I feel like I’m reading the script for an episode of Law & Order.
Sadly, it’s the on-line version of today’s Washington Post.
And the thing that I can’t help but wonder, is why it seems so confusing to people that these two teenage girls – Rachel Smith and Rachel Crites – did what they did.
Perhaps I’ve just spent too much time viewing Dick Wolf’s Law & Order franchise, but the the truth seems clear to me.
In the spotty reports served up by any number of on-line and traditional media outlets, one fact seems clear – the girls were both depressed. By some accounts it was the elder Rachel, Crites, who suffered more from a dark mental state and Rachel Smith, two years her junior, was her “guardian angel”.
Rachel Crites father was quoted in the Washington Post story has having found his daughter’s diary and being disturbed with one of the entries that read:
“Wherever I end up laying, whether buried or cremated, I want to stay with my true love, buried next to her,” it said. “This is my choice. I’m sorry.”
In the paper yesterday (yes I actually read a real, hard copy newspaper), the diary entry was quoted but failed to mention any gender.
My immediate reaction was that these were two girls who were in love, the families disapproved and in a sad gesture of forbidden love, the two ran off and committed suicide rather than be separated.
I cannot even begin to imagine the emotional evisceration plaguing both of these families right now. Whether or not my scenario rings true, I’m certain that they loved their kids and did not wish for anything like this to happen.
But if I’m right, and this is the plot line that played out in the idyllic, tree-lined streets of this East Coast suburban community, I would say this should serve as a lesson to any parent out there whose child may be struggling with the torture of sexual identity in those ever-so-traumatic teen years.
Love your children. No matter what. You may not agree with their choices. You may not condone a lifestyle they choose. But if you love them, truly love them, then that’s what you’ll do regardless of how their sexual identity may play out.
Being gay isn’t a choice. I can say this from my own experience. The only choice is whether or not you elect to embrace who you are. Trust me. If I had the option to experience happiness and fulfillment in a heterosexual relationship – I sure as hell would. Being a lesbian – even in the gay mecca of San Francisco – isn’t easy. But I have chosen to embrace who I am, and damn the consequences.
I’m lucky. My realization and acceptance came as an adult when I already had control of my life. And in spite of my family’s refusal to accept (or even acknowledge) who I am and who I choose to love, I am able to stand strong and stand tall as a powerful woman – one who happens to be gay.
These teens – at least Rachel Crites – didn’t have that option. I’m guessing that as the days go forward we will learn more about this scenario.
I’m just hoping I don’t see it on television any time soon.