Sunday, August 30, 2009

First Things First

So since my coming out in February of 2009, my eyes have been opened to realize how many stereotypes about the gay community are nowhere near true. The conservative segment of the population has tried to demonize and vilify us homos in a hope to stop our "recruitment" process. I do think it is funny that no matter how many of their children they try to drain of open-mindedness and optimism, there still seems to be many being "recruited" daily by the homosexual community! So I would like to take the time to clear up a few misconceptions about the gay community in a hopes that we can all be more well-rounded, accepting, intelligent people. Let's begin with the most famous: "All gay men just want to be women." Let me first tell you that I am very comfortable with my masculinity. I have never worn a thread of female clothing and highly doubt I ever will barring some extreme Halloween dare. Gay men do NOT want to be women. We love having the male body and love to pursue the male body as well. Transgenderism, while a very serious and important subject, is quite different to the average gay man. So, on the the next myth.
"All gay men want to cross dress." While this is similar to the first, they are different. People tend to shy away from subjects that they do not understand. Two of those subjects being Transgenderism and Transvestism. To help all those out there who are not familiar with those terms, let's define them. Transgenderism: The desire to have one's gender be reassigned. The feeling that you were born in the wrong body as far as genetalia is concerned. Transvestism: The desire to wear clothing of the opposite sex either for sexual pleasure or a feeling of empowerment. Ok, now that we know what the difference is, let's notice that the person's sexual orientation plays no part in those definitions. Most people would be shocked to find out how many straight men cross-dress! To many of them, it is just a character. It is a way for them to not be "Mike from the office" or "James, the Mechanic". They feel like they can free themselves and find a way of self-expression not afforded to them in their "normal" gender roles. Now transgenderism. That is a very difficult subject for most people to even think about. I was also among those who considered it "weird" or "unnatural" at one point. I've since changed my opinion having learned more about the subject. People who are transgendered believe that their internal monologue, personality, and over-all demeanor doesn't suit their gender. They feel like they were born in the "wrong" body. For some reason, we (as a society) have assumed that their choice in gender is automatically the same as their sexual orientation. This is very much not true. I hear of one man who all his life was the most attractive guy. He always had the most attention from the women he was around but something never felt quite right. Eventually, he realized that he was of the transgender persuasion. She had the sex change and now she is a lesbian. As you can see, her desire for women was not affected by the gender she assumed. So next time you come across a person that is transgendered, give them a hug. Because whether you believe it is "natural" or not, the courage it takes them to do something so drastic and unrecognized by most of our society is unfathomable and I applaud them!! Next!
"Gay men are sluts." While my personal dating record could possibly prove that correct, that's not why I'm writing this! This rumor was spread around our general consciousness around the 1970's and 80's. At this times is when the HIV/AIDS pandemic hit America for the first time. Because there was a cultural revolution occurring at the time, gays were just now getting to the point where they could see one another more frequently. This was the same time that bath houses (google it) and other establishments similar to that, were gaining popularity. With all this new found sexual freedom, I admit, the gay community went a little crazy. There was a lot of unprotected, anonymous sex (which is not advisable!). Because of this sex-crazed mood, when the first few people got HIV, they spread within the community so quickly, most people had no idea until too late. This is when the conservative community stepped in and said that it was a punishment from God to condemn the homosexual promiscuity at the time. I've said all that to say this: that old stigma is no longer true. The spirit of the gay community has changed so drastically since then. At one time, the conservatives were condemning us for our promiscuity and now they're condemning us because we want to be married and be monogamous.  Wow, long explanation....moving on.
"All gay men are flamboyant and 'prissy.'" Also not true. Guys, let me just say this. How many times have you thought that the line backer on the football team was looking around a bit too much in the locker room? There are so many men out there that act completely masculine that are also gay. Masculinity and femininity have been associated with certain sexual orientations and genders for no specific reason. Let's break down those antiquated barriers and evolve as a society please!
"HIV/AIDS is a 'gay' disease." As previously stated, the gay community took a major hit from HIV/AIDS. It's mostly because safe-sex isn't as widely discussed in the gay community as the straight. Straight kids are almost all taught to use a condom. Well....more so than gay kids who generally have no parental guidance for their sexual activity. Needless to say, AIDS is not a "gay" disease. Africa and South America are being decimated by this virus and it is almost all straight men, women and children. To say this disease is a condemnation from God to kill the the gay community is a beyond ignorant statement. 

Alright, this has been a fairly long post! I think it may be only because it is my first...of many hopefully! I'm going to try to update it weekly if not more. I'll be covering a lot of LGBT issues but also my personal life. I'll leave you with this wonderful quote: "The Bible contains six admonishments to homosexuals and 362 admonishments to heterosexuals.  That doesn't mean that God doesn't love heterosexuals.  It's just that they need more supervision."-Lynn Lavner

Let's put aside these futile differences and live in a world of acceptance and equality! Later!

5 comments:

  1. Nathan, first and foremost I would like to thank you for this post.
    Gay men are just like everyone else except that we have sex with fellow men. It doesn't make us weird. It's simply who we are and who we were born to be.
    There is a very delightful book that I suggest everyone to read. The Velvet Rage by Alan Downs PH.D.
    He is a wonderful homosexual psychologist who through his own experiences and the countless clients he has seen over the years, is able to delve deep into the homosexual male's psyche. He depicts our struggles and desires to be accepted in society as "normal".
    To the straight audiance, please don't let it deter you from reading because it is a book for gay men written by a gay man. It is a wonderful tool to try and comprehend what we as a group want out of life, and that is happiness.
    Once again, thank you Nathan for this wonderfully written blog. I hope to see more soon.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Nathan,
    Thank you for tackling these issues. While I already didn't believe any of the myths, now I have information to back it up to other people. And it helps that this blog is well written. ^^ Keep it going!
    Nadia

    ReplyDelete
  3. Nathan, i couldn't possibly be more proud of you. From where you were, to where you are? Seriously not an easy journey. But struggle is my (not)favorite form of enlightenment. I honestly feel that you are gifted. And as gay(haha) as it sounds, i believe you will make a remarkable difference in this world.

    can't WAIT to read more. Love you muchly ;)

    ReplyDelete
  4. Nate! Keep posting blogs lol, your hilarious. You made amazing points, but still managed to show your sense of humor. I love you love you love you, hope your enjoying life, i miss you =(

    ReplyDelete
  5. Nathan--
    this was a very informative post and you have done an excellent job explaining the often misunderstood terms. Last yar a prof of mine presented an excellent lecture on gay stereotypes and how to be nice to fellow human beings in general. Let me know which email you use and I will gladly forward you his lecture.

    ReplyDelete