It’s Inside of You

11/02/2009

Warning: Video contains a lot of bigot speak so if ignorant fundamentalists cause you any health problems, you should probably watch in moderation if at all.

I saw this today at Joe.My.God and I thought it was a beautiful illustration of a giant conflation of problems that are well known and well-trod in the LGBTQ communities.

Chief among them, the closet, or more accurately, the self-denial closet. When someone eludes or actively resists self-realization about themselves or their sexuality because of careful training or cultural momentum or fear for the response of one’s family and friends and the all-too-frightening idea of “what does this mean?’

Our featured lady here is a wonderful example of that. To her, her libido surfacing, the intimate lunch she shared with an out lesbian “infected” her with a gay demon that “traumatized” her and which she “cast out”.

Now, every gay person in the room and most straight people know what she is trying to run from, which is what she felt was sexuality, specifically her own innate homosexuality and bisexuality. She had attraction to girls, likely is she has had attraction to girls her entire life, obviously strong enough to “overwhelm” her (which suggests someone closer to the Kinsey 6 pole than she would ever admit). It happens, lust and sexual attraction happens, love happens.

But what was different this time for Gwenda is she just had a long flirty lunch with a lesbian coworker and suddenly her attractions were no longer avoidable. She was reminded of the option she had denied herself and the careful lies were starting to break down. She had what every queer individual has gone through at one time or another:

The “oh huh” moment or for many the “oh shit” moment.

The “oh shit” moment or its benign counterpart is that day just like any other where your attraction or lack of attractions or personal identity hits an epiphany. Yesterday, you were flirting with your friend, but it didn’t mean anything, people can be close, today, they are haunting your dreams and the chemistry is obviously sexual.

It’s the moment at which it becomes obvious to one’s self that all the excuses in the world won’t change what is.

The problem is that for an unfortunately large population, that’s where the story goes wrong and some of us queers have experienced how that works, I even did a light version of that regarding asexuality where I went on a porn tour of the internet trying to “find my sexuality or fetish”.

That second moment is the point where one has to choose whether to accept what is or to run screaming in the other direction for as long as the cognitive dissonance will hold.

In the case of Gwenda above, that occurred in the invention of the gay demon that is spread by contact with another “sufferer”, but it’s not always so obviously bullshit and “righhhht”-inducing. Many just try and assert their heterosexuality and valliantly avoid those who triggered the revelation in themselves.

My partner had her heart broken by just such a response when someone she was dating in everything but name including intimate cuddling sessions and enough chemistry to make me feel like I was intruding when in the same room used this tactic to try and whitewash the mutual attraction they shared and reinvent herself as a perfect heterosexual (theoretically if she could just find a boy she was sexually attracted to).

My best friend’s sister is approaching such a moment as the external evidence of her attraction to girls has been quite evident to everyone including her brother and all of her and my friends. Sadly she was raised in the same oppressive fundamentalist environment as Gwenda of the video.

It can also be benign as I mentioned above, simple denial, calling it a phase, clinging to the first “normal” attraction like a raft off a sinking ship, or simply treating it like an odd thought until a stronger revelation hammers home the concept.

Any which way, it’s an unfortunate state of being. Not only does it prevent LGBTQ individuals from being honest with themselves and thus denying them options and self-knowledge that would aid them even if they never explore them, but it also is the breeding ground for some of the most pernicious lies used against the queer community, chief among them the idea that homosexuality is a choice.

The truth is, such an idea is impossible to conceive and laughable for Kinsey 6s, Kinsey 0s, and Kinsey Xs (homosexuals, heterosexuals, and asexuals). It can only get traction for people in that middle range of bisexuality, those who have “fought” off that moment of revelation or that “close friendship” or that “experimental phase”. To them, it’s real and frankly revealing, just as the protestations of this unfortunate woman are.

And anti-gay religions only serve to strengthen this desire for shame and self-denial. This woman interrupted her babble to stress to her friends and family how completely not gay she was and how meaningless the attraction at the same time unable to really place a sexual attraction to her supposed interest in guys or having anything other than an interest in “eventually having a husband”. That self-denial was enforced by her religion throughout her entire approach to the point where even the recognition brought on self-hate and a need to remove it and deliberately literally deny it (cast out the demon (is that what the kids today are calling it)).

It’s an important point to notice and remind people of because the closet in its myriad of forms is a killer and no one should feel they have to run away from themselves.

Gwenda, you are bi or gay, it is inside of you and it is indeed natural and most importantly it is ok and any God worthy of praise loves you for it.

As always, the truth will set you free and anyone worthy of loving loves you for who you are, not what you pretend to be.

This post is dedicated to all those struggling with self-honesty and those who have struggled in the past.

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