I just watched the amazing film Bohemian Rhapsody. Let me ask you something … if I begin this post with; “And I wanted to talk about being gay” How many of you would stop reading? Ask yourselves, what does that really say about you?
I want to talk about being gay. Watching the story of Freddie Mercury it struck me (again) how the tiny minority of people who are gay (not bisexual) still struggle. You may ask why or point to more worthy causes to talk about …
Imagine being 1/2 percent of the population. Maybe you already are. That’s how many women are lesbians and men are roughly 2/3 percent. Bisexuality is far more prevalent, however 85% of women who are bisexual end up married to man, which begs the question, is there such as thing as ‘true’ bisexuality’ or is there just a desire to play both sides until you settle down, invariably with someone of the same gender?
Either way, ‘true’ queer women are rare. For men, those who are bisexual tend to end up being with men. It begs the question – do these stats indicate being a lesbian is not a life style many people choose or want to adopt? Or simply, that most women have a tendency toward heterosexuality as their preference?
My unscientific viewpoint for what it’s worth is; Men who have sex with men tend to be with men maybe because to ‘go there’ is almost indelible? Whereas sexuality for women is more fluid, and whilst they may like having sex with another woman and find her attractive, it’s not enough of a hook. Is sexuality and gayness a preference? I don’t think so, which means the ‘true’ number of gays is smaller than we even credit.
I personally don’t understand why more men are gay than women, as I am biased and see a lot more to be attracted to in a woman than a man (although they are harder to go out with because they are more demanding and selfish and less romantic). Irrespective, a man who is attracted to men, doesn’t go back and forth as much, a woman who is attracted to women may well end up with a man as other considerations come into play. To me, this isn’t being gay – it’s just having fun. Maybe I’m saying being gay is massively different to being bisexual.
I would imagine the negatives about bisexuality are; judgment from both sides, and that’s about it. If you are totally gay then the negatives include persecution, ostracizing, not fitting in, having no role models, no representation and most of all – feeling weird because 99/98 percent of the world doesn’t ‘get’ you and where you are coming from.
How many times have I been told by a woman that they find other women attractive but they can’t really understand wanting to be with a woman for any length of time – interestingly not because of sex, most women like oral sex, but because of the high maintenance being with a woman entails and how nice it is when a man romances you. It is true, it’s rarer and finding it with a woman, well you often end up having to do all the work and while men are good at that, women aren’t as much.
Hence why of those relationships that last, the classical butch/femme roles tend to work out best because the lesbians who are butch want to imitate a man and romance the woman and the femme is happy. I realize that’s a negative stereotyping of female-female relationships but there is also some truth.
Thinking about the AIDS era (which has never entirely left us and now that there are new drugs that people can take to reduce their likelihood of HIV exposure, where’s the incentive to continue to practice safe sex?) and how many gay men (and others) died and the terrible things that were said about them and how generations exist now that know nothing of this and how it will be forgotten …
I remember I was very young but I heard people say things like; “AIDS is killing the queers its divine justice” That told me early on that gay people were not equal and would never be treated equally behind closed doors. At one point in my life I was in the closet because it was easier and unlike a person of color, a gay person can often be in the closet to avoid prejudice. I’d not been in the closet before and suddenly I was privy to the things straight people said about gays when they didn’t think one of them was listening. I realized that this had all been said of me when I wasn’t in the closet but behind my back.
Then the other aspect to consider is the gay community and how judging and excluding it can be and how for many queers, fitting in with their own gay ‘family’ doesn’t always come easy or at all. I personally tend not to get on with gays, I have found them to often possess the worst traits of heterosexuals which deeply disappoints me. Lesbians judge you for not being queer enough, or act like swaggering men. Gay men can be such divas that they own the sarcasm and bitchiness in the room.
Does it mean you’re a ‘bad’ queer if you don’t feel in with ‘your people’? And yet … why assume just because you share one thing in common, you’ll get along? I’m sure I share something in common with Trump as well … point made.
The female gay world is divided into sections, either you’re a successful, educated career person in which case you go to exclusive things and judge those who are not on your level. You only date those who are like you, and you have high expectations as well as demanding those women you date are athletic, social and above all, status and financially successful.
The other group are the more neighborhood based gays, and the clubs teem with liars, frauds and fakes alongside players, druggies and alcoholics. If you imagine being heterosexual and reducing the number of options you have from roughly 48% to 1/2% you probably wouldn’t find someone you liked either. And let’s for not forget, if you’re straight and you see someone in the street or anywhere, you can essentially flirt with them without fear. But how can you tell when someone may be gay? Contrary to popular opinion, the gay-dar doesn’t work THAT well. So you are further restricted to mind-reading, falling in love with heterosexuals or going to gay clubs where the worst reside.
