Sunday, September 27, 2009
NY Times covers issue of sexual orientation in middle school
The New York Times Magazine has an article Sunday Sept. 27 “Coming Out in Middle School” by Benoit Denizet-Lewis, photographs by Brent Humprheys, link here p 36 in print.
The article describes the ambivalence of many school administrators to the issue, and the difficulty they perceive in making any policy at all. But the idea that kids develop a sense of identity by middle school years is indisputable, as is the bullying in some schools (including cyberbullying).
The article does mention that some kids are tossed out by parents, some of whom see homosexuality in their offspring as an affront to their own marriage, because of postulates underneath their belief system, including the idea that biological loyalty to lineage is essential to the meaning of their marriage.
The article is quite detailed (particularly as to GSA's, or "Gay-Straight Alliances"), but I will say that one of my worst years emotionally was seventh grade (age 12, as I was born in July), when I started what was then called “junior high school” (through ninth grade). In retrospect, it seems like I was an over-cautious kid, afraid to take the chance of just diving into the pool.