Posts Tagged → \”Derrick Martin\” \”Ken O\’Neill\” \”The Marrying Kind\”
My first impulse always is to give up and lie down. Get a big blanket, throw it over my head. Retreat from the world.
Maybe eat a cookie. A cookie would be good.
I’m not doing that, not even the cookie part. Instead I’m typing–two finger style. It’s not much, but it’s something.
When I feel like I can’t do anything to help–when I’m forced to face ugliness in the world–my default emotion is hopelessness.
And then I remember that I’ve made this challenging decision to be present in the world. To be (God help me) a role model.
And so I don’t give into despair.
This is my way of explaining why it is that I’m not hiding (with a bag of cookies) now that I’ve learned that Derrick Martin’s parents have thrown him out of the house upon discovering that he had the nerve to be a well-adjusted, smart and personable, gay high school senior, instead of what they would clearly prefer, a self-loathing, deeply-closeted, suicidal one.
For those of you who don’t know Derrick Martin is the Georgia High School senior who successfully petitioned his school to allow him to bring a same-sex date to the prom.
I don’t know this young man, but my guess is he had a sense of his parent’s views on homosexuality before he decided to take a male date to the prom. Derrick’s actions can only be described as heroic. He made a choice to value his integrity more than his personal safety. (I think it’s he, not I, who is the role model.)
I don’t believe any parent is ever really surprised when they find out their child is gay or lesbian. Somewhere inside of themselves they know. And they have always known.
I feel fairly confident saying that this is also true of Derrick’s parents. And so what to make of their shocking act of neglect and abuse? My guess is Derrick is not being punished for being gay. He’s being punished for having the audacity of being proud of who he is. He’s been tossed out for having courage and conviction. I’m not a parent, but it’s my understanding that courage and conviction are traits to be encouraged and nurtured, not to be scorned.
His parents have cut him loose for being a leader. If he was quiet. If he wept and begged forgiveness things might be different. If only he tried to change, was repentant, remorseful, played the part of the sinner–he’d still have a bed.
But what would the cost of that behavior be on his soul? What lifelong damage would be caused?
His parents realized that because of Derrick’s action’s the world would know he’s gay. They could no longer pretend otherwise.
It’s a shame they didn’t focus on all the other things the world has learned about their son. Like that he has strength, and fortitude,that he values honesty over hypocrisy.
Under different circumstances I would have thought that Derrick had become the great man that he is because of the influence of his parents.
I guess he just found his greatness within himself.