Hiding Your Sexual Orientation From Your Parents 101 (teen-made video)

Vincent Pearase, of Oak Park High School in Winnipeg Canada, writes:

One of our talented Oak Park students, Andrew Vineberg, helped make this hilarious short, Hiding Your Sexual Orientation From Your Parents 101. The kid is a vlogger, too. He does an amazingly erudite, funny vlog under the moniker Volatile Chemical. Check it out! Andrew has asked to show this at our next school assembly.


  1. Am I the only person who thinks it’s a bit icky for school staff to be discussing sexuality with his students, in whatever context?

    1. Often times LGBTQ young people will come out to a “safe” adult before their parents. I’m a librarian and I’ve had teenagers introduce their boy/girl friends to me long before they told their parents. I know a number of teachers who’ve had similar experiences. Having an adult in your life who isn’t going to freak about because you’re gay can not only be a good thing, it can save lives. Gay teens make up 1/3rd of all suicides in the US. That’s not just disproportionate, it’s terrifying.


      The line between appropriate and “icky” is pretty clear actually. An educator giving kids a means to express themselves creatively about homophobia is pretty much in the “win” column.

    2. If you want to call the phrase, “I’m gay” icky, go right ahead, but let us know. That phrase is (part of) a discussion of sexuality and I, for one, see nothing wrong with it. I imagine you don’t either, but I’d prefer not to place words in your mouth.

      So, what exactly does, “discussion of sexuality” entail?

    3. Cog, no you are not the only one. I don’t know that it’s *that* icky, but I just thought I’d weigh in since everyone here seems to be kind of picking on you.

      To everyone else: for my part at least I think it’s mildly icky because it strikes me as a harbinger for abuse of the teacher-student relationship. Having said that, I also believe that idea is really just paranoia and quite disproportionate – I’m sure the vast majority of teachers (including the poster) have only the best interests of the student in mind.

      But really, just give Cog a break.

      Oh, and FTR I don’t really rate this vid highly… though to be fair it is better than anything we ever did at that age.

  2. @Cog, sex ed was taught in my high school, and that’s where i learned the basics of birth control, STDs, gender and sexual identity. Why is that wrong?

    1. My sophomore year biology teacher gave us all the skinny on how to give a blow job without gagging. Oh, how I miss you, 1972.

  3. I am proud that we have a LGBT group at school, as well as a student-driven anti-homophobia campaign. it is only “icky” if you think sexuality is icky, I suppose. The idea here is that we discuss things in an open, mature fashion, without resorting to ad-hominem, fear-based arguments.
    Also, I said nothing about the student’s sexuality. YOU assumed that he is gay, which I honestly have no idea about, nor do I care. Perhaps you don’t realize this, but belonging to an LGBT group or participating in a LGBT video project does not require one to be LGBT.

  4. The baby boomers assumed, in the words of Philip Larkin:

    Sexual intercourse began in 1963 Between the end of the Chatterley ban and the Beatles first LP.

    Which would have been news to Tallulah Bankhead, for instance. I suppose every generation thinks it invented sex, including deviancy of every kind. Which is ridiculous, in that there’s nothing new under the sun, at least with regard to sex. No, really, all those fancy complicated toys you think are so innovative were already old hat in Gommorah, when they were powered by oxen.

    With that said, all children of whatever age OBVIOUSLY should not discuss their sexuality with their parents. This is a function neither of orientation nor of age. It’s just not business that should be discussed between parties in said relationship.

  5. Xeni,

    I’m plainly not talking about sex ed. Neither is Vincent.

    Gepinniw (Vincent, if I’ve understood correctly?),

    No reason to get all pedantic up in here, Teach. I fully understand high school extra-curricular groups.

    The ‘icky’ bit isn’t based in some sort of general sexual gross-out. Any more than the ickiness of a Papal government is based in fear of the Pope. Church and state are both great. But things get a little weird when they mix.

    1. Why is it so icky or weird to you? I think it’s very helpful. Many high-school kids don’t necessarily get the right kind of information and support at home, especially regarding their sexuality. If they need an unbiased, emotionally detached advice or guidance, school ought to be a safe place for them to find it since they spend so much of their lives there.

      I don’t believe sex-ed should only be about raw, cold information delivered in a couple of lessons, like maths. It’s a huge part of teen development so the option for an open dialogue with an adult whom they can trust and who won’t judge them outright is a good thing, IMO.

    2. I’m plainly not talking about sex ed.

      You said “icky in whatever context.” How can you have a comprehensive sex ed class without acknowledging that students are bound to have different sexual orientations and experiences?

      Discussing an individual student’s sexual experiences in graphic detail = creepy (unless you’re a counselor or something).

      Discussing the topic of sexuality = perfectly normal in the right context.

  6. Dear h4x0r,

    Formally thinking about your
    unbiased remark. How sir,
    can you make that
    kind of statement?

