I am so very grateful to Tim who has become our resident guest post author on matters ’emotional well-being’ within some of the societal confines of being gay.
To hope of becoming the best expression of ourselves we must grow our knowledge. There is little place for fear, discrimination and stigma due to a lack of knowledge when information is freely, and readily, available to us. When we have the facts, only then are we truly entitled to express a reasoned opinion – and with knowledge on board it is likely to be less judgemental, more compassionate.
Men and women of all denominations, and orientation, are of equal value in this world – and this life. But what often sets us apart are usually mindless, conditioned reactions from a point of true ignorance.
When I set out my mission statement in becoming a counsellor, I stated that I would wish to retain an impartial, non-judgemental stance to all who sought my services. In bringing you Tim’s – and hopefully other authors stories – who feel ‘unheard’, who are discriminated against in Law and in society, my hope is that you too can increase your knowledge and compassion for that which is often hitherto, misunderstood.
You’re fed up with all this Gay Marriage malarkey in the press and on TV, right? Why do they keep going on and on about it all? Why are these people so stressed about things that they just have to get their perversion into the news all the time? That can’t be normal?
Do I have your attention?
You see, I want to explain a little about people who are different from you. I doubt I’ll cover all of it, but I’ve asked Bob to invite folk to cover that ground, too. I’m not the only gay on the website!
Actually, that is part of the problem, being the only gay in the village, in the school, in the town, in the county, in the country, in the world. It’s one of the things that causes the highest stress levels. I bet you thought that would be homophobia, right?
For the young gay man, the one who is not ‘out and proud’, the major cause of stress is in the finding of another young gentleman who is not only gay, but who has the potential to be his soulmate, who is his idea of imperfect perfection. Obviously you are not that person if you’re a paragraph one person. Glad you’re still reading, though, because this is written for you.
As one ages, the problem becomes even harder; loneliness beckons, life becomes harder.
Let’s look at some facts and figures. Kinsey wasn’t always right, and the UK Census has only just started recording the number of folk who state on the form that they are homosexual, but we don’t have those figures yet, and not everyone is brave enough to say. So Kinsey and his oft attributed statement that 10% of the population are likely to be homosexual, quoted or misquoted, will have to do. You, in your heterosexual, heteronormative world, have ~50% of the population who are the opposite sex, less the 10% of those who are homosexual in which to find your partner.
You know how hard it was to find your perfect partner? Do you remember how many folk you dated in order to find your match? There’s a whole enormous business in dating web sites. Would they be in business if it were easy?
And you had 45% (that’s 50% less 10% of that 50%, do keep up!) of the population to choose from, narrowed down by those in your age bracket of attraction, narrowed down by physical characteristics like hair and eye colour, height, intelligence, weight, nose size, all those other things we use consciously and unconsciously to select our mate. And, when you’ve found them, they may not want you.
Wasn’t that easy, was it? Even if your own search was short, look at all the others you might select today. How many of the folk you meet in the pub, work with, are at school with, are genuinely attractive in your eyes?
Now, just for a moment, look at this through homosexual eyes. You don’t need to imagine dating someone of the same sex, just imagine how hard it is to find a match. Remember that 45% the heterosexuals have? You now get just 5% to choose from. Just 5%.
Now, strip out those who don’t meet your needs. Look, we’re playing ‘Let’s Pretend’ here. So pretend. Lose those with the wrong eye and hair colour. Lose those who are too intelligent or not intelligent enough for you. Lose the ones who weigh the wrong amount. Lose the ones in the wrong age group. In short, lose the same proportion of the 5% as heterosexual you kicked out of your 45%.
I reckon you are down to one guy or girl in about 250 people.
There’s a problem. This guy, this girl is ideal. You even get on well. You both like nature, motor sport, similar pubs. But, how do you know if they are in your 5% or the heterosexual world’s 45%? How?
How do you move from going out for fun and giggles to going out on a date?
How do you find out if they just might be homosexual, even bisexual, too?
So we move from the stress of finding someone who might be perfect to the stress of losing them before we even have them. I know you can’t lose something you don’t have, but it feels as if you can, and you can lose their friendship even if you can never have their love. I’m not sure I’m making this clear.
So, you’re heterosexual. I find you urgently, wonderfully attractive.
“George, you are my perfect man. I think I may be starting to like you a great deal. Shall we go and have dinner, maybe take in the cinema?”
Ok, George, you’re the heterosexual one. How do you feel about my approach?
I, by the way, am stressed to hell and back while waiting for your brain to work. I hope you are homosexual, too. I am already in ‘flight or fight’. My choice is flight. The longer you pause the faster my feet are prepared to run. I’m starting to sweat. I want to stay but I want to run away, now, urgently. I need to know if you’re going to beat the living daylights out of me because you were raised that way, whether you will reject and despise me, whether you have enough confidence in yourself to say a quiet “No, but I’m very flattered.” or whether you just might say “Yes, please.”
I know I’ve just put you on the spot, George, and I am terrified of you and your reaction at this precise moment, and you’re keeping me waiting by thinking too hard. I’m starting to hope that the delay in your reply may mean you are homosexual, too. I know we’re friends, and I know you aren’t keeping me in suspense on purpose. The 30 seconds I’ve been waiting have been only 2 seconds in your time frame, but my feet are already running, just waiting to touch the ground, and I’ll be off in a blur. I’m like a cartoon Roadrunner.
My heart is pounding, and my face is hot.
When you, heterosexual you, George, ask a member of the opposite sex out, what’s the worst that can happen? She laughs at you? She tells you to get lost?
When I, homosexual me, asks a bloke on a date, I can die at the hands of the bloke I ask out.
Think about that, please.
You are at least as strong as I am, and you can hurt me very badly, perhaps kill me.
Why would you do that?
Fight or flight, that’s why. If you were raised in a macho, manly household, you may use your feet to fight, not to flee. You may have been raised to lash out at things you don’t understand. I’m scared that you, George, the man I think I might want to spend my life with, might kill me because I’ve moved a step closer to saying so.
It’s not about sex, George. Yes, I’d like that with you very much, but it’s not about what we do (or do not do) with our tiny parts. It’s you I’m attracted to, every part of your mind as well as, later, if things go well, your body.
And now I’m going to go. You’re sitting there opening and closing your mouth like a goldfish; and I’ve wasted my one man in this 250. I’ve done it before, too. And before. I’m already up to 750 men that I know and I can’t find one for me. Now I’ll try the next 250, see if one in a thousand is for me.
Yeah, I never explained much about the first paragraph, did I? I guess I just led you on.
Or did I?
Maybe you start to see why some of us are so stressed? I can even feel the stress as I write these words and you’re just a figment of my imagination.
Life is so freaking easy for you. You’re heterosexual!
To find out more about 13-year-old Tim, his older self has published Queer Me! Halfway between Flying and Crying