Gay Pride has stolen my gay pride

When I was about ten, I had heard a lot about "gay" here and there, and wondered what it was - and whether I was. My parents were non-practicing Jehovah's Witnesses, so about the only information I had about it came from the coverage of the Pride parades on the news. I got a brief bit of footage of people in outlandish, colorful costumes on outlandish, colorful parade floats. Effeminate, out-of-shape middle-aged men in over-the-top leather bondage harnesses leering into the news camera. Men in platinum blonde wigs, black and silver-sequined negligé and stiletto heels waving animatedly at everyone from a float as though they'd just won an award.

"Oh, that's what `gay' is," I thought. "Well okay, at least I know I'm not that."

The whole thing set me back about ten years.

There are a lot of influences that shape our perception of what being gay `is'. The Gay Pride movement is one of them. Often-sensational news coverage is another, although that's giving way to a couple of other, newer approaches that are even creepier - we'll get into those in a second. The federal government certainly isn't helping, particularly the military. And "then-thay-tional!" gay people are starting to show up in our media now, legitimately representing some part of the community. Unfortunately, they're acting as a distorting lens to magnify the problem, as both the straight community and questioning youth encounter and react to the stereotype with which the general public is being bombarded. But it didn't used to be like this. Where the heck did it all start? I've already warmed up the time machine - we're off on a quick jaunt through gay history.

Ancient Greece and Rome

Ah, the heyday of ancient Greece and Rome. The golden age of same-sex love. The ancient Greeks didn't distinguish between sexual orientations, and the most prevalent male-male relationships were a benevolent form of pederasty in which an older male would court and adore a youth, providing guidance, mentorship, and acting as a kind of positive role-model that we very seldom encounter today. Youths were very much esteemed in ancient Greece, and celebrated for their innocence, beauty and promise. But for the youth to return the advances of his beloved mentor was considered shameful. Indeed, any sexual activity in which a male penetrated someone who was considered to be his social inferior was thought to be quite normal, but for him to be penetrated by anyone in a socially inferior position - including women, male youths, foreigners, prostitutes or slaves - was potentially shameful. It created a mentality that continues to last to this day, playing a psychological part (usually unnoticed) in same-sex relationships, gay/straight interaction, and even in straight relationships. It's a large part of why women are treated unequally in modern society - a holdover from the ancient Greek social patterns.

The Greeks even created a band of soldiers specifically for men and their beloved youths. The Sacred Band of Thebes used the love and camaraderie of their soldiers to boost their fighting spirit and increase their success in battle. Greeks would even invoke Eros before battle, to strengthen the love of men for men and therefore increase their ability to fight together and co-ordinate with one another. As Pammenes wrote:

"Homer's Nestor was not well skilled in ordering an army when he advised the Greeks to rank tribe and tribe... he should have joined lovers and their beloved. For men of the same tribe little value one another when dangers press; but a band cemented by friendship grounded upon love is never to be broken."

The ancient Romans on the other hand didn't even have a word for homosexuality, and unlike today's straight mainstream society bisexuality was considered to be the norm. Pederasty was regarded as a degenerate Greek practice and largely neglected, but the Greek mentality of social classification continued on as it still does in today's sexual relationships. Male-male sexual interaction was primarily that of master and slave, with adult Roman citizens acceptably able to penetrate male and female slaves - usually, but not always against their will - but to be penetrated by them was regarded as shameful. "Catamite" - referring to a younger partner in a male-male pederastic relationship - was often used as an insult to an adult male.

Sodom and Gomorah

While many people are familiar with the Old Testament story of Sodom and Gomorah and decry the sin of sodomy, most people don't seem to be aware of what that sin actually is - and it's gay people who take the flak for it. Sodomy originally referred to the people of Sodom's notorious tendency to be miserly, stingy and uncharitable, and that's the sin. Only later on did it become a verbal insult, and that's probably when people had to guess at what someone meant by it and the definition of the word morphed.

Let's say you're Lot, going into Sodom with your family. The people are debased and depraved, seemingly without a speck of reverence, dignity or compassion to them. You book a quiet room at the inn, and stay quietly inside with your wife, your son and your daughters for the night. Meanwhile the townspeople have gathered in a mob outside your door and start chanting and yelling for you to bring out your sons so they can "know" them - carnally. Your sons just aren't up for that sort of thing, but the mob keeps yelling and threatening to break in and hurt your whole family. Sobbing, you plead with them to just leave you alone, and eventually you're down to trying to negotiate with them - offering to let them "know" your daughters if only they'll leave your sons alone. But these people are having none of it. Eventually God sends some of His angels down into the city, and these guys try to jump and rape them too.

Is it really about the sex here? Of course not. The sin in the hearts of these people has nothing to do with sex, other than to use it as a means of being violent jerks. It's the same with most rapists today - the sex usually isn't the motivating factor. For them, it's all about the power. Why is it psychologically a huge power trip to forcibly have sex with someone? Because of that whole mindset left over from the ancient Greeks. What had started as an extension of their class system drifted and mutated until people applied it to turn sex into a way to do something dirty and shameful to someone. Even in straight sexual relationships today, men tend to feel like they're being allowed to do something shameful and awful to the women, and that carries a psychological impact with it. It still affects people today, if they can't see it at work and manage to think their way through it. And it affected the common misinterpretation of the sin of sodomy, until we now accept it as unnatural and forbidden by the Creator - despite the fact that we get gay animals too. According to Harper's Index, the chances that a ram is gay are one out of eleven. But society perpetuates mentalities until it sees through them, and it continues today. If it weren't for the fact that there's an innate drive in a lot of people to have same-sex relationships throughout all of history, the whole thing probably would've died out entirely by now.

