Weird. I was trying to research something I thought about earlier while participating in a communications study, and somehow ended up reading this article about being gay. I’ll be honest, I didn’t read the whole thing. If you had been in class all day, doing research, AND participating in a study, you probably wouldn’t be up for much reading either. The article did spark something in mind that I hadn’t thought about for a while.
As I mentioned before, I’m not from the US. I was skeptical to disclose this because it automatically changes the reader’s perception. For example, if I make a grammatical error, the reader is more likely to attribute the error to my… “foreignness”(?). However, if the reader assumes I’m native-born and I make a grammatical error, they’ll either think I overlooked it (out of laziness, lack of time, etc.), or that I may lack the education. But now that it’s out there, well, it’s out there.
In any case, there’s this societal (I’m mostly speaking of US society when I say “societal”) idea that observing homosexual behavior has to make you homosexual. That alone should make you think something along the lines of does watching a serial killer movie make you want to be a serial killer? But I’ll entertain ignorance for a bit. When I was younger, I didn’t come in contact with any homosexual experiences. In fact, when I cared more about what my girl friends thought rather than the boys, I knew something was “wrong” with that. Not because I knew what being homosexual meant, but because I knew I was supposed to be all over the boys. I got that message at home, at school, with my friends, through movies, etc. In fact, though I wondered what it’d be like to kiss a girl I felt strongly about, I thought that it was physically impossible to do so- well, I never saw anyone else do it!
In case this wasn’t clear already, I was pretty gay from the get go. It was terrible, but growing up alleviated the pain that came from knowing something was different about you (not “wrong”) and you couldn’t talk to anyone about it. What’s more, when I did have a boyfriend, I never felt the type of connection Tom Cruise movies talked about. I never felt quite complete. Quite the opposite, actually. Kissing a boy gave me a lot of anxiety and it bothered me that I didn’t feel the fireworks everyone talked about.
Years later, when I watched two women kiss for the very first time (on TV), I dropped everything I was doing to watch, and I had a big smile for the rest of the day. So it’s not physically impossible after all. I supposed at this point you can enter the argument that if it hadn’t been for video I watched (a musical video of t.A.T.u. if you’re curious), I would have never thought that my homosexual “behavior” was okay. That could actually be pretty true, BUT I also would have married a guy out of convenience? necessity? etc? instead of, you know, love. Also, knowing me I probably would have attempted the “physically impossible” anyhow.
I guess I’m saying that you could prevent someone from being themselves, but that doesn’t remove their feelings or what is innate about them. If I could voice my opinion, I do say proudly that I was born this way. And when I say proudly, this is not an act of rebellion. In fact, I spent many developmental years hiding, worrying, and being deprived of having the normalcy, say my brother or many other people did when growing up. But being able to come up to terms with who I was and how I felt, AND finding someone who loved me exactly the way I was (a love I could finally reciprocate), does make me very proud. And thankful too. Not many get to say they’re sharing their lives with someone they truly love.
-Mrs. This One