The Kaitlyn Hunt story haunts me.
I can’t sleep restfully, my mind keeps wandering, and my heart is heavy. Kaitlyn Hunt’s story could be my story.
My first love was in high school – I was 15, she was 17. Then, I was 16 and she was 18. All of the kissing and touching and experimenting – it was consensual, it was emotional, it was… love.
And apparently, it was a felony.
I can’t imagine having my parents tear me away from her. Well, my mother did tell me to stay away from her after she found an “I Love You” note, but I chose not to listen.
I would lie to my parents just to be able to see her.
More to the point, I can’t imagine her going to jail simply because we were teenagers in love. I can’t imagine her entire life being ruined because of what we shared with one another in those years in the 1960’s.
As “lewd and lascivious” as it may seem to some people, and as wrong as the law may make it appear, it was the only thing in my 15/16 year old life that made any sense to me.
She was the first person who really got who I was; the first person with whom I didn’t have to pretend or change the way I acted. She certainly didn’t “make” me gay – she made me feel that it was perfectly normal for me to be who I was.
She made me feel worthy and loved not different and dirty. Perhaps this is what Kaitlyn and this young girl shared.
After 46 years, my time with her is still very much a part of who I am.
When she left for college our time together ended. My heart broke and I lost the one person who kept me grounded in who I was. She found her partner at college, and they are still together living a quiet life of happiness.
On the other hand, I lived a life of confusion and lies and denial for the next 20 something years… until Susan.
Life is hard enough as a teenager, gay or straight.
You’re trying to find your way, your hormones are raging, and if you’re questioning your gender – well that just adds to the confusion. You know you’re feelings are what they are, but if you’re parents were like mine, you were not allowed to have those feelings.
“Just date boys,” my mother would yell at me in desperation. And so the years of lying and denying began.
My heart aches for her.
Yes, she broke the law — but is she really a rapist?
In the eyes of the law, yes, she is. In the case of this relationship, no she is not. It’s just all so sad and heartbreaking.
My heart also aches for the younger girl – the 15 year old me. What of her? Where does her life go from here? How does she cope in this world of right and wrong and love and hate and gay and straight?
Will she ever again trust her feelings or will her life be like mine – filled with confusion, lies, and denial? She’s lost her friend, and her life is definitely changed forever.
My daughter, the lawyer, reminds me all the time: “It’s a court of law, not a court of justice.”
Perhaps it’s finally time to change the law so there is some justice for all of the 18-year-old males and females who are no more a sexual predator than I was – or my first love was.
Kaitlyn’s lawyer said Friday: “Along with Kaitlyn and her family, we are going to fight to have the law changed so no other teenager finds themselves in this same position created by the State of Florida and prosecuted unfairly.”
I stand with Kaitlyn. I stand for change.