Thursday, December 15, 2011

Gay Culture and Sex Addiction

via Huffpost Gay Voices, by Alexandra Katehakis

Support for gay marriage is on the rise. Every new survey shows greater tolerance and greater acceptance of the fact that homosexuality is a personally integral and relational truth that warrants equal rights.

With this support, we also see the rise of greater diversity in gay culture depicted by the media. Certainly the suburban gay parent is a fairly recent standard prototype in the collective consciousness that has gained traction from popular fiction, namely Modern Family and The Kids Are All Right, and from real-life celebrity parents like Rosie O'Donnell and Neil Patrick Harris.

The suburban gay parent does much to humanize the prevailing stereotype that depicts lesbians and gay men solely as promiscuous and unstable, propagated just last month by the conservative, religious website LifeSiteNews in response to Newsweek's recent cover story on sex addiction:

"[H]omosexuals are known for having superficial, short-term relationships and hundreds of lifetime sex partners..." (That's perhaps the least offensive quote in their homophobic article.)

I have to wonder about the degree to which any so-called "deviant" lifestyle traits displayed by LGBT people are ultimately an inherent psychological reaction to institutionalized homophobia at every level.

Let's take this trip. First, there's the closet, this toxic idea that it's not OK to be gay, compelling LGBT children to hide their truth.

Gay kids live in silence for fear of the repercussions of disclosure, which can include rejection, abandonment, and bullying to the point of suicide.

Gay bullying is perpetrated by peers, parents, teachers, community leaders, and world leaders.

While many minorities suffer oppression, from disenfranchisement to outright discrimination to persecution, few minorities additionally experience such extreme degrees of intimidated relational repression during formative years as the LGBT community.

What effect does this have on people? As a result of this coerced repression, there exists insufficient co-regulation to explore appropriate relational valuing, which is the process of integrating personal reality with authentic expression that results in healthy, intimate relationships.

Instead, an abyss has to be crossed where a child "comes out." For LGBT people, this is a rite of passage with a wide range of emotions that is experienced mostly in emotional isolation.

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