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Gay Turned Straight

A gay man’s account of his own burgeoning heterosexuality.

When I came out at age twelve my sexual-preference didn’t feel like a choice. Biology seemed to confine me in pubescent shackles and all I wanted was any male that would (sexually) give me the time of day. I wouldn’t have called myself promiscuous (”but who knows?!”) and finding a sexual partner proved tricky in the dominantly Christian suburb where I lived. Luckily, at thirteen, my family moved to inner city Portland where I could surround myself with gay culture.

After a two year binge on gayness, where I was constantly surrounded by like minded people who taught me that, above all else, I was normal, I realized that, ironically, it has been conservatives, Christians, Mormons, Jews and the blue collared (like the loggers on my mother’s side of the family) who have always upheld the unique role homosexuals play in society. The liberal idea of homosexual equality, to me, is far more bigoted and backward than anything I’ve ever heard from an “ignorant” “anti-gay” conservative.

Gay men are cultural refugees, marginalized muses, and mystical aesthetes. Their legacy and contributions to society can be traced from late 19th century photography back to the dreamy statues of the Greeks. Like a kind of autism, sensory stimuli overwhelms the gay-male brain. In a rural family, there will sometimes be a boy who Sticks Out, a boy who is uninterested in paternal pursuits, like throwin-the-ole-pigskin-around. Instead of Tonka Trucks and building blocks he is hypnotized, overwhelmed, by the lushness of his mother’s clothes, the silks and the linens, the seductive scent of her perfumes, sandalwood, vanillas, orange blossoms and rose buds, and struck by the vibrancy of her make up, the deepness of the mascara, the pastel shadows, and the violent beauty of a streak of lipstick across a palid face. Makeup, to him, is simply a paintbrush.

I’ve worked with children in my church and in summer camps. I’ve noticed that this nascent fascination with aesthetics, for boys, often couples with a predisposition towards sensitivity and/or shyness. This predisposition leads, inevitably, towards a failure to bond with peers, particularly the ones uninterested by paper and string. This disjunction causes a feeling of Otherness which is tantamount to the gay experience. It’s a uniquely gay Otherness unlike racial exile. I want to, almost, call it “queerness.”

When gay adults claim that he or she has been gay since childhood what they are remembering is, in effect, this particular kind of Otherness, this queerness.

Because of this it seems odd to me that gay activists would align themselves so stringently with biology. The widespread desire to find a biological basis for homosexuality is still moot (I doubt we will ever find a substatial biological foundation for gayness) and, furthermore, will lead to claims that we are deformed at the prenatal level. The desire itself is symptomatic of an over-politicized social climate. The left actually believes that finding the “Gay Gene” will force everyone to submit to the rhetoric of “acceptance.” Quelle fascisme!

The LGBT community needs to stop harassing Christian people. The Judeo-Christian tradition sees homosexuality as an existential threat because it is. Gay men, in fact owe a lot to the church and how it has influenced gay culture. (Then, when I stare at the alter boys, the contra altos in the choir, and the statues of boys lashed, crucified, bleeding, naked, I can’t help but think that the church also owes something to gay culture…). From the ACT UP campaign, in which queer activists stromed into a cathedral and threw condoms at the bishop, I have been vastly dissapointed in the way the LGBT youth have conducted their partiuclar mode of “building awareness.”

In the words that might remind you of the great gay messiah, Chris Crocker, “Leave Jesus Alone!”

A truly progressive politics should not be a middle-class, elitist posturing with a paternalistic attitude toward the religious working class’ “ignorance.” “We are the educated ones, and your homophobia comes out of deep ignorance,” touts the left. I hate this. We are smarter than this.

Sexuality is highly fluid. It wasn’t until college that I even realized that having sexual realations with a woman was allowed, let alone a possibility. I was a sexually reversed person. A faggot who needed to “come out.” And, sitting in bed one night, next to my male lover, I lit a cigarette and asked if he had ever had sex with a woman. “Of course not,” he replied. “I’m a faggot. I like dick.” “Well,” I said, “So am I, but have you ever? Have you even considered it?” He frowned said, “Once but I didn’t like it.”

It occurred to me that the feeling, the fright and excitement, the visceral fury of the simple idea of having sex with a woman, was something I had not experienced since, say, I was sixteen and trying to have sex with men. Gender didn’t seem to matter so much anymore, the excitement of something new and “forbidden” was overwhelmingly appetizing. And yet, like a sixteen year old, I was terrified to peruse anything. WHAT IF I WAS WRONG? Better to just stay in the closet.

