A Non-Pedophile's Perspective on Participating at a Boylove Forum
"Dirk Gently," a non-pedophile, began posting at the Christian Boylove Forum (CBF) in 1999. He answered the following questions about his participation at that discussion board.
How did you discover CBF?
About two years ago, my cousin came out to me as a boylover. This was quite a surprise, and although he showed me the board at that time, I didn't look too closely at it. Recently, I made the five hour drive to visit him again, and this time met other boylovers. I had a chance to sit and talk with these people over a few days, and when I got back home, I looked up CBF. I started to participate on the board as one way of supporting my cousin and his friends as human beings. I also felt that I needed to demonstrate that not all nonboylovers are fire-breathing monsters.
Do you feel that you've learned anything from your time at CBF?
Absolutely. The viewpoints represented on the board cover a much broader range than I had expected. Before my cousin came out to me, I had assumed that NAMBLA [the North American Man/Boy Love Association] was simply an organization for justifying predatory sex. My cousin was the first person I met who challenged that assumption, and he was able to do so because I know that his Christian commitment is incompatible with the stereotype I had of pedophiles. Meeting others on CBF has shown me that the only thing all boylovers have in common is their sexual attraction.
That being said, I can't think of anyone who posts on CBF who advocates having sex with boys. This was a surprise to me, because the only time the mainstream takes notice of boylovers is when a child is molested. This leaves outside observers with the impression that all boylovers are predators, since that's the only kind of pedophile we ever hear about.
On CBF, I've met boylovers at various stages of their journey. Some are quite confident and secure in their identity, and are seeking ways to express their love for boys constructively. Others come to the discussion guilt-ridden and confused. Some speak of having made suicide attempts in the past. I think it's safe to generalize and say that as a group, they are much more vulnerable than people in the mainstream because they are invisible lepers. It is only through the internet that boylovers are able to find peer support and counseling without fear of a lynch mob.
In a sense, the main lesson I've learned is one which I already knew: that people – individual persons – are unique. The speech made by Shylock in The Merchant of Venice could have been a boylover's plea. "If you prick me, do I not bleed?" Boylovers are human beings, worthy of love and respect.
Do you feel that you've had an opportunity to offer your own perspective to the boylovers, and do you feel that your posts have been welcomed by the others?
Yes, most definitely. I suspect that has a lot to do with the way I've participated, though. Before I posted anything, I spent a few days reading through the board, to get a feel for it. Then I introduced myself, identifying myself as a nonboylover and a Christian. I also indicated that my goal on the board (as in real life) was not to judge anyone except myself. On the other hand, there have been a few people who have appeared on the board, damned everybody to hell, and then vanished. This kind of post is not welcomed, but I've been most impressed by the way the boylovers have responded. The flames are met with (mostly) gentle replies, and in a few cases, genuine dialogue has resulted.
As Christians, the issues that concern us all have to do with sexual lust, greed, gossip, lust for power (and many others, I suppose). As a heterosexual Christian, I can offer suggestions on dealing with sexual lust that have very little to do with one's orientation. I've never felt it was necessary to tell others that I think sex with boys is wrong, probably because that seems to be the majority view held by the participants already.
My perspective differs from most on this board in another way. Many
of the people who identify themselves as Christians on CBF are evangelical,
or even fundamentalist. I am an Orthodox Christian, and my occasional theological
posts reflect this, but I have never been accused of idolatry or belonging
to the Whore of Babylon. In fact, several people have replied
It seems that the experience of being oppressed in society has sensitized the boylovers on CBF to the existence of minorities. I am a minority on CBF, and my reception there has been warm and welcoming.
© 1999 Heather Elizabeth Peterson