Sunday, January 28, 2007


What we remember happening and what actually happened aren't always the same. I remembered as a child about five years old going to a psychologist for intelligence testing. My twin brother rememberedI went, but he didn't. I think both of us assumed that it was because the results would be the same.

Intelligence testing wasn't what happened.

My mother thought that I might be turning into a homosexual. So they took me to see what could be done. And with all the best intentions in the world helped to send me into denial about my sexual orientation. They used a book (Growing up Straight by Peter and Barbara Wyden) that had all the latest research and did all the right things - as in making sure I had plenty of time with my father, discouraging effeminate mannerisms and activities and more.

I found this out after I finally figured out why I wasn't meeting the right woman and that no woman would ever be the right woman. And some of my memories took on new focus. I hadn't realized that it was after 'the visit' that my mother stopped me playing with costume jewelry. But that wasn't the only memory that fell into place.

That one happened after a conversation with my dad. But more memories of desires I'd ignored and feelings that I hadn't dealt with came to the forefront after I admitted to myself that I was attracted to men as partners (not just sexually) in my life. My life just made a lot more sense after I figured out my sexual orientation and became gay.

Not everyone has an eye-opening moment of waking up and realizing they've been in denial about their sexual orientation. I suspect there's less and less of those sudden awakenings to who we are as in this culture been able to become more understanding of human sexuality (and sexuality throughout the animal realm) but putting the pieces together after I finally stopped cramming them into the wrong shape was one of the best times of my life. I don't recommend the pain of denial, but laughter and joy came to me when feelings and events just popped into focus after those years of denial. And that joy is something I still treasure.

No comments: