| | A Personal Reflection...
I am homosexual. Actually there are many words for homosexual, a lot of them not really nice!!! I don't think I like the word homosexual as it sounds really barren and too scientific! But it is only a word isn't it????
Words are powerful things and the word "label" springs to mind when considering Shiminey's question, "Is it normal?". For example does it sound normal when you change the word homosexual for say FAGGOT or QUEER? You have to consider the belief system behind words for example (and I know this is generalistic but I am illustrating the point) if I think of the word QUEER I could think of a very effeminate homosexual who is perhaps weak physically. FAGGOT, it could be said, has villainous qualities!!! What about the belief systems behind words that describe lesbians? DYKE and BUTCH. Bisexuals are called GREEDY. Transgendered individuals have classics such as TRANNY or SHE-MALE or (bizarrely!) FALSE WOMAN! Words like I said have immense power especially in instigating a reaction.
I have decided that I am going to lose the whole label thing as it is so restrictive and prescriptive and how can being homosexual be seen as "normal" when the words that describe it are so harsh. Of course there are other things that suggest homosexuality is not normal like the fact that religion in general has little compassion for it (it is a sin and evil... more power words!) or the fact that AIDS is still seen as the gay plague (even though AIDS does not discriminate). But I think for myself I accept my homosexuality as part of the whole that is me. I am a man that happens to be attracted to men, simple as that. To me it is normal. I have chosen to feel that way and I have also chosen to not buy into the negative scripts of homophobic groups/individuals as the dualistic "us and them" vibe really creates crap. I will continue to present me as being someone normal.
I have until recently been really scared of being me. It would seem that being different from the norm (heterosexual) is potentially dangerous and I have been on the recieving end of verbal and physical abuse. A worse form of abuse is neglect in that I sometimes hide my homosexuality out of "fear" of negative reaction or people show no interest because it causes them discomfort. It can be very odd when you meet guys for the first time say on an average night out and they assume you like women and then there is that awkward moment when you tell them and they look at you like you are an alien! It is a long process but I am sure it will get better.
Oh and why does it happen? There is talk of the gay gene, distant fathers, overbearing mothers (love the old nature/nuture debate) but asking questions like that (which I have done so many times!!) only seems to increase the idea that there is something that is wrong with it. Homosexuals try and find the theory that presents it as being normal whilst homophobics find the theory that can damn it to hell and let it stay in hell! Personally I am not bothered now about the "why" just more about the fact "I am".
I am of now to listen to Judy Garland sing "The Man That Got Away"!