I have been conflicted about writing here again. The last thing I wrote spawned quite a lot of exaggerated emotions and intolerant attitudes from people in the forums. I am always happy to see more activity in the forums, new people visiting the site, reading the comics and essays and poetry that we have here, enjoying the creative works of our little community. At the same time, I am not one to intentionally cause pain and hardship for people, and if writing here is going to cause people such intense discomfort, perhaps I should not write at all. Then again, if people are going to have such a strong reaction to something, maybe they should stay away from it. Just because some people have a very strong reaction to habenero peppers doesn’t mean that they should stop being grown and made available to the public. So, I write.
In the forums and in conversations in person and on the telephone, in reaction to what I wrote last, I have had a lot of different voices telling me what an awful person I am for being homosexual, or that I am going to Hell for being homosexual, or how much it hurts them that I am homosexual. While I am aware that I never claimed to be homosexual or even to have taken part in the sorts of homosexual sexual activity that would make people believe that I were homosexual, my initial reaction when someone tells me that it is wrong for me to be homosexual is the same as when someone tells me that it is wrong to ride a bicycle; I want to defend my cycling, and I want to defend my homosexuality. Every time I read someone telling me how wrong it was for me to be gay, or thought about it later, or discussed it with someone, my mind would get the idea that rational people would only tell me it was wrong for me to be doing something that I was doing. When people tell me I shouldn’t be condescending, it is not just because that is something they believe other people shouldn’t be, it is because they have seen me being condescending.
Yet whereas I agree that I should not be condescending to people that I want to continue to be able to relate to and communicate with and to people with whom my relationship is professional, I do not necessarily agree that I should not be homosexual. Yes, I realize that according to Christianity, homosexuality is an abomination against God and that having sex with other men and not repenting is the sort of thing they send you to Hell for. I was raised Christian, and have taken some time studying it (and many other religions), and I realize what Christianity’s position on homosexuality is. So, when the conversation in the forums turned to what Christianity says about actually being a homosexual, I did not learn anything new (though I did read it all and was interested; there were some very intelligent and well-informed people with strong opinions and beliefs posting, and though I had little to add, I was definitely interested). So, with the understanding that being homosexual will result in eternal damnation and separation from God (in Christianity; we’ll stay focused on that, since it seems that I have a primarily Christian (or at least Christianity-aware) audience,) I do not necessarily believe that I should not be homosexual.
So when someone says “I wish you weren’t gay” and my mind hears “Teel is gay. This person does not want Teel to be gay,” my mind doesn’t immediately reject the first statement; it is not an abomination to me. So, when I posted my last bunch of words, it was because I felt like a lot of people (even those who weren’t saying it outright) were seeing me as homosexual, and I didn’t feel particularly like I should be appearing that way or that I was a homosexual. Then, as days passed and I kept hearing people essentially telling me that I was homosexual, I wanted to defend my right to be homosexual and I wanted to defend my homosexuality. I don’t remember feeling much more homosexual than when my mother and countless strangers were arguing in the forums about why I oughtn’t be. Maybe when a couple months ago one night I had a few drinks and danced with a few really hot gay men, or maybe right now, but … not much more than when I felt like I should be defending myself against literally hundreds of posts about how I should be living MY LIFE.
So, if you haven’t seen it, I posted a few long posts a week or so ago that seem to have stopped all further posting. Something long and boring, explaining where I was coming from and why I was doing what I was doing, and trying to make clear what it seemed no one had understood. I guess it worked; like I said, everyone stopped posting right after that. I guess that’s okay; I don’t really want people posting because they’re upset – I want them posting because they’re interested in something. I want them to read what I have to say and let me know that they understand where I’m coming from, or that it touched them, or that they think I’m way off base. I want people to read Dustin’s novel and get in the forums and let him know that they can’t wait for the next chapter, or that they think he needs to develop a certain character’s motivation more, or that they think that even writing about magic is wrong. I want people to read what is on the site and then want to write something of their own, and perhaps post it in the forums, or send it to me to put on the site next to what inspired them. I don’t want to have to write a couple pages about how hard it was for me to decide to get an abortion to get people to post in the forums about how wrong it was for me to get pregnant out of wedlock, or murder a defenseless life, or whatever else I’ve done wrong.
