attraction. . .
Stevie Turner: My cousin is gay, and he once told me he knew he was ‘different’ at the age of three.
oldschoolcontemporary: Hey Stevie, thanks for getting in touch. I too have extended family who’re same sex attracted, although their story isn’t so emphatic as many of the lifelong/since earliest memory stories of people having homosexual desires. What exactly did they mean by being different though? Like an intellectual knowing the difference between two things, or an experiential knowing (e.g. having the gay desires/attraction).
Blessings to you. 🙂
Stevie Turner: I assume the gay attraction. He’s always been quite emphatic that he knew from an early age.
oldschoolcontemporary: This is no slam or slight against your cousin, but I’ve read the same kind of view from men who believe children have homoerotic urges, and they can be satisfied in experiencing sexual fulfilment with grown men. Isn’t that an unsettling/unhelpful way in which to describe his feeling different?
^^^ That end comment’s probably much more on topic, less accusatory too. By which I mean, don’t most people (especially young persons) feel as if they’re different? Still, how we come to a conclusion about why we’d felt so different (or still do), that’s another story. Maybe reading homosexual urges back into our inadequate childhood / teen /formative years isn’t an accurate answer. Like that poor boy in the story who had cerebral palsy (haven’t watched the video in awhile but I think that was his condition).
I know for one that girls were gross until at least 9 or 10 or 11, into or just before the double figures. I did appreciate how some people were ugly and some were beautiful, like heroes had hair and villains were bald, 😛 still that never crossed over into sexual attraction.
What do you think about their situation? (obviously without going into any level of detail which they’d feel uncomfortable with sharing).
Stevie Turner: We all mature at different rates, and I know that I didn’t notice boys until I was about 11. Then I was hit by the thunderbolt as a new rather beautiful boy started at my school. Also our home lives must play a part too.
My cousin had the most horrific mother who was enough to turn any boy off women. To his credit he forgave her before she died, and he is now at peace with himself and his lifestyle.
oldschoolcontemporary: Surely not at three years of age though, right? We’re obviously not physically matured at that age, nor can I picture an emotionally mature three year old.
I’d imagine if there’s some troubling aspect of a person’s lifestyle / thought life, being able to make one’s peace with the issues would be preferable. How people go about coming to terms with their lifestyle / desires / wants (at least in our culture) means accepting the behaviour, accepting with a goal of someday affirming their once taboo issues as good / ”right for me” /socially praiseworthy or something to that end.
So by being at peace, your cousin accepted their desires and embraces them? It’s not just that they’ve accepted that this is a part of their person, rather they embrace these urges and affirm them, is that right?
Stevie Turner: I’m just going on what he’s told me in the past. He had an awful childhood, suffering abuse by a mother and an elder brother who were both mentally ill. Only he knows what he felt at three years old. In adulthood he forgave them, moved to Saudi Arabia, and lives the way he wants to live. He’s happy enough now.
oldschoolcontemporary: Acceptance in Saudi of all places? Wonders never cease I suppose. Hopefully you don’t mind me asking, do you personally agree with his life choices?
I’ve always thought one of the big misunderstandings people go through with the topic is that they’re often using “choose” or choice in an equivocating way. For example, someone might insist “being gay is a choice”, again it's an unfortunate use of the language, when they mean to say “acting on these urges is a choice.”
The reply from the other side is often “you don’t choose to be gay!” which is their way of saying that the person experiencing same sex attraction didn’t form the desire from thin air, it’s not chosen in that sense (and that’s right insofar as I’ve read).
So my question is in the first sense, if you can agree with the grammar of it. Do you feel alright with their choice to embrace the “lifestyle” as you described it? Even in spite of the health issues, often dysfunctional relationships and societal stigma attached to it.
God bless, Stevie. 🙂
Stevie Turner: I don’t have a problem accepting that my cousin is gay. A same-sex relationship is as normal to him as a heterosexual one is to me. Who am I to say that his lifestyle is wrong? We’re all born differently, and he is just as entitled to be happy as I am.
oldschoolcontemporary: Lots of very strange and harmful things can cause us to be happy, wouldn’t you agree? That’s why many people (not everyone) don’t make their personal happiness into something greater than it ought be, as it’ll easily become a tyrant that’ll rule over your life. There are other things, mother love, duty, self-sacrifice, charity. Isn’t it possible that sometimes the way in which people achieve happiness happens at the expense of their well-being?
Happy to get back online and say hey. 🙂
Stevie Turner: Absolutely. Look at all the drug addicts, alcoholics, people so obese they can’t move out of the chair, or those with lung disease due to smoking. They all tried to make themselves happier, but it didn’t work. Conversely, my cousin is fit, lean, does not smoke, drinks only a little, and now has the happiness he deserves with his partner. Good luck to him.
oldschoolcontemporary: Good morning. 🙂 My previous question would be whether you believe a person’s endangered well-being should (in the case of men who are attracted sexually to other men) lose out on account of their demand / desire for a certain perceived object of happiness.
For example, certain men who’ve experienced same sex attraction (even found their source of happiness in the lifestyle) have ultimately thought better of indulging in the kinds of behaviour which most often result as a consequence of the initial desires.
