This is officially my first article for the new blog, so if you don’t know who I am, allow me to introduce myself: my name is Todd Nickerson, and I recently came out to the entire world as a non-offending pedophile in a couple of articles on Salon, here and here. So, where do I go from there? Well, I figured the most logical next step was a blog. I’m a semi-public figure now, and I have an issue that’s about as hot-button as they come. The articles swept the internet. I did a couple of radio interviews (both of them for Irish talk radio stations (here‘s the longest of those), and even landed an appearance on Dr. Drew on Call. The furor has died down a bit since then, though as expected, the political Right is attacking me with everything they have, which isn’t much. I’m neither a child molester nor a child porn user—indeed, I have no criminal record at all. All they can do is dig up things I said in the past—mostly stuff from ten years ago, when I was embroiled in the pro-contacter cult—seizing on every little thing I’ve ever said that supports their prejudice and excluding the ocean of things I’ve said that indicate the person I really am.
But this is a barrage of spitballs at best, since it indicates nothing about my actual character. I confessed up front, in the very first article, that I was once a member of the pro-contacter camp. Yet, they act as if digging into the stuff I said back then somehow reveals some ulterior motive on my part today. Hey, haters, you caught me. I said some stupid things once upon a time. I may even have believed some of them. But I don’t believe them today, and that’s what matters, isn’t it?
Anyway, I have to say, for someone who was a painfully shy and insecure kid, it’s a little weird being in the spotlight. Ten years ago, when I was embroiled in the deepest, darkest depression of my life, I never could’ve imagined getting the opportunity to speak directly to the world about the most taboo sexuality in the modern world, much less proclaim aloud that I am myself a member of that much-maligned group. But, you know, now that I’ve done it, I feel that an immense weight has lifted off my shoulders. Being honest really is freeing.
Has there been public hatred and anger directed toward me? You better believe it. And yet, in private, I’ve received hundreds upon hundreds of emails from people who have thanked me for doing what I did, and who have offered me nothing but support and friendship. These are the people who get it, and they really mean it. What can I do at this point but be the best non-offending pedophile I can be? To fail now would let a lot of people down, and I can never allow that to happen. Honestly, I would die before I ever let myself abuse a child. Do I fear the possibility of violence despite my record? Ten years ago I certainly would have. These days, not so much. Don’t ask me why it’s changed. Maybe I just got tired of being afraid, just so worn down that the anxiety has pretty much all dissipated at this point. I liken it to being at war for several tours: for years I was terrified and depressed every waking minute, unable to sleep, barely able to function at all. I worked out ever other day, just to feel something different, even if that something was pain. But eventually, if you hold on long enough, you just become numb to it all.
Well, I’m at that point in my life, I suppose. I have stopped caring what the haters think of me. What good does it do? And I feel no fear for the future, for I know that, going forward, no matter what happens to me from here on out, I will always have the moral high ground, and I can die happy in that knowledge. You see, society is frequently hypocritical, but never more so than on this issue. I was raised to tell the truth, and indeed, that truth is the very backbone of morality. I have always been as honest as I felt I was able to be, which, given the open hostility directed towards those who have my sexuality, used to mean that I lived a lie every day of my life.
And when I finally outed myself during the nadir of my depression, I immediately realized something: what society claims it values and what it really values are two distinct things. The political Right—at least here in the West—is centered largely around Christianity, and I myself was raised in that environment, so I know that honesty is one of the ultimate values of the faith. I may no longer believe in the precepts of the religion, but I still carry many of its values, including honesty. And yet, it has largely been this same crowd who has reacted the most despicably towards me. The reality is, since I am a celibate pedophile, I could have continued living a lie for the rest of my life and society would’ve treated me as normal if a bit odd for never dating. There was nothing stopping me from doing that . . . except my own conscience. Aye, and there’s the rub. How does one reconcile society’s deep-seated hatred and fear of my kind with its supposed high regard for honesty? Ultimately, one must do what he thinks is right, and so I have.
So, like it or not, this is who and what I am. I’m out here to talk to you about it, if you’re willing to listen. If not, then I tip my hat and wish you a pleasant day. If you mean me ill simply for being who I am, well, join the club, but don’t expect me to be intimidated or worried about it. It isn’t going to happen. Like I said, my capacity to feel anxiety has long since burned to a crisp. And believe me, for the longest time I actually hated you just as much as, if not more than, you hated me. I hated you for refusing to understand. I hated you for judging me without knowing me or my life. I hated you for making it impossible for me to just be who I was for far too long. And for ruining my chances of having the happy, carefree youth that every young person deserves, as I was always well aware of the irony that while I had never harmed a child in my life, it was you, society, who destroyed my childhood with your hatred and oppression.
But I’m over all of that now. In fact, for those of you who despise me, I want to thank you. Once I was but a lump of coal, a thing of little value, but thanks to your ever-burning furnace of hate and rage, I have been forged into an ultra-hard, crystalline shape. Yes, that’s right: I am now a diamond, an object of glittering determination, radiant truth and psychological symmetry, cut down to my essence, my true form, unbreakable and clean. And I could never have gotten here without your help, so I am immensely grateful to you for that. This doesn’t mean I’ll just stand by and let you attack me and my brothers and sisters though. I will fight back, in whatever capacity I’m able, when the challenge arises. You’ve given me little choice.
For those of you who accept me and offer me your support, I thank you most of all. You are the ones who will make things better for the next generation of kids who are likewise cursed with this terrible sexuality. You are ultimately the ones who will bring enlightenment to the masses by teaching them the truth and demonstrating your sensitivity about these issues.
So, once again, nice to meet you and welcome to my blog!