World War II

The next major blow to gay-ness happened in WWII. Until then, even in World War I, same-sex daliances were accepted (usually quietly) - especially in the military. You can't help but accept something that's omnipresent and a fact of life. People spoke of generals who had a love for their men "that surpassed a love of a man for a woman", and it was all noble and glorified - and much-needed, in those desperate foxholes. Still, the Greek attitude towards penetration compromising ones' masculinity held a grip - if a somewhat relaxed grip in those times when you never knew if you were going to live long enough to see the next sunrise.

But in World War II, all of that changed. When FDR passed his conscription bill, two psychiatrists (Harry Stock Sullivan and Winfred Overholser) saw an opportunity to put their still-languishing science at America's disposal. They immediately sent Roosevelt a memo suggesting that in light of the enormous expense that resulted from having not screened potential recruits - more than half of the beds in U.S. hospitals in 1940 were still being filled by psychiatric patients from the last World War - perhaps it would be a good idea to do it early on this time. Since somewhere between 16 and 18 million men had registered for the draft, FDR thought this was a terrific idea and had them draw up some guidelines for acceptance into the U.S. military. This was the start of something neither psychiatrists - let alone the gay rights movement - were to be too pleased about. Within a year both the navy and the army had revised the plan, throwing in homosexuality to the list of "deviations" that would disqualify someone from service. Again, that ancient Greek mindset about it being unmasculine was influencing things - but nobody could pin it down like that, they just knew they were uncomfortable with the thought of it happening again among their soldiers. What had started as an effort to keep people out of psychiatric wards had turned into a way for prejudices of a few military personnel to become broadcast to an entire nation in the form of policy.

I cannot believe that a bunch of lacy-drawered, limp-wristed people could do what those men have done in the past.
-- Yuma mayor Al Krieger speaking against repeal of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy at Memorial Day service

I am reluctant to compare myself to George Washington or Abraham Lincoln, but I did get some feedback on what I said, and I don't believe that I said anything different than what they would have said.
-- Krieger, a week later

Once this association between homosexuality and mental illness became psychologically real to people - backed by the authority of the growing war machine and doubtless getting spread by word-of-mouth to soldiers' families and their communities, it began to subtly influence the perceptions of an entire society. Meanwhile, FDR informed the public on December 7, 1941 that he'd declared war. Overnight, the military went from recruiting what was to be a one-million-man service in waiting to a multi-million-man force needed for immediate active duty. Standards were lowered, defects such as marginal intelligence and minor paralysis were overlooked, and the military set aside its ban on gay soldiers. But the stigma remained, and the psychological momentum continued to snowball.

Psst! Check out this hilarious comedic piece on Gay Pride from 2, the Ranting Gryphon!

Modern Gay Pride

In all fairness, the categorization of homosexuality as a form of mental illness is one of the chief causes of the modern gay rights movement. Activists had originally been pushing just to get the word "homosexuality" in usage to get some kind of social recognition of people who identified as gay - only to have it stigmatized by the military and, eventually, mainstream society. It's generally a good indicator of a society's mental and spiritual health to examine how long it takes for hateful and prejudiced ideas to get rejected in the collective mindset of its people - and by the way, it's worth taking a look at America today and notice that they're starting to creep back in again as we have a form of social collapse and moral backsliding taking place. Eventually prejudiced attitudes accumulate in a society, and like a powder keg all it really takes is a couple of decent-sized sparks to set it all off. We've supposedly freed African-American slaves (although not if you research on Google for "14th Amendment citizenship"), but now people are starting to get angry at Mexican-Americans for coming into the country in droves, and at Middle-Eastern people they've never met for supposedly blowing up skyscrapers. Enough of that - and some well-planned stories in the news media - and we'll be forming lynch mobs again on a local level, particularly when the economy gets desperate enough. When does all the grumbling stop and the killing start?

And then of course, there's your friendly local gay people. We make great victims, and we're usually isolated. In an increasingly totalitarian system, we're usually derided for supposedly not having much in the way of masculinity - and no wonder! We've got people in the Gay Pride movement bounding around in wigs and high-heels! (When did transvestitism become gay, by the way? Wasn't the gay rights movement working for decades to get mainstream society to understand that they aren't the same thing?) The gay rights movement has, by and large, morphed into the Gay Pride movement - and it's done so as a result of the mentality that started in the military during World War II. And from there, it's lost its way. It's become something a lot less than it was - it has mutated into something weaker, something often useless and even counterproductive. It's losing its Pride, and it's very quickly losing even its Gay.

This always happens in established social movements when people stop being guided by their founding and governing principles - their moral compass - and start getting lazy and frivolous. It happens in organized religions, when they start relying on their established structure, ceremonies and trappings more than their values. There, we call it hypocrisy and idolatry. It happens in politics, when people stop being diligent and keeping control over their government. There, we call it corruption and high treason. And it's happening in the Gay Pride movement, where we acknowledge that it's tacky and just plain unattractive. I know how it's happening, too. What was until recently comprised by a bunch of individuals who understood themselves well enough to live by what they were rather than what society found acceptable, is now being carried on by people who've found it trendy and faddish, and made it even trendier. Gay Pride is doing to the gay rights movement what Hot Topic has done to the gothic-industrial scene. People have also been isolated enough to be more open to non-mainstream things like sexual practice and often frequent drug use, and just like someone who goes to a lot of parties and does a lot of drugs... eventually it stops being a party and they have to confront the fact that it's become simply an addiction. And usually it's so gradual that it's difficult to do - no obvious sign-posts to show the progression, just a gradual slide into something that's very unhealthy.

