Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton gained a bunch of Internet praise over Fourth of July weekend because she wrote a comment on a photo of a gay kid and told him that his life is going to be “amazing.” Unfortunately, her comment was completely stupid and irresponsible because his life is probably not going to be amazing – and not because he’s gay.
“Prediction from a grown-up: Your future is going to be amazing. You will surprise yourself with what you’re capable of and the incredible things you go on to do. Find the people who love and believe in you – there will be lots of them,” Clinton wrote in a Facebook comment underneath a picture of an anonymous crying gay kid who allegedly said “I’m homosexual and I’m afraid about what my future will be and that people won’t like me,” according to a group called Humans of New York. Clinton’s campaign quickly pumped her comment out on social media.
How does Hillary Clinton know that this kid’s future is going to be “amazing”? I realize it was just a cynical political stunt, but bear with me, because the starry-eyed public reaction to this was completely idiotic.
Most people’s lives turn out like crap. Therefore, it is completely irresponsible for a famous person in power to tell some nobody that their life isn’t going to turn out like crap.
It takes absolutely no effort whatsoever to give someone false hope about their future. So why should Hillary be praised for this, particularly as a woman who identifies as heterosexual?
This is post-Oprah American politics, in which the most banal appeals to optimism are somehow interpreted as bold and inspiring by mediocre minds.
So, in the interest of enlightening the youth, I’m going to write my own advice to this gay kid. As a grown-up, I’ll tell you what to expect:
Someday, you’re going to wake up hung over in subsidized housing, sigh deeply, and take a bump off the nightstand to get the temporary willpower to get out of bed and face another meaningless day. You’re going to look in the mirror at your flabby, aging body, spend a half hour in the parking lot trying to jump-start your broken-down car in the snow, and then head to your office job where you’re completely interchangeable and in constant competition at computer code-punching with Malaysian 12-year olds. Maybe you’ll get married, maybe you won’t. The only difference in your sexless life will be the venue in which you drink yourself to death: if you’re married you’ll do it at home in front of ESPN (or, in your case, BRAVO!) and if you’re single you’ll do it at some sticky sports bar (or, in your case, a club with a one-word name like “Ice.”)
It’s probably true that nobody is going to sling homophobic slurs at you but that’s mostly because your friend Hillary Clinton and the Democrats will have rolled out so many new hate-crime laws that if you so much as suggest that Neil Patrick Harris wasn’t funny at the Tonys they’ll send you to a re-education camp to make you watch ‘Cabaret’ on an endless loop with your eyes forced open like Alex DeLarge. And the cities that you and, traditionally, most gay people live in will be on fire most of the time before you’re thirty. And not like “on fire” in a kitschy fun gay way. I mean, literally burning to the ground while people steal stereos.
The environment is going to continue to go to Hell, which Democrats in power will perpetuate and manipulate to steer trillions of your taxpayer dollars to firms that try to make energy by literally chasing windmills. The Middle East is going to continue to flame up like that rash you got the time you went to Toronto, but there’s no ointment for it. Ever hear of ISIS? They have 42 million supporters but Democrats like your pal Hillary won’t annihilate them or even admit the religious basis for their violence because then The Huffington Post and The Daily Show will call them insensitive. So, they’ll get stronger and stronger and their supporters will keep carrying out terrorist attacks any chance they get. Those folks sure don’t “love and believe in you,” kid. Quite the contrary. They want to kill you.
Most of the people in your own country are going to speak a different language than you and they’re going to take most of the jobs, serving rich people. It doesn’t really matter much what you’re “capable of.” In fact, the more capable you are the more the government is going to stack the cards against you to advance the livelihoods of the fashionably disadvantaged.
Why did you tell me that my life would be amazing, Hillary Clinton? Why?
Just because you happen to be gay doesn’t mean that you magically get a pass from the Hellscape that is everyone’s future in this country. Now, maybe I’m wrong about how thoroughly terrible your life is going to be. I hope I am. But at least my advice is more responsible than Hillary Clinton’s. Nobody’s life is going to be “amazing,” kiddo – gay, straight, or Caitlyn Jenner-esque. Just keep your head down and hope the country, and the world, will still be standing.
Patrick Howley is an Internet-certified adolescent mental health counselor in the state of Nevada.