Busting the myths about homosexuality

Most of us have many preconceived misconceptions about homosexuality. Read on to differentiate between the myths and the facts

By Deepak Kashyap, counselling psychologist

Are all effeminate guys gay? Why are so many gay guys effeminate?
No, not all gay people are effeminate. There are many “masculine” boys and men who are gay as well. It’s just that effeminacy in a man gives him more visibility compared to the “masculine stereotype of a man”, which helps them blend in with the crowd. Some men who are gay might consciously hide their homosexuality behind the same masculine façade in a more successful way, or so they think, compared to others who can’t help but be visible. That’s also a fortunate reason that most gay rights movements around the world, from Stonewall to Humsafar Trust in India, by people who can’t help but be and look themselves.

Unconscious mannerism (masculine or feminine), just like many traits about ourselves are governed by our biological and psychological natures. Hormones and other mostly unknown biological factors govern how people will sound like (high pitch or low pitch voice), walk like and talk like. If that wasn’t the case, why do you think people will choose to act or behave in a certain way (boys being feminine in this case), which can only get them ridiculed, ostracised and trivialised. When we are not acting, we are just being ourselves. I think we should not let our internalised sexism and misogyny, give us the right to make fun of people.

Isn’t sex between two men and two women un-natural? You can’t even have babies, can you? Are you all impotent?

No, it is not. Homosexuality has been found not only in humans but in almost every other primate species, some fish species and other animals. You can see homosexual sexual activity and pair-bonding in flamingos, cats, bison, geese, dolphins, bonobos, monkeys, dogs, donkeys to name a few. There is nothing in nature, which is extra-natural or un-natural, remember the verse Vikruti Evam Prakriti (what seems un-natural is also natural) from the Rigveda.

Anyway, homosexuality is natural because it comes naturally to humans. Just because someone is homosexual that doesn’t mean that they are impotent. Impotence has no links to homosexuality. If that was the case then how is it that those homosexuals who choose to marry women still have children? Also many homosexual couples and single individuals go for surrogacy. They very well adopt children too.

The whole argument of ‘sex is for reproduction’ is very misleading and simply not true. Humans are among those very few species of animals that have sex not only for reproduction, but to express love, experience emotional fulfilment and to enjoy their lives. It is true for heterosexuals alike. To repeat, expression of love and experience of emotional fulfilment are equally important purpose and some times more important than reproduction. That’s why heterosexual couples with no children are not forced to separate from each other.

Homosexuality causes AIDS, doesn’t it?
No, homosexuality doesn’t cause AIDS. A virus, called HIV causes AIDS. This virus can be transferred through sexual activities and some activities which are not sexual at all. Straight people (heterosexuals) can get HIV through the same mediums and unprotected sexual activities as gay people (homosexuals) can.

Having said that it is important to recognise that homosexual men are more likely of getting HIV statistically compared to their straight counterparts. That’s not because they are gay, it’s because they are ignorant of the dangers involved with sex itself. In almost every part of the developing world the homosexual population is the hidden and inaccessible population with no means of finding out about the right practices and no power with the NGO of educating this segment of society. The similar case was with the straight population before the onset of AIDS epidemic, but it was easier to educate them and talk to them, as it wasn’t illegal to be straight.

Isn’t anal sex un-natural and unhygienic?
Anal sex can be unhygienic, just like any other sexual activity if the body parts involved are not cleaned properly. It’s a question of personal hygiene in general, which can apply to vagina and penis too. 

Don’t people change once they have married a person from the opposite sex?
No, they don’t change their sexual orientation. They still desire partners of the same sex even if they have been married “happily” to the partner of opposite sex. Besides homosexual, just like anyone else should not destroy a girl’s married life, which in most cases is her entire life; by marrying them as a means to “cure” themselves. 

Is homosexuality all about sex?
No, it is not just about sex. It is about love and emotional fulfilment, which a homosexual can get only with the partner of the same sex. It is about romance and it’s about the same dreams and hopes, which straight people have with their personal lives they share with who they choose to love. It’s about the freedom to be oneself and acceptance of one’s nature. 

Can homosexuality be spread and will homosexuality increase if the female population decreases?
No it can’t be spread. No one can choose to be gay or straight or force others to be gay or straight. It is out of a conscious decision making faculties of our brain. Society will continue to function the way it has been functioning, because historical evidence suggests that in any given population the majority (80-90 percent) have opposite sex attraction, it isn’t likely to change any soon and besides it is in no one’s hand. One can be rest assured that if India’s population dwindles down to that of an endangered species, gay men and lesbian women would be more than happy to donate their sperms and eggs to support it back to a less scary number.

We have no research till today to prove that straight men will become gay if the number of women in the general population goes down. This is a myth. We can safely say that increased number of women will not affect the number of gay men born in anyway either.

Isn’t “homosexuality” a western import?
It is not an import at all for anyone. It is just a form of human diversity, which has been recorded mostly in ancient Indian texts only second to the Greeks. In fact Indian texts from antiquity talks about homosexuality just the way they would talk about heterosexuality, with the exception of the few texts. Just one look at our cultural heritage from before “foreign” invasions would tell you that those temples in Khajuraho and Ajanta and Ellora and possibly every temple which is even as old as 800 years, could not have been the product of a society which was sexually repressed, and statutes depicting homosexuality is not a recent addition to the murals on those temples.

Source: Queer Straight Alliance

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