Perceived sources of happiness change or are overcame frequently, whilst to fully and intimately express gay romantic affections never changes insofar as the damage that’s done. Simple examples from the community such as (despite being merely 2% of the population) men who have sex with men (MSM) are being impacted by over 70% of the HIV infection rate (previously named GRID: gay-rated immune deficiency) should concern.
Issues such as the above are merely the tip of an enormous iceberg hidden beneath the waters. It should serve as an incredible red flag for concerned people. Of course it’s people “in the know”, people involved in the gay community themselves, who are most aware of the problems faced by typical MSM, in addition to the aggravated medical issues suffered by those rare exceptions to the norm (AKA rare monogamous MSM who’ve been described as “hallmark homosexuals”).
I’d love to write more, although enjoying our shorter message exchange I’ll contain my thoughts. Although stressing my question once more, I’m meaning to ask, if you felt the well-being (or perhaps proper flourishing) of persons was being harmed by their homosexual lifestyle, would you sacrifice it in light of their happiness? They’re linked without necessitating each other.
Stevie Turner: I think what you’re asking is whether I would sacrifice a homosexual lifestyle if I knew it could lead to AIDS? Well, I’m not a homosexual man but a heterosexual woman, so cannot really comment. All I would say is that it would be an individual choice, and that I’d ask any new partner to undergo an AIDS test , although heterosexual people can still acquire AIDS too, so would probably do the same thing with a new partner, although having been married for 37 years I don’t think it really applies to me!
oldschoolcontemporary: Always good to read from you, Stevie. 🙂 My message portion to do with HIV began by “Simple examples”, meaning my point with regards to the disproportionate occurrences of HIV in the MSM community isn’t actually my question, it’s an example.
The question which I’m trying to squirrel an answer on wouldn’t be regarding any treasured family members / imagining yourself as homosexual, rather (hypothetically) I’ve asked:
“whether you believe a person’s endangered well-being should (in the case of men who’re attracted sexually to other men) lose out on account of their demand/desire for a certain perceived object of happiness.”
Hypothetically, would you continue being supportive of something you believed wasn’t to another person's well-being? The damage as explained earlier is always being done depending on how deeply into the lifestyle some certain man is involved. Although I use “endangered” for the far more dire consequences which are reported to result given time and the harmful behaviours which are commonplace in MSM relationships.
Here’s something that’s slightly off kilter in the previous message I’ve read, consider when you’ve shared: “Look at all the drug addicts, alcoholics, people so obese they can’t move out of the chair, or those with lung disease due to smoking.” Now, that’s something I’ve agreed with, it’s rather sensible, however, imagine people who’re partial to their cigs replying:
“Well, can’t YOU suffer with lung disease? Are you some kind of MAGICAL mystery person who’s invulnerable to the difficulties of lung disease?”
We’d reply that’s not particularly fair, because they’re actively aggravating issues of the body by way of their lifestyle, it’s not that we’re incapable of suffering from some terrible illness (or even becoming fatties), and as a consequence we’re not unsympathetic around smokey Joe, instead we’re simply making clear how their problems aren’t without cause.
In the same way replying “Well, you could contract HIV too!”, that’s an obvious neglecting of the dire situation in which the majority of MSM have found themselves in. Your situation obviously doesn’t strike either of us as high risk, whereas I (owing to the Christian ethic) simply don’t behave in such ways as to put me in notable danger.
Hopefully you can appreciate the connection.
Stevie Turner: I would stay neutral actually, because it’s not my business to try and alter somebody else’s lifestyle
oldschoolcontemporary: Well it’s not that you’re being asked to alter people in some drastic sense, because that’s not in our power. Although as a mother I’m sure you’ve provided guidance, correction, even discipline perhaps. I’m sure we could think of many other examples. Neutral? Could you perhaps help me in understanding that further. Because wishing best of luck to people involved in same sex relationships seems to be promoting their lifestyle, not acting neural. Although you can clear up my understanding there.
Rounding everything up, I’m still not sure Stevie was reading my main point charitably. I repeatedly asked if they’d continue to support, promote or encourage the same sex desires of men, and that at it’s most impactful is “influencing” someone’s behaviour so that they might change it themselves, not “altering” as Stevie came away believing I’d meant.
Altering, forcing or making someone not want what they want wasn’t my point. Still, we do alter lifestyles all of the time, for example, we all pay police to take certain people off of the streets, that’s certainly a large impediment to them living their lives how they’d like. So the idea that we aren’t out to alter behaviours full stop, that can’t be right.
Still, alteration wasn’t my point in the conversation, and I’d like to think that was clear. Just like with people who’ve been in my life, people who are trans and gay and ex-gay, I couldn’t make them do anything, I couldn’t even inform their lives in any meaningful way if they wanted to refuse. Although I can and often try to be a good influence on these people, extending advise which leads them out of harm and not into it. So, what did you think? Do you go with the flow to avoid “altering” people? And what’s neutrality in the minds of people today?
God bless all and have a fruitful day.