sappho: (fashion / delicious)
I've heard that it's not uncommon to have a grand moment of realization - everything just clicks into place, and you suddenly go "Oh. That's it, then. I'm gay." Generally, it isn't supposed to happen after you've already had three girlfriends, but then, I can be surprisingly dense about my own life sometimes.

People have a lot of opinions when it comes to sexuality. Some think it's biological, or genetic - some think it's how you're raised, what you're exposed to. Still others think it's nothing more than a choice, like someone preferring a blue coat instead of a red one. I can't say how it is for anyone else - everyone's different, which is something a lot of people forget about - but for me, I believe there are elements of all three.

On a very basic, biological level, I have always been obsessed with the counter-culture. Even at a young age, I felt the need to rebel and put myself apart from other people - in elementary school, I taped long strips of paper to my arms and told people that I was a flying fish. It got to the point where nothing interested me if it wasn't strange and outside the norm. I devoured books about magic, and people falling in love in unusual circumstances. When I was introduced to the concept of same-gender love, the sheer illicitness and social abnormality of it was immeasurably fascinating. I had always focused more on women - to this day, the only thing I can remember about watching Star Trek: The Next Generation in middle school was Deanna Troi and how pretty she was. I accepted that straight relationships were the norm, but boys in fiction - my own social reality - didn't interest me until the novel concept that I could put them together. So, retrospectively, it seems like I've always been odd from the inside out, from birth. It makes sense that I'd be drawn not only to the actual liking-girls aspect, but the entire queer subculture, which has been ostracized by the bulk of society for essentially all of time.

And then, the actual social influence. We've all heard the story of the boy with the overbearing father who turned out gay. It definitely isn't any sort of guarantee - as stated, everyone is different, and there's no way to prove that a certain kind of parenting causes someone to swing one way or another. However, looking at my own life, I do believe that my family had something to do with it. My parents separated when I was only five, and my mom and I moved all the way from Los Angeles to New Jersey. From then on, it was just me and her - she's always been an extremely close influence on my life, and particularly, a solo one. I've never had the same paradigm of a perfect family that other children have. My dad has never lived close enough to stop by for dinner. Because of that, I've always respected strong, capable women - and men have seemed even more like strange incomprehensible aliens. But, nevertheless, I did grow up believing that man plus woman equals normal which supposedly equals happy - until I met First Boyfriend. First Boyfriend was not necessarily what you're thinking. He was incredibly sweet, and courtly, and we had a relationship of unprecedented length in the history of high school - three and a half years. However, and how to say this delicately? He was not sexually stunning, and I never got any pleasure out of it, and for years, I thought that it didn't matter. That this is how things were, that I was happy, that it was no big deal that I didn't ever know if I'd finished. Whether it's because he was bad at it or I'm just not predisposed to man-loving, I'll never really know. That experience shut the door to men firmly behind me.

It was when I was thinking all of this over that I (figuratively) heard that 'click'. I had my revelation. I'm gay. But then, I considered further, and that was when I realized - whether there's a queer little rainbow-colored string of DNA in my cells, or whether I haven't had a positive role model for a healthy penis and vagina relationship, it doesn't make one bit of difference. I did choose this. I chose it because it feels right, and because the kind of relationship I want is one with four tits. Society can keep right on trying to find root causes for abnormal behavior, and though I may find it culturally and scientifically interesting, that doesn't give anyone a right to say that humans can't love whatever gonads they decide to.

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April 2010

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