Pride without dignity

...is just irresponsibility. Don't get me wrong, I love a good party at least as much as the next man. And that's why I've learned to be responsible in life - I've had to. You simply have to learn to check your head if you're going to go doing something that isn't safety-proofed by society - or else you risk going off the rails with it, just as the Gay Pride scene is doing. If you take the dignity away from pride, what are you left with? Hubris. Empty frivolity. And irresponsibility. You can't have genuine pride without self-respect, and you don't have self-respect by acting heedlessly and refusing to acknowledge the effects of your actions, whether it's on an individual or on a collective level.

The 40 year-old British lady

Check this out: you have a demographic that, despite all of its trappings, symbols and stereotypes, is principally defined as people who enjoy same-gender interaction. Boys who like to kiss boys, and girls who like to kiss girls. So if you're a boy who likes to kiss boys, what in the name of all that is holy would ever cause you to do your best to act like a girl? I'm specifically talking about limp-wristed, lisping sissyism here, but the same is true of women who cut their hair short and wear lumberjack shirts and dirt-bike boots. Did I miss a meeting here? As a gay male friend of mine in San Francisco once put it, "Somewhere out there there's this 40 year-old British lady. We're not quite sure who she is, but we're all trying to act like her."

Somewhere along the way, we've taken the mentality from ancient Greece that says it's unmasculine to be penetrated, and the scene has not only accepted it - it's turned large swaths of the scene into some kind of caricature that sets about trying to prove it. And it plays on that mindset, scaring the wits out of the mainstream community as it claws threateningly at it like some fierce drag queen with long fire-engine-red fingernails. We've lost our sense of masculinity here, for the most part. Sure, some amount of animated eccentricism is the inevitable result of a scene where the meth and ecstacy flows freely. And not everyone does it, God love 'em. But it's why bottoms outnumber tops in the gay community by about nine to one. A lot of the masculine types in the gay scene even do the opposite, dramatically overemphasizing their leather-daddy dominant side until it's almost campy in and of itself. It's acutely painful to see so many distorted carbon-copies of the same mistake when you go out to a club or an event. Maybe it's true what they say - that having a scene is no substitute for having a personality of your own. And that comes with self-knowledge, not losing yourself to a trend and looking for your identity somewhere Out There.

Androphilia

Just as the Gay Pride scene came up out of the gay rights movement primarily as a reaction to the military policy shift in World War II, something new is coming up as a reaction to the parody most of the Gay Pride scene has made of itself. It's still fairly obscure, and people are calling it Androphilia. In other words, a love of (and attraction to) masculinity. It doesn't even identify as gay either, but it's trying to fill a void left in modern society. Jack Malebranche has done some very interesting work in this area, publishing an androphile manifesto through Scapegoat Press that scores a direct hit to many of the fundamental weaknesses in the Gay Pride movement. I can't recommend it enough for any gay male - go check out the review for it. Seriously. I'll wait right here.

A qualification

I've been very critical of men who've lost large swaths of their masculinity here, and I've got to qualify that. Not because I'm worried about getting a lot of angry Comments, but just because I sincerely don't want to place criticism where it isn't due in an effort to expunge some of the problems in the gay community. Some men have actually explored who they are, and discovered that a greater proportion of femininity simply is who they are. Some people are even transgender. If that's genuinely who you are - beautiful! Absolutely celebrate and treasure it. But for the vast majority of gay men - the odds are against you. In terms of probability, it's far more likely that it's simply a code of mannerisms and behavior that have rubbed off from other people - and it's not only emasculating, it's an assault on the very masculinity we're supposed to be interested in in the first place. More than that, it in all liklihood isn't who you are - and some of us are longing to see that instead! The person you really are is probably really beautiful, and you're keeping it in a little nightstand drawer somewhere and giving us this twitchy, clichéd marrionette in place of the real you. I don't know about you, but I sure feel cheated not getting to know the real you. And in all honesty... exactly how is hiding away your true nature considered "Pride"?

Taking the Gay out of Gay Pride

The Gay Pride community isn't just losing its Pride, but it's beginning to lose its Gay too. As the gay community starts to become more established in mainstream society it's starting to get settled, comfortable and stagnant. There's a blandification going on in the community that's sapping away so much of the gay from the gay community. Some of it comes from within the community itself, where wild parties and masculine revelry seem to have taken on all of the worst qualities of a tame, old-fashioned box-social. People stand around delicately sipping drinks, noshing on hors d'oeuvres, networking, making bawdy comments, exchanging the latest gossip and sniping each other as they jockey for position within the scene - but where's the party? Where, in fact, is the gay? This may as well be a company picnic, if not for the occasional over-the-top props to set the theme. Set side-by-side with the bacchanalia of old, much of the gay community events have become not unlike a women's sewing circle. We've managed to take the gayness in social situations as read, and proceed to move on to more worthwhile things like idle gossip and frivolous bon mots.

