Pedophiles are cast out as Monsters. This is what you usually are fed at a very young age, but give yourself time to not start stereotyping. Sexual preference can be a burden, and depending on which one it is, it has different social baggage. This interview gives a human light to a man that has to carry the heaviest sexual curse of them all: his uncontrollable platonic love for little girls.
I lived a decent, happy and balanced childhood with no trace of any abuse. In my early youth the concept of pedophiles was introduced to me mostly by adults who warned me and other kids about the ‘stranger danger’. Pedophiles were all described as these evil creatures that lurk around playgrounds and prey on innocent children. In that fearful atmosphere, even the very word ‘pedophile’ seemed to obtain a sinister ring to it and all the negative connotations it had felt justified. I remember how even my calm and friendly mother could not discuss pedophiles without lowering her voice in an ominous hiss as if in fear of talking about such an unspeakable evil.
As a child I was attracted to kids, as a teen I was attracted to kids and now as an adult I continue to be attracted to kids. Even though this preference was clear to me in my adolescence, I refused to accept the fact that I had become exactly what my parents used to warn me about as a child. Even the suspicious lack of sexual interest in my peers did not awake me from my dream in which I was “normal”. It was comforting to live in denial. After all, every pedophile was a bad person and an abuser, and since I was neither, I logically could not be a pedophile. That was the backbone of the rationalization that kept me from discovering the truth about my sexuality. This self-deception went on for a year or two during which I felt enormously happy dwelling in such a beautiful world filled with so many adorable kids. Finally, however, I admitted to myself I was a pedophile, and my whole world collapsed.
Depression and anguish crept into my life shortly after the realization that I was ‘the bad guy’, or so my society would have me believe on account of me being a pedophile. The first impulse I had, was the need to ‘come out of the closet’ and tell a family member about my sexual preference to kids which had suddenly turned from heavenly happiness into an utter nightmare. It didn’t take much effort to visualize my parents’ hysterical reactions if they heard such a ‘confession’ so I resolved not to tell anyone. Suicidal thoughts soon accompanied my depression and I found solace in the idea of death, knowing there indeed was a cure to end it all. I even began wondering how I’d explain my suicide in a note to my loved ones who I felt lived in entirely different world than I, not having a clue about my situation. Having no intention to cause misery to anyone, I pulled myself together and out of the suicidal mindset.
Years went on, and eventually I told my oldest and most trustworthy friend about my pedophilia, and it felt as if an enormous burden had been lifted from my shoulders now that I wasn’t alone with the secret anymore. The support my friend has offered me has been invaluable and eased my depression considerably.
One of the reasons I’ve never sought professional help is because of the obscure reporting laws that encourage therapists in many states in the US to report all pedophiles to authorities, regardless of whether they’ve committed a crime or not. Additionally, I’ve heard about cases of people trained as health professionals, such as psychologists, throwing their patients out of their office immediately after hearing that they are dealing with pedophiles, though law-abiding ones. I find it discouraging that so many would willingly classify me as a criminal already, without knowing the least bit about me, apart from my unwanted desires. A civilization that does not distinguish between having a desire and acting on one, does not deserve to be called civil in my opinion.
I was already an adult when I discovered various support forums for pedophiles on the Internet. It was a tremendous relief to be able to receive support and in turn offer it to others in similar circumstances. In the immense world of the internet, I quickly learned what kind of pedophile communities I wanted to associate with and which groups I saw fit to never get involved with. Namely, there are some rotten eggs in every group of human beings and I never denied their existence in mine.
In our intensive cultural hatred of pedophiles, we rarely pause to think what the word even means. Pedophilia tells something about a person’s sexuality but nothing about his character. Didn’t Martin Luther King specifically advise us to judge a man by his character instead of a feature, such as a skin color or a sexual orientation? We don’t hesitate to correct homophobes by telling them gay people never chose to be gay, yet we often forget that neither pedophiles had any volition concerning their sexual preference.
The idea that pedophiles are some sort of a criminal population whose members advocate same ideology and who either sexually abuse children or contribute to child porn production is just a fallacy, albeit a vastly popular one. The myth of pedophiles as uncontrollable child molesters is perpetuated and fueled by mass media which publishes news only of pedophiles who commit sex crimes, which gives the impression that every minor-attracted person is a monster. Lets face it, you will never read an article about a pedophile firefighter who rescued a child from a burning building nor will you hear a story involving a pedophile biochemist trying to figure out a cure for cancer. A non-offending pedophile is not some mythical creature that only dwells in the imagination of some liberal idealist, but is a real thing, as concrete as a straight male who does not commit rape of women.
Pedophiles are traditionally seen as distinct from society, yet I go to work, pay taxes, take care of my pet, go out at pubs and occasionally babysit my niece helping her with her homework, just like any other person would. I don’t abstain from sexual activity with children because of the law but because I wish no harm on them. Why on earth would I risk the welfare of those I care about the most for the sake of few fleeting impulses? Fictional means, such as drawn pornography and imagination satisfy my every sexual need easily and ethically. The reason I personally use hentai type of pornography instead of real child porn is that the nature of the material is always non-abusive, but essentially only fantasies on a paper. A considerable portion of my attraction to little girls isn’t even sexual but platonic tenderness and overwhelming urge to protect the innocent; hearing a child’s laughter or seeing her sincere smile simply melts my heart into kittens figuratively. It saddens me that even though if one was to compare homosexuals to pedophiles, it’d be considered hate speech, still pedophiles can be equated to child rapists by politicians and media with perfect impunity and social approval. I see a world of difference between myself and someone abusing children.
Consequently, I see great value in educating people, especially on controversial subjects whose taboo nature often clouds our judgement with emotions. Public awareness concerning sex criminals is important but it should not turn into hysteria that only makes it difficult for responsible minor-attracted people to seek help or open up to their loved ones. A social change in attitudes is needed in order to end this witch hunt that hurts more than it mends; mainstream ought to make an effort to differentiate between pedophiles and child molesters. One of the unfortunate characteristics of any society is its reluctance to abandon old beloved ideas and replace them with new rational ones. In the age of Renaissance, for instance, Galileo Galilei, threatened with torture, was forced by the inquisition to recant his theory of heliocentrism. Similarly, any politician or scientist of this day who dares to challenge mainstream beliefs about pedophiles is condemned and proclaimed a pedophile apologetic and subjected to ridicule and shunning. I can only hope that in the future people similar to me will be able to come out of the closet without it being a social suicide. A more open and supportive culture would help pedophiles, and also reduce sex crimes against children in doing so.
I never chose the cards life dealt me. But I sure can decide how I’m going to play with them. Being a pedophile has been such an extraordinary psychological odyssey for me. I guess a part of me is still learning to live with this sexuality but it is getting easier after each passing year. To some extent I’m almost grateful about being a pedophile, given how much it has taught me about myself. It has also sparked my interest in various disciplines ranging from philosophy to psychology and sociology. If I was presented with a hypothetical opportunity to start my life all over again as someone with no sexual attraction to children, I’d decline politely. What if I would turn out to be a typical pedophile-hating mob-mentality? Someone that feeds on public child porn persecution trials with glimmering bloodthirsty eyes and a pitchfork ready, or an iPhone in today’s context. Now that would truly be a piteous fate.