Tag Archives: Sexuality

Bridge to understanding

Reaching Our Potential of Compassion

I may be one of those people, when you see one of my posts on serious topics, you quickly ignore, or wish, I should keep my opinions to myself. That’s understandable and perhaps I am cringe worthy at times. I hope this isn’t one of those times.

Recent private conversations with other people, cause me to suggest this is still a topic requiring open discussion or at the very least, thoughtful reflection.

Humans are complicated in many ways, but there are some basic requirements which all need in order to stay healthy. I’m primarily referring to emotional and mental health. I’m not a licensed professional or a person with advanced degrees in human psychology. I’m just someone who cares about other people, even those who live different than myself.

Each of us has a basic need to be cared for and loved. Try as you might, no one stays totally emotionally healthy without social contact and some form of reassuring interaction. Some people substitute animals for this support, but there’s still more to be found with other people. That’s also a challenge, because associations with some people are toxic.

As we go through a process of physical maturity, and our minds and bodies react to hormones as well as our thoughts, some things become automatic. One of these are sexual attractions. Out of this physical attraction, human bonds are formed, but here’s where it’s not necessarily going to be predictable, or set in a pattern which many of us think is the only way it should be.

I’ve learned through observation, not always my own experience, but through the lives of others, an empathy for people who think and act different from myself. In the case of physical attraction, I fall into the socially predominant, opposite sex attraction. It started without me thinking, analyzing, or consciously deciding that I liked the physical appearance and voices of women over men. Without going into detail, those are early awkward years for most of us.

Here’s where it gets difficult to understand for those who only have opposite sexual attraction. It’s challenging to recall or realize our gender attractions were not something we woke up with and deliberately decided on. When you meet someone, or know a family member, who has same sex attractions, think about your own experience, because this isn’t really something we choose. It’s not like going to buy a new vehicle and say, I can only drive a red car.

Here’s where it gets tougher for many of us, because we start down a path which says, you can only think like me, or you’re abnormal, freakish, or defective.

If you’re religious, you may think the person is sinful. This becomes a huge problem for many families that want to impose their life patterns on everyone within their care. Yes, I’ve heard the expression, “you can love the sinner, but not the sin”. When it’s part of our sexuality, that’s when “world’s collide”. If it becomes your mission to change someone who’s homosexual to heterosexual, you’re missing an entire fundamental of human need vs. Human decision.

You or I didn’t flip a switch and say, today I’m going to become heterosexual. Neither does someone with same sex attraction. It’s not something you can change like clothing, houses, or the brain, through prayer, scolding, chastising, shaming, or some other form of guilt burden. We don’t choose who or why or how sexuality works. It’s independent from these kinds of machinations.

What can you do if a family member is gay? Well, for starters you can show you love them, don’t try to manipulate by burdening them with guilt, lecturing, or taking them to counselors until you think you’ve found the right one for the job. Learn to understand your own reasons for doing what you do, but look around and see, your way of thinking isn’t a “one size fits all.”

Let children learn and grow, but don’t find reasons to label them as abnormal. They’re having a tough enough time at school or work. Society is an emotional roller coaster, especially for teenagers. There are enough mine fields in their world to navigate. It’s not useful or helpful to push your own values on anyone, most especially the ones we love. They need our love, not our condemnation.

I know this is a bit long, but I hope it helps someone, somewhere.

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Your Sister May Be Your Uncles Nephew

OK, that heading may be a bit confusing, however I’ll attempt to explain…
We live in a different society than when I became part of it. I’m a different person as well. I may have evolved, then again, perhaps for some, I may have devolved.

Here’s my evolution of thought, right – wrong – or confusing to some. What’s so disturbing to people who are heterosexual about people who are homosexual? Is it their sense of fashion? The manner in which they speak? They may convert you to the ‘dark side’? Well if you were truly honest with your answers you probably don’t know, because just like people who are straight, people who are gay, are not all the same. Shocking revelation, right? Of course not and what’s even more so, is the manner in which some people identify them as subversive, evil or not to be trusted.

I’m not attempting to undermine someone’s religious beliefs. I know there are numerous thoughts on morality. Perhaps those that hold the idea defining homosexuality as immoral and those who see it as normal in their life, share one thing in common. May be the problems we face are about how much emphasis we have placed on our sexuality and how it defines who or what we are.

Elizabeth Taylor, Rock Hudson in Giant

We often observe our world through a false lens

In almost every urban corner, available to every screen, almost every radio station and on many publications we are inundated with messages related to our sexuality. The message creators, artists and people of commerce recognize the common thread for most people can be as simple as our reproduction. The physical act of sex has become so blaring a message that entering a serious discussion is fraught with mixed messages.

We know or should know these basic facts, sex has been fundamental to the continuation of humans as it is throughout the known living world. It is also pleasurable for most people and for many it defines their confidence within. Rather than go into health related or other issues, from those points a divergence of opinion continues. So celebration over the act of sexual intercourse is bound to solicit numerous emotion.

What we can’t seem to agree on, are our labels of people who have sexual intercourse in a different manner than ourselves. Even though there are numerous examples of people who have continually abused others through their acts of sexuality and have considered themselves heterosexual, the automatic claim by some, is you’re a reprobate if your physical desires are toward the same-sex. People with whom we have placed great trust, have conducted themselves in ways that no matter what their sexuality, are abusive or criminal in nature.

Consider your own actions, not necessarily related to sex, what are they and how do they impact the lives of those with whom you come in contact? Furthermore, do you use your sexuality as a weapon, emotional lever or bargaining tool of superiority? There are a lot more ways we should be examining our behavior and thoughts other than simple sexual preference.

Hansen Unplugged: Celebrating our differences.
Perhaps this sports commentator summarizes it best.