So anyway, back on some sort of train of thought; I’ve been thinking about this whole gay/not gay thing for a while, and while I think I’ve pretty much come to some good conclusions in the long, boring, thread-killing forum posts I mentioned, I think there’s a little more to it. A little more to me. Yes, I’m different, and YES, I want to be different. I don’t want to just be “straight”, and I don’t think I’ll ever believe that I’m just “gay”; my friends understood this without me having to say it and they made up a new word for me – they say that I’m “jovial”. Neither straight nor gay. I think this is a fine thing to be. I have been paying attention for long enough to myself that I’ve noticed that I seem to “feel gay” off and on; it’s generally cyclical. I can say the same thing about whether or not I’m attracted to women as well; even when I’m not attracted to men, I’m not necessarily attracted to women, either. Of course, with both of these I believe that close or prolonged exposure to parties that express attraction to me can focus my attraction to their sex for a time, and that if I’m turned “on” outside of my normal cycle, my next cycle will be more intense.
So, if I go out dancing at a (straight) club and I’m not feeling particularly “straight” (whether or not I’m also feeling “gay”) I’ll dance and have a generally good time dancing with whoever I’m next to. Yet if someone I happen to be dancing with (say, a beautiful woman) shows that they are particularly attracted to me, that turns me on, and I’ll begin to feel very “straight” and very attracted to them. Then for several days or a week or so after that night I’ll feel very straight and very “on”. If my “gay” cycle happens to be coming around next, then in addition to wanting to be with the particular beautiful woman that I danced with, I’ll feel very, very “gay” and very, very “on” and totally want to get out and meet some attractive gay men. Whereas when I normally cycle into “gay” I just notice that I’m more flamboyant and that I notice men a lot more and can identify with the homosexual “community”, this time, because I got turned “on” outside of my normal cycle, even if it was by a woman, I will be trying to seek out gay men and fantasizing about gay men and thinking about all manner of “gay” thoughts.
I realize that this is sort-of true for everyone; if you get turned on, it just makes you more likely to be horny. The more one experiences sexual gratification, the more they are interested in sexual gratification. I just want to show how it relates to my perceived “cycles” of sexual preference, and helping to establish for me that they are present. That I’d probably be feeling a little gay right now no matter what, but that meeting that really hot and interesting woman at the bar last weekend almost pushed me so far as to find out how to get to one of the bath houses in town this weekend. Yes, I would certainly like to get together with the woman I met, and she has left me feeling very attracted to her, but I also happen to be feeling pretty attracted to gay men right now.
Luckily, by watching shows like Queer As Folk and writing long, boring things about how I’ve been feeling and what I’ve been thinking about, I can usually satisfy myself without going out and doing something that will get me stoned. So tonight I watched Queer As Folk, and Iain watched a little, but when it got to the explicit bath house scene about 15 minutes in, he got up and left the room while I leaned in and paid close attention. Of course, since I’ve seen the show before I knew they were there for a reason and I was looking to recognize a face somewhere to find out who was there that shouldn’t be. I was also feeling pretty self-conscious, since whatever strange world this show takes place in seems to have only very fit, very athletic men, and I’m still a little soft around the middle. Well, I guess they do show they guys working out, and in several months I’m sure I’ll have a body I can be much more proud of with my shirt off.
Would you believe that when I first decided to try to lose weight and get more physically fit, oh so long ago, it was because I didn’t think I would ever look good in drag with all those extra pounds? At this point I realize that in addition to being too tall and big-footed for cross-dressing with any class, I don’t feel I should have to dress like something I’m not to get attention. Of course, working out and changing the shape of my body to get attention seems okay, so go figure.
For those of you out there (and I know you’re out there) that are concerned about the attitude I’ve expressed about homosexuality today, have no fear. I’m a cyclist and it’s just a matter of time before I cycle out of gay – heck, if I can manage to get together with that woman any time soon, I’m certain my focus will switch immediately to being very, very straight, straight into the next cycle of “straight” I’ve got coming to me. That, and I’m clearly up too late typing this. I shouldn’t be held responsible for what I write in my sleep. Next time I’ll try to write something more emotionally touching here. Today, I’m too tired and too “on” with no emotional context to really write anything worthwhile. Thanks for reading this, though.