THROUGH A NASTY WITCHES' BREW
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THROUGH A NASTY WITCHES' BREW

West Chester : PA : USA | May 15, 2012 at 12:15 PM PDT
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The Effect of Genetics and Hormones on Sexual Orientation

I know for a fact, sexual orientation is not a choice.

Toward the end of 1970, I was an ordinary high school freshman whose hormones hadn't yet started flowing. At that point, I could take or leave females (mostly the latter) depending on whether I actually liked them or not as persons. Four months later, my hormones were rising, my head was full of pictures of women dressed, naked or in various states of undress and I was jacking off like fury, sometimes as often as thrice daily. That summer, as I babysat for two fairly attractive divorcees, I was also accompanied by Mrs. Robinson fantasies of both. Not to mention unmarried female teachers!!

The following forty years have seen both good times and bad between women and myself. There have been long droughts, relatively 'moist' times (OK, that was deliberate) and two happy marriages, the second of which is still going on. (If anyone wants to know, I was widowed almost three years ago.) But, even in the middle of the long droughts, I never had any thoughts of switching my sexual orientation. It simply never occurred to me. Nor was there anyone, parent, teacher, other authority figure or even any peer group 'shoving' me towards the girls; my hormones did all that and forcefully enough indeed! The point here is, my hormones rose and brought my libido to the fore and they also made it crystal clear where they were pointing me--that is, to women and women only. For those nitwits who seem to think that a little male bonding doing such stereotypically 'masculine' pursuits sech as huntin' an' fishin' ('Son, yo' daddy jes' wudn't 'nuff like BIIIIG Daddy!) can 'cure the gay', allow me to say my dad was never either of those things, and my love for him was mixed with little if any fear. It's only fair for me to say he was very much present in my life. But I also believe his presence to be quite irrelevant to the way my hormones flowed.

And when my wife and I enjoy marital intimacies, I honestly feel that nothing that either two men or two women can do for each other can possibly hold a candle to being 'one flesh' with the woman I love. I'm saying how I feel here, not that it must be so across the board. But the point here is, feeling such sensations as those, I can't believe being gay is a choice. No way, nohow. Not to mention there are still plenty of primates who look at gays with either fear, apprehension, dislike or homicidal desire or intent. Life is still plenty harder for gays than for straights. In the face of all this, who would choose to be gay???

The answer has to be, they don't. The question then has to be: why would anyone even entertain such a loony notion as being gay is a choice? I have a few suggestions, none of which are at all pretty. And as I take the lid off this kettle, you might feel the need for a hazmat suit.

The top element appears to be anxiety about one's own masculinity and, hence, the same old tiresome need to overcompensate. That element, though noxious enough, is also familiar and boring and we needn't discuss that further. Go down further and we find something really wicked: a lot (and I mean a lot) of unacknowledged hostility to women. The same nasty slime that fuels the desecrators of God's Name on the political Right as they seek to circumvent Roe and push back contraception availability as well. I suggest that only those sitting on a lake of unacknowledged hostility to women could even begin to entertain the lunacy that being gay is a choice. And the extent to which 'Momma' is made into a plaster saint doesn't help either. If anyone has other ideas as to whence springs this rot, I'm ready to hear them.

Imagine living with an abusive mother who everyone warns you to respect, yea sanctify, lest you be branded 'unnatural' and threatened with hellfire! Sounds like a brew for criminal insanity to me! And even if no one tells you these things, you might be getting them out of the ether. Another noxious element is probably the remnants of St. Augustine's anti-sex attitude, which probably adds to the resentment these men (and women?) feel towards their own hormones. Finally, there are those who feel attraction towards their own sex and work overtime to keep it tamped down. Sorry, guys and gals: if that's where your hormones point you, that's not about to change. Without re-examining and re-working your understanding of God and then 'coming out', the best you'll probably be able to do is bear it as a thorn in the flesh, to use Paul's phrase. I feel for you. Really. I wouldn't want to be in your shoes, and I'll pray for you. But also cleanse yourself before our God. Start asking Him questions again. Seek out progressive clergy if and when you need some clarifying. Don't listen to anyone who says you're unnaturally made, or anything close to it. Support one another, and let we progressives know who and where you are so we can help you. Then you won't care so much, if at all, about what the rest of us do behind our bedroom doors.

bmeadows is based in Lansdale, Pennsylvania, United States of America, and is a Stringer on Allvoices.
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