Posts Tagged ‘sex’

The girls wanted to know what to look for in a boyfriend.  The boys wanted to know when the time is right to ask a girl out.  But one dad at my lunch table told us that the gender-specific classes weren’t reaching every attendee.  Because they weren’t reaching the gay kids.

I spent the Memorial Day weekend at Washington Family Ranch, a Young Life camp in central Oregon.  As an “adult guest,” I had no duties and treated the opportunity as a private getaway.  I attended a few of the scheduled sessions.  I listened to my daughter speak about repentance.  I attended worship.  I wish I’d gone to more.  Specifically, I wish I’d gone to the sessions for “girls” and “boys.”

Instead, I sat in the sunshine writing and reading.  I heard about the sessions later, at lunch with the other adult guests, and regretted missing it.  I could tell those girls a few things.  They had questions about topics other than dating and boys—you know they spent some time asking where a girl can find a prom dress that doesn’t reveal half an acre of breast flesh—but dating was definitely the main subject.

The words of that dad got my attention.

He knew something was different about his daughter.  But he didn’t know anything about homosexuality, and had no idea how to give her guidance.  Now that she’s out and in a long-term relationship, he knows that she got most of her advice and support during her teen years from a high school teacher who may or may not have also initiated his daughter’s first sexual relationship.

Half of the people at our lunch table fell silent and stared at their plates, suddenly fascinated with the appearance of their lunch.  Two of us engaged with him to ask about his daughter and her journey.  I knew I wouldn’t like it if one of my children got advice about dating and his or her innermost feelings from a teacher at school.

We asked him how he felt the camp could reach out to gay teens.  He didn’t have an answer for that.  We didn’t either.  But I can understand that a Christian parent would appreciate it if kids like his daughter had the opportunity to be able to ask their questions, too.  He’d like it if kids like his daughter were told they are God’s masterpiece, and that they deserve respect, affection, and care regardless of their sexuality.

This is a topic I explored when I wrote Steadfast.  What was it like for a young Catholic man to come out to his family?  How would they respond to the news?  What about the young man’s friends?  Would they stick around or abandon him?  And what if he was also dying of the AIDS virus?

At no time did this dad talk about whether he approved or didn’t approve of his daughter’s sexuality.  That wasn’t his point.  He just wanted kids like his daughter to have a place to ask those embarrassing questions, preferably in a setting that honored their faith in God.

It’s hard to argue with that.


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Too many posts for one day, I know.

But I’ve been wondering how to address the subject of the Steubenville rape.  How to share my frustrations with the crime, the aftermath, the trial.  How to put the case in context.

Turns out I don’t need to.  Turns out a blogger named Ann Voskamp has done it already.


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“A cure is something we can no longer write off as impossible.”  I found this quote at the end of an article in The Week magazine.

A baby has been cured of HIV.

So now a man–Timothy Brown–and this child have been completely cured of the disease that wiped out an entire generation of gay men.  Such great news, but…

It concerns me that young people continue to be the group most at risk for HIV.  Many young men are completely unaware that unprotected sex can expose a person to the virus.  Although people with HIV can now live to a ripe old age, this lack of awareness means that HIV will not be eradicated.

And that makes me sad.

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I enjoy reading the blog of Rachel Held Evans, and particularly liked what she offered today in her post titled Do Christians idolize virginity?

The main characters in Forgiveness Fits decide to remain virgins until they are married.  I tried to keep it realistic, though.  They talk about sex, joke about sex, and acknowledge their sexual attraction.  More than one writer-friend has suggested that I’ve written a fantasy.  Maybe I have.

I read once about an area that had a fairly high teen-pregnancy rate.  Researchers (or psychologists or social workers, I don’t remember which) talked with the pregnant girls to learn why, after having had a thorough education in sexual prevention, they managed to get pregnant anyway.  The overwhelming response?  They didn’t know what to say when they were lost in the moment.

The researchers (or psychologists or social workers or whatever) used this information to work with the next group of young women.  They asked them to role-play the conversations they were getting into with their boyfriends, so that the others could talk about how to avoid giving in. It worked!

That’s why I wanted the kids in my book to be virgins.  I thought teenage girls–whether they are Christian or not–might appreciate reading about an authentic couple that faces this authentic and very common issue.

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