Do you play an instrument? Is there a musical instrument whose sound you find particularly pleasing? Tell us a story about your experience or relationship with an instrument of your choice.
I ran home from school quite excited. My elementary school just had a special assembly to close out the day. It featured a violin player. He was incredible. His music was sad, exhilarating, joyful, rousing, thoughtful, and above it all it reached my 10 year old heart. If only I could learn to bring the joy to others that the violinists brought to me. That was it; that’s what I wanted to do.
I burst into the house full of enthusiasm. Dad had just come home from work. He was tired, reading the paper, and likely needed a drink.
“Dad!” I said. “There was this guy at school, he could play the violin like nothing I’ve ever heard. I want to learn how to play the violin.”
Dad’s newspaper, held in his hands, began to tremble, sort of like the ground before an earthquake. “What!” he shouted, “Only queers play violins.”
It was the 50s. I wasn’t really sure what a queer was, but from Dad’s reaction I sure didn’t want to be one.
That was pretty much the end of my desire to play the violin and also my introduction to sexual preference education.
If I may note, such education of young people is confusing. Some in the education community feel it needs to be done early so children can live comfortably with their sexuality. Introducing sexuality at an early age is like tampering with a ticking time bomb. Educators cannot not control classrooms, have a lower graduation rate than fifty years ago, and are a product of a permissive society and education system that is morally and intellectually slack – it is most unlikely they can offer nothing more than what they have experienced or been taught. Their efforts prove to be no better than my father’s or street corner talk.