In taking answering the questions to the Personal Autobiography on Sexual Orientation, I was able to reflect upon my life up to now as being a gay male from the Midwest. My first memories about really being exposed to sexual orientation would have to have been back in elementary school where sexual orientation was introduced by peers more or less as a name calling, playground name calling sort of thing—I was introduced to sexual orientation in a negative way. In terms of my parents, I would say the messages from there were positive as my grandma has a brother who is gay and has been “out” since the 1980s, so they have gone through the process of acceptance of LGBTQ individuals.
As a child I suffered tremendously with confusion, self hatred, and misunderstanding about my own sexuality. Growing up queer in a small town is never an easy thing. I went through years of denial, and hid all of my thoughts about what I thought could be. I was so muddled in an all too common train of thought that my first conclusion was that I was incapable of loving another human being. Having never experienced honest crushes or any emotional or physical attraction to the opposite sex, I was very frightened for my ability to one day have a family. This thought put me into a mode of paranoia and panic. I began to search any place I could for any other possibility, hoping for some form of medication or therapy to ail me of what I thought was a mental illness. After only a few minutes at the computer, I realized there was nothing wrong with my mind, or capability to love. I am just gay.
Social aspects of my life would teach me that being homosexual or bisexual was wrong, but others (while living in Palm Springs, Ca.) taught me that it was completely normal to have such sexual orientations. I have lived in California my whole life which has always had heavy, heated debates about allowing same sex marriages, allowing homosexuals in the military, and fighting for homosexual equality, so the history behind my state has made me grow up to be comfortable around gays even with the disturbing things I had been subjected to while I was growing up in Palm Springs. This class has now taught me many things I did not know about when it comes to the psychological aspects of being homosexual or bisexual, but I am still a heterosexual, and comfortable with it.
A highly debated issue concerning homosexuality is whether sexual-orientation is biologically determined or if it is a socially learned behavior. One case study done about this topic gathered that “the homosexual desire seems in most cases to be implanted in those who develop an unusually strong attachment for one parent” (Cory 1951:67). This seems to suggest that homosexuality can be influenced by family structure or other sociological elements. On the other side of this argument, there is the belief that people are born either gay or straight. Even though there is no scientific or genetic evidence to prove this, there have been many studies done and most homosexuals interviewed take this view-point. McIntosh states, “[homosexuality] is still commonly seen as a condition characterizing certain persons in the way that birthplace or deformity might characterize them” (1968:182). To support their cause and to fight for acceptance in society, it would be beneficial to convince people that sexual orientation is biologically determined. “Research indicates that people who believe that homosexuality is a choice are more likely to condemn it than are those who believe gays and lesbians are born that way”
Around my middle school years, I knew something about myself was unique, but I could not quite put my finger on it. No one in my family was gay, the word gay was rarely spoken and I did not even know queerness existed. My family lived a very heteronormative lifestyle and I always assumed I would marry a girl and have children. I remember very clearly a day when I was in sixth grade, I was standing in the hallway after class and someone asked me, “are you gay?” I did not know how to react, I did not even know what the word “gay” meant. I immediately replied “NO” as the term gay was always used synonymously with stupid. After school that day, I asked my grandma what it meant to be gay and she described what it mean to be gay. In that moment,
I was crippled and trapped between choosing what my society had taught me, what was considered to be right, and what I thought was better for me. Prior to summer academy and my immigration to the United States, I had a problem finding my true self in matters like accepting homosexuality. My thoughts and my judgments were corrupt in a sense that my reaction towards such people was solemnly based on what I had been taught. I was born and raised in an environment where homosexuality was considered to be an abomination and unlawful. After immigrating to the United States, I had little to no encounters with people who considered themselves as gay or lesbian etc. Unfortunately for me, upon attending the summer program, I was paired with a person who considered himself to be gay. Initially, every thought I had was filled with ignorance and closed mindedness. But then as time progressed and my grade depended on his effort, I decided to put all the negativity and what I knew aside and tried to learn something from this friend. By the end of the program, I found out that this person was just like me: funny, amiable, sociable and essentially the difference that existed between him and me, was our sexual
It is a fair assumption to say that America is approaching a new age in understanding and accepting the many variations of human sexual orientation. More same-sex couples have fostered children than ever before in our nation 's history. Institutions such as military and professional sports have (slowly but surely) began to accept openly gay members. Most importantly, a recent amendment to the Marriage Act of 1961 now defines marriage as a union of two people; an amendment which removed the prohibition of same-sex marriages. These landmarks in the progression of social awareness surrounding sexual orientation are derivative of scientific findings disputing the "choice" theory. As outlined in Simon LeVay 's book, Gay, Straight, and the Reason Why, the result of someone 's sexual orientation "emerges from the prenatal sexual differentiation of the brain" (LeVay 2011: 271) What LeVay means in this context is, "whether a person ends up gay or straight depends in large part on how this process of biological differentiation goes forward, with the lead actors being genes, sex hormones, and the brain systems" (LeVay 2011: 271). Much research, proven and theoretical, has been done on the concept of what makes people gay. Many factors surrounding socialization in regards to sexual orientation have undergone extensive scientific scrutiny (LeVay 2011: 77). Although there is evidence that suggests social and environmental elements play a role in sexual orientation, it is
For those of you who are straight, I want you to know that your feelings are signs of repressed childhood traumas. Now, I want you all to put aside your heterosexual tendencies and let your true same-sex attractions take hold.
