this blanket classification seems wrong to me. These so called “Sexual Offenders” are required to register in the community in which they live with the Police Dept and have their name and address listed in an online registry that is public.
They are required to inform any prospective employers or landlords. This has the effect of preventing them from gainful employment or housing.
Even pedophiles need jobs and housing. I can understand families with children not wanting any pedophiles living near their children. The problem is what does society do with these pariahs? Create a “Ghetto” for them and just cordon them off from the rest of us?
Serial rapists are a threat to women (and sometimes men) so what should be done to keep them from continuing to harm others? The same ghetto as the pedophiles?
How is this problem handled elsewhere?
Last year a case here in Georgia involved an 18 year old who had sex with his girlfriend who happened to be 16. They were in high school together. Her parents found out and pressed charges against him. An eager prosecutor foaming at the mouth over such an easy case and to make a name for himself helped convict the young man and he was sentenced to 5 years in prison. He was turned down for early release but finally got out last year.
When I was in high school seniors and sophomores routinely dated and I’m sure had sex. The quarterback and the cheerleader, so to speak. No one was ever charged with a sex crime. I don’t know when it became a crime for high school students to have sex
There are many different “Coming Out” stories. The accounts of Coming Out to your family, friends and co-workers. I think I’ll start off with a story about Coming Out to my best friend in high school.
I was 15 and a sophomore in a very small school in my hometown. There were about 40 members of my graduating class and about 120 students enrolled at the school altogether. As I said – small. At the time our community was rural and mostly farms and dairies. All of those wholesome country boys everywhere I looked. It was difficult at times to contain myself. It wasn’t a good idea to be openly gay during my days there. The reasons must be obvious to everyone.
I had spent the first 15 years of my life growing up in the city and our family moved out when the neighborhood began to change. So there I was – a “Big City” boy plopped down in the middle of a very small rural town. I had no trouble making friends. The popular girls were all trying to befriend the new guy (little did they know I wanted the popular guys attentions instead, lol). I was a center of attention and I made the most of it. I knew that all of the jocks and popular guys would flock to the girls and if I happened to be there too my chances of being accepted increased. So, I played it up big time.
There were the blond bimbos who were really kind of slutty, lol. There were the conservative “Nice” girls who would make someone a good wife someday. Then, there was Trudy. She was so beautiful with her bright blue eyes, luscious lips, full breasts and hips and a lovely complexion. Her hair was like a waterfall cascading over her shoulders. She was arguably the most beautiful girl in the whole county. I decided that she would be the best possible friend to have.
At first we studied together, sat near each other during class and took lunch together. We spent the afternoons together doing homework and snacking while listening to rock & roll. She was so intelligent and didn’t really fit in with any of the cliques in school any more than I would have. What I began as a scheme to better my chances of acceptance within the peer group was turning into a “Best Friends Forever” situation.
That first summer I spent working at a local dairy farm milking cows, bailing hay and gathering silage for the cows during winter. The family who owned the dairy had a set of fraternal twins who were in my same class. The parents were Swiss immigrants and they spoke mostly German. I developed a heavy crush on one of the twins – Charles – he was quite the tall, dark handsome young man. His twin – Michael – was a little shorter than me with gorgeous brown hair and eyes of emerald green. Both were very intelligent and highly motivated to succeed in school to earn scholarships for college. We were together in almost every class – the four of us – Trudy, Charles, Michael and I.
When school began for our Junior year the talk was already about the Junior/Senior Prom the next spring. Charles was already involved with a girl from another school he met through his Catholic church. I got over my feelings for him as I grew ever more drawn to Michael. Mike knew Trudy and I were best friends and he asked if I would help him to become friends with her too. Of course I agreed albeit begrudgingly. I didn’t want to be the third party in the triangle of friends as I knew I would end up. By this time I was completely taken with Michael. He knew, I’m sure he knew but that is a different story.
Trudy began dating Mike and all was well until Christmas Break. We were all in the High School Band together – Trudy on French Horn – Michael and Charles on Trumpet and I was on Clarinet. We spent loads of time practicing and going to football games and concerts. It was Thanksgiving week-end when Michael’s older brother decided to turn us on to some pot – I had never smoked pot before and I didn’t even get off that first night. They were all laughing and having a great time and told me to just wait and the next time we smoked it I would feel it too. The next night that is exactly what happened – I got stoned as shit!
Trudy and I left the party in my little 1961 VW bug (the rear window was a small opera window and it had no gas gauge but instead a 1 gallon reserve tank to use when you ran out – and of course no heat to speak of because it was a VW, lol). We went to her house because her father was away and her older sister was cool.
We munched out and played some music and then I opened my big mouth, lol.
I told Trudy that I needed to tell her a secret but only if she promised to never tell. Of course she agreed. I told her about my attraction to guys and that I was completely in love with Michael. I realized as the words came out of my mouth what a mistake I was making but it was too late – the deed was done. I had to suffer an eternity of silence as I waited for her to respond. She burst into a deep laughter that woke her sister, Charlotte. We were sitting on her bed with incense burning and Cheezit crumbs everywhere when Charlotte came through the door. She was grinning from ear to ear.
Apparently, Trudy and Charlotte had already surmised my attraction to Michael and had discussed how long it would be before I said something. At first I was kind of hurt by the laughter and the idea they had figured me out. But within a few seconds I was so relieved that I began to laugh to the point of tears. We all three hugged there on her bed and made a pact to be friends forever.
My fear of rejection by everyone had taught me to try to disguise my difference from them. I was so certain that I had made a mistake in telling Trudy. I risked everything in order to have one friend to trust with my secret. These were the first people I ever came out to – well, besides my older sister who knew before I did, lol.
We continued to be friends throughout high school. We went on double dates together, Trudy and Michael with Dawn and me. We went everywhere together. Trudy was there when I needed her most. She died of brain cancer in 1996 and I miss her. Re-telling this story brought back some very fond memories.
As I said, there are many “Coming Out” stories. This was just one.
I hope some of you will be brave enough and open enough to share some of your own “Coming Out” stories or what it is that keeps you from “Coming Out”. If I can do it so can you. Just post a reply to this thread and let’s become friends who share a little bit of what it is that makes us the people we are.