There is a lot of controversy around the word “gay”. For a long time, gay  people were not accepted globally. Only in the past few years gay people  began to be treated like actual human beings.

Still, there are some people out there who find it wrong to “come out of the  closet” as we say. Some have to believe it by the ways of their religion,  but the others don’t have a good enough reason not to accept homosexuals. I find there is no right or wrong way to live. You are who you are, and you  can’t control your feelings for something or someone. Their sexual  preference is their own choice, and that’s what they live by. They aren’t  outcasts just because they like people of the same sex. They have emotions,  they have feelings, they are the same as everyone else, gay or straight.

A while ago, in a parenting class of mine, the subject of ‘same sex’ parents  came up. A girl in this class, who thinks she is God’s gift to the world,  decided to voice her opinion. She was talking about how ‘gross’ it is to be  gay, when first of all the subject was about being a gay parent, not just  being gay. She had a disgusted look on her face while she said “it’s not  wrong, it’s just immoral.”

My friend Bekah and I, having many gay friends,  took offense to that statement. We asked what was wrong about it. Her  response was a look of confusion, accompanied by silence.

This girl, along with her friends continued with “if a child is adopted by  gay parents, when it grows up it won’t be normal.” Knowing she would be  baffled by it, I stood up and took the dictionary off of my teacher’s desk.  I flipped through it mindlessly, until I came upon the word ‘normal’. She  gave me a weird look and asked what I was doing, and I said “normal,  adjective, meaning: conforming with, adhering to, or constituting a norm,  standard, pattern, level, or type; typical.”

Bekah then looked up the words ‘gay’ and ‘straight’. Gay said happy, bright  and colourful. The slang was homosexual. Straight meant not curved or  crooked, and slang for heterosexual.

The girl then asked what the point was, and I told her that the “norm” of  things wasn’t the same as what it used to be twenty-some years ago. Also  that the words gay and straight had no direct meaning to the words  homosexual or heterosexual. Bekah and I had impressed our teacher and the  rest of the non-homophobic students in our class with the arguments we  proposed and the evidence we showed.

These two girls and some of their groupies weren’t homophobic because of  religion, but because what most of the media and their parents had taught  them. That gay is some sort of disorder, and they still had the idea in  their minds (if they even have any) that AIDS is still only a gay disease.  We tried to show them that being gay is nothing wrong, nor bad. It’s a way  of life, and it’s perfectly normal. They, being thick-headed and stuck-up,  didn’t want to hear the non-prejudice point of view.

Having many gay friends myself, and my best guy-friend being gay, I completely agree with the concept that homosexual people and heterosexual  people are no different at all. They have brains, and they have a heart. The  only slight difference between us is that even though homosexuals feel for  someone of the same sex, they still feel.

... Erica, October 6, 2002



I have written an article for the family web page already, about being a teen these days, and I was mostly ragging on our parents, but now I have decided to write about being a teenager, but having the best friends you could possible find.

Growing up, I have always had friends. I guess I was a lucky one, seeing as how looking around my school there are people that don't have any close friends. I guess I owe my outgoing personality to my dad, who has taught me through my 16 years that if you love yourself, others will love you too, and to learn to laugh at yourself when situations get sticky. I appreciate and respect the advice he has given me.

Two weeks ago, me and my best friend had realized we were both in total like with the same guy. It drove us insane how much we both had a thing for him. But, we came to the conclusion that no matter who got the guy, he would never come in between the friendship we have had for so long. We saw him again the other day, and we were still in total awe with him. After being with all our friends that night, we came back to my house and sat outside, and had conversations. We talked about almost everything imaginable. From guys, to other friends, to school, to past summers, future summers, and things along the lines of what we would do if we ever inherited 40 billion dollars from a relative. It became one of the best talks we have ever had, even better than one time when it was 3 of my other friends and we were playing “truth” about each other.

What I realized tonight, and what inspired me to write this column, was the advice given to me by my dad (and other people, like my mom and grandmother), and the relationships I have with my friends. I really cannot think what I would do if I weren't lucky enough to have parents who give great advice and friends who I can count on to just vent (spill my guts) to them. I need people to talk to, and the first place I go is the one place where I can find total trust, confidence, and reliability, which can only be found in my best of friends. Thank you so much, Jen, Laura, Shawn and Pierre. You will always be the first people I go to when I need to talk, and I hope I will be the first person you come to in your time of need.

I know most of you have already realized your friends are the best people to talk to, but if you haven't already, they really are. You can say whatever you want, and they will understand, because they are going through the same things you are, their teenage years.

Someone once told me that best friends are hard to find, even harder to lose, but impossible to forget. I now have been hit directly in the face with that fact.

... Erica, August 16, 2002

Being a Teenager These Days...


Life is hard enough these days with our society and rules, but trying being 15 or 16 through it all! If you thought it was hard during the 50's and 60's being this age, well, just consider yourself lucky you got those decades.

In the 21st century, there are so many new gadgets and things to do that are fun, but most of us can't do any of these things because we are either too young or we don't have enough money. Allowance can only go so far to a teenager who has a life of his/her own. Especially with the new fashions of these days for young people. Clothes these days can cost a fortune, I mean, a simple dress shirt from a popular store can cost up to fifty bucks! Who in their right mind is going to buy a shirt for fifty dollars? The people I shop with have a little more sense than that, even if we do all have Daddy's credit card.

Plus, there are curfews that can start as early as 10pm that can and will hold us all back! I mean, we DO have lives, and friends to be with, so 10 o'clock is just not reasonable. Eleven is a good start, but it could be better. We kids know you worry, and you want to know where we are every second of every day, but we can take care of ourselves if you really trust us. If we have a cell phone, and we are with friends you know, give us break! We know what we're doing, and we can be responsible if you give us the chance with the curfew of 12 or later, especially in the summer!

Another thing, getting a job isn't as easy as it seems for a teenager. We have to do the same things as you adults do, just we don't have as many things to put on our resumes, and without experience, it's a hard getting anyone to hire you, so lay off for a minute, please? Most parents nag on their 16 year old kids to get a job so they won't have to throw their cash to them. But, it's not that easy to get a job these days! Most places aren't even hiring when kids put in their resumes, so they just fall to the bottom of the pile, and never even get looked at. Places like McDonald's is a great thing to have on a resume, but it isn't all glitter and gold to work there. Sure, it's a job, but it sucks to most people. Also, to get a job at some nice places like Chapter's, or a nice clothing store, you have to fit the part: a nice, caring person who wants to help you with whatever you need. No facial piercings, no funky coloured hair, none of your own style unless you are a nice, caring, clean cut, perfect person, which, by the way, not all teens are. If you do have piercings, or funky coloured hair, you might as well just say goodbye to a nice store and go somewhere downtown, like Rock Junction, a punk store.

So, these are only some examples of what it's like to be a teenager these days. Now that you adults know what it's like to be our age these days, could you be a little more considerate and lenient towards us when we sleep until noon, or want to stay out until midnight, or want some pocket money? Cuz you WERE this age once, no matter how long ago it was, you knew how it was when your parents wouldn't let you do anything. Whatever you remember feeling back then, multiply that by about 2 or 3 more decades, and you get us!

 ... Erica, August 2002