Monday, April 14, 2008

Untitled Paper on Homosexuality

(Click the title to view Amazon's information page)

For my Human Sexuality course, I was told to write a paper on homosexuality. Not really any parameters, just to write it. This is what I ended up turning in. I just wanted to share.

A homosexual, by social definition, is a person who is sexually or romantically attracted to someone of the same sex. Homosexuality has pretty much been around in one way or another since the dawn of man. But yet, for a very very very long time it has been considered a huge controversy. Especially in patriarchy-based societies that have history of monotheistic, “God” based religions. And especially in today's society where much of the common sense filled world wishes to, god forbid!, give them rights just like every other human being.

A lot of the controversy lies in the basis that god doesn't want people to be gay. That gay people go to hell. And while, personally, I think if someone's going to hell it's their business and no one else's, many of these religions insist on bugging those people about the fact that they're going to hell. As if it were their job to speak for “God”.

When it comes to homosexuals, I think that any love is great love, and any (safe and consensual) sex can be great (safe and consensual) sex. I think what helps that positive view on homosexuality is the fact that I am often attracted to girls. I've never had a girlfriend, and enjoy men and sex with them, I don't think I would ever be against having a girlfriend. My current boyfriend and I even had a discussion once about having a threesome. Not to spice up our sex life or so to fulfill some fantasy of his, he actually was uncomfortable with it. The idea was to have it for me, so I could see what it was like to be with a girl, without really going outside the relationship, so we could share the experience. May sound odd, but it made sense at the time. It never happened, but we still talk about it sometimes.

But really, I think I want to tell one story. It will probably take up a lot of space/time. But I like this story, and the theory that I came up with because of it, so I'll stick to it.

I once called this “Comparing lesbians to vegetables? What kind of Feminist am I?”

After moving to North Carolina as a kid, I grew up in one of those places where “gay” is either an insult or an whispered word. And if it's actually true, it isn't talked about. I didn't know what a homosexual person was until middle school. Even then, you didn't talk about it. What's more taboo than sex in a Bible Belt town that probably unanimously protested the civil rights movement and Roe v. Wade? Gay sex, of course.

In debates and arguments in my high school I was constantly on the opposite side of just about everybody else. We had, probably, about one token gay guy every three or four years, and I was pretty much the only budding atheist out of all the people I knew until my senior year. During this particular argument on homosexuality, this guy insisted that gay people choose to be gay. Hm. The example I gave the boy was a comparison of food. Hence my paper's title.

If you don't like broccoli, you can't help it. You didn't just wake up one day and say “You know what, broccoli sucks. I'm sticking to carrots. Broccoli's stupid. I hate broccoli.” You simply try broccoli for the first time, and think it's gross, and don't like it. You didn't choose to not like it. In the future, your tastes might change, but typically, the dislike lasts. As an adult you may choose to eat broccoli anyways, but that doesn't mean you like it. In some cases, you might have a reason to or to not like broccoli. Maybe your mother made it every single day and you grew to hate it even though you didn't before. Or maybe a kid stuck a piece up your nose and you had to go to the ER and so you could never eat broccoli again. Either way, your feelings did change, but you still didn't have a choice in the matter. No matter the situation, your genes, breeding, circumstance, and taste buds did all the deciding for you.

In my opinion, homosexuality can be something like that. There are very definite parallels in the ideas. It is highly unlikely that one day a person wakes up and says “From now on I'm going to be gay. Yes, that sounds nifty.” It doesn't happen. People don't choose to like men instead of women, or vise versa. Like with veggies, someone may choose to act on their homosexual- or heterosexual, for that matter- emotions or attractions, but they didn't choose for those attractions to be there in the first place. And in some cases the way a child is brought up can affect their sexual attractions in the future, but that isn't the case very often. Though they are currently looking into the idea of a “gay gene”, all that would do is further prove that people don't choose to be gay, it's just the way they are.

One of the things this boy was trying to also push along with the idea of gay people choosing to be gay, was the idea that straight people choose to be straight. Now this, this was just silly. My quick, annoyed, angry response was something along the lines of “You only want to think that you choose to be straight because you are a young, white, christian male who wants to believe that you are choosing to live by your religion's ideals.” Although, being my state at the time and my lack of conversation skills, it was probably a bit less eloquent than that.

Either way, the argument got me nowhere, and the ingrained propaganda my classmates lived by remained the same. The sad, horrifying fact is that people rarely really bother to try to understand the things they fear or are taught are wrong. They don't try to understand them, or even accept them in many cases. The military's "don't ask don't tell" policy is one that is followed by so much of our society. It's sad and it's unfair. I was simply the one who argued all the time. I hate being that person. But sometimes, that's just who I am. I'm an intelligent, pro-choice, anti-Abstinence Only, possibly bi-sexual, semi-atheist feminist who argues a lot. And I compare gay people to vegetables. ...Hi.

Related Posts: The Sex Taboo

1 comment:

Roland Hulme said...

Great paper, very well written.

I personally believe that's no such thing as 'straight' or 'gay.' I think absolutely everybody in the world is bisexual, just to a greater or lesser degree. It's like a compass that points 'west' for liking boys and 'east' for liking girls. Your arrow tends to point in one direction or the other - or somewhere in the middle.

I'm not remotely attracted to the same sex, but I still believe I just have an 'east' facing arrow. The fact that it points directly east doesn't change the fact that 'west' still exists.