It took me a full ten minutes to say this six word sentence to my Dad. He was getting impatient as it was quite uncomfortable seeing me squirm and cover my face with my hands for ten minutes straight.
“Come on.. What’s up? Just tell me already.”
“I like girls younger than me”, I said covering my face in fear.
“What? It’s normal to be attracted to girls younger than you,” my dad said clearly in confusion.
“Think about it more,” I said while hyperventilating.
He thought about it for a second and said, “How old are you talking about here? Do you like your sister? She is 7 years old.”
“No,” I paused and took a breathe, “I am 16. I like girls that are 16 years old. 15 years old. 14 years old. And 17 plus,” I was visibly shaking and sweating.
“Well that’s okay, you are a teenager so it’s normal to be attracted to other teenagers.”
“More importantly, 13, 12, 11, 10 and 9 years old,” I said very quickly, covering my face. Oh god I really said it. This is it. My heart is exploding.
He paused. “Well that is quite young… Do you mean you are attracted to them? As in you want to see them naked?”
“You know girls these ages they are innocent… They just want to play… They don’t really think about se-”
I interrupted him and quickly said in defense: “Yes! They are innocent. They do not think about sex. All they think about is their family, school, friends and maybe playing video games. I am against having sex with any girl of that age… I do not want to hurt children.”
“How long did you want to tell me this?”
“I was 9 or 10 years old and I didn’t really put much thought about it because… I was attracted to girls the same age as me, I was a child too! But then as a grew older, I was still attracted to girls around 10 years old. Now, I am 16, and my age of attraction didn’t go up. I got so worried” I said with sadness in my voice, “Does that make sense?”
“Yeah. Well I cannot really relate to it, but yeah it makes sense.”“
I can’t stop shaking. Okay. Breathe.
“Not all pedophiles are child molesters, and not all child molesters are pedophiles,” I said, a quote from Todd Nickerson.
“Hmm yeah, I agree with that.”
It seemed that he was willing to learn more about it so I asked him to make a google search: ‘Virped’.
He then immediately read the entire page of Virtuous Pedophiles. And I was taken aback. He was reading and wanting to learn more about this. I felt loved.
Afterwards, we had a conversation. I’ll try to sum up the things he said:
Thank you for sharing this with me. It must have been a long time keeping this inside. What you are attracted to does not define you. What is most important for me is that you are happy. It does not make you a bad person or a monster for having these attractions. I am proud of you, for being brave to tell me about it and for having a conscience to never act your attractions on children. I am not afraid, you said that you will never harm anyone, so I believe you. I trust that you will never harm anyone. You can always talk to me about anything.
I was so scared. And broken. A secret that I never told anyone before. All my shields and defenses were lowered, all the layers of my skin were peeled and it revealed a weak, scared, sad and confused person inside of me. A side that I never showed anyone. A part of me that I didn’t even fully understand. It was who I am. I asked him to come near me… and I hugged him so tight and cried. A cry that deserved to be expressed long long ago. I haven’t cried in years, I was always alone.
Unlike the cries that I have had in the past, it felt amazing. I was vulnerable and honest, yet somehow some way, I was safe, I was loved for who I am. For a few minutes, the world was safe and kind, I was comforted and I was being hugged by someone I loved so dearly. I cried fully about my sexuality, my past experiences, and the pain. It was all let out. I was free.
I will always remember what he told me after I finished crying “You have been through a lot. You are so strong and brave. You are a good son and I love you.”
Thank you, Dad.