Larry (August 24, 2005)
Larry at one time believed he was a homosexual. Today I ask for affirmation and validation as a former homosexual. The discussion of homosexuality needs to be framed within these parameters, What one does, homosexuality and not Who one is, a homosexual. To date there is no conclusive scientific basis for a biological basis to homosexuality. No one is born a homosexual, and this is acknowledged in the numerous articles and books written by those advocating for homosexuality and homosexuals themselves. Visiting www.banap.net and reading the section, Behavior or Born you may read about a possible biological basis for homosexuality and find the studies most often cited.
There are multiple pathways that may lead one into pursuing homosexual behavior. For me it was early sexual exploration with another young adolescent boy. This led me to believe the lie of homosexuality that through physical sexual acts with other males I could meet a legitimate need for same-sex intimacy. But homosexuality is an illegitimate way of meeting this need for same-sex intimacy. Intimacy in more than physical sexual acts. Homosexuality is a relationship issue.
One day I told six friends about my struggle with homosexuality. I spoke to them individually and each one did not know I was speaking to the others about my struggle with homosexuality. The first words each one of them shared with me after I told them of my struggle with homosexuality was word for word the same. It was surreal and unbelievable. They all responded by saying, Larry I know you have a problem, Larry you are not a homosexual. There was no miraculous change in my life that day, but what occurred was the beginning of a change in my perception and what I believed about myself. Larry is not a homosexual. I began to understand and resolve the real issue that was causing the problems in my life. This issue was trying to resolve my need for same-sex intimacy and healthy same-sex relationships. I was through homosexuality trying to meet the legitimate need for same-sex intimacy and relationships, but homosexuality is an illegitimate way of meeting this need. Homosexuality is a relationship issue.
Just as there are multiple pathways that may lead one to pursing homosexual behavior there are multiple ways to overcoming homosexual behavior and many individuals continue to overcome homosexuality. What is of great interest are those individuals who choose to continue to self-identify as gay or lesbian but have as their objects of sexual activity members of the opposite sex. The following are examples of such people who have made public declarations. JoAnn Loulan was a prominent lesbian activist in the seventies and eighties who met and fell in love with a man in the late nineties, and even appeared on a 20/20 television episode in 1998. Jan Clausen also a lesbian activist writes in two of her books Beyond Gay or Straight, Apples and Oranges of a sexual relationship with a man. This latter book is autobiographical. She began a long-term monogamous relationship with a man in 1987. Bert Archer who identifies as a gay male in his book, The End of Gay (and the Death of Heterosexuality), writes of his sexual relationship with a woman. He also gives examples of other gay men who have similar experiences. In England Russell T. Davies wrote Queer as Folk and also wrote for British TV the show Bob and Rose airing in September 2001. This second show is about a gay man who falls in love with a woman and has a sexual relationship with her. This series was based on a friend of Davies’, Thomas, who was well known in the Manchester, England gay scene.
Recently in England on August 9th the BBC2 showed a special titled Sad To Be Gay. It is about David Akinsanya, a BBC current affairs journalist. After living 24 years as a gay man, David is questioning his life as a gay man. He desires to no longer believe what he has been told who he is, gay and encouraged to live his life as a gay man. Given up at his birth, David’s first sexual experiences were with other boys at the school where he was being raised. David contributes his homosexuality to being a learned experienced. As a young adult, questioning his homosexual behavior, David was told he was born gay and to be happy he must begin living the gay lifestyle. Now David in his 40’s is regretting the life he has lived, and being a part of this BBC2 special, Sad To be Gay, is willing to question how he has lived his life so far, and trying to make changes.
The following quote is by a university professor Martin Duberman who self-identifies as a homosexual and writes about gay history.
It isn’t at all obvious why a gay rights movement should ever have arisen in the United States in the first place. And it’s profoundly puzzling why that movement should have become far and away the most powerful such political formation in the world. Same gender sexual acts have been commonplace throughout history and across cultures. Today, to speak with surety about a matter for which there is absolutely no statistical evidence, more adolescent male butts are being penetrated in the Arab world, Latin American, North Africa and Southeast Asia then in the west.
But the notion of a gay identity rarely accompanies such sexual acts, nor do political movements arise to make demands in the name of that identity. It’s still almost entirely in the Western world that the genders of one’s partner is considered a prime marker of personality, and among Western nations it is the United States - a country otherwise considered a bastion of conservatism - that the strongest political movement has arisen centered around that identity.
We’ve only begun to analyze why, and to date can say little more then that certain significant pre-requisites developed in this country, and to some degree everywhere in the western world, that weren’t present, or hadn’t achieved the necessary critical mass, elsewhere. Among such factors were the weakening of the traditional religious link between sexuality and procreation (one which had made non-procreative same gender desire an automatic candidate for denunciation as unnatural). Secondly, the rapid urbanization and industrialization of the United States, and the West in general, in the nineteen-century weakened the material (and moral) authority of the nuclear family, and allowed mavericks to escape into welcome anonymity of city life, where they could choose a previously unacceptable lifestyle of singleness and nonconformity without constantly worrying about parental or village busybodies pouncing on them. (Duberman, Left Out, 414-415.)