Minor-attracted people are hated because we exist and are misunderstood. Humanity traditionally does poorly when they don’t understand something, and who can blame them for questioning an unknown variable? However, when smart people say sane things that don’t fit the popular narrative, it would behoove us to listen, because it makes an unknown and potentially scary variable and makes it into something we can understand. What is there to understand about minor-attracted people?

Minor-attracted people are not people who rape kids. While there is some overlap, it isn’t that cut and dried. Here’s a neat graphic for you to break this down:

It isn’t difficult to parse this. We’re people just like you. We have varied interests just like you. We work. We have families. We have friends. Sometimes, they know we’re a minor-attracted person. Sometimes they don’t, and with the current political backlash against one therapist saying that we deserve support, who would blame us for staying quiet? But the threat here is not us. It’s the GOP and their continued insistence that everything they don’t like is a threat to the family. That’s the nature of their existence.

The Great Orifice Party

They try to sell you on the idea that abortions are going to ruin the family, when in reality unsafe medical procedures are far more likely to do that. They try to convince you that LGBTQ+ people are all groomers, even though it is transparently obvious that they are deliberately lying to drive wedges between groups of people. That is what they’re good at, after all, driving wedges where they don’t need to exist. So what do they do in order to accomplish this?

They deliberately try to hijack the idea of minor-attracted people to mean ‘someone who abuses children’ when this is not only a lie, it is deliberately harmful not only to efforts to prevent sexual violence, but also to the very idea of family and the children they say they want to protect. Most minor-attracted people realize their attractions at age 14. Inferring that these teenagers are rapists is wrong. They haven’t even discovered a career or who they are yet, and now they have to face being attracted to children in a world that will stomp all over them if they even try to seek help. 

But to even say these things, with the modern-day GOP, is to say that reality isn’t reality. That’s because they think groups of people are all a monolith and if it’s something they don’t agree with, it’s bad and must be stopped at all costs, whether that’s diversity and inclusion of minorities of any kind, critical race theory, science and objective reality, or even sane gun policies. Let’s face it, the modern GOP has a huge glaring issue with sexual violence as well.

They want you focused on minor-attracted people, not Matt Gaetz, a politician who is accused of sexually assaulting young girls, or the numerous Republican politicians who don’t even think a 10-year-old rape survivor deserves an abortion. They definitely don’t want you focused on a current Supreme Court Justice who was credibly accused of raping multiple women. No, they don’t want you focused on the bombastic personalities like Carlson Tucker who is on record saying minors are hot, among other things. They want you focused on this mythical group called the left, the woke, who’s a threat to every value you hold dear. The left supports pedophiles.

What Is A Pedophile?

Well, guess what? That means people attracted to children, nothing more. We’re brought up by society believing that it means someone who abuses children. But that isn’t what it is. A pedophile is simply someone with an attraction. They can be good, bad, or anything in between. They can make good choices or bad choices or both. Sure, they can abuse kids, but most don’t. A pedophile is just a term for people attracted to prepubescent children. 

Okay, Why MAP?

Minor-attracted people is a term coined by researchers and minor-attracted people themselves, and it is a term that simply umbrellas all people attracted to children – pubescent, prepubescent, and postpubescent – in a way that is not normative for their age bracket. This could be a 40-year-old attracted to someone who is 16, or someone who is 13 years old attracted to someone who is 5. It includes a wide group of people. This is intentional, since minor-attracted people are not a monolith. 

It wasn’t at all created to ‘soften’ the word pedophile. It was to create nuance where many people seem to not want to hear the nuance, or outright disregard it as Ted Cruz did by saying that “The woke Left is now openly defending pedophilia.” Ted Cruz knows full well that minor-attracted people are not the same thing as people who sexually abuse children, or else he’d use a specific term like child molester or child rapist or even sex abuse. No, he uses pedophilia to intentionally divert the issue people are focused on. 

Ted Cruz probably also knows – as evidenced by saying ”and it’s usually a he” – that most victim/survivors never come forward not because they weren’t hurt, but because they only want the abuse to stop and don’t want severe consequences for their abuser. They just want to heal in peace. I know because in addition to being a minor-attracted person, I’m also a victim of sexual violence and the last thing I want is my own mother in prison. Ted Cruz has likely heard from many survivor-led organizations and initiatives that attempt to get him to back sound public policy. Cruz and his staff are undoubtedly not new to advocates telling them the facts and asking Cruz to support sane legislation.

But again, they want you focused on this other outrageous thing over here… that we exist and we’re tired of being harmed by these attitudes. 

What Do Minor-Attracted People Want?

We want support and to live lives free from harassment. We want people to understand that we’re not automatically a rapist for having an attraction that we didn’t choose and most of us don’t want. We want people to understand that we’re unequivocally in agreement that child sexual abuse is bad and shouldn’t happen. We want people to understand that while some minor-attracted people and people with no attraction to children quibble over what child sexual abuse is, most of us have zero interest in harming a child. 

We want to be able to be ourselves without losing jobs or relationships (with our peers thank you very much, not people we’re attracted to). We want to be able to ask people for what we need without being judged or harassed or reported to the police. If we need to say, “I’m a minor-attracted person and I’m not comfortable with this, I need to leave,” we should be able to do that the same way anyone with any mental health struggle should be able to ask for what they need. 

We just want to live our lives in peace and not have to explain every single time there’s a media storm that no, we don’t all abuse children and yes, we’re just as against child sexual abuse as you are. Is that really too much to ask for?