Thursday, 21 January 2010

The Man Who Turned Straight?

I've just read this article at The Times Online. In it, a man who claims to have been out and gay for 20 years describes how he sees a father with his son and suddenly, like that, thinks he might be straight.

There's naturally a rash rush to decry him as a self-hating homophobe (and, to be fair, the stereotypes and pitying attitude he espouses seem to back this up), particularly from the LGBT community (who naturally fear that being queer can be 'cured' or changed). But I have a few other thoughts.

It's possible this man was bisexual from the start. I mean, I know from my experiences of the gay community, there are people who're genuinely bisexual who, through social pressure and the nature of the gay scene, become wholly homosexual in the bedroom. This is because people in the LGBT community are usually sceptical of anyone who claims to be bisexual. Many LGBT people are also uncomfortable with it (after all, if you boyfriend also likes minge, wouldn't it be easier for him to run off with a woman, get married and have kids?). I've called myself at times bisexual and gay, but now prefer the term queer. I am mostly sexually attracted to men; occasionally I'm attracted to the thought of sleeping with a woman, but not the woman herself. And I'm not sure I could ever love a woman. But I'm well aware this may be my conditioning and the fact I'm surrounded, most of the time, by gay men.

The second is that sexuality might change. I'm a big fan of queer theory. In it, theorists argue all sexuality is a social construct and is performatve. Some psychologists and biologists also believe sexuality is actually a spectrum, with everyone being bisexual but most people being further to one end than the other.

There's also the possibility his internalised homophobia is getting the better of him, or he's mistaking his desire for a child as a desire for a woman.

Because so many possibilities present themselves to me, and because I'm not going to tell anyone what their sexuality is and how they should live their life for fear of being a hypocrite, I'm going to pass no judgement and leave the answer open. Ultimately, the label is unimportant. So long as he and whoever he ends up with is happy, that's all that matters.

No comments:

Post a Comment