Reply to Janice Graham


I think you mistake the intent of the email that Chris sent, as well as of my book and the position I do (and don't) take on this issue.

I'm not saying that the assessments of middle schoolers are necessarily trustworthy on this subject, or that gender orientation is necessarily immutable. Rather, what I'm saying is that unlike earlier times, many middle schoolers aren't waiting until they're older before they start to believe that they're gay and publicly identify themselves as gay--which (like you) I view as quite alarming. One of the things this means is that we in the Church can't wait until they're older before we address this issue with them.

This is a point where I think you and I agree. You talk about vigilance, parental involvement, and teaching the Church's position to our children--and I'm all for that. I'm also not "celebrating" homosexuality, as I think is clear in my book. I'm sorry if that wasn't clear in the email. Actually, what my book is about is choosing to follow the Church's path despite the lure of the world's way of looking at this.

It seems clear to me that there are those in middle school who are genuinely same-sex attracted, just as there are those who may experiment with these behaviors but outgrow them. Both categories of children need our help, especially since it isn't always obvious who fits into which category. Clear teaching and understanding--consistent with gospel principles as enunciated by Church leaders--are key to that.

(And just to clarify, the main character in my novel is 15/16 at the time the novel takes place. Where I saw a connection to this news article is not in the age of the character, but rather that the article illustrates that the world our children are growing up in is not the same world we grew up in.)

Jonathan Langford
Author, No Going Back