I have a wonderful friend who is a shining example of what it means to be a gay man - very self-actualized, joyous, positive, and even extremely civic-minded. He's put some thought into his life, and knows where he stands. As a result, when he demonstrates this in his life most of the other gay men are mysteriously attracted to this demonstration of who he is, consider him a prize, and clamber over one another to get into his pants. Of course they do - in living more in alignment with his true nature, he's offering people a harder currency than all the men who simply act out the same tired, worn-out mimeographed stereotype to everyone they meet. He's Quality, and that's very rare nowadays in the gay community. But, God bless him, he's also so civic-minded that he's a very active advocate within the gay community, and he can't date within his local area because it will get politicized and jeopardize his work. Somewhere along the way, thanks to the distored nature of much of the Gay Pride community, he's become politically gay. Too gay to be gay. And at that point, the substance of gay pride has been obscured by the form of it - subverted, even. It's a pretty disspiriting example of how much of the modern Gay Pride community has lost its way.

The form of the Gay Pride movement no longer expresses and embodies the spirit and function of it, and like a stillborn infant it remains, physically present but functionally lifeless. Encountering the Gay Pride community in life feels an awful lot like having someone give you an orange peel for your birthday, and for pretty much the same reasons. It's happening all over the world, in politics, in terms of our money, in our religions... and in our gay community. In a world where the essence of something is lost in favor of a structure - which only exists to embody that essence - actually living it can be one of the most subversive things someone can do. A sincere expression of who we are as people is one of the greatest threats to hypocrisy that ever was. That was why the ancient bacchanalia were eventually banned by the Roman senate - their popularity and expression of the spirit of the People was a threat to the senate's comparatively hollow authority. The deeper truth of who we are is always a threat to a false authority, and so the world always tries to tame it, domesticate it, and iron out of it everything that makes it worthwhile until it becomes like bland porridge. It's time we recognized that our sexuality - and our very nature as people - is dangerous, even subversive, to any fiction that stands in our way. And it's time to grab who we are by the horns and run, wild and roughshod, over anything that would stand in the way of being who we truly are... be it politics or the modern Gay Pride movement itself.

Whenever any group takes on enough public attention to start achieving some amount of acceptance in the mainstream community, it will eventually get noticed by politicians and marketing executives - who will start to legislate it and advertise to it. The gay community is no exception. Someone sitting in a boardroom somewhere must have decided, "Hey! We can make it a whole new marketting demographic!" And so they did. Gay magazines offering cruises, hairstyles, and fashion trends have created gay consumerism, marketing to moneyed and established gay men. These gay men must've been thoroughly wowed by the prospect of having achieved enough public notoriety that they bought into the idea sycophantically, until gay is rapidly becoming a "look" to such an extent that even straight men can emulate it by becoming "metrosexual" - an absurd word that would seem to refer to having sex with cities and towns. So now it's become a lifestyle, has it? Not in the sense of some sort of deep commitment that expresses who we are, but in the form of planned consumer purchases. Forgive me, but that sounds just a little bit like... losing our gay. Still, to be fair it does give the more shallow members of the gay community more useless banter to rattle on about at events while they're busy not being actually gay. "Did you see that lovely cruise to Hawaii? I met someone there who showed me the most fabulous hair product. I even got his card! No actual sex, but I can get you ten percent off..."

"I'm tired of seeing my sexual orientation used as a merchandising gimmick."

I'm sorry. I'd just rather actually be gay, rather than merely talk about something that tangentally has something peripherally related to something that bears some passing resemblance to what's considered by many to be the "gay lifestyle". Too many degrees of separation. Whatever happened to making out? Where's the fraternity, the warmth and affection - the passion? With everything the gay rights movement has gone through, did we do it just to sit around sipping drinks and making incessant chatter and off-color badinage? We came out of the closet for a reason - we need to stay out of it by living as who we are rather than just talking about it all the time.

The Future of Gay

If the gay community keeps on this course, we'll have taken the very worst of "gay culture" and merged it with the very worst of mainstream culture. It will be less and less worthwhile, and simply beome a meaningless trend. With the emphasis on sensationalism, it will have managed to scare off most sane people who are questioning their sexuality, and the only influx of new participants will consist of weak-willed young people who have no sense of identity and are looking to buy one off the rack rather than discover their own. Between the sniping, the power-plays and the infighting, and the influx of weak-willed youths, it will become increasingly predatory. And as it continues to drift away from its actual essence, it will become even more tacky and over-the-top... and useless. Meanwhile, it will have managed to incense mainstream Americans who are already starting to get angry at Mexicans for coming into the country in droves, and at Middle-Eastern people for supposedly being terrorists. As the economic situation continues to get worse, people are going to need someone to blame - and it certainly won't be themselves. Politicians would be a good direction, but of course they're too well-protected. So when the violence flares, minority groups will again see the brunt of it. And most of the Gay Pride movement has been prancing around like rodeo clowns for the past few decades, purporting to represent most gay people, while many of us live responsible lives and keep to ourselves. This makes the majority of the modern Gay Pride movement counterproductive and actually indirectly dangerous to many of us - and I wish it would stop acting as if it represented me.

