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Thursday, September 11, 2008

Savage Love Letter of the Day

posted by on September 11 at 11:20 AM

In response to this week’s column

I just read your column this week and it’s great that you took up such an issue. One quibble, though: What of self-reliance? Given that this boy is at least 18, it would seem that he could have a large hand in his life rebuilding, should his parents follow through with their threats. Having his boyfriend help in is certainly in order, but not to the extent that the boy should make such important decisions as moving in or, gasp, marriage solely because the ‘rents are halting the gravy train. Sure, put him up for a while. Sure, help him figure out student loans. Sure, give him some walking around money. Certainly give him emotional and moral support as he goes through what will no doubt be one of the most painful times of his life. But while he’s at it, why not help him find an apartment or a job? However young, this boy is a man now and he’ll need to figure out how to be a responsible one, no matter now quickly he is forced to do so.

I suppose it just seems to me that his leaving one situation where he’s totally dependent on others for another such situation could do more harm than good in the long run, especially where his and his boyfriend’s relationship is concerned. All this, I think, would also apply to any other person being forced to grow up really quickly.

Also, I think the biggest service his boyfriend could offer him is to keep and eye on him. It is too easy to become self-pitying when you’re cast out. It’s too easy to get caught up in the less-than-stellar trappings of gay life when you suddenly have unlimited freedom and no oversight. If I didn’t have a strong group of middle-aged gay men (none of whom I was sleeping with) teaching me how to be a responsible gay adult, I can’t say that I would have ended up as stable as I am now. God knows I dabbled in some shady business as a young man, but I had good, trustworthy adults to snap me back in line should I venture too far. I truly think that this is what this guy needs more than anything.


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H.R. has good advice.

Posted by Dee in SF | September 11, 2008 11:53 AM

What H.R. said. Forty-some years later, in my case, I am a responsible, pretty well adjusted gay man who still is able to count a few of those elders as friends and mentors, and who will be forever grateful that there was a small community of men who were willing to undertake that charge. I try to pay it forward, and hope that I'm somewhat successful.

Posted by Calpete | September 11, 2008 2:24 PM

But Dan, haven't you said that middle-aged men who are into teenage boys are creeps? The boy was a teenager when they first began having bondage sex.

Posted by bobbo | September 11, 2008 2:27 PM

@3 Yeah, but teenager as in 16, or teenager as in 18 or 19? The writer doesn't say, but it doesn't seem like they've been seeing each other for more than a year. And he loves him. Someone who says he'd be "proud" to live with and support a would-be partner through college just doesn't seem "creepy" to me. He seems loyal and loving.

Posted by Tracy | September 11, 2008 5:49 PM

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