Saturday, November 04, 2006

Against sexual orientation

Despite the appearances in my earlier post, I do have a lot of sympathy for Ted Haggard. I really do. I hope he stays with his family, if for no other reason than to give a thumb in the eye of the gay-activist/prostitute crowd who'd like nothing better than to humiliate and hound him to the ends of the earth for the sin of opposing gay "marriage." And they are such immature brats to deal with.

There is no reason this should end the Haggards' marriage, or be worse than a series of dalliances with a female prostitute. After all, love between persons presumably involves more than sex (as the gay-"marriage" pushers constantly tell us when they protest "reducing our love to anal sex").

But the greater problem is the whole language of "sexual orientation," which Haggard's behavior powerfully gives the lie to. I think the term should be junked, as it presupposes something false -- that human beings are definitively (or at least teleologically) "typed" on the basis of the sex of their beloveds. That some behavior is "authentic" and other "inauthentic." Once gay always gay. And therefore, once straight always straight (or so you would think, but it doesn't turn out that way at all, because we aren't talking about the serious study of sexuality, but a political agenda to rope people in).

This rigid "gay-straight" typology keeps being disproven over and over and over, while the typology itself keeps us from seeing this. It's a pitch-perfect example of the wish substituting for the thought. From Cyndi Lauper in one direction to Anne Heche in the other; from the Athenians in one circumstance to prison inmates in another; from Balzac for one reason to Thomas Mann for another -- there can be no reasonably dispute that people are *capable* (prescinding for the moment from the question of whether they should) of either changing their sexual behavior or of not succumbing to a temptation to do something sexual they don't want to.

What's so aggravating about gay activists' writing about cases like Haggard is that there's a gross double standard. They crow that Haggard is really gay (and self-loathing and all the rest of the carnival of smears). As commenter "thomas tucker" put it at Amy Welborn's Open Book:
Andrew Sullivan is saying that his guy is gay and has been in the closet. Yet, Sullivan and others in the gay lobby always say that reparative therapy doesn't work and "gay" men who decide to become heterosexually involved are fooling themselves and others. In other words, if you dabble in gay sex, you're gay and if you dabble in straight sex, you're gay. They want it both ways.
Exactly. What is the "B" in "LGBT" supposed to stand for? It's obvious, if we must use contemporary typology, that Haggard is bi -- he has five children; that doesn't happen from picking blackberries. And why is it assumed that a "bi" person is making a despicable or self-loathing or self-deceiving choice by marrying the opposite sex and living the breeder lifestyle. Or is gay sex is the psychological equivalent of "negro blood," which was such powerful stuff that one drop made you black (ask Homer Plessy)? Anyone who has ever had a sexual thought toward the same sex (or acts on it) is really gay and cannot be anything other than that? If stating this doesn't suffice to refute it, I am at a loss.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

First, taking the Bible right out of the discussion, as for the Bisexual argument, after knowing many male bisexuals (at least a dozen), I have come to the conclusion, as a openly gay male, that sexual orientation can be a very fluid thing. Following the Kinsey theory...if at one end you are totally gay and the other totally straight, most people (whether they admit to it or not) would fall into that grey area between gay and straight. Some Bisexuals are more gay than straight...and some are more straight than gay. This seems quite logical. Working in a gay bar as a DJ for the past 12 years does have some interesting perks such as many indepth conversations with a multitude of "self- confessed" bisexual men; some prefer sexual relationships with other men and emotional relationships with women. An almost equal number prefer the exact opposite.