Monday, December 19, 2011

Living the "Lifestyle" and other assumptive molds...

I think that I am guilty of this at times... but I am trying not to be.

Many of us use the phrase the "Gay Lifestyle" or the "Gay Life"... but what does it mean?

If I am gay, homosexual, SGA, etc. I'm still attracted to members of my own gender. Regardless of what I do with those feelings, I'm still attracted to men. I don't have to be romantically linked to anyone. I don't have to be doing anything I don't want to do.

Why do we differentiate so much between those who are celibate by choice or those who are sexually active? What if someone has left the church but still isn't sexually active? What about those still going to church but who are sexually active? Who fits into what category?

Sometimes I wonder, like Dumbledore, if we sort people into categories too early.

I know what people are meaning when they say the "gay lifestyle." But to the world and the church body at large, it doesn't matter. Someday, I plan on having a baby and raising him or her... and to the church community, I'll just be a gay man with a baby. And yes, I'll be going to church. But I'll still be a freak. Some members will assume I'm divorced. Some will think I'm recently widowed. Some will question my motivations for going to church. Some will wonder where my wife is. I won't fit into their very narrow mindset of appropriate or normal behavior. They won't be able to categorize me completely. I won't fit a mold. So I wonder... SHOULD we even be fitting people into molds in the first place? Are we guilty of saying someone is living a certain lifestyle when he or she might just be living their LIFE?

Do we, in our haste, put people into a category?

I guess I am living the gay lifestyle. Since I am homosexually minded. But that doesn't mean I'm sexually active. It just means my lifestyle includes gay aspects. I love Orlando Bloom movies for many reasons besides the fact they're fun. (He's SO gorgeous!) I like GQ. I like sewing and decorating. I like wearing pocket squares. These are aspects of a gay lifestyle.

So where do I fit into the categories we're so quick to put people in?


Trev said...

Well, all the questions you ask here are always relevant when talking about group and individual identity and the conflicts people feel about labels and identity.

"Gay lifestyle," and "SSA" and that ilk of labels are kind of a sham, though, I think. I think the only reason they're perpetuated are because some people, somewhere, hold to this idea that sexual orientation is somehow chosen.

Post-It Boy said...

I think labels and identity are very valid issues and something to take seriously. As a society we like to put people into boxes based on their label. If I say I'm a Mormon, there are negative and positive connotations to that solely by saying I'm a Mormon. If I say Gay Mormon, same thing.

I think that the terms further alienate ourselves though. There's got to be a balance somehow between knowing one's identity, not letting it affect how one labels themselves (or how others label us) as well as feeling of connection between ourselves and our non-LDS or former LDS gay brothers and sisters.

I think that the choice only comes in how we live our lives---not in the attractions\sexuality side of things.

Linus said...

I swear I have been following your blog for a good year, and I, somehow, missed all the blog posts after the January 2011 post. I mean, I have been waiting for SOMETHING, always periodically checking, and only NOW do I find all these posts?

Anyway, catching up with your blog has been very interesting. You are grappling with many of the same things that I am, too. I believe in the Gospel, but I don't feel like I fit in anywhere. I've tried the whole "gay scene," and at the time it seemed to be what I wanted, and it felt right. But as these past few months have "happened" I can't say I want that anymore. For something that I very much am, I don't feel like I fit. I am not comfortable, nor does it sound "fun" to belong in a world of alcohol, sex, and drugs. It sounds so... boring and limited. I want something more.

However, as you mentioned, why do those parameters need to be the only way to define Gay Lifestyle. To just about EVERY. PERSON. in my life, they EXPECT this from me. I don't get it. I try to explain to people that, regardless of the fact that I am gay, it does NOT mean I find the church and the gospel irrelevant. Then, when I tell people these things, they question why I don't go to church all the time, or why I am not heavily involved in church. When I tell them why (because I feel like I don't belong all the way) they just naturally assume it's because I want the typical gay lifestyle. It's frustrating to say the least, because it turns into a small circle of questions, answers and assumptions.

Visiting temple square and the Christ Statue this Holliday season, it reminded me that the only thing that really makes sense in my life these days is Christ. He loves me just the same. He lets me fit in just the way I am.

I just wish I could find someone else who could let me fit in just the way I am, too. It gets rather lonely... which is why I think you want a child.

*Sigh... anyway, keep them coming! :) I enjoy reading your insights.