I guess for me, to speak more clearly, Chloe, the issue is about how gay men are seen as threats to adolescent boys.

I don’t think I ever had any more trouble talking to Brent about sex than any parent has. Yes, it was uncomfortable sometimes as I illustrate in my story, but we had a pretty open, trusting relationship, so it was OK. We were able to communicate effectively.

The barriers were in my own head. And I think they would be for many gay men. We’re used to being perceived as sexually suspect — as threats to children.

It’s only been a couple generations after all since that sort of pervasive stereotyping began to evaporate.

It’s funny, I actually find myself getting defensive even with friends. I remember a conversation I had with my friend Janie Keddie, as a matter of fact, in which I quite needlessly justified my mentoring relationship/friendship with 19-year-old Medium and Quora writer Fred Shirley.

Gay men often feel what I feel, I think, in that we believe rightfully or wrongly that people are suspicious of us when it comes to our relationships with young people.

Anyway, that is some of what I had in the back of my mind as I was writing that story.

Jim.

P.S. BTW, Chloe, if you and Janie haven’t met, you’d probably enjoy knowing her. She’s a little bit of a Scottish version of you, though with some very important differences. :-)

Written by

Writer. Runner. Marine. Airman. Former LGBTQ and HIV activist. Former ActUpNY and Queer Nation. Polyglot. Middle-aged, uppity faggot. jamesfinnwrites@gmail.com

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