In a certain, limited sense, I agree with the fundamentalists who insist that being queer is a matter of nurture rather than nature; the sense that even as a child, one knows one’s essential “difference” and then must take hints from the environment as to whether they will evolve into a closeted hypocritical bigot or a fully realized individual. It is a matter of evolution. Or, if you prefer, unfoldment, by which I do not imply anything “spiritual,” unless, of course, by “spiritual” one heeds the sage advice of that old dear, Polonius: “…This above all, to thine own self be true.” Or, as that other great traveler, Sir Richard Burton, put it, “He noblest lives and noblest dies who makes and keeps his self-made laws.”
..."The reason some folks keep mum about their orientation is in some instances because the individual can get away with it. Some simply cannot."
Those who are not gay and/or did not grow up in a fundamentalist Christian environment, have no idea what it is like to grow up gay in such an environment. To clue folks in, years ago, I wrote an essay about my experiences growing up gay in eastern Idaho, an area that is about as Santoristic as it gets. You might find it somewhat revealing.
All the time I was growing up, I never met a "swishy" (effeminate) gay person (or any uncloseted gay person at all, for that matter). It was quite literally a matter of survival. When I was pubescent, I noticed I was developing a bit of "swish" myself, and, boy, did I work hard at overcoming it - I knew it was literally a matter of life and death. And that is why I never met another person I knew was gay until I moved to San Francisco at the ripe old age of 27. They were all doing the same thing I was.
I am quite certain that my experience was the usual. And that is why I never met an effeminate gay person all the time I was growing up. They didn't allow themselves to display those characteristics because of the sheer risk it presented. I am certain that gay men are just as common in eastern Idaho as elsewhere; they're just simply better hidden.
..."The recents stats on gay marriage, military service, and so forth indicates public acceptance of things that, as recently as the 1980's (mostly due to ignorance about AIDS) they would have thought "degenerate." The Santorumen are a dying minority."
Not so fast, James. I would suggest that they are temporarily in decline, but moribund, certainly not. There will always be a bunch of dangerous homophobes out there wrapping bigotry in the "legitimizing" clothes of religion for as long as there is Santorumism, and I don't think it's going to go away anytime soon. If the increasing dysfunction of the USAnian public education system has anything to do with it, I think we can expect to see Santorumism become resurgent, and, sadly, homophobia along with it. As evidence, I would suggest that even thirty years ago, a Rick Santorum wouldn't have gotten past the first gate in a presidential bid, but now, he is a major candidate being taken seriously. As has been said by Chris Hedges, "when Fascism comes to America, it will march in carrying a cross and chanting the Pledge of Allegiance." And it will be the Santorumen who will be carrying that cross and chanting that pledge. And reviving the Pink Triangle will be one of the first things they do.
I forgot to add: I feel very sorry for the genetically effeminate gay child who is born into a fundamentalist, homophobic household. The mental anguish must be horrific.
In their crippled minds, they envision one of two choices: a sex change operation or Dr. Bachmann's House of Pain.
If nurture has ANYTHING to do with being gay, what about those two sets of identical twins that 60 Minutes reported on a few years ago? In each case, one of the twins was straight, the other gay. In one case, the boys were in their pre-teens, both raised essentially the same by their parents, yet one had a clearly masculine identity and one clearly feminine.
It has been suggested by those who were studying those twins and others that hormonal differences in the uterus are the very likely cause for homosexuality ... and everything I've both in my life and on TV tells me that nurture as any serious consideration for being gay is horse manure.
You're mostly right. I do agree with others who say there are genuine bisexuals.