Boo Hoo right? A hard life. But not nearly as hard as many others. Combine that with a co-morbidity of higher rates of depression/anxiety (no wonder) and all the accompanying aspects that may accompany homosexuality and a life time of being shamed, ridiculed, the odd one out, and it’s not simply one issue, it’s everything.
There have been times I wished fervently not to be gay. I got fed-up of having a crush on my straight friend who wouldn’t like me if I were the last person standing, I saw how well men can treat women, I envied the heterosexual world. That’s why being gay is no choice, as most who had one, wouldn’t choose it.
That said it’s not all negative. Some of the best parts of my life have been as a result of being gay. Watching the film on Freddie Mercury really affected me profoundly because it reminded me that only a few years ago in my city there were stickers condemning gays having the right to marry, that my own life has been severely disrupted/destroyed for several reasons related to being gay, and how many gays have suffered over the years.
I may not be a huge fan of this modern world – 2018 onward – and I may hark beck to ‘better’ eras as I perceive them, BUT I know things are improving for gays and I hope one day, being gay is not something that will pull you down and give you pain. It will be what it is meant to be, a natural minority who see things differently but are in every other way part of us all.
Spare a thought for gays even as you think they have all their rights now and should stop complaining. It is not as simple as possessing rights. Gays are still more likely to commit suicide, have addictions, mental illness, be ostracized from family and be beaten up and murdered. Gays can often be very isolated, their pain not taken seriously, and feel alone even among ‘their kind’ and it really does make a difference to us when someone, irrespective of gender, befriends us and likes us for who we are, without being uncomfortable around us.
A friend for a gay person has twice the value because we never take it for granted and we always feel so lucky. After all, most of us living, remember a time when admitting you were gay would guarantee nobody would be your friend. Therefore, thank you for all who show kindness to us, and remember, compassion is the only thing that compensates for the erstwhile damage human beings have historically wrought, both on minorities of all kinds and our planet.
I dream of a world where it will be okay to walk down the street and not worry about holding hands with the person you love, when it will be comfortable to kiss someone you’re with, in public, without fearing being beaten up. Just as women worldwide, dream of walking down a street without being raped. I believe this day can come, if all of us have the patience to see the value of talking about this and not saying ‘I’m so fed up with the gay agenda or the feminist agenda’ and switching off. Until we have true equality, the only thing we can do is bring awareness and hope in turn, it produces change.
Oh, and to those bisexuals? Yeah. Sorry. But on the other hand, I’ve got a point. Can’t you sometimes choose the girl? 😉
Go see Bohemian Rhapsody. It’s incredible.
19 Replies to “Compulsion”
At an emotional level, I don’t get, and never have gotten, how it is that so many people have a problem about other people being gay, or trans, or bisexual, or fluid, or some as yet unnamed sot of queer. I can analyze it sociologically or psychologically or religio-politically, but emotionally, it makes no sense to me. Maybe I am weird that way. It does seem an all too rare an attitude. I once had a very butch lesbian friend look at me and say, “You know what you are? You’re a male lesbian.” I didn’t ask what that meant at the time, just took it as a compliment and an acceptance into that circle. Anyway, this is an excellent essay.
Well said, and heartfelt.
Honestly, the answer is really complicated. Tied into societal norms, implied social contracts, stigma, socialized behaviors in relationships, etc etc.
And on the personal side, sometimes individuals aren’t brave enough to make the choice and sometimes things just don’t work out…mostly they don’t, until they do.
Which is kinda bullshit commentary but without writing a 10 page white paper it’s the best I have.
Maybe these words are appropriate, I’m remembering his 2nd Anniversary, 7th Nov 2016.
“Yeah I missed you since the place got wrecked By the winds of change and the weeds of sex looks like freedom but it feels like death it’s something in between, I guess it’s closing time.” – Leonard Cohen
Your essay is appreciated and helps me understand better than I did before.
Great film, and your post poses some interesting questions. As ever you are fascinating to read.
So… about seeing all the good things in men… go read my blog, you may realise that there are also many things that can be not that great.
As for the bisexual part: I don’t think we go with men because it’s easier. I don’t even think all bisexual women end up with men. Just like I disagree on bisexual men ending up with men too. The one I know has had many women in his life. I don’t think he’d ever consider living with a man. A (girl) friend of mine was also married to a bisexual man. She left him because he was horrendously abusive, but that’s another story.
