“My coworker asked me if I supported NAMBLA because I’m gay. I had never even heard of NAMBLA outside of Southpark references. How do I enlighten her to the reality that most gay men, or humans in general, have no interest in minors? My only ‘experience’ with pedophilia was when one of my exes cheated on me with [a minor] – the idea does not appeal to me as I’ve always been attracted to older guys, typically in their 30’s, even when I was 18 and had just started exploring my sexuality.”
I first heard of NAMBLA when I first came out, though not by that name. It seems that among adults at the time, there was a distinct fear that there were predatory homosexual men who wanted nothing more than my fifteen year old virginity. For this reason I learned to be wary of older men in the gay community because I was under the impression that they wanted nothing more than to take advantage of me and my nubile young body. I even heard that there was a contingent of these men somewhere in the world who were vying for acceptance and permission to march in a gay pride parade. They sat gleefully outside the pride board meeting with their beady little eyes and their lecherous grins and waited for this “All inclusive” board to say “Yes – pedophiles are homosexuals too!” Much to this alleged group’s dismay, the alleged pride board in question denied their petition and they had to slink back to the shadows from wince they came. Meanwhile, I started to encounter age discrimination in the gay community. When I was younger, I was too young. When I got older, I got too old. The younger guys thought I was a NAMBLA Perv, just as I used to think the older guys were NAMBLA Pervs.
One day, I had a brainstorm, I thought that there was no way in this day and age that an organization like NAMBLA could possibly exist. With all the “catch a predator” and other entrapment schemes out there and the right wing “protect our children from the evil homosexuals” cries for action, you would think that if such an organization existed it would have been infiltrated and brought down. Right? So I perused the internets in search of answers. Being cautious (after all, I’ve seen Catch a predator, and had friends arrested in entrapment schemes) I found nothing that indicated that this was actually a real thing. I did find statistics that suggest the majority of child-rapists are, or identify as, heterosexual. The majority of child rapists also work alone. It’s too dangerous to trust yourself to an organization that could be infiltrated by the Feds, or any else who was on a mission to shut you down. People who share their secret with others have a tendency to get caught, and go to jail.
So, what purpose does the NAMBLA-Myth serve? Well, it kept me from fucking those hot older men who might have taught me a thing or two about sex (stuff I had to stumble through and figure out on my own.) It also taught me to fear older men because they had nothing to offer but sex, and it was dirty take-advantage-of-me sex at that. In other words, the NAMBLA-myth perpetuates agism in the gay community by making us fear each other. I am not, in any way, implying that child-rape does not exist. I am not implying in any way that grown men do not rape young boys sometimes, or that grown women don’t do it to young girls too. Sometimes grown women do it to young boys. Most often it is grown men doing it to young girls. That’s the real reality of the situation.If you want to be gentle with your friend, tell her that you believe that NAMBLA is a fear-based myth, designed to divide the gay community and make the heterosexuals fear us; that you don’t know anyone who is a member of NAMBLA, nor do you have any evidence that it actually exists. Then point out that you likely have very similar tastes in men, and ask her if her favorite male celebrity is Justin Bieber or Tatum Channing. If you don’t want to be gentle, ask her when was the last time she raped a prepubescent boy, and if she supports lonely high school teachers who fuck their 9th grade students? She must, if she’s straight, right?