    Your remark was stupid,
    oppressive and rude. Only you can
    undo the damage.

    Arnold Schwarzenegger

  7. I would think it intensely sad if it were not true that a student could discuss his or her sexuality with a teacher – maybe not every teacher but at least one. Students, teenagers in general, need to be able to talk to someone outside of their parents and peers. A teacher should be the best option.

    Why would it be icky?

  8. That said, yeah they should have gone to a squarer format and not a widescreen one. Maybe added more of an analogue sounding feel to the audio.

  9. Cog said:
    “Am I the only person who thinks it’s a bit icky for school staff to be discussing sexuality with his students, in whatever context?”

    Yeah, I think you might be. Way to be different!!

    Isn’t it weird how some people think teaching kids whose bodies and hormones are screaming “YOU ARE A SEXUAL BEING!!!” that sexuality is embarrassing, or “icky?” How odd. And confusing to kids who may already be confused, not necessarily because they may be gay, but just about their bodies and sexuality in general at that time.

    It’s kind of like the genius of teaching kids to be abstinent in the absence of giving them any other info about sexuality and wondering why they get stds and pregnant more than kids who have that information.

    How can teaching kids about sexuality harm them, and why would it be embarrassing and not empowering?

    Maybe if “adults” didn’t project their own uncomfortableness about their kids emerging sexuality onto educators, there would be no ickiness at all.

  10. This is one of those videos that hopefully we’ll be able to look back on 30 years from now and laugh, but for now it’s rather disturbingly accurate.

  11. What a fantastic example of willful misunderstanding. Y’all.

    I’ve not said, in any form, that sex is “icky” or “embarrassing.” Quite the opposite.

    If the church and state metaphor didn’t get the point across, there’s really nothing left to say.

    Carry on!

    1. I don’t think anyone is being wilful – if there is a misunderstanding it is because you have not explained yourself – the church state metaphor didn’t clear things up for me, rather it just confused.

      I am perfectly willing to be wrong – but from what you have said, you do seem to be the only one who finds a teacher discussing sexuality with a student to be icky. You have not said why but rather ruled it as icky in all contexts.

  12. Is there something about Winnipeg or just coincidence the only other w-peg Guy (Maddin, get it) I heard of also has a retro style and weird wit?

    1. It’s not coincidence. This place is full of wonderfully weird and comically strange people.

      Something about long winters turns people into wittily intelligent folks. Or perhaps intelligently witty.

      /not an example.

  13. As a non-practicing heterosexual male geek, I hid my sexual orientation from my parents, and pretty much everyone else in high school.

  14. Cog,

    So what specifically about an educator discussing sexuality is icky? Be precise so we can understand. And yes, your church and state metaphor isn’t exactly clarifying. Who’s the church, who’s the state? Is sexuality the holy sacred, and the school system the state? Wha? Comparing unlike things does get confusing.

    Where are kids supposed to learn about sexuality? TV? Movies? Now THAT’S icky.

  15. So what specifically about an educator discussing sexuality is icky?

    It is icky, because for many students, teachers fill a parental role. They are almost family.

    You probably wouldn’t want to discuss sexual fantasies with your Grandma, for example – even if, in theory, sexuality is normal and OK, it would just feel creepy. It is probably something humans have evolved in order to avoid inbreeding, but family (or pseudo family) and sex creeps a lot of people out.

    Now, if there was a councilor that specialized in sexual issues, and only spoke to students in that context, that might be different. But you would have to be pretty emotionally retarded not to understand why many people would be creeped out talking about sex with their teacher.

  16. I personally really enjoy this. In highschool I had ups and downs being bisexual, but counted on an accepting teaching body to get me through. Luckly I went to a liberal arts school, where as long as you worked hard, were respectful to others and behaved like an adult (at least how an adult SHOULD act) then you were kept on a pretty loose leash. This I feel is a totally acceptable and enjoyable expression of sexuality in a humourous context. I also saw a cute video recently of the Yes Dance done for a student talent show (short of stripping) and had to say more the reference to E worried me than the massive gheyness.

  17. Cog: I agree with everyone else that your comment about church and state does not clarify anything, and you still seem to be saying that discussing sexuality in schools is “icky.”

    Where else is one supposed to learn about sexuality other than in a place of learning? Any why is learning about reproduction in school not “icky” but learning about sexuality is, if not for the fact that you think sexuality is “icky?”

    1. “Where else is one supposed to learn about sexuality other than in a place of learning?”


  18. I think what some people may be forgetting here is that our heterosexist culture sexualizes matters for homosexuals that aren’t considered sexualized for heteros.

    For example, a teenaged boy and girl couple, walking down the street hand-in-hand, is considered sweet and romantic and not at all sexual or inappropriate in pretty much the entire US (except maybe for a handful of extremely conservative regions). Make them both boys, and suddenly that couple is “forcing their sexuality onto others”.