I fell in love with a woman once. It was something beautiful, exhilerating. I think I’ll never hear from her any more, because she is just too complicated for me. And that’s not all her, it’s also her being on the path of recovery from an abusive M-F relationship, and her current relationship isn’t that easy either, apparently. I didn’t mind doing the wooing, because I really liked her, but every time I tried to text her, it would be “I’m not used to being texted every day, please stop, this is awkward” sort of thing. I tried to reach out not long ago. It’ll probably be the last time I do, because she always seems to take whatever I do or say wrongly. And I’ve got enough of my own problems in my own life not to have to worry about that too.
I suppose a big reason why younger women end up choosing the man is because of society’s pressure (it is easier), of a need to feel safe (they usually have better wages than us women), but mostly because they want to experience motherhood. And it is made so much easier being with a man. I mean, when you swing both ways, it is easier most times to choose the man.
Right now, I don’t think I’d have a problem being with a woman if my loves were to leave me/die. It would need me explaining to my children and parents that I am Bi and only realised it later on. But if I really thought I could live with that woman, that there wouldn’t be silly mental games going on, that things would be as straight forward as they can be with a man, then I wouldn’t have a problem living with one. I have not met her yet, never met a woman that got me spinning just when our eyes crossed.
As for flirting, I completely understand you. I am not looking for a woman just for the fun of being with a woman. For that, I can go to a club and get it, but it’s soooo not the same! I am looking for a connection, and only found it once. I am shy, so going out to a woman I may be attracted to is difficult. Being rejected even more so. So in the end, I just don’t. Which sucks. I agree. I never dare ask a woman if she would be interested, for fear of being made a fool. And also, as far as I’m concerned, because I probably don’t have the strength/nerves to be out yet.
And if someone rejects me, there is a chance they’ll judge me for being who I am, a bisexual. Don’t think it’s so easy being bi 😉
Sending you good vibes that you find the one soon.
I saw Bohemian Rhapsody last week and loved it, every bit of it. Even the bits that were not quite chronologically. I laughed, I cried I got annoyed.
As for the Lesbian Gay Bi, I say no one no where should ever be afraid to love who ever they want. No one should never be afraid to be who they really are. We are all equal..
Even men.. sorry that little bit there was a joke. 💜💜💜
Reblogged this on cabbagesandkings524 and commented:
TheFeatheredSleep – Talking about being gay is important.
I am dying to see ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’! And I wonder what it will make me think and feel? If it makes me do so as much as this essay has then that will be a win for me, C. By the way, anyone who gets to be your friend is also the lucky one, believe me. You have been more accepting of me and who I am than most people I know.
I’ve always thought, perhaps, men and bisexuality isn’t as prevalent because if a man has an attraction towards both women and men it’s “easier” to go for women.
As you said, women’s gender being more fluid, its “easier” for a woman to be with another woman and then go back with a man. Vice versa it’s more “hey, I thought you were gay.” Almost as if they’re saying “if you could have a woman, why would you ever choose a man? It must mean you prefer men.”
A thought anyways 🙂
I’m an older person, so was bought up with different ideals. It makes perfect sense to me for woman to be attracted to each other, after all they know how to pleasure each other. But I don’t understand men being sexually attracted to other men!
I am really looking forward to seeing it. I just wish we could love people for themselves in any dimension. Why is it so very hard to do?? Its so hard to suffer and fear expressing your true nature and as we know it ends in tragedy for many. Thanks for expressing all of this. Hugs ❤ ❤ ❤
Interesting essay. Personally, I despise people who have a problem with other people’s sexuality. Within groups, I don’t like those who believe they do it right and everyone else has to learn from them. They all just make life harder.
I’ll have to watch Bohemian Rhapsody — thanks for suggesting.
Every person deserves to love and be loved. I don’t care what your sexual preference is. I look for your soul, the part of you that matters most. And if it needs comforting and understanding, I will try to help. I don’t imagine to understand what you go through as a gay woman. I only know that I would stand next to you at any given moment. We are all created equal. Humans just haven’t figured that out yet. Love you, my friend. Stay strong! ❤️
The word gay would have made me more interested, but since I like your writing I would have kept reading with or without the word.
This is a great essay, Candice. I too hope the day will come when people stop judging, hating, fearing. I would echo what Dorinda says, and Willow, and everyone else who supports you. Sending love, dear friend. ❤️
It disturbs me when people abuse gays; we had a gay student in the high school where I taught; he committed suicide because of abuse by students and some teachers. Nothing was done in the school to celebrate his life.
I view all people as brothers and sisters in the human race, children of God. I love all my brothers and sisters and stand for them when I can.
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