Liberation

I have lived my life with the handbrake on. Too prone to hit the foot-brake too, and terrified of the accelerator pedal, I seek to free myself. My project here is finding what stories, understandings, and responses serve my freedom, which increase my serfdom. Jtteop, despite a rebarbative idea which initially blinded me to the value which might be in what he says, seems to seek such freedom through words, so repays a closer look.

His “myth” is that one is born gay, only attracted to persons of the same gender. His counter-myth is that being gay is not innate.

The process starts when a person says words or performs actions that are outside the range of social acceptability for their gender. It will then be suggested to the person that they might be ‘gay’ and they will be asked to meditate on that possibility, with the hope that they will have an epiphany of sorts that will lead to a confession. This is called ‘coming out’.

The human brain is very flexible in this regard and will presumably help out, as it always does, to let the denounced person see the previously unrecognised possibilities.

There is a huge amount wrong with this. There is nothing wrong with being gay, any more than with having red hair. Twin studies show that there is a greater correlation of orientation between identical than non-identical twins, so there is a genetic component, even if that correlation is not total. Then again, before death the only orientation anyone can be sure of is bisexuality: there are lots of reasons to fight particular sexual attractions, but “I’m not gay, I’m straight” is not one of them.

The word “gay” is liberating, as “Uranian” was before it. It fosters acceptance of ones desire and permits sexual fulfilment. It is not as jtteop asserts linked to not fitting the socially ordained gender role, though it may be.

However the tincture of truth in jtteop’s post is that the label “gay” can be constraining, leading a person to imagine they should behave or respond in a certain way. More usually, it is liberating: it is permission to respond in that non-standard role, without shame. The word “straight” is far more constraining: men have an idea of how straight men “should” behave.

For jtteop, gay is simply the shortcutting of a natural process (same with drug use) . You gain pleasure without the necessity to go though all the usual mechanisms to get that pleasure. Well, no. Here he says that only straight sex is natural, or indeed that gay sex is easier to get- not for those with internalised homophobia it isn’t. Also that straight sex is fulfilling, but gay sex only seems to be. Though he is libertarian: he wants people to be able to do whatever they want to.

Words and understandings can imprison us. Jtteop recognises this. The way to freedom is to permit responses, and to perceive without judgment.

Osiris

7 thoughts on “Liberation

  1. Thanks for taking to time to respond to my post. I feel that I should respond back.

    Your response reminds me of Marx’s response to Stirner but that’s a whole other story.

    What I would like to say is that if I read my post I could very well respond as you have because that’s the first of three parts, the second of which I have already posted and which should provide more information.

    It’s a bit like if someone is stuck in the mud at low tide and a big wave goes over them and they go “That wasn’t that bad – I can survive this experience”.

    Anyway, enough of that. You mention a couple of things that I would take issue with:

    First of all there is nothing wrong with being gay. Just as soon as such a thing exists I will support it. It exists now as cultural means of action but it cannot be defined in naturalistic terms because it doesn’t exist. Neither do gay penguins exist although if you google “gay penguins” a whole lot will come up. What I mean is that there is nothing that makes a ‘gay’ penguin different from a ‘normal’ penguin in any essential sense.

    There are people who are bricklayers. There is nothing wrong with bricklayers there is just nothing that makes them essentially so.

    The example of identical twins is illustrative. Sexuality (unlike eye colour) is obviously not genetically determined. If it was there would be a 100% correlation between the two. Identical twins are probably more likely to have similar professions or trades as they will come from the same family background and have similar interests. I don’t have data on that.

    The word “gay” was always used as an insult when I was at school and after. It would be like if people who believed themselves hetrosexual (also doesn’t exist) had to call themselves ‘cock’ or ‘dickhead’.

    I don’t believe only straight sex is natural. Any sex can be natural. Infact ‘natural’ or ‘unnatural’ isn’t a useful way to describe sex. Joining the mile high club in a aircraft toilet obviously isn’t ‘natural’ in one sense, but perfectly natural in another. Sex with a condom on isn’t natural but should obviously be encouraged.

    Also, I’m sure that all kinds of sex can be equally fulfilling or unfulfilling without having the gender of the participants brought into it. It is an issue for individuals what kind of fulfillment they gain out of various kinds of sex.

    I hope this clears up any misconceptions which may have been generated and I look forward to discussing more about it in future.

    I am glad also to reblog this.

    Regards,

    Ford

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    • Marx and Stirner- “heavy-handed mockery and insult”, Wikipedia says Isaiah Berlin called it. On the genetics, I will make my appeal to the experts: I got this information from a geneticist. I recognise that brothers are more likely to share jobs, but that is not hypothalamus activity.

      I think we agree about a lot. I am delighted you have followed. I will read your second part- I have been away, with beautiful people, in the sun, so did not want to be staring into a screen or typing messages rather than communicating with my whole person.

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        • Proportionate, I think. You do not seem to understand the difference between the hypothalamus and the frontal lobe. Some people are predominantly same sex attracted. This is a good thing, as it adds to human diversity. It is not a short cut to sexual activity: you must be aware of bars where you can find short cuts to straight sex. Generally, while your intention may be liberation, you are too close in your expression to fuckwitted homophobes preaching about Turning to Christ and changing to heterosexual, or about how same sex activity is Immoral and Contrary to God’s Law. Have some respect.

          But then, Marx would have thought his response to Stirner proportionate…

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          • Again, I mostly agree with you. But the battle has been won. The Christian side didn’t win. (Except in Africa) It wasn’t won based on the science because there isn’t a clear scientific explanation. It’s not like you can ring up your local university and say “Give me the scientific explanation for homosexual behaviour in humans because I think I missed it and Christians are saying they don’t believe it’s innate” It’s not like the greenhouse effect, It’s not tectonic plates.

            Anyway, perhaps I’ll redeem myself with the next one “The Hetrosexual myth – we’ll have to see”

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            • I don’t think there is a “Christian side”. A majority of Christians in this country are happy with equal marriage. The Roman Catholic hierarchy can be homophobic, and there is a diehard rearguard load of fuckwitted homophobes, but most people after meeting a gay couple or two shed their hatred and bigotry. A few Christians were campaigning for equality: Quakers in particular.

              I look forward to your “heterosexual myth”.

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