Just another brand image

As it becomes more popular and shallow, the Gay Pride movement in general becomes more tacky, faddish and trendy. It has actually gotten empty and sensationalistic on one hand, and empty and drab on the other. We have several flavors of gay now, and most of them have undergone a gay-ectomy until it's become just another brand image - about as useful as slapping an anti-oil bumper sticker on your S.U.V.. The majority of gay activism in the mainstream culture has become as meaningless as the cola wars, with one shallow unhealthy movement clashing against another. It doesn't really matter who wins or loses - and I'm certainly tired of seeing my sexual orientation used as a merchandising gimmick. The gay rights movement has struggled for years to bring a recognition and tolerance of gay people into the mainstream culture, and it's an absolute mockery of the efforts of everyone involved just to reduce it to yet another marketplace brand or trendy clique. Quality people, people who have really evaluated themselves and gone through a process of self-actualization, are in the extreme minority in the gay community, and it's become filled with a lot of gossippy, counterfeit people clawing eagerly at anyone that has more value in their lives. Bottoms seeking tops just so they can drain, vampirically, some sense of their own power and masculinity through sexual osmosis - and who will usually settle for cheap, meaningless sex or others who have missed the mark by becoming an over-the-top parody of masculinity. True strength comes from within, and is naturally attractive. It's this that we're seeking and longing for, and we can only find it Out There by finding it within ourselves and offering it out to others by living it. There are some amazingly beautiful people going to waste in the world, simply because they won't look inward and acknowledge who they really are. That's the only thing that will set all this to rights, and it's a lesson the gay community would do well to learn for itself - and then demonstrate to the rest of the world. In a society that dissociates itself from anything of value, finding that value and living it, whether sexually, psychologically, socially, politically or magickally, is one of the most subversive things we can do. And the world desperately needs people to do just that.

Restoring gay pride

The Gay Pride movement has brought a lot of shame to the gay community. Of course it has - the drift away from its fundamentals has left it essentially empty, and without much value. But this article isn't about shame. It's about restoring pride. How can we do that? By bringing the community back in touch with the basis it was founded on. Forget the labels, drop the stereotypes, and bring back the very things that the system is worried that you'll reacquire... the ability to have gay sex and gay relationships without being willing to compromise them by jumping through a lot of societal hoops - whether they're prejudices brought about by the straight community or contorted gyrations of stereotypes and social protocols from within the gay community itself. They don't intrinsically matter - drop them, and get yourself some real gay.

By the same logic, get yourself some genuine pride rather than falling for shame that's been labelled Pride. Treat yourself with dignity. Accept yourself for who you are rather than feeling like you have to conform to some emasculated cliché. And make decisions you can actually be proud of. Think about how your behavior is going to be interpreted by those around you, particularly in mainstream society. If you believe you're part of a "gay community", if you really believe that - take a moment to think about how your own actions and choices will affect it, rather than acting like being gay is license to be totally irresponsible. Having fun and being responsible aren't mutually-exclusive - they're part of the same thing. How well do you think the BDSM community would fare if they were as habitually reckless and thoughtless as the gay community? Every good party needs to be taken care of, or someone's going to get stoned in the kitchen and leave the gas on absentmindedly. We can have the compassion and dignity to be that much of a caretaker in the gay community - and why not the rest of the world while we're at it - and that's when we'll be feeling some real pride. It's the natural result of making choices we can be proud of.

Repairing the Greek model

You know, I'd thought I was done with this article. I'd published it, and even gotten a few Comments on it. But over the last couple of days something's been flitting around the periphery of my mind, waiting to crystalize into conscious acknowledgement. There's an energy, a pattern, an archetype at the center of all this, and it's been hovering on the threshold of our collective recognition, impatiently waiting to come to the fore. After examining the situation together, what we've done here really isn't complete until we have a better approach in place of the original Greek take on penetration. The ancient Greek model is badly in need of a recalibration, in order to be a better, healthier expression of who we are and what we're doing. It's just starting to come to the surface in society, and I'd like to offer it to you here.

For Bottoms, instead of feeling like you need to reach out and seize someone who seems to have more masculinity than you, trying desperately to acquire some of that raw masculine power by snagging it in the process of sexual union - what if we tried something else instead? What if we acknowledged our own masculinity inside of us, offered ourselves to our partner physically with a sense of adoration and wonder, and in the process of being lovingly ravished we gratefully accepted getting to experience him intimately through his gift of masculine energy, which he knowingly gives to us?

For Tops, instead of feeling like we're inflicting ourselves on less-masculine (and therefore supposedly somewhat inferior or deficient) partners, robbing them of any innocence - feigned or otherwise - they might posess, suppose we tried something different? Supposing we gratefully accepted and claimed our partners, penetrating them and experiencing the intimate center of their being as though they were a gift that we lovingly unwrap, and in sharing ourselves with them in the form of masculine dominance we gratefully accepted getting to experience them in the form of their adoration, their affection and their grace as they offer themselves to us as both gift and supplicant?

We can use carnal intimacy and union to affirm what it was designed to express - a temporary physical act which acknowledges, if just for a moment, the eternal and intimate spiritual unity we share with each other. If you found yourself attracted to them, it was for a greater reason - you sensed with them to some extent the spiritual bond that unites us all with each other. Why not express that, affirm it, and enhance that carnally? It's what the sexual act is a placeholder for, after all. We're trying to experience a sharing and co-mingling of each other together - and through them, experience a sense of the Divine that shines within them. And the further we get away from the actual meaning and significance of our carnality, the more empty and unsatisfying it will be. We may as well intentionally get back to what it means to share physical union with someone else - it's getting away from that that created the whole problem in the first place. The same goes for straight pairings as well, as I've demonstrated earlier. We can dispel the flawed Greek dynamic by accepting the natural, inherent significance of a temporary physical bond - as a recognition and celebration of our eternal, spiritual unity with each other. We can take the pieces of a broken model we've inherited and replace it with something more perfect and worthy of us... and we can discover something that is profoundly more powerful, joyous and satisfying in the process.

