Saturday, June 7, 2014

Understanding gay attraction

Gay attraction

So, for those of you who don't know, my son is gay.  As he says, "I'm the rainbow and the pot of gold at the end."  He came out to his mother and I when he was 14, an act that took courage.  His mother said, "And . . ."  I said, "Who wants coffee?" knowing he loves coffee and it would be awesome for him to have some while we talked about it.

In the time since then (He's 17 in a couple of weeks), he's flourished and truly come into himself.  All that aside, he's just an awesome person in general.  He's caring and giving and he has a sharp sense of humor that delights and occasionally startles.  I couldn't be more proud and thrilled to call him my son, simply for the person he is.

Me and Joe

But anyway, the reason for this blog post is because of something he posted on Facebook recently.  It's about knowing how he is attracted to the same sex.  I thought his response to the question is perfect and I believe it should be shared with others.

Joe's words:

"So, for a long time I have been asked a question that I consider rather silly when I tell people I'm gay. I tend to get the question, "Have you ever been with a woman?" and when I answer no I get a follow up question,"Well then how do you know that you're gay." 

For a long time I haven't come up with an answer to this question because I feel it is silly for me to humor a question that can be answered with, "How do you know your straight if you've never been with a man?" and that I feel questions my confidence in who I am as a person, but I think it is finally time for me to humor so here it goes. 

I know that I am attracted to men and not to women because in my life I have never felt romantic feelings for a woman. Before you go saying, "That's not a valid answer!" let me explain. When I have talked to women it has never led me to get the light-hearted tingly feeling that is associated with love, even with all the things I've discussed with them. However, when I've talked to SOME guys I have experienced this feeling. Along with that, I also gain a sense of security when talking to a guy (whom I'm attracted to) that I have never experienced with a woman. 

Furthermore, there is a sexual aspect that most of society can't get over. When people talk about this, they usually ask about the genitalia, and I can assure you that this is of no interest to me, but it's more then just the genitalia. When I find someone attractive it is usually because they have deeper set eyes, more predominate cheek bones, and broader body build, traits that women don't have. Now I'm not saying that I can't see what makes a woman attractive in today's society or admire them, I'm just saying that overall: their physical traits, mental characteristics, and yes their genitalia combine to make them romantically and sexually unattractive to me while a man's does. 

So I think this should put a silly end to a silly question."


I hope this post helps people to understand.  I'm also thrilled to share how awesome my son is.

All my best,

John H. Carroll