Friday, March 17, 2017

My feelings about gay and lesbian

My frame is the same as Gore Vidal, himself noted for same sex companions, who said there are no homosexuals, only homosexual acts.  In other words, we're all capable of homosexual acts, we're all essentially bisexual, and who does and doesn't is ultimately and should ultimately be something like choice.   As a practicing homosexual, and a radical liberal opposed to all prohibitions (aka victimless crimes), he thought that was fine, there should be his version of liberalism everywhere, especially in the USA where we are supposed to be able to "pursue happiness."  Of course, he personally had the means to escape from places when and where that wasn't true, living much of the time in Italy.

However, this framing hasn't been popular in the great leaps of gay liberation that occurred after the murder of Harvey Milk.  Instead, gays have latched onto the idea that homosexuality is a genetic trait, something which they inheirited.  Since they had no control over it, and it's part of their basic identity, they shouldn't be forced to change it, which has essentially been the nature of the legal arguments banning discrimination against homosexuals.  Not the Vidal approach, which I would have preferred, which would eliminate laws against all victimless crimes as themselves representing an unconstitutional establishment of religion (Vidal believed American prohibitions derived from the ill influences of monotheisms, variously called sky god or abrahamic, or sometimes he'd single out Chrisitianity).

Technically speaking there are no "genetic" traits, all traits are mixtures of heredity and environment.

I continue to have no ill feelings toward homosexuals, especially male homosexuals (good for you, two more women for me) but toward lesbians I may feel resentment if they are committed to lesbianism rather than bisexuality.

I did once meet a heterosexually married former lesbian during my year in San Francisco, and FWIW she felt that exclusive lesbians (as she had been) were not experiencing all of the potential in life, a heterosexual relationship being far more difficult, but in the end, far more rewarding as well.  That has always sounded correct to me, and applicable to male homosexuality as well.  But this is not to say that all are cut out for hetero acts (and relationships) and vice versa.  I feel my own disinclination toward homosexual acts is more like my disinclination toward eating shellfish than an essential part of my being.

I walked into a Lesbian Bar right across from my Hotel when I was staying in Amsterdam for a week in 2004.  I didn't at the time realize it was a lesbian bar, I think somebody had told me beforehand but it went in one ear and out the other.  For 5 minutes, I found myself talking openly to a number of women and liking it very much, not like a regular bar at all.  It was a great feeling, like I had finally found home.  But then the bell went off.  I hadn't found "a friend" in 5 minutes, and since I was male, I was therefore required to leave.  Everyone I thought was my new friend turned their backs on me.

I've never been shut out of a male gay bar, but never had that magic feeling either.

None of this is good reason for "bathroom bills."  I trust what gender people have chosen, that's what counts for society is what people have chosen, and those people who have made the difficult choice to change and all the investment that it has required to make that change and obviously how much they care about it all mean they are the ones least likely to set a bad example for their chosen gender.

The point is, in social affairs choice is not just "a" think, it is "the" think which makes the difference between an oppressive society and one with positive and creative potential.  The notion that prohibitions can make people make the "correct" choices, or even have the moral authority to determine what those are, is wrong, and part of a sky god religious outlook.  With regards to forcing people to make the correct choices, the tendency in adults and relatively independent persons is to dig in, to establish their differentiating identity even more.

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