Thursday, February 11, 2010


Before I came out, I had a very hard time admitting that I was gay. Even when I knew that I was, I knew what it was, and even admitted to myself that, yes, I like men, I still hated using the word. I remember once when I told my mom “I’m not gay because gay people have sex with other men;” she told me how proud of me she was because I felt that way. Now, I’m very grateful to be able to self-identify with that term, and realize it has a whole slew of meanings.

So I find it a bit strange that during this time of my life, I also had issues with the church’s preferred PC term “same-gender attraction.” It wasn’t until I was recently forced to think about this term that I realized why I detest it so.

Strangely enough, I was on an LDS forum that I frequent, when I ran across a forum posting about love. It had nothing at all to do with homosexuality, but a member of the church asked the question “How long do you think it takes to fall in love.”

Of course, various answers ensued, and there was a little bit of bickering about what love really is. Finally, someone posted this, which I found absolutely true and beautiful (and which I had to clean up for grammar and spelling, hehe): "I ... believe that love is a choice, not a feeling. And the amazing thing is, when you make a choice to love then your feelings swell within you anyway, so the feelings are sort of like a sign of the love, but [they aren't] the love."

Bingo. Yup, in a sense, being gay is a choice. Of course, when I say that I mean that allowing yourself to love the person that you are attracted to is a choice.

But even attraction doesn’t sum up what being gay is or means. That component of love, that choice that results in a feeling, is a binding power. It supersedes attraction and it supersedes sex. To reduce all that love is to a simple “attraction” demeans it as much as it would to reduce it to “sex.”

And that is why I hate using “same-gender attraction.”

I have said it many times, but the choice is not whether or not to be gay, it is whether or not to allow yourself to love. Since feeling, attraction, sex, and everything else that goes along with love are part of that choice, I can understand how someone on the outside would think that a choice to be gay is a choice to have sex. It is also a choice to feel. It is also a choice to be. It is also a choice to acknowledge attractions. It is a choice to stop running.

I am gay; and that has everything and nothing to do with sex, it has everything and nothing to do with attraction, but most importantly, it has everything to do with love.

1 comment:

Bravone said...

I appreciate your thoughts. I generally don't get hung up on labels, but lately really don't like the terms ssa or sga. It isn't just about attraction. It is an emotional connection as well, or maybe even more so.