What if ‘we’ are wrong?

What if homosexuality is not normal and natural? What if there is a reason for the gender divide?

The more I read for my classes in Gender, Sexuality and Women’s Studies the more I am beginning to question everything. The readings and theories go as far as claiming that physical sex is a social construct. I just cannot seem to accept that. I accept that physical sex is manipulated by society, especially in intersex births. Maybe intersex children should not be changed or assigned, but if that is the case, its only because it would physically change their natural state. I do not believe that there is any way to save an intersex person from emotional distress. If you change then there is distress from their feelings regarding any gender/sex discrepancies that may occur (but that is really cultural anyway), but if you don’t change them, then there is distress from being different (also a cultural issue). As for the gender divide, call me a social functionalist if you must, but the average male and the average female are suited to certain tasks. Men have a great difficulty with birthing children, women have great difficulty standing to pee. That being said, I do not feel that in society we should set limits on what each person can do. If a male feels that he is the more caring/nurturing half of a couple raising a child, then he should be able to take care of the child. If a women feels that she wants to be a firefighter/construction worker/mechanic and has the skills/physical strength for it, then I see no reason for that to not be the case. I suppose the issue I’m having is the academic need to define, describe and theorize everything (and the use of Latin phrases, but that’s a separate issue). Sometimes with academics I feel that the most effective way of approaching something is simply ‘let it be’.

The main issue that has been coming into my mind lately though with the readings and with actually thinking about sexuality is, is it possible that homosexuality is actually a mental disorder? I know it has been removed from the DSM, but only under great pressure. Homosexuality has become acceptable in society, only after great pressure. I find myself sort of questioning the origin of my own sexuality. I fully accept that sexuality is a social construction and that its not a ‘born that way’ kind of thing, at least not by genetics. I cannot say for certain if there are traits that propel one toward one sexuality or the other. I question for myself if there was some type of social training in my past that has created me as a homosexual. I question if perhaps it is something that could be resolved by therapy. The only problem now is if I were ever to seek counseling because it bothered me, then I would be diagnosed as having some type of identity disorder and not be able to seek therapy to attempt to explore the root of my sexuality and bring to surface anything that may have contributed to my present state. I do not presently feel like I am suffering from a reduced functioning because I am gay, so therefore I do not need to seek counseling.  I question if being gay is my natural state, or if it is a state that was somehow achieved through some social disposition I was taught. I cannot speak for all homosexuals, but I do know that for myself there have been reasons to question things surfacing lately as I’ve considered the topic more.

I realize that these thoughts go against the nature of my classes, and that in general it goes against my normal way of perceiving myself.  I just find that I cannot blindly accept things that I have assumed or that I have been told in my classes now or in things in my past.

I do not think that [modern] homosexuals will ever be able to fully integrate into this society as a whole. Primarily, because they don’t want to. Some gays/homos/queers create lives for themselves which are so far outside of cultural norms that it cannot be seen as anything except an act of defiance of society. This may be a result of already feeling rejected by society, but more and more it seems like many homosexuals do not want to be part of society. I think for full acceptance in this society there has to be a level of blending. Homosexuals will have to give up some of their pride (and I mean that in the Gay Liberationist sense), and accept the fact that they are ‘normal’ (if that word can even be defined). There has been so much effort put into distinguishing gays from other members of society that it is impossible to blur the distinction and make a homogenous society. In Denmark this problem doesn’t exist, the identities have dropped and society is more or less homogeneous, but the homosexuals do not stick out, neither do the heterosexuals. When is it time to let the rainbow flag fade into the background and let the individuals be themselves without hiding behind such a flamboyant banner?

Maybe my perspective on everything is skewed. I have not really ever had to deal with rejection or even a lot of mis-identification as heterosexual. I have had one instance of each in my past. I had a short-lived rejection from one of my friends in 8th grade, and I had a mis-identification/assumption from one of my aunts, other than that, the fact that I have a sexual identity that is other than heterosexual has not been a problem. I don’t go around announcing that I’m gay, but I don’t fear people knowing either. I don’t have any special pride in being gay, but not because I’m hiding, but just because it is part of me, its how I identify myself sexually (among a list of other titles, which is beyond the scope of this blog, or at least this post). I am proud of myself for academic accomplishments. I am proud of myself for the state of my body. I am proud of myself for the fact that I don’t drink. I am proud of a lot of things about myself, but all of those things are things that I have made a choice or have worked toward in some way. Being proud of being gay would be like being proud that I am a male, its just part of me that I can’t say I had a lot to do with (at least not actively).

This post is intended as a way for me to explore my own identity, as well as feelings about my current coursework. I do not mean to take any particular position regarding homosexuality, gender or sex. I remain open minded and receptive to all people in my life and all forms of academic discourse that I encounter.