Dec 13, 2011 @ 11:54 am | By TheFeministGriote | 4 Comments
I don’t know what is more damaging to the queer movement heterosexuals who refuse to let go of their heterosexist ideology or self-hating queer people who fuel propaganda and misinformation about queerness. One one hand there is the heterosexist thinking of Tameka Raymond the ex-wife of Usher who tweeted she feels that gay men should wear wrist bands so that they’re easily identifiable to the masses, which takes the phrase wearing your “sexuality on your sleeve to a whole new level.” Then there was the interesting tweets of Sandra Rose, lesbian urban gossip blogger whose opinions on sexuality tend to mirror that of an ultra conservative man.
Last week Sandra Rose tweeted the following tweets giving the twitterverse the abridged version on the complexities of sexuality;
As a child something happened in my environment to make me change my sexual orientation. So miss me with that born gay BS.
When I was a girl I was into boys. I remember that clearly. I used to wonder why the little girls wouldn’t leave me the hell alone, lol.
I find these comments to be misguided and dangerous. The belief that something has to happen outside of a person in order to propel them into the trajectory of a lifestyle of homosexuality, is the type of reductionist thinking I thought only could be heard on FOX news. For Sandra Rose a self-identifying queer woman of color to make these comments is problematic and I almost want to believe that she is joking.
Not too long ago, the American Psychological Association(APA) labeled homosexuality as a disease. It was not until 1973 that the APA decided to remove that label from homosexuality. Up until then gay men and women in America were revered as being afflicted with the “gay.” Like being gay was akin to having diabetes or being a sociopath. Although it was only 38 years ago, I’d like to think that we are evolved enough in our thinking as a society to know that being gay is not a disease or defect, but Rose’s tweets and the tweets of those who agreed with her cracker jack philosophy tells me otherwise.
My question to Sandra Rose and those who think like her, what has to happen in your environment growing up to make you gay? Does one need to have an overbearing mother, absentee father, born with too many siblings of the opposite sex than you, or is the insinuation here that sexual abuse is the common denominator. Although Sandra Rose did not explicitly mention sexual abuse, I am taking the liberty of doing so because it appears very obvious what is being implied. I have heard many people use the argument that being sexually abused as a child is a precursor to being gay. According to RAINN (Rape Abuse Incest National Network) among children 44% of rape victims are under the age of 18. Based on these staggering numbers there are lots of children who who are being preyed upon by sick men and women who have an unhealthy sexual affinity for children. Does that mean that they all have now been predisposed to the gay? This type of dangerous assertion is not helpful for anyone. Essentially what is being said, is that sexual trauma causes one to be gay. Sexual abuse is very common in our society unfortunately, the Penn State and Syracuse scandal remind us of that. Sexual abuse causes deep psychological, emotional, and biological harm it’s not an agent for someone becoming gay. Don Lemon CNN anchor who came out as a gay man and as a sexual abuse survivor on air this year while discussing the Eddie Long sexual abuse scandal, has made it clear that his sexuality has nothing to do with his sexual abuse history. One’s sexual abuse history and sexual orientation are two different things and should be treated as such!
If something has to happen to you to make you gay, what is the other “thing” that happens to you to make you straight? Also what about bisexuals, pansexuals, and asexual human beings what is their story? This is where the argument really starts to get murky. Queerness is not a pathology or a glitch in the universal matrix, it is simply another form of sexual expression and attraction. To me Sandra Rose’s words sound like internalized self-hatred. Blaming a defect or deviation in your environment as the root cause of why you are queer does not sound like the words a healthy self-adjusted human being would say about themselves. Sandra Rose has the right to have negative feelings about her sexuality if she so chooses, but to pass off her opinions as if they’re gospel and to hand over to anti-gay critiques this type of damaging rhetoric is beyond my scope of understanding. There are several scientific studies that conclude that learning begins in the womb during gestation and even consciousness, so if that is the case why would it be so far fetched to believe that one’s sexuality could have been coded into you long before you entered the world?
We really need to raise the bar of intelligent conversation surrounding sexuality. Homosexuality is as old as heterosexuality. Queerness is not a new phenomenon therefore let us collectively stop acting like it is!
What are your thoughts, do you agree or disagree with Sandra Rose & more importantly why?
Categories: Mind Over Chatter