If you have been reading Michael Shackelford's account in the Washington Post which began on Sunday, September, 26, 2004, you've gotten a soft place in your heart for him. Daddies are like that.
Michael's experience in coming out at such a young age is very courageous. I feel that he will have an introduction to gay life a little more accomodating, but still very frightening. So far, he has fared well.
Michael may someday become a very good Young Daddy. He is still evolving, but I feel that he will find his role ten or fifteen years from now being the dominant in a future relationship. Gay life has so much ahead in store for him. You want to be his fairy god father but you know you can't. There will be older guys who will take advantage of him. But that experience will make him stronger. The first part and the hardest part is dealing with being gay. Once over that hump, it becomes a daily learning lesson, trying to separate the sex from the gayness.
Some guys never can make the separation. Others do and learn to adjust. Michael will mature as he grows older and wiser. Now, it is all so new to him. But it was all so new for each one of us, however older. Those of us who knew and acted on it in our twenties came out pretty well adjusted, considering. Guys are coming out by the hour as I write this entry. It is a difficult course of action to persue. It is lonely at first. But the loneliness, the coming to terms, makes you a stronger man. You adjust and assume roles which both make you happy and make your partner happier. If nothing else, as I have mentioned repeated in these blogs, it is not "about me", but "about "we".
Michael gets to pick and chose, though restricted in his choices, for the time being. He is living at home, and being openly gay in those conditions, can be difficult. But Michael is coping and maybe struggling. He will have to make decisions, some unpleasant, but these decisions will mold him into the gay man he will become.
I wish Michael well. He's a cute guy who will become the gay poster boy de jour. I only wish that he won't be taken advantage of by older guys, guys who should know better. Don't crap on Michael and don't hurt him. It's tough enough going through what he is facing. We, as gay men, don't need to complicate matters more.
Looking back, we hated that pawing guy who won't take no for an answer. That made us very uncomfortable. It felt dirty, it hurt. So let Michael find his happiness and maybe his role later in life as a top daddy. I am sure whatever role he chooses, he will be make some guy, some day, very happy.