Let's get this one out of the way then.
In recent weeks I've seen, or even been involved in, a number of those predictable discussions about homosexuality. I've been in these discussions for years, and can pretty much do them in my sleep because nothing new ever comes up. Ever. It's the same old, same old selection of fear, rubbish, bigotry, and misunderstandings.
"Misunderstanding" sounds as if it were accidental, which of course it isn't. It's more "la la la la la I can't hear you". Because when you discuss this rationally, those folk who suffer (?) from fear and bigotry don't listen. They won't today either, but I'm including it all for completeness.
Bigotry. We need not dwell on this, it's a well-known mental disorder. It's the delusion that you are superior to others in some way, and that you are therefore entitled to judge them against yourself.
Fear? Yes fear. Homophobia. If you object to that word on the grounds that "it's not fear, it's hate" you are missing the point. Hate and fear are frequently the same thing, and this is a complex fear.
It manifests thusly:
1. Fear that it's contagious.
2. Fear that you may catch it.
3. Fear that if you don't deny it often enough you are more vulnerable to the above.
This is silly. You are only going to "become" homosexual if you already have latent desires. OH MY GOD! Terrifying thought.
How many times do we see exactly this. Outspoken anti-gay politicians/clerics/celebrities caught with gay lovers. I've lost count. They fear what they desire so they make people miserable by demonizing them, then off they go and do the same thing. That's not just simple hypocrisy, that's a symptom of how stupid humans are. There are many, many examples of this in other areas too. Loud, aggressive rants against all manner of behaviours that these folk are trying to repress. Maybe we should pity them. How awful to be tormented inside to that degree. No really, it's tragic.
This is not to say that everyone who is vociferously anti-gay is compensating for lustful feelings for their best friend. No. There are two other main reasons for it.
#1 is religious/cultural/political. The ideology that you trust/espouse/are surrounded by says it's WRONG. There is no room for suggestions that it might not be optional. Besides, that doesn't matter much, in the end. It must be fought. It must be denied. It must be banned. This can turn really nasty. It can lead to great harm, oppression, confinement, punishment. Death. It can begin with wimpy pronouncements like "well, it's sinful" but it gets worse. It gets dangerous. This of course is why it matters.
(While I'm here, if anyone says "Gay sex doesn't lead to children" you can fuck off my blog/friends list right now. Or ask why. I'm that nice, that I'll give you one last chance to "get it".)
#2 is the whole "it's not natural" nonsense. This is often the fallback for those with no religious conviction. The fact that homosexuality exists in species other than humans goes right over their heads. The fact that they do many unnatural things every day of their lives misses them completely. Ask them a definition of natural and I highly doubt you'll get anything reasonable, and they'll probably just repeat themselves and/or become more defensive. There's no debate. It's always a monologue.
These two often combine. They are often the basis of the idea that homosexuality is "a lifestyle choice". Some choice huh? The choice to be hated and persecuted. If it were a choice it would be a brave one.
I don't happen to believe it is a choice, and I'll explain why in just a moment, but first if I may draw your attention to this.
Being insulting, difficult, derisive, or prejudiced are all choices. If you feel you have a right to those sort of choices, you may wish to rethink your attitude. No, I sincerely doubt that you will. Apparently choice is for other people.
When I was at school, one of my closest friends was a lesbian. I didn't know that when we first became friends (and neither did she) because we were 7 years old. I think she caught on at around 13. By 16 she had a steady girlfriend. They moved in together after school.
At no time, NOT ONCE, did she ever make a pass at me. NEVER. She was intelligent enough to see that it was not my way, and it was all understood without us ever needing to discuss it. What was discussed were her crushes. She had a huge crush on one older girl at one time, and was constantly talking about her. That was how I learned what homosexuality was all about. Right there.
Because this wasn't sexual. This was puppy love, that same infatuation I had for pop stars and actors. It was all fantasy, it was all about romance and stars in your eyes. It was all about writing their names over and over, and dreaming how it would be to be "theirs". Sex never entered into it.
If these crushes had ever resulted in a real relationship, maybe then sex would become involved. Humans are sexual creatures. Even teenage girls (SURPRISE!). But that wasn't how it BEGAN, you understand. The beginning was falling in love.
