Although there are scientists who swear that I was born gay and conversely millions of theists who would wager there reproductive abilities otherwise, I remain unconvinced either way. Sure, I've always known that I was “different”, long before I knew what the supposed word for that difference was. My impulses up until I began to learn of God's judgement of abomination on me, seemed quite normal, natural even. Suffice it to say that my first real sexual experience - with a woman no less (at the less than admirable age of 13) was quite awful – but not for the reasons that one might think. We were both nervous, it was dark, on a field, some torrid fumbling and about 10 minutes of “something” later we shyly left each others company.
But it wasn't, contrary to popular gay expressions of conduct of this nature with the female kind , “gross” or “disgusting” - rather it was just, well – uncomfortable. It simply didn't “feel right”. Turns out, we became best friends. There is just something about the hedonist in her that speaks to me. You have to love a woman that can get past what I clearly must've subjected her to that night and still hold your hair back in some dodgy London club years later while you got rid of the effects of mainlining tequila, but I digress.
It was 2 years later, however at 15 that I, well, to paraphrase Katy Perry “....kissed a boy and I liked it!” Ok, it was a little more than just a kiss but nevertheless the electricity that shot through me like a lightening bolt brings gooseflesh to my skin all these years later. I am no scientist, or theist for that matter but there were no feelings of “dirt” or “shame” - well not until a year later when I “came out” (how I hate that term) and was told in no uncertain terms by my conservative Christian father how I have officially brought sufficient shame on my family so as to never be allowed into the kingdom of heaven. That I would most likely get AIDS as well as a few other nuggets of information that I won't mention here, decency and all.
Fast forward 15 odd years. Throughout the past decade I've, like most people I think, developed spiritually in different ways, sometimes veering to the far left spectrum away from Christianity – that hated religion that has caused so much hurt and so much self-loathing in my life...and sadly in the lives of a great many gay men and women, to the more natural “Pagan” belief systems that encompass acceptance and make provision for my own life experience in the practice of my belief systems. But, as in all my articles, here's “the thing”. We can all speculate, call on science or religion to serve either argument for or against and try to prove our own theories in whichever way we like but the one thing that is never taken into account by theists, certainly not the “big 3” of Christianity, Islam and Judaism is how gay men and women “feel”. I don't mean our feelings of offence whenever one the wayward preachers of these religions says yet another stupid thing about us, I mean how we “feel” deep inside about our sexuality. About how we've always felt, that despite societies often archaic and drastic attempts to condition us otherwise, our “nature” always won out in the end.
There are a million shades of sexuality in both men and women. From crazy experimenting with other boys and girls in sports teams at school, drunken or drug fuelled experimenting at clubs or at college/university when all things seemed “de rigeur” and oh so liberal but all these events aside, each human being eventually falls into what is most “natural” for them. (This does not however explain that anomaly of men and women who marry and then suddenly 20 years later, 3 kids in tow exit one closet in overly dramatic style) This, I simply cannot explain. I've read DOZENS of papers on the subject, I've often been at war with myself for long periods of time in my life because despite my wish to have nothing to do with Christianity, I seem drawn back to the religion in various guises at different stages of my life – this, it appears I have about as much control over as what I feel about who I am.
Depending on the biblical scholar, we are either abominations or the translation was wrong and we're perfectly ok – provided we don't hump everything with a penis – who do we believe? WHAT do we believe? Throughout my life I've found comfort in different religions at different times but make no mistake, just when I think I'm settling into a comfortable Christian kind of life – the train that all gay men and woman know intrinsically about, is never late and some Pastor, Priest or Dominee will remind us of our impending doom. I cannot explain sufficiently how I've always known that I wasn't like “other boys” - now, make no mistake, I'm not the hairdresser kind of gay man. I'm a sports loving, bungee jumping, camping, overland backpacking, rock climbing kind of gay man – call me a faggot and I'll kick your ass (well, not really because I think that South Africans apply far too much importance to name calling, so if you did call me a faggot, I'd probably just offer to buy you a drink) but all of these things aside, I still have no evidence other than what I “feel” and “know” to be the truth about me. Everyone could have their own take on it. As much as I'd love to be able to jump up and shout out Lady Gaga from the rooftops – I don't know for a fact that I was “born this way”. I also, don't know that I wasn't – but what I do know for absolute certain, is that I don't care – and neither should you.
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