Why I've Decided to Redefine Gayness

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I’m taking a radical stance on making a cataclysmic shift in how we gay people are both seen through the lens of society and how we view ourselves.

And the best way I know how to do this, is by starting from scratch. Well, as scratch as possible. By examining what and how social aspects of gayness has rendered our humanity invisible, erased and seen as people who are less than human.

SPEAK UP + EDUCATE

Yeah, I know for the most part there are good people out there, and even the good peeps can stand for a little education. And sometimes we’re even a little nervous to do that. Maybe because we feel deep down inside we don’t deserve to speak up.

I’ll share something with you. Yesterday I was sitting in the dining hall at my college working on my lap top. And two men were talking, and I could here their conversation. They were talking pretty loudly. They stated talking about “homosexuality” (the term they used) and as soon as the words Sodom and Gomorra started to spill out, I exited said from a crossed the room, “you can say gay people, because the term homosexual is a slur.”

One man was trying to ignore the request and the other man was open to it.

The more open-minded man asked me to repeat myself, so I did.

My whole point to this is, we’re conditioned to stay quiet. To just mind my own business and not create a disturbance. But the conversation hurt my heart deeply when I heard that word. And something awakened within me to speak up. I don’t need to aggressive or attacking. It was a perfect learning opportunity for these two men to witness my humanity and hopefully learn something.

Unfortunately, he said the “the gays” in a sentence and it sounded like he wasn’t very interested in expansion, but it was a step.

So, why can’t interrupt and speak up? 

And then we have the people who are just, you know, *deep breath* — who we’re terrified of. Even if we don’t see them, we walk fast, we change our mannerisms to act more “normal”, we adjust, we cater, we act more “straight”. It doesn’t end.

LASTING AFFECTS OF A HIDDEN HISTORY

A bit of historical reference.

The medical field was prominent in pushing that narrative. In 1973 the American Psychological Association took a vote on whether they believe ‘homosexual’ (a term I don’t use, and you won’t see it in any of my materials, because it represents us with mental illness) was a mental disorder. So, they removed it from the DSM. Which is a book that all mental health professionals use in diagnosing patients. But it wasn’t until 1987 (31 years ago) when the term “homosexual” fell completely away from DSM. The effects of this still until this day is alive and well in the mindsets of American people. Religion also pushed a toxic narrative too.

These aspects have a deep and lasting effect both on our minds, brains and our bodies and can produce long terms residual affects like isolation, loneliness, depression, anxiety, social challenges, and so much more. 

So, why I’m choosing to completely redefine gayness, and work with gay men? It’s to help male identifying humans who gay identity look within to see where we’ve internalized all of these social and family messages that tell us that we’re not worthy of our gayness, worthy of our humanity and help flip the script into eventually a place of self-empowerment. Our gayness is humanity. Who we love is beautiful, is whole and is natural.

INCLUSIVENESS 

Another component to this is to look at our community as well. To examine how all of the above as filtered into our community and how we’ve reacted it. Like hyper masculinity, hyper-sexuality, racism, and how we shun certain beautiful humans who don’t look up to certain standards. Does no fats, femmes or Asians sound familiar?

Greg HalpenComment