Tuesday, May 22, 2012

I'm Gay because I'm Gay

Let me address my understanding of the myth/debate of child sexual abuse causing change in sexual orientation.

I had a lot of aversion towards the idea of sex. Though I used to get erections and night falls, I completely hated myself for thinking of a man. I associated it with abuse like the world is doing today. Sex for me was not pleasurable. And if sexuality was really a choice, I'd have chosen to be straight as I hated men and anything remotely masculine.

It took me a Gay Bombay film fest and a few sexual encounters with men to realise that I am really attracted to men. I had a relationship with a woman and sex with another. Both were just because I wanted to prove to myself that I am not gay. I often jokingly quote "it was a one night stand with the woman, but it just didn't stand". I do love women. Gunjan is the name of my first love and she will always be loved. But not all love needs to be of sexual nature. I continue to love her dearly.

I don't think I am gay because of anything. I am gay, just because I am gay. It's out of the closet that many girls who get abused by men, grow an aversion towards sex with men. But many (if not all) eventually, despite the scars and phobia, overcome/hide their fears get married to the opposite sex. They don't "turn lesbian" because of being abused by the opposite sex or because of the aversion towards men.

Similarly, I hated men. But I couldn't make love to  a woman just because I hated men. And even though I hated men, I secretly admired some of them. My natural leanings towards the same sex were so strong that I chose to not live a lie just to align myself with the heterosexual world. It took a lot of effort to accept that I love men. It took a lot of effort to look at men as people and not demons. It took a lot of self talk and anonymous browsing and interactions on yahoo chat.  It took a lot of effort for me to come out as a gay man than it did about my abuse. Because it was and is far difficult to face another challenge after having faced an ordeal of child sexual abuse for many years. The big challenge of answering questions about my sexuality. The world was insensitively calling me Gay just because I was abused by a man, even at a time when I was unsure about my sexuality. It took a lot of guts to come out and say - yes I am gay and my abuse has nothing to do with it. 

Did I enjoy a happy sex life?

Well, I don't intend to put down my bedroom details here. But yes, I did have my phobias when it came to penetrative sex. I just couldn't do it with someone,  what someone did with me. The memory was haunting. Eventually I did overcome. 

There is this notion mentioned by people in the several mails I received post the show that some children "enjoyed" the sex abuse by their neighbour/relative. I just told them that abuse and enjoyment are two contradictory terms. You don't "enjoy" if you get "abused". May be sex was not painful as it was for me or may be you were not threatened or beaten or been a victim of S and M, but that doesn't mean you had to go through it at that age. It leaves the mind violated even if you don't agree. Children are supposed to be children. They need to be taught about sex, but not experimented or shown porn and told that this is the way to have sex.

The classic debate that followed after the show was about aamir and I trying to hide my sexuality in the show. There is a slander mail floating around on facebook that intends to say that if I am gay and a survivor of child sexual abuse by a man, I must have enjoyed it. I just have to say that no child enjoys something shoved onto his anus or the red "cheeks" effect. And even if it was not painful, a child at that age deserved to play with friends, not foreplay with a lusty adult.

Sex abuse did not make me gay. I am gay because I am gay. And sex abuse doesn't make people straight either. Again since heterosexuality is more popular, let me cite an example, what if I was abused by a woman and was straight? Would we still debate that probably heterosexual abuse made me straight?

I'm no psychologist or psychiatrist but in my understanding, sexual habits and sexual orientation are two different things. Like sexual abuse may lead to sexual habits like if you are abused as a child and it is done in a "take candy as I massage you" way, one may grow up wanting that kind of touch and massage- sexual habit. But eventually hormones would play up towards your natural sexual orientation.

In my experience of speaking about the issue of child sexual abuse, I know of equal number of boys abused by men who are heterosexual as homosexual.

I am of the opinion, that it doesn't matter what one's sexuality is. All this research and theory should be left to intellectuals to debate.

If you are comfortable being a certain way, and you are not harming anyone by being so, I see no reason for you to not be that way. We should just not get into a skin we are not comfortable in. I am gay, and I don't care for what reason, and I don't feel anyone else needs to whack their brains to find a reason to find the reason for my sexuality. The truth is that I'm extremely happy as a homosexual man. And there is no debate at that. Homosexuality is not a choice. Being out about being a homosexual definitely is.

It's not often that I edit or update a post after I have published it, but this one is important, so including some reactions from friends in the body of this post itself. 

My Doctor friend Anand Philip tweeted this in response. 

" children can experience pleasure during abuse, and this can lead to confusions later on,  but sexual abuse is not marked by pleasure or lack of it but the power and choice dynamics of the encounters. 

i posted this article on facebook and psychologist Deepak Kashyap sent me this article  CLICK HERE TO READ THE ARTICLE with this note.  

"The above two link give a detailed scientific account that there is no relation between being molested by a same-sex person in childhood and homosexuality/bisexuality. They also deal with why people believe that the there could be a connection. Read on." 

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