Thursday, July 31, 2014

Happily Ever After

In an interesting article (click here to read) a marriage counselor warns about the dangers of looking for prince charming in a relationship.  The article is giving advice mostly to straight women, but the principle is still the same.  One of the points he made really made sense to me.  He said that:
Both men and women need to look deeper into character, personality and compatibility to build a marriage with a happily ever after ending. Sure, you want to marry somebody who is attractive. But attractiveness is no basis for marriage.
I think this is true for any marriage, be it straight, gay, or mixed orientation.  This particular advice also helps explain how mixed orientation marriages can work.  They have to be based on character, personality, and compatibility.  That, along with a willingness to work for the relationship, is the basis of any happily ever after.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Risky Behavior

The problem with gathering data about those with homosexual orientations is the relative reluctance of many of us to identify as "gay" or "lesbian."  This leads to all kinds of biased data.  For instance, consider the following report from the CDC (click here).  In their study less than 2 percent of those studied identified as gay or lesbian, yet the percentage of people whose orientations are homosexual is usually considered to be much higher than that.  So what we have is an interesting bias.  In the study, we see much more risky behavior (smoking, binge drinking) among those who identify as gay than those who identified as straight.  But that's not too surprising due to the bias.  Many people consider coming out and admitting your orientation as a serious risk.  Gay-oriented people who are more risk-averse are therefore less likely to admit their orientation to others, and so more likely to be included with the straight individuals in this study.  In the end, what we really find in this study is that gay people who are less risk-averse are more likely to exhibit risky behavior.  Umm ... yeah.  We kind of knew that.  Until people feel more safe admitting their orientations, it is going to be really hard to get good data of any kind about those of us with gay orientations.

Thursday, July 17, 2014


I have always been very comfortable in my own skin.  One of my favorite qualities of myself is that I'm male.  I wouldn't have it any other way.  I know my wife feels the same way about being female, and I'm fine with that.  But I'm glad it's her and not me.

First, I hate makeup!  How can ladies stand putting in on and washing it off all the time?  I have to wear stage makeup when I'm acting in a play, and I detest it.  I always break out in a mild acne rash the week after a play.  I'm glad I'm not a woman.

Second, I really prefer a more constant level of hormones, rather than the monthly swing girls have to put up with.  In fact, almost everything about that monthly process makes me very glad I'm a guy.

Third, I relish the cultural leniency that guys have with wardrobe.  I can wear that same t-shirt that I've worn for years, even though there may be a hole or two developing, and I can say "it's just a guy thing" and get away with it.  (Well, until my wife throws it out when I'm not looking.)  I'm also very comfortable in a shirt and tie.  Let's just say, I like guy clothes.

Finally, I really just love being me, and I happen to be male.  I wouldn't want to change it.  Even my orientation is something that I love about myself.  I wouldn't want to have to change, and have to learn a whole new set of emotional adaptions to deal with girls.  I've already spent so much time and energy dealing with my attraction to guys.

Overall, I love being a boy.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Gender Identity

My orientation is gay, but to be clear, I identify quite strongly as male.  Since my physiological gender is male, that works very well for me.  I just happen to find other males attractive, rather than females.  I have no desire to dress in drag, nor do I find guys in feminine clothing to be remotely attractive.  I'm not attracted to girls, so dressing up as girls doesn't appeal to me.  So where does this cross-dressing thing come from?  I don't get it.

Please don't confuse this with those who are transgender, those who strongly identify as one gender, but are physiologically the other.  I don't think that's what's going on.  Or maybe it is.  For so long, people have mixed up gender identity with orientation.  Maybe it's because they get lumped together, LGBTQ and whatever new letters they are adding to the list.  I've heard that list referred to as "gender confusion" before, but that seemed really wrong to me.  I am not confused about my gender or that of others, and I'm definitely part of the G from the list.

Maybe people in the gay culture have cultivated a ritual of cross-dressing that has strong meaning to them, helping to set them apart from others, part of that gay-pride thing.  I could see something like that developing socially.  Still, it seems somehow wrong to me.  It's part of the gay culture that's always made me kind of uncomfortable.  Could someone explain it to me?

Thursday, July 3, 2014

The Right to Be Crushed

Nothing bothers me more than the argument that a gay oriented man is somehow harming his wife if he marries a woman.  There's this weird idea of a right to have your spouse have a crush on you.  I detest this thinking largely because it leads to so much divorce among traditional heterosexual couples, let alone those with other orientations.  A natural consequence of this "right" is that when the honeymoon and glow of newlywed-ness wears off (and it will for almost every couple) it is time for the couple to consider divorce because their partner can no longer provide them with that crush.

I love the story of the poet Thomas Moore whose wife recovered from small pox, and wouldn't show her face because it was disfigured.  Thomas penned the lyrics to "Believe Me If All Those Endearing Young Charms" about how it doesn't matter how she looks; he will always love her.  That's what real love is, when the physical attractiveness is gone, the love is still there.

For my part, I never felt that fall from the honeymoon state in my own marriage.  I attribute it to the fact that I fell in love with my wife despite being attracted to men only, which means I didn't have the typical falling-out-of-attraction stage that many marriages go through.  I'm not saying I don't think my wife attractive, but my feelings for her developed as a whole rather than the common physical-first experience.

Granted, if a gay man was getting married to a woman simply because he felt obligated to do so, or because he wanted offspring, that is unlikely to be healthy.  And I would certainly expect anyone considering marriage to be honest with their prospective fiancĂ© about their orientation.  But a marriage based on physical attraction is also unlikely to be healthy.  Some women feel that they need their spouse to be completely physically infatuated with them, and I agree that it's their choice.  Don't marry a gay man.  But don't be surprised and offended if your spouse sometimes finds others more physically attractive than you.  Like Thomas Moore's wife, it was something she had to get over, and realize that true love, in the end, has little to do with physical attractiveness.