my heart breaks when people say that Rick & Kieren’s relationship was somehow wrong or even abusive because of Rick being in the closet and wanting to be ‘better’ in his father’s eyes. all we know is that Rick had problems with his father, we have no reason to believe that Rick ever acted negatively toward Kieren through the course of their relationship until his leaving.
my first girlfriend was in the closet to everyone she knew, and to think that people might have said that she was abusive toward me for the pain that she was in… that hurts. those problems were never fun but i never blamed her for putting a few extra inches between us when her homophobic mother was around. i never blamed her for allowing her friends to tell her she should find a boyfriend. i never blamed her for her own internal pain and tears. she never took it out on me, she never yelled at me or pretended she wasn’t gay in private moments (like people are assuming of Rick). the problems were with everyone else - not her, not me, not us.
and i see no reason to believe Kieren and Rick didn’t have the same thing until Rick left. leaving was what tore Kieren apart, the leaving is what hurt him. but until that point, imagine the conversations they’d had in that cave… the comfort and care that Rick found in Kieren. why are people assuming such hurt and pain between them? maybe instead, it was them together against the world.
closeted teenagers don’t all start taking it out on the ones they love. they’re the ones in pain. they’re the ones that need protection.