Teachers having affairs with students. It's been in the news a lot lately. A favorite teacher in Canada can no longer teach and must register as a sex offender after having an affair with a student.
Then there was the story of the teacher in UK who had an affair with a 15-year-old student.
I recently received an email from a 17-year-old girl who's gym teacher is in jail because they had an affair when she was 15. She said a 44-year-old woman is pursuing her now.
And of course, there is the movie Loving Annabelle, that portrays the tragic story of a teacher's affair with her student.
There are some who might see these stories as a romantic forbidden love stories. I see them for what they are: exploitation of minors. God knows, LGBT kids have a hard enough time as it is, fitting in, meeting peers to date and hang out with. It pains me to see queer adults taking advantage of their vulnerability, loneliness and desire for affection.
These kinds of relationships are against the law for a reason. Even if the young person is a willing partner, most times they are not mature enough to deal with all the relationship issues that come with dating someone much older. As my 17-year-old emailer said, "Sometimes I can see that she controlled my whole life and it felt like a constant power struggle."
What may feel like love, is really the manipulation of one person using her power over another. It is especially egregious when the older person is in a position of authority, like a coach, school teacher or counselor.
If you are a young person who is in a relationship with someone older, I urge you to tell a parent, or some other trusted adult. If you're an adult and you're feeling tempted by a young person, please, don't go there. Take a cold shower instead and go to a lesbian bar or check out the lesbian personals. Talk to a counselor. Don't exploit a young person and don't ruin your own life. It will be a great year when I stop seeing headlines like "Teacher Admits Lesbian Affair with Schoolgirl."
© image from the movie Loving Annabelle, courtesy of Wolfe Video