Update: Caught!

Nearly two years after writing this Hub, I now have new information on the cause of this Gay Pride mess. It was an inside job, involving systematic tampering with the gay rights movement for political reasons by a group you've probably heard about before. The gay rights movement was deliberately corrupted and distorted to produce the very problem I'd noticed and written about here. Gay rights have become a casualty in an effort to terraform the political and social landscape. For more information, see my Hub The House That Couldn't Stand - Why the Masons are going under.

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MD FREE profile image

MD FREE 8 years ago from OC, California where extra is paid for good weather!

Hmmm

Okay, I am going to be honest with you and keep in mind that I am not at all trying to debate.

I have mixed feelings on this topic. I used to have a gay friend or two and I used to be more immature. My friend Richard grew more strange, into strange things and seemed like he was determined to get aids or do anything to be loved when he really did not feel deserving of love. I think you have a decent understanding of the psychology of those who don't feel good enough about themselves to even know themselves as man.

I do think if two people are capable of loving each other than they should go for it because straight couples aren't even good at that.

After having children I must say that womanhood has a whole new and supreme meaning for me! I used to feel men were the big dogs, the tough, the brave but in reality women have always uplifted men, have braved scenarios men couldn't and had enough strength to carry and uplift their men.Being a woman is amazing!

Being a woman wouldn't be the same without man! Good wouldn't be as sweet without the bitter.

There is something that is so unnatural about same-sex partners. Something that I feel they are missing! In a world of coka cola and frito lay did the feel that living up to a gender role was so terrible or impossible, perhaps imperfect?

When I think of Grecians and Romans I think of Julius Caesar Fu**### a man and beating a woman and having an empire built on corruption destine to fall. The wine, the binging and purging, the elite and materialism, parallel with today's gay.

Also, I have this one thing that when I hear it sounds so selfish and ridiculous to me; straight couples and gay couple do it alike. Egg buying, womb implants and surrogate mothers. I was formulating my first hub last not; it's not quite finished but Oprah was on with these folks as her topic. She asked this woman, what do you say to people that think this is wrong? The woman was crying about how people have no idea what it's like to not be able to spend money buying clothes for a baby and taking your child to school and the park. ( I imagine that is similar to how people who buy moneys and dress them up and give them lolipops causing monkey diabetes feel!)

A know of a lesbian that got implanted twice and her "life partner" is no longer in the picture.

Two things about artificial insemination that seem insane to me are:

* Is intercourse with the opposite sex so horrible? I am sure there are men that won't charge them $20,000 dollars just for some sperm injection!

* On a global scale, the population has risen from 1 billion to 6.5 billion at a record rate of 200 years and is more drastic in rising every decade. It is part of the $5.00 at the pump, part of the water crisis, part of the food crisis, part of global warming and it will be part of other serious problems to come.

Having children I cannot condemn anyone for wanting them. The thing is that if it cannot happen naturally it is selfish to artificially create beings when there are so many starving, so many that are in great debt.

Adopt a child and save a life! By forcing an artificial life are they not creating a greater crack to fall between for the group home abandoned child having now to watch the kid in the Cadilac Escalade with the T.V. consuming natural resources they could have if someone thought about them instead of there own selfish gayness or happiness?

I know that is not what you were writing about but when I see Gay and am lured to think about it.

Just giving an opinion. Hope you are in no way offended.


Satori profile image

Satori 8 years ago from California Author

MD FREE, while I disagree with some of your opinions I appreciate your taking the time to express them in a spirit of dignity and goodwill.

Same-sex partners seeming unnatural? Orientation, for me, was never a choice - it was innate. The same goes for pretty much every non-straight person I've known. I had a crush on a friend of mine when I was nine, but couldn't make heads or tails of it - I hadn't even heard the word "gay" yet.

Caesar was Roman. Rome definitely had its corruption - which was why it collapsed - but ancient Greece was before all of that. Modern-day Americans, I think, have had their sense of genuine pleasure ironed out of them by government and marketing execs, who want consumers to pursue empty, pleasureless pleasures because it creates a repeat market. Besides, if a government can crush your self-esteem enough to convince you that your pleasure is only properly used to further someone else's agenda, it doesn't have to worry about you yanking its leash to keep it in line.

Me and the idea of having kids are about as far apart as possible. I'd imagine that if I were to want kids (which is highly unlikely - so many grown-ups act like infants these days that infants, by association, now disgust me with their infantile behavior) I'd almost certainly do it by adopting. It just doesn't make sense any other way. Beyond that I don't have much of an opinion on insemination - most of the female stuff stays off of my psychologicval radar for reasons which are probably obvious. It sounds like you have a lot to talk about on the subject though - you may want to consider putting out a Request on the topic, and seeing what comes back. I do know that the gay community, by and large, hasn't really done a lot as far as finding ways to harmonize its agenda and nature with that of mainstream society - but then, pretty much nobody else is doing that either. If we spend some time trying to dovetail our own goals with what worked best for other people and the world, this place would be so much better.

Thanks for your readership, and your feedback.


pgrundy 8 years ago

This is so well done and well said. I wish people could be open and honest about their real lives and their real feelings and behaviors. So much that is written on this topic is just crap, just pure lies and crap.

