How are gays normal

how are gays normal


When I grew up in a small province town, gays were like an exotic species. I had no clue what ‘being gay’ meant, I just heard a lot of jokes about anything that did not fit into the family-standard of mom, dad and two kids.

There was this crazy guy, we named ‘Johnette’. Rumour had it he suffered from AIDS. But everyone knew Johnette and when he blowed a tiny whistle (he had that around his neck all the time) he turned every fancy fair into a ‘one guy pride parade’. He had fun, the crowd had fun and he was just our local weirdo. So I thought.

On tv we saw some more extravagant types. With feathers, in shows. Famous tv-hosts with faggy features, actors with more make-up than my mum and some other wild celebrities. But they lived far away and we had nothing like that in our village.

And then, all of a sudden, we had the 90’s revolution. A club in the capital had opened and all celebrities were raving about the extravaganza going on there. Everybody wanted to hang out with the exotic gays. Documentaries explored the bright side of darkrooms. Those were the days.

And so the gays were portrayed as extravagant, party animals living every day as if it were their last. The images on tv sure did not make my family more openminded. Ru Paul’s Drag Race and it’s Dutch equivalent (years before RP’s tv hit series) made every gay guy look like an transvestite and who knew the difference? And who cared anyway?

Homosexuality and the Truth: Is it Natural and Normal?

how are gays normalhow are gays normal

"Paedophilic interest is natural and normal for human males,” said the presentation. “At least a sizeable minority of normal males would like to have sex with children … Normal males are aroused by children.”

Some yellowing tract from the Seventies or early Eighties, era of abusive celebrities and the infamous PIE, the Paedophile Information Exchange? No. Anonymous commenters on some underground website? No again.

The statement that paedophilia is “natural and normal” was made not three decades ago but last July. It was made not in private but as one of the central claims of an academic presentation delivered, at the invitation of the organisers, to many of the key experts in the field at a conference held by the University of Cambridge.

Other presentations included “Liberating the paedophile: a discursive analysis,” and “Danger and difference: the stakes of hebephilia.”

Another attendee, and enthusiastic participant from the floor, was one Tom O’Carroll, a multiple child sex offender, long-time campaigner for the legalisation of sex with children and former head of the Paedophile Information Exchange. “Wonderful!” he wrote on his blog afterwards. “It was a rare few days when I could feel relatively popular!”

When I grew up in a small province town, gays were like an exotic species. I had no clue what ‘being gay’ meant, I just heard a lot of jokes about anything that did not fit into the family-standard of mom, dad and two kids.

There was this crazy guy, we named ‘Johnette’. Rumour had it he suffered from AIDS. But everyone knew Johnette and when he blowed a tiny whistle (he had that around his neck all the time) he turned every fancy fair into a ‘one guy pride parade’. He had fun, the crowd had fun and he was just our local weirdo. So I thought.

On tv we saw some more extravagant types. With feathers, in shows. Famous tv-hosts with faggy features, actors with more make-up than my mum and some other wild celebrities. But they lived far away and we had nothing like that in our village.

And then, all of a sudden, we had the 90’s revolution. A club in the capital had opened and all celebrities were raving about the extravaganza going on there. Everybody wanted to hang out with the exotic gays. Documentaries explored the bright side of darkrooms. Those were the days.

And so the gays were portrayed as extravagant, party animals living every day as if it were their last. The images on tv sure did not make my family more openminded. Ru Paul’s Drag Race and it’s Dutch equivalent (years before RP’s tv hit series) made every gay guy look like an transvestite and who knew the difference? And who cared anyway?

The story continues to attract national attention because it's just so darn quaint. Imagine: there are still people who get upset when they see girls kissing other girls! Who knew?

Psychologist John Buss estimates that for most of human history, perhaps 2% of women have been lesbian or bisexual (see note 1, below). Not any more. Recent surveys of teenage girls and young women find that roughly 15% of young females today self-identify as lesbian or bisexual, compared with about 5% of young males who identify as gay or bisexual (see note 2, below).

Over the past seven years, I've posed this question to hundreds of teenagers and young adults across the United States. The most common answer I get isn't really an answer. "Girls kiss other girls at parties because guys like it," one teenage girl told me. "It makes the guys hoot and holler, so the girls do it again. They're just doing it for attention. It's not for real."

I point out, as gently as I can, that that response doesn't answer my question. Pretending to be lesbian or bisexual doesn't explain why a growing proportion of young women are lesbian or bisexual.

Female sexuality is different from male sexuality. If a straight boy kissed another boy, perhaps to amuse some girls who might be watching, he would be unlikely to undergo a change in sexual orientation as a result. But, as Professor Roy Baumeister at Florida State University and others have shown, sexual attraction in many women seems to be more malleable (see note 3 below). If a teenage girl kisses another teenage girl, for whatever reason, and she finds that she likes it - then things can happen, and things can change. If a young woman finds her soulmate, and her soulmate happens to be female, then she may begin to experience feelings she's never felt before.

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