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Thursday, January 15, 2009

What makes us gay?

There's a young bloke who gets on the train at my station. He's -- well, there's no other way to say it -- feminine. The way he walks, the way he sits, everything about him suggests 'gay'. Now, don't get me wrong. There was a time when my own internal homophobia made me look down on femme guys (including myself) but I think I've gotten over that. What it made me think, though, is that a guy like that (or perhaps like me) was born gay. Someone up there decided to give him an added mixture of the feminine. Frankly, I'm glad of the feminine in me. I wasn't though, at school, when I was beaten up every day for not conforming to the model. But now... I'm a better father and husband and boss because I can do the 'feminine' things in a way the big macho 100% straighters simply can't.

But this isn't the only way guys are gay. I know some guys who had to live on the streets for a while, and whored to get cash. They're mostly het now, but say that they see relationships with men differently than all the guys who didn't have sex with other blokes before they found a long-term female partner. They prefer women, but men are OK, too. There was two pieces in the last issue of Forbidden Fruit about male sexual fluidity, this one and this. These and other anecdotes suggest that many men would have sex with guys if they lived in a different culture. The poisonous opposition by the Abrahamic religions to same-sex sexual activity and love has made same-sex relationships a taboo. And if your distaste for the taboos is worn away by experience, well, then, you stop caring. My own first experience of sex with a man was entirely completely right. It felt as if I had come home.

So far, then, we have those born gay, and those who have gay thrust upon them. But what about those who achieve gayness? There's this story by one of the guys who wrote one of the articles for FF. In it the protagonist falls in love with with his best friend. It's fiction, but like so many semi-autobiographical stories is based, one suspects, on a fair bit of fact. And this one, which is true, as it was written by my friend Henrik, whom I miss so much. Once again, a man falls in love with his best friend, and because of that overcomes the stupid and damaging taboos against male/male love (as will be revealed in future chapters) This is of course a perennial theme in 'slash' -- part perhaps of its compelling emotional power. These guys love men. And they love women. As well, they grew to love men without being compelled to. Someone like me, and perhaps that guy on the station, has to face the way he is. We don't have the option of denying our nature. But these guys achieved gayness. Yet lots of bi men perhaps go all through their lives without ever having the trigger that makes them think about sex with men. The two stories I have cited suggest that the trigger is love -- against all odds. It goes further. I know of three straight guys who responded to the love close male friends had for them by having sex with them. And let's not quibble about the word 'straight'. These guys are -- were -- straight. They're not interested in men other than the guy they love. They're not bi. Or, if you insist on a label, they're one of the many kinds of bi's. As one of the guys' (male) lovers said, I watch where his eyes go, and they follow women. Or in my case, where I love my lady very deeply, but am not especially interested in another woman. I'm gay. Or some kind of bi. Better to say that there is more than one kind of bisexuality. Hence my distaste for labels.

I know that there are many 'causes' of gayness or attraction to and love for one's own gender. I know (who better?) that there are many complex sexualities. I don't subscribe to the Christian-Fascist theory that if you knew the cause you could eliminate it (you can just see how the Southern Baptists and their ilk would embrace abortion if they ever discovered a gay gene). Why bother? Only those meatheads think it matters. But it still interests me. In my fantasy stories I write about worlds where same-sex love is normal and accepted. But in this world I am intrigued as to how ppl face all the taboos and hostility and celebrate their gayness. What are their roads? How many ppl would have at least some same-sex experiences if we didn't have the rabid right-wing religious rooties and their constant drip of poison?

Any comments, anyone?

2 comments:

Patrick Young said...

M'gawd, I've pissed off the equipment: none of my last seven posts posted... :-((

Still love ya, Nikky!

Nikolaos said...

You haven't pissed off my equipment. Dunno what you've done to Blogger ....