I think most people are somewhere on a continuum of sexual feeling and lean one way or the other a bit more, and a smaller number are far to either end--that is exclusively hetero or exclusively homosexual. If you are born oriented towards one end of the continuum you just are what you are, there's no debating it. It would be like debating with a tree over whether it is CHOOSING to be a tree or not.

Many heterosexual people are not honest about their real lives and feelings, hence their extreme overreactions to homosexuality. My first husband had sex with men freely, but always on the receiving end of someone else's oral attentions. His comment? "I can't help it if fags all want me." He didn't consider himself gay and was all the time mocking the men who fell in love with him. (I was only married to this guy for a year, and I was young and there's background, so cut me some slack on this ok?)

My third husband considered himself to be bisexual. Honestly, looking back, I think he was just sex-obsessed period. I think anything that held still long enough was fair game in his little world. But if he had been able to be honest with himself, I think he'd have admitted he preferred men.

For myself, after examining all my options (and trust me, if you've ever taught in Women's Studies you HAVE to examine you options, they MAKE you do it, no matter how sure you think you are about yourself, and it's a grim, serious process let me tellya...) I've decided I am unfortunately heterosexual but just deeply neurotic. It happens.

Thank you for a very thoughtful post on a serious topic.


Satori profile image

Satori 8 years ago from California Author

Thanks, Pam. My take on honesty is that life is too short to be dishonest with ourselves or anyone else about who we are. Well, either too short to, or too long and tedious to. We've moved on from the 1950's - is there some law that says that each new generation has to find some new and innovative way to be just as headless as the last one?

And the really funny thing is, our orientation seldom matters to other people anywhere near the extent that it matters to us. As citizens we're so used to this mindset that we've perpetually got to be defending outselves, justifying our own personal choices. Sure - it keeps people from demanding answers of their public servants, so there's profit to be had in broadcasting that message at people. But ultimately - when we're living a lie, the person we're hurting the most is us.

I guess that's a lot of why I refuse to take any guff from society about who I am - whether it's mainstream society, or gay society. Society's whole excuse for coming into being is to allow us to be who we are, safely and more effectively. If it's not going to do that, and particularly if it's going to trip over itself trying to make itself an obstacle to us, it's time to chuck it - or overhaul it. I don't think we were Created to sit around being people we're not, and anything that's trying to make us do that is bucking a power that's a lot stronger than it is. Some days, it's almost slapstick to watch.


pgrundy 8 years ago

What's been hard for me is not so much sexual orientation as just all the horrible relationships I've had in general. There's a lot of stigma, like, God Pam, can't you keep it together? Of course, I live in the midwest, so I do think it's uglier here than on either of the coasts.

My perspective is that it would be strange if I didn't have a lot of trouble learning to have a healthy sexual relationship considering my background and all, and the fact that at least I have the sense to ditch something that's gone horribly wrong (or was always horribly wrong) is a plus, not a minus. Most people are fairly judgmental though, especially women. Why are women so proud of tolerating abuse? They are, tons of them are. It's so sick.

I try to keep a sense of humor, but it pisses me off sometimes. People can be such assholes. There's really no soft way to say it.


Satori profile image

Satori 8 years ago from California Author

There's a traditional saying in Africa that I think applies here. "There is a traditional saying in Africa, though, that I think presents a very good idea here, "It is not what name you call me, but what name I answer to that matters." People can be any absurd thing they want. They can even skydive without a parachute if they so desire. But as long as _we_ keep to our values, our nature and our dignity we'll not only stay on the right course, but we'll also make sure we're not making those same skewed choices ourselves. And that's what a moral compass is for. It really is a kind of Spider-sense that saves our bacon countless times.


MD FREE profile image

MD FREE 8 years ago from OC, California where extra is paid for good weather!

My comment here has been bugging me for some time now. I think perhaps I was being too narrow minded.

Maybe you have felt that way genetically. When I consider that my son (2 years old) is the typical alpha male. He can kinda skateboard, do flips/handstands, loves football and can dribble a basketball, and not to mention will shine for any beautiful woman. When he was barely a one year old, a pretty girl wanted to hold the cute baby and he was quick to get a feel in her shirt. He is a natural alpha male and none of these behaviors are taught to him at home. My husband doesn't grab my breasts or slap my ass in front of him, so, I am to assume that these are his own natural boy behaviors.

My apologies to you, if I thought it could not be natural! I truly just do not know, I suppose. I don't think it is worth making laws about. As for prop 8, I feel like, what sanctity of marriage? Are they basing marriage on traditional Christian views? If so, doesn't that go against separating church from state? the argument that we would teach it in schools is also ridiculous. What would we teach? Is it something sexually active teenagers should know????

I don't know, but I will certainly vote no on 8 and 4 and 5 and 6 and 11 and there is definitely one other no vote necessary.


Satori profile image

Satori 8 years ago from California Author

MD FREE, thanks for your comment. The whole gay thing takes a lot of getting used to, certainly in this culture. It took a while for me when I realized I was. It wasn't something I asked for - by the same token, it's something that has brought value into my life in a way that I would never have otherwise suspected. Throughout my life I've encountered little things here and there, and I'd like to share two of them with you that I think might make coming to terms with the idea a little easier.

