You hear about a lot of programs to help girls who have been sexually exploited but there isn't really that many programs for boys who have been abused. The feelings of present day society can be generalized as saying that boys should basically "Stop Crying and Forget About It." They should grow up and forget about what happened to them. "Stop Crying and Forget About It" was to be a title for a book that I had written but the manuscript was lost in a robbery back in 1997 before it ever got published. Maybe someday, I will write a more updated version of it.

I've seen the effects of this sickness (I use this term loosely) up-front and personal. For about five months in 1986, I worked at a center as an Outreach Counselor dealing with teenage boy prostitutes in the "Tenderloin" section of downtown San Francisco. This is where most of the pornography shops were. My hours of work were between eight at night and four in the morning. Our goal at the center was to seek out the boys who live on the streets and try to get them either back home or in a safer environment.

We knew at the center that were running against the clock and usually had just thirty days to seek out any new boys, be- friend them, and try to get them either home or a safe environment away from the streets before the drug pushers, pimps, and pornographers got to them. It really hurt me personally when I came across boys who were younger than thirteen who had been thrown-out of their homes or had run-away. In some cases, these boys felt that the only way for them to survive on the streets was through the prostitution of their bodies. Seeing these young boys on the street brought back memories of another boy that came into my life in the late 1970's.

It's been over thirty years since our paths crossed but the memory is still fresh in my mind. I was still back in Germany at the time and I was an elementary school teacher. Part of my duties as a teacher was to provide afternoon recreational activities for the youth in the area where I lived in Munich, Germany.

On one day in particular, a young boy who I had never seen before joined the group of children that I was supervising. The boy seemed to me to be about eleven years old. It was early summer and this boy only wore a pair of shorts that seemed a bit too big on him and a pair of old tennis shoes.



Bicyclist in Sunset


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