If sexuality can be this fluid how are we, then, to concede that gayness is strictly biological? How? Perhaps the chemistry has just changed? But then, is it a coincidence that the chemistry would change in college, especially a college where sexual experimentation is allowed, nay, encouraged?!

To deny fluidity of sexual preference is to abandon the work academics have put into the study of gender and sexuality. Sex is temporal and always on a continuum, coming in and leaving like the tides. It permeates every relationship, even familial, every dream, every word that comes out of our mouths is in someway touched by sex. How can we find a GENE for this? How can there possibly be one biological factor, nay, one UNWAVERING biological factor that determines our sexuality from birth until death?

We can change our sexuality. Yes. You heard it from a fag: sexual conversions are theoretically possible. Though they may not be pleasant or desirable or even valuable, and though Christian fanatics may use this fact against queers, sexual conversion must be theoretically possible. We are more comfortable knowing that sexuality is genetic, rather than letting it loose to the chaotic powers of God.

Instead of mooing about equality the Left should look long and hard (tee hee) about its approach to gay politics. At the same time, we, as gay men, should seriously reconsider our affiliation with the left, our pursuit of marriage rights, and special legal protection. Additionally, gay men ought to embrace our culture’s character in spite of its tendency towards sexual promiscuity and drug use, nay, BECAUSE of sexual promiscuity and drug use. To be gay is to be an outsider. To be an outsider is to be an artist. To be an artist is to be hated by soceity at large.

Even if you think homosexuality is an inborn trait it does no good to seek the approval of government, the Judeo-Christian establishment, and other contenders who know very little about queerness. I’m adopting the view of Parker who once said, “heterosexuality isn’t normal, it’s just common.” We’ve got to start thinking and behaving along those lines instead of validating the Right’s queer-fears and degrading our culture by asking for their vapid approval. I’m not calling for separatism, (though a continent of gay men wouldn’t be half bad) but I am calling for enlightened militancy. We’ve got much bigger fish to fry than marriage.

Since homosexuality is a choice, there is no need to harbor self-hatred by thinking that our choice to love who we want to love is somehow wrong. It’s fabulous. And it’s how we have and are going to survive for the millennium to come.

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  1. Denise Kawaii

    On February 21, 2009 at 10:26 am


    A very interesting read! You are right in your exploration of sexuality as a fluid phenom. The only thing that truly ties us to a gender preference (and that’s all it is… a preference) is our perception that doing anything else is wrong. Bravo – I look forward to reading more of your thoughts!

  2. Amen

    On April 14, 2009 at 10:26 pm


    Amen, brother. Thanks for restoring my faith in queers everywhere.

  3. patrick j

    On April 29, 2009 at 1:47 pm


    very very good reading. sexual fluidity, I was looking for the words to put it, thanx

  4. Amber

    On August 13, 2009 at 4:21 am


    Caliguy, what does anal masturbation have to do with being gay? Its a well known fact that the ass is sensitive and it feels nice to have something in it. Especially for men, since it is easy to reach the prostrate from inside the colon. Heterosexual men enjoy ass play as much as Homosexual men. Being Hetero or Homo has to do with who you have sex with. Not where. I should know I am a heterosexual woman who has anal play with her boyfriend all the time..it doesn’t make him gay.

    As for the article, its interesting. I never thought of Hetero vs. Homo as being a one or the other thing. Sexuality is a continuum like Space-Time. I thought everyone knew that.

  5. Danny Duran

    On October 12, 2009 at 7:34 pm


    Absolutely astonishing! Bravo my friend.

    I am a 30 years old gay male from MontrĂ©al, Canada. Because of my work as an artist, I am often asked to speak up about “my gay community”. And I say screw that. As much as I am identified as a gay man, I can not stand the face of our current gay culture. Here’s why.

    As a homosexual dude, I like the dudes who look like dudes. I used to enjoy going out dancing, back in my tennage days; back then, men were showing chest hair, there were no such thing as plucked eyebrows and fashion seemed, hmm, a bit more manly.

    Today, the majority of gay boys dress like emos with ultra thin pants, oversize t-shirts, color bracelets and pink shoes; they have make up on, bleached hair, Nicole Richie’s sunglasses and huge necklaces. They litterally BULLDOZE the dancefloor if Madonna’s on, take pictures of themselves to make sure they still look “good”, they couldn’t care less if you are just trying to dance and have fun, if they want to push you away THEY DO IT without any shame.

