This op-ed originally appeared in the March 6, 2016 edition of the Durham Herald-Sun.
A North Carolina middle-school has started a support group for gay students and friends. I celebrate this. Adolescence is a fine time to receive attentive friendship and mentoring about sexuality. My mother was a middle-school teacher. She says it’s a time when kids begin to get their “stuff” together. (She uses saltier wording around adults.) We begin to sort out how to define our own style of fashion, practice our signature, and discover our gifts for arts or sports at the very time we are trying to accommodate to bodies that shift weekly. It is tricky, finding your own “voice” when your voice cracks while trying to impress a peer. Add to this what can be an isolating realization that your lack of conformity to the predictable Adam and Eve pairing was not just a periodic quirk of elementary school, but a solidifying desire to kiss someone of the same sex. Read more