At thirteen, one's body changes, as the sexual attributes begin to develop. The pressure to engage in sexual activities, as stated above, is high. These days there are free condoms given out at school, classes on sexual education, including alternative lifestyles should I want to try one of those. Even in
elementary school, there are books entitled "Billy has Two Mommies" or "Sally has Two Daddies." The opportunities to stay a child until one is ready to grow up are few and under constant assault. If I'm a kid, I want to stay a kid for a while before I am forced to enter the adult world prematurely.
There are people who listen to me. I appreciate them. It's nice to be listened to, to have your opinion count, to have something to say, even if only on Facebook, and to have someone "like" it. To begin anew with absolutely no credibility is frightening. Not only will I have to learn to talk again, I'll have to wait years until someone will take anything I say seriously. Even if I say something wise, they'll just look at each other and say, "Ain't he the cutest thing?" If I am born a girl, incidentally, it will take twice as long to gain credibility.
In the Sixties, I sang songs of tolerance, marched for civil rights and learned to treat those of other colors and races as equals. I thought we handled all that then. What happened? There is still racial prejudice in this country and in others. I am currently one of the "new minority," a white male. There are people who hate me for being white, for being not Hispanic, for being at all. Suppose I am born black? Will white people hate me? Suppose I am born of a mixed family? Will I spend my growing years trying to find my place in the world? Prejudice is a terrible thing; for children, it is worse.
"That's not fair!" was the battle cry of my growing years. We expected grownups to correct the injustices of the world. Instead, they just said, "The world isn't fair, kid. Get used to it." The world still isn't fair. Congress is costing our soon-to-be-bankrupt country a fortune while doing nothing. Presidents spend hundreds of millions getting elected and spend the next four years campaigning
for the next election. Courts are overloaded, prisons our full and there are two many laws not to break one every time one goes out of the door. How can a child grow up in a world that calls itself intelligent and is still not fair?
(more to come)