It is curious circumstances that first aquainted me wih the physical manifestation of emotional pain. A friend was in some distress, distress of such a magnitude that it drove hime self-loathing, to the extent that he attempted suicide. The cause? His realization of his own homosexuality. In our numerous conversations we discussed the reasons for his preference and came to the conclusion that he,like many others, was a victim of circunstance. Circunstance dictates much of a person, their personality, habits, ethics, and morals to name a few. Thus one cannot judge a person based on intiial impressions, one must take their background into consideration. True this is no excuse for murder and other felonies or even misdeameanors, but he mitigating circimstances must be considered. Following this train of thought brought me to the idea that psychiatrists (which my friend was seeing at the time) also must consider not just the present situation but the past as well. My friend’s numerous complaints about his psychiatrist aided me in coming to this conclusion. Now whether or not he just had a bad doctor I do not know, nor am I qualified to judge, havin never been to a psychiatrist. A few days later I presented this idea about circumstances to him, coupled with the thought that perhaps it was not after all his fault , nor was it wrong for him to be homosexual. This thought grealty cheered him and together we embarked on a period of discovery. As our high school years have passed we have emraced a number of friends whom society has labeled as damaged. We have freinds fomr affluent families, destitution, abusive families, neglectful families, and even form no family at all we ourselves becoming their family. The key to this unquestionin acceptance? Judging, not on appearance, habits, or even attitudes but judging the whole person including their past and present circumstances. That wa the problem with my friends psychiatrist, the moment he stepped intot he office he was judged as a hopeless cause because of his green hair, black clothes, and nail polish. After three and a half years in high school we have learned that perhaps obnoxious people aren’t obnoxious because they can be but because they were taught to be. In the same way homosexuals are not homosexual because they choose to be but because they circumstances dictated that they are. This provided my friend with unending comfort in juxtaposition with confidence in himself. He know wears the “badge” of homosexuality openly and with pride.
If you enjoyed this essay, please consider making a tax-deductible contribution to This I Believe, Inc.