|Mitchell Slaggert by Brent Chua for CADET 2016|
When Philip remembered his adolescence, he remembered the hidden parts. Hiding had been so important, so essential a part in his life, that even now–grown up, more or less, and living on his own–he kept every book with the word “homosexual” in the title hidden, even in his own apartment. These days, when he thought of himself at twelve or thirteen, he did not think of school, his friend Gerard, board games and playground injustice and gold stars in workbooks. He did not envision himself sitting in a classroom, or with his parents at dinner, or in front of the television. Instead, he saw himself always and only lying on the bathroom floor and masturbating, the steam billowing from the shower, the wallpaper curling at the edges. He could remember nothing else, nothing but this forbidden activity, as if his memory was now capable of creating only a negative image, exposing only those things which were then in shadow. Philip's sexual awakening had not been uncommon: a chance collision of penis and thigh, the unexpected, intense terror of orgasm, the shock of the white liquid squirting onto his bedsheet. But what was different for Philip was that it never ended, this period when sex was only masturbation, it never developed into another stage. For his friend Gerard, there was talk of girls, and then there were girls, sex, talk of love. For Philip, there was only this solipsistic stroking, by definition nameless. Of course he realized, from the magazines he glimpsed at the corner newsstand and later bought in profusion, that there were many other men in the world with similar visions in their heads. But he did not think to seek them out, to match himself to one of them, to make love to one of them, because sex for him had never had anything to do with anyone but himself, and certainly had nothing to do with his life.
Sometimes Philip thought about what would happen if his mother were to walk in on him one day and find him surrounded by the shiny magazines, mounds of them spread all over the floor, colorful as the toys and blocks with which, as a child, he had often built play castles to house himself. He imagined the look on her face -- her eyes wide, her mouth open in confusion. Beyond that, he couldn't imagine. His life, he presumed, would end in a flash, as it had begun. If he was lucky, he would be born again without this need.
It was only many years later that Philip was finally able to face the possibility, to enact the scene that never took place, the scene where his mother walked in and caught him with his pornography. He imagined what it would have felt like to be forced to talk about it, to acknowledge the protruding erections and the "toys" in the ads and the sergeants in the stories, "planting liplocks" on willing recruits. His mother would have probably handled it relatively well, he decided. She would have left the room, let him clean up. Later, calmly, she would have brought it up with him, said something wise and never mentioned it again, imagining, he supposed, that this was a childish phase, something he'd get over. And he -- what would he have said? His sexual life had been bred in secret; he had never spoken of it with anyone, not even himself.
It was not until college that Philip finally made love with another human being, and it was a man. He was not altogether happy about this, but he felt compelled: Loneliness, horniness, the need to touch real flesh -- these things conspired against him. He and a skinny medical student named Dean rolled on an ancient sofa in a dorm room and Philip's hands grabbed for flesh, touched where they had never touched before.
-- David Leavitt, The Lost language of Cranes, Alfred A. Knopf, Inc., 1986
Church Funded Study Finds 76% of
Young Adult Christians Actively Seek Out Porn
Josh McDowell, a well-known evangelist and apologist, commissioned a new study to expose what he calls the “pervasiveness of pornography in the church and among Christians” and to his disbelief, the statistics proved what he had already feared – “pornography has infiltrated the church, especially among young adults.”
“Of young adults 18-24 years old, 76 percent actively – and these are Christians – actively seek out porn,” McDowell lamented to OneNewsNow.
Here are some additional key findings from the church commissioned study titled: “THE PORN PHENOMENON: A COMPREHENSIVE, GROUNDBREAKING NEW SURVEY ON AMERICANS, THE CHURCH, AND PORNOGRAPHY: Impact of Internet Pornography on American Population and the Church.”
- 21% of youth pastors and 14% of pastors admit they currently struggle with using porn.
- About 12% of Youth Pastors and 5% of Pastors say there are addicted to porn
- 87% of pastors who use porn feel a great sense of shame about it
- 55% of pastors who use porn say they live in constant fear of being discoveredOneNewsNow reports on McDowell’s one man crusade to turn the tide on all those young Christian’s addicted to playing with themselves.
McDowell tells OneNewsNow young people have a cavalier attitude towards porn.“Of 13- to 24-year-olds, 96 percent would say that when they talk to someone about porn – their friends, which most of them are Christians now – they do it in either a neutral, positive or encouraging way,” he says.McDowell is putting together what he calls the most comprehensive conference for Christian leaders about Internet pornography. Called “Set Free Summit,” it will take place in April in Greensboro, North Carolina.
Source: The Daily Grind, February 5, 2016
DECEMBER 19, 1991 - SEPTEMBER 22, 2010
Tyler Clementi was a smart, talented and creative young man. He had a kind heart and bright spirit, and was deeply loved by his family and friends. He grew up with a passion for music and was an accomplished violinist. Tyler began playing the violin in the third grade. Tyler was also an enthusiastic bicyclist and unicyclist. He taught himself to play the violin while unicycling. He performed in numerous orchestras and was awarded with several accolades for his musical contributions.
Tyler was gay, and had just begun sharing this part of himself with the people he was close to during the summer after his high school graduation. This was a difficult time for him, but he was brave and honest about who he was. After graduating high school, Tyler attended Rutgers University where he was excited to learn, grow and have the freedom to live openly as a gay man. As an incoming freshman he began playing violin at the institution’s high level orchestra.
At college Tyler became a victim of cyber-bullying. His privacy was invaded when his college roommate set up a webcam to spy on him. The roommate viewed him in an intimate act, and invited others to view this online. Tyler discovered what his abuser had done and that he was planning a second attempt. Viewing his roommate’s Twitter feed, Tyler learned he had widely become a topic of ridicule in his new social environment. He ended his life several days later by jumping off the George Washington Bridge. Tyler was eighteen years old.The Foundation
The story of Tyler's death became a global news story, highlighting the impact and consequences of bullying while sparking dialogue amongst parents, teachers, and students across the country. Moreover, the story linked to broader issues impacting youth and families such as LGBT inequality, safety in schools, youth in crisis, higher education support systems, and cyber-bullying.
In 2010, Tyler's death was one of many suicides amongst LGBT youth reflecting a growing and desperate need to focus on the issue of bullying in schools and its victims. Amongst vulnerable youth, the LGBT populations are known to be the most vulnerable. Studies cite LGBT youth are three to seven times more likely to attempt suicide than other youth. More studies have also shown that the greatest determinant of LGBT suicide is a hostile social environment, be it home, school or work. The Tyler Clementi Foundation was born out of the urgent need to address the needs of vulnerable populations, especially LGBT and other victims of hostile social environments.
The family of Tyler Clementi is focused on creating a new story of inclusion, dignity and acceptance for other youth and their families as way to honor the memory of their son, brother and friend.
Spread the word
The Tyler Clementi Foundation
104 West 29th St. 4th FloorNew York, NY 10001
Phone - 646-871-8091