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The expectations and roles I had learned growing up made navigating the power imbalances of same-sex relationships that much more difficult.
We take the descriptor "straight acting" in our community and hold it up like a holy grail. If we can achieve this goal, we will finally be able to hide through camouflage. We are the beautifully broken, a cast of misfits simultaneously fighting ourselves, other gay men, and society, in a quest for survival.
I'm sure most of us have had experiences with an overly aggressive man trying to strong-arm you into a sexual relationship. Why does this happen? My theory is simple. These men overcompensate. They fight this, they embrace "bro" culture -- anything to feel they have "reclaimed" this lost masculinity.
I crushed on guys who were "out of my league." I saw others get attention while I was ignored or rejected. I felt bad about my body, which was mostly fat, with little or no visible muscle. My face was pretty and my mannerisms were soft, leaving me pretty low in the hierarchy. So I took action.
Prior to the 1970s, house parties were an essential element of the homosexual social scene. Photographs of these private affairs are rare. The few that are available in archival collections memorialize a history of forced seclusion. One of the most tantalizing photographs I've come across in my research of Canadian LGBT history is of a trio of men attending a Christmas party in 1956. Standing in front of a decorated tree, a young man with a then-stylish pompadour delights in opening his gift while another man, who has his arm around him and another gentleman, looks on.
A minority is defined as dangerous by a segment of society that clings to traditional views of acceptability. They fail to recognize prejudices inherent in their views until a hard-won fight for equal rights and shifting zeitgeist forces them to move on, foisting their fears on the next marginalized group.
Muslim scholar Yasir Qadhi recently posted a video on LGBT issues in "modern Islam." He views the issue of same-sex relationships primarily through the lens of "urges" and the singular act of "anal intercourse" between males.
As a sex therapist in private practice, I'm asked all sorts of interesting questions on a regular basis. The following touched on sensitive and important issues deserving of being shared with others. Here's the question. Do you agree with my answer?
The intersection of Tamil and Gay seems to signal malfunction. Whether we judge ourselves or are judged by our families or communities, the anxiety and fear caused by discrimination is real. We allow social shaming to dictate the way we feel about a situation, and obsess about what others think.
Schools have traditionally emphasized conformity as a way to encourage fitting in. Those who do not conform can find themselves facing discipline for infractions that, in other circumstances, would draw little if any attention. How well can rules to create conformity work for a transgendered teenager? Not well at all.