    See, this type of “I am so in your face you’ll die under my lipstick power” attitude, not for me. I don’t believe you need to dress like a weird Barbie doll and act like a drag queen to be fashionable. I don’t think it’s classy to get trashed out every night and scream your ass off in the street because you want the world to hear how miserable and repressed your life is. I SO don’t need to hear about what outfit you will be rocking on your next night out so you can bitch everyone and look fierce.

    I miss the men, the real ones. They are still there (thank God) and there will always be a whole variety of people. But just as anorexia (hungry models, anyone?), drugged up superstar, reality tv and many other modern issues, I think it’s sad when young gay boys push themselves to the limit of androgynous acting just so they can take their place. A good thing is that a few of them that I have knowned for a while all started to become normal again; I know a few that actually ditched the glitters and over-the-top queerness to adopt a more casual (but never boring) behavior. In fact, I personnaly think that you can be over-the-top, it’s just that moderation is so much better. There is a place for everyone.

    But please Queen. Just be yourself and drop this ugly hairdo. You’ll see, it’s so much more empowering to show who you really are instead of putting all that make up on.

  6. Eric Johns

    On December 27, 2009 at 8:17 pm


    Danny Duran:

    From what I hear (I’m not Canadian, so I don’t know the various cities too well), Toronto sounds like a near-perfect fit for you. G.B. Jones, Johnny Noxzema, and the others, ya know?

    Eric

  7. CB

    On February 23, 2010 at 3:33 am


    What a silly, uninspiring article. There is overwhelming evidence that while everyone may have a degree of fluidity, sexual orientation cannot really be changed. And if you do any points, you don’t back it up with anything concrete!

  8. ZB

    On September 16, 2010 at 12:55 pm


    This article is completely ridiculous. The structure of a gay man’s brain is slightly different from a straight man\’s brain. It is scientifically proven!

  9. Nuhtun Meinhok

    On January 19, 2011 at 5:50 pm


    I love the article and pity the dissenters. You are entitle to your own opinions, but please don\’t throw around broad terms like
    \’scientifically proven\’ and \’overwhelming evidence\’ and expect everyone to believe you.
    Speaking empirically, having done extensive research on the subject, there are absolutely no (credible) scientific studies on the subject that have proven anything absolute on whether biology is or isn\’t related to sexuality.
    To clarify, there are a select few that have produced results that suggest \”nature\” over \”nurture\” in reference to sexuality. However, it is important to realize that several of these studies were conducted with a specific outcome in mind. In addition, when replicated by other scientific bodies (even those with a liberal stance), the results were inconsistent. By definition, if something is true it should prove true every time.
    These are facts, not loose general statements that I try to use to sway somebody.
    As I said, you are entitled to your opinion. I, for one, cannot say that I completely agree with the author. But try to be thoughtful and intelligent when making statements, instead of exhibiting the same types of behavior that have kept society backpedaling for thousands of years.

  10. David

    On April 27, 2011 at 10:04 pm


    Well said. I very much enjoyed several of your quotes and was only momentarily thrown off by the term \”Gayness\” haha. I think that you have put a lot of thought into your arguments and I just might have to steal a few of your cleverly crafted lines. (with citation of course). I do have to say, though, that as a christian, I do not know anyone who is a real christian who has harassed a homosexual. Let me clarify. There are such things as sects of Christianity who have a less than favorable view of homosexuals. That being said, they are a VERY small few and can barely be considered Christians in the first place. If the second greatest commandment is to love your neighbor as yourself, you aren\’t being a very good Christian if you are harassing homosexuals. The fact of the matter is that while some idiots on both sides harass each other, the majority of both sides are not drawing lines in the sand and I refuse to fight anyone. FANTASTIC article. I was referred here by my girlfriend after she stumbled upon it and I have to say, I was thoroughly impressed. On behalf of the Christian community, I apologize for the hateful actions and speech that some Christians have put fourth. Great article! Great writing!

  11. Bill T

    On August 3, 2012 at 1:05 pm


    David, I am a Christian and I can speak for myself. Unless you are an appointed spokepersom for the entire Christian organisation or any other group for that matter, please do not use the term “on behalf of”. That is just as bad as saying “it has been proven” or “evidence supports”, or “science has determined”, etc. I love Nuhton’s comment just above yours. It also calls for a reality check. If you insist on using that term, please use it as “On MY behalf”. But please do not personally speak for me which is what you did mentioning a group with which I am a member.

    Thank you for your understanding.

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