The predictor for sexual orientation has been debated and analyzed for a long time. Two explanations that have established possible predictors are biological factors and envionrmental factors, more commonly known as the "nature vs. nurture" debate. According to various studies, these factors play a unique role in determining ones sexual orientation. For clarification, sexual orientation as illustrated here is defined as "distinct preferences consistently made after adolescence in the presence of clear alternatives" (King, 226).
In the nature versus nurture debate, homosexual’s environment and experiences shaped them more than genetics. For example, being raised in a gay home will heavily influence someone’s orientation unconsciously. Also, if an individual ties abuse and trauma from the opposite sex this fear might trigger them to feel more comfortable or attracted to the same sex. In addition, a person’s curiosity to experiment with their sexual preferences also can alter what they initially once were attracted to. A person’s experience is a vital role of how one’s sexuality is developed.
Once I began high school, I began noticing little things that didn’t seem quite right. Most of them centered on the fact that I seemed to find guys more attractive than girls. Ashamed of myself, I pushed these feelings to the furthest reaches of my mind. Boys had girlfriends; girls had boyfriends. It was the way things were meant to be; anything else was wrong and perverse. Despite constant self-reassurance that I was straight, I never really convinced myself.
The environment makes the person. Whether it is being on an island or a mental asylum; any normal person can change. Between the stories of Lord of the Flies and "I Only Came to Use the Phone" uses a setting of isolation to mesh events to show how the main theme of dehumanization, by how the characters are coping with isolation in the environment. Whether it is facing the fact that there is no escape, then trying desperate ways to escape, and seeing the illusion of good become the reality of bad in the environment. In the end the characters act like humans from the beginning.
As time develops the debate of sexual orientation, more so being “gay” has become a popular topic to discuss. The common question that many ask is whether your born gay or if it’s a choice. For some that answer is yes, for me the answer is no because I definitely don’t think it is. Some answer yes with the fear of openly being homosexual and admitting they have chosen to be gay. Sexual Orientation is defined as a person's sexual identity in relation to the gender to which they are attracted; the fact of being heterosexual, homosexual, or bisexual. Homosexuality is present in at least 10 percent of the human population. Do you think sexual orientation is determined at birth? Imagine your first day out of your mother’s womb and someone telling you, that you were gay. The more you think about it, the more you begin to realize that would be impossible. With curiosity, you begin to do your research on the topic of sexual orientation, among many websites, blogs and newspapers. Such a thing is portrayed by John Money’s book “Gay, Straight and In- Between.” The point of emphasis in his story was viewing key points on pre-natal influences of sexuality, as well as discussing gender differentiation in childhood. With that being said, I believe sexual orientation is a choice! There has been many study’s that support my opinion.
Sometimes the feelings of one or more of the various forms of attraction to someone of the same sex appear with sexual experience and encounters that one may have, but most commonly these feelings emerge without any previous sexual experience and this fact leads us to believe that being gay is most-likely not a choice (“Sexual Orientation and homosexuality” 1). The question, “How did you know you’re gay?” will typically result in the same answer every time, “I just know.” However, when an LGBT person is asking this question they can turn it around and ask the same question to someone who straight, “How did you know you were straight?” As a result, it is shown that being gay is like any other characteristics and is something that goes unanswered as to why it is the way it is.
There comes a time when you as a child have unanswered questions; such as “why the sky is blue” or “why the moon is following you.” For “normal” questions such as that you, typically turn to your parents, but what if those questions are not so normal? Questions that make you “feel as if everything [you] understood, everything [you] had taken for granted up to that moment” had no meaning, and mentally no sense of direction, all this while still trying to color inside the lines (Cooper, 49). As you get older of course, those sensations of your sexuality become more obvious to you, but parents or even family may not be your first option of expressing yourself. A questionable thought is not enough to let it be known of those adverse