    A young-adult book about a young girl building up the nerve to ask the boy she has a crush on to the movies isn’t considered sexual. If they’re both boys, or both girls, it is considered sexual, which is how a bunch of non-sexual gay-oriented content got adult-filtered by Amazon a while back.

  19. Cog, I feel the same and I thought your church & state metaphor was illustrative. SamSam I think you found the dividing line in the words “reproduction” and “sexuality.” It is appropriate for government schools to teach the former, but not the latter. In the same way that it is appropriate for government schools to teach religious studies, but not spirituality. A sociology class could maybe explain how different people experience and express sexuality (or for that matter spirituality), but no teacher should be guiding kids in how to experience and express their own sexuality (or spirituality). It’s not that sex is icky, it’s that it is so personal.

    1. A sociology class could maybe explain how different people experience and express sexuality (or for that matter spirituality), but no teacher should be guiding kids in how to experience and express their own sexuality (or spirituality).

      Where did you get the idea that anyone wants teachers to be teaching kids “how to experience and express their own sexuality?”

      The original comment was that it would be “icky” to “discuss sexuality.” Everyone else chimed in to say that there should be nothing wrong with learning about sexuality.

      In the first line of your quote above, you show that you actually agree with this. But, like cog (I’m guessing) some trigger gets hit when you hear the words “school” and “sexuality” and assume that there people are out there who want schools to make all the kids gay and tell them what they should be feeling and doing.

      Any class that mentions the existence of gay people is, by definition, “discussing sexuality.” Do you think that no class in school should ever admit that gay people exist?

  20. As a Canadian, I don’t have details about how American sex-ed works, but in Canada we teach plumbing from middle-school on, and don’t seem to judge the emotional or relationship issues involved.

    After all, what self-respecting teenager listens to 30-year-old antiques regarding their own sexual development?

  21. Anon # 29

    Again, if not parents and educators, where is a good place for kids to learn about sexuality? In the backseat? And no one’s talking about discussing sexual fantasies??? Maybe that’s where there’s some confusion on yours and Cog’s part. I think most people are pretty clear discussion would be from a social science/cultural aspect…you know, like a health class meets social studies class…Not some kind of 1-900-confessional. Odd.

    And Anon29, “if in theory sexuality is normal and ok” ???
    Um, sexuality is a fact. It exists, as in, we are sexual beings. How is the fact that we are sexual beings not ok sometimes? That’s like saying “in theory, if lungs were normal and ok, I guess we could talk about them.” “in theory, if breathing was normal and ok, I guess we could talk about it.” you may be projecting your own sense of shame for some reason. There’s nothing to be ashamed of.

    I think one would have to be pretty “emotionally retarded” as you so eloquently put it, to think that a discussion of sexuality in school would entail divulging one’s private sexual fantasies to the teacher…Or to be so “creeped out” in shame, I guess, that you can’t bear the thought of discussing sex in an intelligent and scientific manner.

    Sex ed graduates make better lovers. Word. And they don’t get knocked up or diseased as much as their uneducated and creeped out counter parts.

  22. Wow, some people here are really out of touch with reality.

    Access it information and normalizing whether you’re straight, gay, lesbian, bi, trans and two spirit is all around good health promotion (physical and emotional health).

    I suspect those who have a negative viewpoint probably didn’t have the privilege of diversity education and being accepted based on merit. In my experience, those people often are raised with guilt, shame, condemnation, corporal punishment, and opinions bases on bias and bigotry rather than facts, evidence, and all around positive and healthy attitudes.

  23. Ok, my parents found out i was gay by myspace (which i regret for putting my sexual orientation) and my parents will never accept cause my parents are really realigous for our christianity. They are so realigous, that i’m now homeschooled and going to a private school. Also i have no internet unless for emergencies, no friends houses, no phone, no boy friends til i’m 18. The only times i can get out is to christian youth groups so i have no life for the next 5 years ( cause i’m 13). Oh and my parents think all the wrong things in the world about gays, they even use the gay f word. I need help and i’m typing this from my PS3 cause they don’t know it has internet. HELP!!! =O

  24. I lived with hate, racism, and violence for most of my early years. If it wasn’t the ‘greasers’ who hated my long hair(as we called the ‘amerika love it or leave it’ bunch), it was blacks jumping me in large groups. Yes, it happened, get over it and realize your myths are shit. No one has the right to even attempt to change your feelings, your sexuality, your mode of dress, your words…and if they do, please… get a very large baseball bat and plow the stupid, ignorant, peasants… into the ground. There are only two rules in life:
    Don’t fuck with anyone
    Dont’ fuck with anyone’s shit

    Anyone tries? You have the right to defend yourself.

    And to the gay haters? You are the past, and dying along with the old republicans… I hope that makes you feel better.

  25. What’s the Big Deal if I was a gay preteen who only fancied older men – and still do ? My mind, my body – mind yer own !

Comments are closed.