Friday, December 7, 2007

and I won't tell them your name.

I hate the term "Same Sex Attractions." "Same Gender Attractions" is even worse. Gayness is soooooo much more than attractions. I am much more than a person who is attracted to those of the same gender. And it is much more than my sex drive that craves men. The love that I feel towards men is emotional, social, mental, and physical. It is something that is deep and rounded, not something as shallow as so many assume and say.

Straight people never think of themselves as straight. They never think of their relationships as differently gendered. They simple are. They simply go on dates with people they like. They simply fall in love with the one who stands out. Why can't I do the same?

I don't think of myself as gay. I don't think of my relationships as same gendered. I just am. And I'm just dating.

How many of you have actually had sex with someone of the same gender? No, you haven't? But you're still gay? Well I'm sure that you walk around craving gay sex all day, right? No, you don't? Hmmmm. I just wish that I could help others to understand that homosexuality is not about sex. It's so much more. Maybe we can find a term that will show the depth of what is at play here- a term that doesn't imply some sort of sexual disorder. Better yet, maybe we can get to the point where we don't need a term. Where we can just be.


Abelard Enigma said...

I'm with you. I hate, with a passion, the terms "Same Sex Attraction" and "Same Gender Attraction". If I'm not struggling with same gender attraction than what am I? Am I same gender attracted? Does that make the rest of the world opposite gender attracted?

When the term "MoHo" was first coined and the ensuing brouhaha about who should be allowed to call themselves a MoHo - I proposed we make up a word that didn't have any preconceived baggage with it, like "glirk". But, it didn't fly. :)

Until someone comes up with a better word, I'll just continue to use the word 'gay'. It is elegant in its simplicity.

draco said...

*Sigh- I agree with you Peter. It's unfortunate that we're so good at labeling. It reminds me of that one episode of The Office- I think it's called "Diversity Day."

Potentate said...

Yeah, I stuck with 'ssa' for about a week and a half after the last EG conference, if that. Why three words when one will do?

And oh my goodness. Diversity day rocks my socks.

biggins said...

I can't say I have any input on the terminology/label front, but this I know: you've finally referenced a song I can rally behind. No offense, but other than the Goo Goo Dolls I think we have very different tastes in music :)

Therapevo Ydata said...

I personally like the term SSA or SGA. I defines a part of me, but I don't let it define my whole life. My name (my real one) is what defines me and the person that I naturally am. There is no other word that can describe me. It is who I am. I am ... or Therapevo Ydata or Ydata for short.

I don't think that there can be a word that describes who I am or who all of you are.

[əɪ̯ wʌndɹ̟] said...

Ydata, I don't think he is looking for a single word that can describe him. Rather, he is saying that labelling that part of us, or IT "same gender/sex attraction" isn't explaining the entirety of what we feel. And, in fact, calling it SSA/SGA can make it so that those who are "straight" misunderstand what being gay is all about.

Peter said...

iwonder, you captured what I was trying to say perfectly!

J G-W said...

A couple of years ago, I brought home the videos produced by LDS Resources, and Göran and I watched all of them.

Göran was totally puzzled and annoyed by the constant use of "same sex attraction." He looked at me funny, and he said, "We're gay. Why can't they just say we're gay?"

It's so much more than "attraction." Until folks accept that, cope with that, and come to terms with that, they will never understand exactly what it is we're dealing with.

I wish we had the luxury that straight people take for granted of just being able to "be."

drex said...

I personally use "SSA" as a reduction of the complete set of feelings etc. that are the package-deal of what we tend to go through in general. There is no way to have a term that adequately represents the multitude of things associated with it - "gay" is just as good as "SSA" in that regard, in my opinion. SGA is worse, because gender is a social construct, and same-gender attraction is a misnomer - most of us would be no more attracted to women who identify as men than to women who identify as women.

Sure, "SSA" doesn't do us justice, but I don't think gay does, either.

One of So Many said...

It's why I use the term SGAY. Combining the best of SGA and GAY.

J. Rebecca said...

[dipping in a little late here, but that's what you get for not being on the same blogging service as me ;)]

You know, Pete, I don't know that I'm with you here on "Same-Sex Attraction" being a more limiting term than "gay."

Of course, it's kind of squelchy because it's covered in your doctrine [I have never, ever heard someone non-LDS use that term!], so I could see where it would make you uncomfortable, maybe feel like it's a term that implies sin?

But well: it's actually a concept I'm rather fond of, if you're willing to interpret attraction to be a little less "ooh, she's hot" and a little more ... un-break-apart-ably magnetic ;)

See also

Remus said...

i use whatever. though i prefer saying gay. one syllable. call me lazy. i just like guys. they're HOT!!