Wednesday, March 14, 2007

The Stigma of Homosexuality

Too many of us assume why we are the way we are. We do this, because something tragic happened to us in the past. Does our past manifest our actions later on in life? Do we counteract whatever it was that hurt our hearts so deeply from the past? Do we rebel and keep resenting it over and over again? Or do we go along our paths as if nothing happened? If nothing ever happened to us, then we have nothing to counteract; we have nothing to rebel against.

As I said in my previous post, I truly believe that I was born gay. I believe every person who’s gay was born like that due to genetics. Other people think it’s simply a ‘choice’. For some, as Miss 1999 pointed out, it may have been a choice for shock value, rebellion and for many other reasons. But the people who knew and grew up being gay have this stigma of being abused when they were younger, or being abused—period while being in a bad relationship. And yes, that happens a lot.

I have a page on Myspace where I connect with old friends as well as new folks. I advertise my book, I post bulletins about new blog posts that I think are important to read and I like to know about new happenings around my area. The majority of my ‘friends’ on Myspace are gay or lesbian. It was initially to set out for connecting with old friends, until someone told me that this site was a great source for advertising. I do it for both.

A girl emailed me through this site and explained to me the reason why she’s into women is because her ex-boyfriend was physically abusive to her. So basically, the fear of men has led her to go with women intimately. I would like to think that just because one man was a jerk, doesn’t mean that all men are. I feel bad that she turned to the gay lifestyle, because it’s much harder than living the heterosexual lifestyle. Or is it? In her case, it’s easier to live the gay lifestyle due to what she’s been through. Some women have a knack for picking out abusive men. One of my old friends kept picking out her boyfriends one by one—each being more abusive than the other. It’s not like she wanted to get abused, it was just her selection of men she chose to date.

I went to this female therapist who happened to be gay about seven years back. She was into relaxation techniques, relationship problems and stress management. She focused on the gay and lesbian community mostly. She dealt with the issues that arose within the community. She had asked me, “Were you ever abused in your childhood?” And I explained to her that I grew up with the most loving parents. They treated me kindly, never hit or spanked me and never abused me in any way. They’ve never separated or divorced either. She found it hard to believe. Then she hit me with this question:

“Were you ever sexually abused, either by your parents, siblings or cousins or someone close to the family?”

“No!” I said, in shock that she even attempted to ask me this. Now, keep in mind that this female therapist is gay too. She was abused, and assumed that everyone else who’s gay was in fact, abused too. This made me very angry, but most of all, it made me sad to think that ‘one of us’ thinks like this! I explained my relationship with my mother. She was my best friend, my caretaker and someone I looked up to. Never once did she ever hit me or abuse me. My father was always joking around with us, giving us lavish gifts and always protecting us from any danger. Sure he yelled and his temper flew off the handle, but he was gentle and never, ever harmed us in any way. My three older sisters treated me as if I were their own child. There was nothing but love within my family while growing up. I don’t remember anyone close to the family abusing me. I don’t recall any abuse whatsoever.

“Well you may be blocking it out Deb.” She said, as she kept staring at me, trying to find a glimpse of a secret being held.

“I’m sorry. I’m not going to tell you what you want to hear. I don’t have any past experiences like that.”

And just because someone was abused in their past does not mean that their sexual orientation changes. Take for instance a heterosexual woman who was abused by her ex-boyfriend or ex-husband. What explains her remarrying another man? See, people are different. For whatever reason they do what they do, it’s “their choice”. Being a lesbian isn’t a choice, unless it’s fear of men. That’s different. But to categorize all gays and lesbians into this file of abusive pasts is ridiculous.

So, does our past manifest our actions later on in life? I’d like to think so, but in a positive way. It’s nice to think that our past is what makes us who we are today. We can learn from it all and whatever it is we don’t like, we can change. We can learn from our past and try it differently, or we can keep running in circles making the same mistakes over and over again.

As Einstein once defined insanity:
“Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.”

Please take a look at Dawn’s bio on her website. It explains her life as a Christian lesbian. I just found it this morning and thought it was quite interesting.