Hi, Rainbow, I cut a mini-hiatus short to come here and offer support, as I was made aware that you needed it right now. I wish I was here for you right when this whole thing started, but it's probably best I wasn't, since if the past year was any indication, the good support you got from Hadjuk and Baldur would likely have been passed up in favor of them starting more pointless and off-topic tooth-and-nail arguments with me over capitalism that accomplished nothing save for making me hate the system all the more (I didn't think that was possible!), make me lose more respect for them as people than I ever thought possible too, and diverted the attention of the three of us away from offering support needed to other members of the board when situations like this spring up.
That said, after reading this post and the one you made just prior to it, I actually considered saying nothing more than, "I'm really sorry to hear this, I love you, man, and I know it really sucks being a MAP in today's society" and leave it at that. Why? Because all the honest advice I had to give you would likely only make you more upset, and I know you're upset enough as it is. I will never lie to you about how I feel about something, of course, but some things are best left unsaid at certain times.
But upon a bit of further thinking, I wanted to offer you more than just the verbal equivalent of a hug and a reminder that I'm here for you and that I care. But I don't want to further upset you, so I am determined to tread with caution and compassion rather than swat you in the face with a handful of frankness.
I figured the best way to do this was in the form of several factual reminders that I consider to be very relevant to your situation. Nothing I say will be something you unaware of, but I do think they are very important to keep in mind and be reminded of right now.
1. You know I fully believe in the capability of girls (I will say "girls" but of course I mean all children & young adolescents) to consent to and navigate all aspects of romance, but we need to consider the following fact very strongly: They do not have most of their civil rights. In other words, they are not legally allowed to make any decisions of any real import to them, and they are effectively the property of their parents in one sense, and the state in another. Both institutions will step in and make important decisions for them if they disagree with any of those decisions. It also means another thing: How the girl in question personally feels about any given situation will always take a backseat to how their parents feel about it on one end, and how the state feels about it on the other end of that line.
2. The pedo-hatred is not our fault, and it's very destructive to our society and the freedom of everyone on many levels--though how this will manifest in our lives differs depending on your demographic, i.e., whether you're an adult, a minor (legally speaking), or an MAP. This means, if an adult chooses to befriend a girl and develops romantic feelings for her, then it can be easy to predict what the likely outcome of that situation will be if her "guardians" (read: owners) find out about it.
3. Because of how destructive and pervasive the pedo-hatred culture can be, we must never underestimate the ways it can manifest, and the monkey wrenches it can toss into our lives if we choose to challenge it.
4. Even if we avoid crossing the sexual line, crossing the emotional line (and its closely connected social lines) can still have powerful consequences and predictable results. This is because, as you noted, such feelings are considered "inappropriate" according to the power structures of our society. It will also cause "well-meaning" adults who have been raised to view pedophilia and hebephilia in one way only to grow suspicious of your intentions, since it's very difficult to accept the idea that a certain set of feelings for a certain set of people do not automatically mean a specific set of intentions, even if in fact they usually do not.
5. People in certain positions, either familial, personal, or professional, are often socially and culturally pre-disposed to react in a very specific way to the revelation of phenomena in their midst that they do not understand, and do not want to understand. Some may even feel that the less they choose to truly understand a certain thing, the better it may solidify a certain position they have in life and/or society. To many people, belief is more important than actual knowledge.
6. I fully understand that many in our community have a strong emotional requirement to have girls in their life, and that many aspects of their happiness and self-esteem are dependent on this. I cannot expect everyone to take the route I have chosen, which is not to make friends with girls in my AoA due to all the potential fall-out. I understand this, because I accept that everyone else in the community is not me, plain and simple, and what may be tolerable (if very frustrating) to me may not be so to them. However, that does not change the fact that certain lifestyle choices can carry the potential for very grave consequences, especially if degrees of secrets must be kept in the process. Am I saying that you, and perhaps all other MAPs, should choose the path I have that is designed to avoid these risks? No, I am simply saying this: Please be mindful of the risks that certain paths can carry with them.
7. I will reiterate a certain bit of good advice that Hadjuk has given me in the past: Always have a back-up plan for everything. In other words, while you should always hope for the best, consider that the worst can happen, and plan some contingencies accordingly, just in case.
8. Love does not always conquer all. It is more powerful than many things in this world, but one of the few it is not more powerful than is this one: reality. And by that, I do not necessarily mean the one that nature has created around us, but the other, secondary reality that humanity has created for itself within the world. That one will have as big an effect om our lives as any created by nature itself, and can become particularly challenging when one clashes with the other.
9. MAPs born in this era are destined to have certain limitations within their lives that are difficult to live with. We can push against these limitations, and debate how far this pushing should go, but ultimately factors of various sorts outside of our own decisions and assessments are going to decide these things for us, and may push us some steps further back than we wanted to step.
10. When this type of cultural attitude and its accompanying power structures are challenged or breached, it can trigger a chain reaction that affects many involved in unforeseen ways. This doesn't make it any one particular person's fault, because a whole string of decisions must be made by sometimes many different people to cause such a negative chain reaction and to keep fueling it. However, we must understand that the narrative our society prefers will nevertheless put the blame squarely on one particular participant in that chain, and that person will almost always be the easiest and most expedient target. Guess who that easiest and most expedient target happens to be at this point in our society?
Okay, with all of that said, let me now give some full support. You are not a bad person at all, Rainbow. To the contrary, you're a caring and loving person who is always concerned about how his actions impacts upon others. You just happen to be living in the wrong place at the wrong time, in an era where the prevailing society rejects a major component of the love you have to give. It's frustrating beyond measure and very hurtful to endure, and places numerous inconveniences in your life. But it does not, and will not, change the fundamental goodness of you as a person.
Please remember that, and know that you have support here, and many who do appreciate and understand the merits of the type of love you have to offer, no matter how much it conflicts with the power structures of our present society.
*hugs to my friend*