It begins with love. Think about that. Romantic love. Have you ever fallen in love? I hope so. If you haven't, I am very sorry for you. But I think most people reading this have. Most of you are married, or have been at some time. Even if that relationship didn't work, it began with good intentions. When you fell in love, it was....well, lovely. Is there anything nicer?
It was also not planned, it just happened. Love is like that. It sort of takes you by surprise. One day you are fine on your own, and then somebody comes into your life and everything changes. If you are lucky, like me, it stays that way. DO YOU REMEMBER THAT FEELING?
That my dears, is also how it is for gay couples.
And THAT is why I'm straight. I did NOT choose to be straight. Look.......forget the sex. As I've said many times before, I'm quite certain that I could enjoy sex with an alien from Planet Zarg, whose gender was meaningless and undefinable to us, if it smelled nice and and was warm and soft, and not too scaly. Sex is different.
But to fall in love? That's how you know your sexuality.
I didn't have crushes on girls at school (don't panic if you did, I'm coming back to that) and when I realised that such a thing existed, I knew that I never could fall in love with a woman. I could love them as friends, certainly, enjoy their company, share their good and bad days, discuss anything, but romance? Just wasn't there. Fair enough.
And if you can't fall in love, then well, it's not for you.
If you object to the idea that it's about love, and not sex, I can't help you. We have reached the end of the line. You are closed minded, and/or you've never been in love. Or maybe you have, and it scared you (see "fear" above). In fact if you still insist it's all about sex, then you just have a dirty mind.
On that note, let's stop and be crude here, for just a moment, without getting into X Rated words or visuals that will require an Adult Content warning on yet another blog. If you think of sex when you think of gay couples, consider this. All of the activities engaged in by same sex couples, are engaged in by "normal" couples. What does normal mean anyway? Does it mean a hole in the sheets? Some think so, you know. It's all relative. So, this is where it gets dirty. What you object to is simply SOME of the mechanics of sex, that you have selected to be taboo. Or you don't like it. Or whatever.
I raised that issue once (using the actual words) with an anti-gay man in one of these debates, and got into a lot of trouble, but I never got an answer. The objection, apparently, was that certain things are not supposed to go into certain places. So I asked "Has your wife never given you a ....?" (rhymes with snow snob) and the moderator scolded me. Why? The words? The idea? I dunno, but anyway, he didn't reply.
No, let's be honest. Sexual acts are just sexual acts. No matter what they are, or who they are done with, that's all they are. Acts. Movements. Like a dance.
Because sex is separate. Many people, due to circumstances, have sex with a same-sex partner without being gay. Prisions, the military, boarding schools, and just "experiments". These are all about sex, not love. It's about scratching an itch. Some of them, to be sure, say "HEY! I LIKE THIS!" and even after those circumstances go away, continue with the same-sex relationships. Were they "turned"? No, silly. They just discovered something that was always there.
And plenty of people have sex with both genders. They fall in love (or in lust) with the person. The gender is irrelevant, mere details. No more important than whether it'a blond or brunette. (Incidentally, I am totally brunette-oriented, I could never truly fancy a blond. That's nothing against blonds, they just don't do anything for me).
It's important to understand that in the end none of this matters. It's details. If you did, in fact, once feel something, be it passion or just a crush, for a person of the same sex, you are normal. Very few people are 100% in their sexual preferences. Stephen Fry says he's only 90% gay and almost dated the make-up artist who became Rowan Atkinson's wife. Then there's Elton John, now married to a man, and a happy little family they are too, with a child - he was once married to a woman, and had many girlfriends.
Would it horrify you to discover you weren't 100% straight? I've given that a lot of thought, and the answer is no. As a matter of fact, I don't feel any need to take an interest in the bodies of other women because I have one of my own. But I have a funny feeling, if I had been a boy, and many think I should have been (I'd have been Lawrence, by the way) I would have liked boys. Perhaps deep inside me is a gay man trying to get out, and that's why I'm so sympathetic. You never know.
But then, as you see, I have no fear, no religious issues, no cultural problems. My personality and my interest in people has brought me to a point of absolute tolerance. I'm not even sure that tolerance is even the right word, but it'll have to do. Approval, on this topic, sounds too close to encouragement, and that's not it. It's neutral. It's whatever gets you through the night, it's alright.