A few years ago I was reading Harpers Index in the San Jose Mercury News - they have all kinds of statistics that are pretty interesting, and so to this day I now remember that the chances that a ram is gay are one in eleven. And there's a concept that drifts through the gay community when someone suggests that being gay is a choice - the idea goes something like, "If you think being gay is a choice, try choosing it yourself and see how well you do with it." A totally straight person could choose to have gay sex, and maybe even succeed, but their heart wouldn't really be in it. I think of that when I read about people who were "cured" of being gay, and are now involved in straight relationships. I'm mildly psychic and can often "read" a person's face, and in most cases it's usually pretty evident to me that they haven't been "cured", and that they're doing what they think is the right thing - but it's just not right for them. And I feel bad for them.

I absolutely appreciate your intent behind your apology, and I think that's beautiful of you as a person. I also think I don't deserve it, nor have you offended me. There's a saying in the various fringe communities to the effect that, "What you think of me is none of my business." Usually it's meant with a certain amount of self-righteous hubris, but that's not how I mean it. I guess I just mean that your take on things has affected you a whole lot more than it's affected my life - and as another person on the planet, it's nice to see you working through stuff and coming to terms with it. That generally makes for a happier life. =)

Prop 8 has certainly gotten the gay community stirred up, hasn't it? And doubtless large segments of the straight community as well. Many of my gay friends are working hard to advocate No on 8 (which is trying to undo the recent gay marriage legislation in California if I understand it correctly, for those of you who may not know) but for me it's not only not personally relevant - it's not my government - my research leads me to think that it's pretty peripheral. People put stock in what to me seems very much like a politically-motivated distraction, just like people who think that good government happens magically by people merely getting up and voting every four years. It would be nice, but I really don't think so. But it is nice to see you taking an interest, and if I've contributed in some small way to helping someone get past preconceived ideas and make room for more love for people in their life then this whole Hub has been worthwhile.

If you're interested, I've already written a Hub to set people straight - so to speak - on the Gay Marriage con. You may want to have a look. I find it difficult sometimes to respond to Requests (as I had with that Hub) because usually the Pro and Con views in society about issues don't take into consideration a lot of the underlying flaws in the issue itself. And that's when voting starts to parody pro-wrestling, or maybe Ricki Lake. In this case, I just went ahead and laid down what I had, rather than keeping quiet and let people root for their respective teams, whether Pro or Con. Perhaps I should do that more often - it seems to have gotten through to people in a big way. At any rate, here's the link if you're interested:

http://hubpages.com/relationships/Getting-wise-to-...

Thanks again for your comments. It was nice talking with you about this. I've already had to go through dealing with it, so I can empathize with someone else trying to work their way through the muddle. You've been very kind and treated me with dignity, and I hope I've done the same. I appreciate your readership.


MD FREE profile image

MD FREE 8 years ago from OC, California where extra is paid for good weather!

You are welcome! Yes, part of it was simply apologizing for my own ignorance. Regardless I think it is natural or not, I think I would still vote no, because it is not my business to say what kind of relationships are subject to tax benefits or what not. Corporations are really enjoying the marriages! True capitalists and free thinkers will say no, no doubt. It is sometimes hard to see past cynical views of others and find the self's opinion. I have heard so many theories about why it happens, it was hard to conceive it could be completely natural. You raise a very good point about trying to change your sexual orientation and see if it is really a choice.LOL

 I think the next four years I with be helping organizations put pressure on Obama to have him live up to these changes. Bush really screwed the people up and the ignorants will likely blame Obama at every chance. Still he is a mason and since I don't live in a swing state, I will be voting Cynthia McKinney! I think I will also promote third party candidacy in the next 4 years. Oh, and I made a mistake, I am actually voting yes on 5 because no matter what we spend to help these "criminals" we spend more to keep them in jail and there are too many people in jail!

 

Take care! I am so busy and don't get to read as many hubs as I would like. I have recently returned to college and am getting a degree that matters this time, Environmental Science. If my math sucks, I will work on the public policy side of Environmental studies.

 


Karen Weir profile image

Karen Weir 7 years ago from Alberta Canada

Satori, I just want to thank you for sharing your perspective. I realize you wrote this over a year ago, but it just showed up as a related hub on my hub LOL. As a straight woman, I have always advocated for equality for all, but the gay pride parades and events have always disturbed me. On one hand I "get" the need and desire to protest the oppression, but as you so eloquently point out, these flamboyant displays are really not reflective of the "lifestyle" for lack of a better word, and really doesn't offer anything for young confused people to relate to. Instead, for some, I would imagine it causes more shame than pride.

If you are interested, here is the link to my hub on the topic:

http://hubpages.com/politics/About-Gay-Pride


bearclawmedia profile image

bearclawmedia 6 years ago from Mining Planet Earth

Dude! You rock, what an awesome read. How come this hub is only an 80?

Thanks for such a thorough job well researched and written to be read. Your writers voice shines through as does your conclusion. I am speechless. Bearclaw


The Rope profile image

The Rope 6 years ago from SE US

What an incredibly well written hub! (I'm sharing it immediately hope you don't mind.) And the incredible thing is the open, honest and dignified discussion it has inspired. Thank you.


jesimpki profile image

jesimpki 4 years ago from Radford, VA

I loved this hub! When I was growing up and learning the "evils" of homosexuality, and also seeing the media stereotype that most people think of as "gay," I was very confused that I should feel this way towards other men, yet the only thing I had to compare myself to was the stereotype that clashes with my personality. Voted up!

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