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Friday, October 14, 2005

Theory # 5: The Gay/Straight continuum

I don't think that all people can be classified as either gay or straight. Neither do I think that it's all in your head. I believe that there's a spectrum, that everyone's sexual orientation falls somewhere along a line between 100% gay and 100% straight, and that a person is born with their point on the line fixed.

It seems to account for those who change orientation, those who are bisexual, and those who are primarily one or the other but enjoy a little taste of the other side.
I always think of Willow on Buffy the Vampire Slayer_ as a good example. She seemed very happy with Oz initially, then she fell in love with Tara. The show portrays her as 100% gay in the later seasons, but to me, that makes no sense. Was she faking it with Oz, repressing her true self? Or did she have a complete change in sexual orientation? I don't think either is true. It makes so much more sense to me that her sexual orientation lay somewhere in the middle, and that it was the persons of Oz and Tara that she was attracted to rather than their gender.

I've seen objections to this theory from both political sides, but the objections seem to me to be mostly political: if all homosexuals aren't 100% gay, then they can be "cured," or forced or convinced to change their ways. But unless you believe homosexuality is a bad or perverted thing, it really doesn't matter if someone is 100% gay, or if they're only 60% gay and while they enjoy the opposite sex, they simply prefer their own.

The continuum theory also explains the stereotypical homophobe--he's probably somewhere in the middle of the continuum, but represses any homosexual feelings because he believes they're perverse, wrong, or evil.

Of course, I don't think that this theory will be publicly accepted for a long time, if ever--even if it's scientifically proven. On the straight side, it's easier for people to accept someone who's completely different than to accept that someone who lives differently differs from themselves only in degree. And it's probably easier for gays to avoid religious or societal guilt if they're completely different from what's proposed as "normal," with no overlap. Which unfortunately leaves a lot of guilt and non-acceptance for all those in the middle, making them either perverse or in denial.

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hey mom why do you have two #4 theories? just wondering. :-D
haha creative spelling :-)
Because I can't count? Thanks--I fixed it.

Cute spelling. I always said you were creative.
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