thought exercise: why am i gay?

It strikes me as funny that when reading through various conservative explanations of why someone "is turned homosexual," none of the reasons ever seem to really apply to me. There is practically no environmental (in the sense of non-biological) reason why I should be attracted to women instead of men. I am, as it were, something of a statistical outlier.

According to Paul Cameron, I must have:

1. Had a homosexual experience, in childhood or adulthood, especially with an adult or authority figure.

As far as I can remember, I've had no sexual experiences with adult women or girls at any age, consensual or not. Which is disappointing, really.

2. A dominant, possessive, or rejecting mother.

Apparently your mother must strike a careful balance between caring too much and not caring enough, lest she be either "possessive" or "rejecting." This strikes me as one of those things where you can pretty much shoehorn ANY mother into a reason why one is gay. Hell, you could peg June Cleaver as possessive if you wanted to.

But no, mine was practically a textbook-perfect mother. Though she did become fairly rejecting after she learned of Teh Gay.

3. An absent, distant, or rejecting father.

Okay, if I had to peg a reason, this could be one. My dad isn't hugely demonstrative in his affection, and he spends a lot of time in his office apart from the rest of the family. I recall being fairly resentful of my dad's reclusiveness when I was younger.

However, this is a little deceptive. Ironically, I realized that the things I complained about him are fairly strong presences in my own personality, and if I kept resenting him for it, that would indeed make me a hypocrite. I'm probably even more of a reclusive introvert than he is, and I've been described as "cold" or "distant" by more than one person in part because I'm not touchy-feely or overtly affectionate with most people.

The thing I came to realize about my dad is that he demonstrates affection in different, smaller ways that might fly under the radar if you're looking for blatant, obvious demonstrations. Generally speaking, he tends to do it with gifts-- not necessarily in a 'buy-my-affection' sort of way, but in a 'thinking of you' way. He always brings my siblings and I little things home from business trips, especially the kind of weird nifty gadgets that physicians usually get free from pharmaceutical companies. Among other things, I got a Viagra booklight, which totally amuses me beyond all reason, and a stapler with some medicine's name on it that he gave me solely because it was blue and he knew I'd like it for that reason.

I have a clear memory of going downstairs in the middle of the night to ask my dad what DNA was (when I was maybe six or seven) and getting a complete lecture in response, including little circles drawn on my arm in ballpoint pen to illustrate "cells." So while he may have been reclusive, it wasn't as if I didn't have the option of bearding him in his lair.

All this insight came after I'd realized I was gay. So I no longer feel rejected by my father, yet I still like chicks. Odd.

4. A parent or sibling with homosexual proclivities, particularly one who molests a child/sibling of the same sex.

Dymphna has had boyfriends. Ignatius and Sigismund call everything they don't like "gay." Aelgifu went through a phase of putting up Jesse Carter posters everywhere and profaning my stereo with his CDs while dancing to it. It seems that of my siblings, I'm the only queer one.

Presumably, after twenty-odd years of marriage and five children, plus a very negative reaction to the news of one of said children's queeritude, my parents are also heterosexual.

None of the above molested me.

5. Lack of a religious home environment.

I had to fight tooth and nail to wear pants to church, if that demonstrates my religious home environment well enough.

6. Divorce.


7. Parents who model unconventional sex roles.

My father is a doctor and sole breadwinner, while my mother was a nurse before quitting to become a stay-at-home mother. The only unconventional thing about their roles is that my mom mows the lawn and my dad doesn't watch sports.

8. Condoning homosexuality as a legitimate lifestyle– welcoming homosexuals (e.g., co-workers, friends) into the family circle.


9. Unusual sexual experience, particularly in early childhood, including precocious or excessive masturbation, exposure to pornography in childhood, depersonalized sex (e.g., group sex, sex with animals), and/or sexual interaction with adult males (for girls)

For one thing, let's define "excessive masturbation." In many circles, girls masturbating AT ALL is excessive, ipso facto. Personally, I define "excessive masturbation" as "carpal tunnel syndrome and/or rug burn in the applicable areas."

At any rate, I was not a precocious or excessive masturbator, I was not exposed to pornography in childhood (unless you count National Geographics' topless-indigenous-women pictorials), nor did I have childhood sex with animals, adult men, or large groups of people. In fact, I had an obnoxiously sheltered childhood.

10. Cultural influences, including a visible and socially approved homosexual sub-culture that invites curiosity and encourages exploration; pro-homosexual sex education; openly homosexual authority figures, such as teachers; societal and legal toleration of homosexual acts; and/or depictions of homosexuality as normal and/or desirable behavior.

Nope. I barely knew gay people existed, except as some distant and ineffable threat somewhere Out There, involving Other People.

So what made me gay?

My guess? The Internet, sunspots, select few of Nostradamus' prophecies, and Al Gore.


thus saith Liadan at 1:46 AM


Anonymous Anonymous saith at 6/10/2006 4:07 AM...  

and, for me, a partial sprinkling of christine's amazing smile straight into my adolescent heart. man, she was cute to my 8th grade, coming of age girl hood!

Blogger Jay saith at 6/10/2006 8:10 AM...  

It was the sunspots that did it for me, as well. That damn life-giving sun.

Blogger Kara saith at 6/10/2006 2:15 PM...  

And to top off the irony, about half of those--2, 3, 6, 7 and 10 to be specific--do apply to me, yet I inexplicably remain straight. Which is of course because I'm pawn of the homoesexual agenda and part of a vast conspiracy attempting to discredit these criteria in order to make it seem as though sexual orientation is simply trait people are born with. *nodnod* See what terrible things going to college in the eeeevil, liberal big city has done to me?

Blogger E saith at 6/12/2006 1:44 PM...  

Maybe it was the fluoridated water...

Blogger marauder saith at 6/12/2006 2:31 PM...  

I think you're missing the obvious and most likely explanation of all: You're not really gay after all. Obviously, you're a heterosexual woman who only thinks she is gay -- or, more likely, you're only pretending to be gay in order to distract attention from the five or six love nests you have scattered around the state.

Come on, Liadan, you can tell us the truth.

Blogger marauder saith at 6/12/2006 9:50 PM...  

Oh, and by the way, it would be REAGAN'S fault, not Gore's. Everything gets blamed on Reagan.

Blogger Liadan saith at 6/13/2006 5:46 AM...  

Dammit, Marauder. Who told you about Brad? And Jake? And Heath? And Jake AND Heath? And the Seattle Mariners?

The truth is out: I'm really Angelina Jolie.

Blogger marauder saith at 6/13/2006 4:29 PM...  

I didn't know about the Seatle Mariners, honest. I only knew about the 2004 starting lineup for the New Orleans Saints, Dennis Miller and the entire freshman class at Temple University.

Angelina Jolie, eh? I guess it's safe to out myself then, and let everyone know that I'm actually Kermit the Frog.

Blogger Elizabeth saith at 6/14/2006 11:48 PM...  

This post made me smile


-The queen of sheeba.

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