Becoming as "Defined"?
"The egalitarian homosexual relationship is peculiar to the twentieth century. In mid-nineteenth century America, it was difficult to imagine that a friendship between men could involve physical intimacy without slipping into something other than friendship. The act of sodomy implied coercion and submission; it was undemocratic... In the world Melville described, physical intimacy between men was inextricable from power. It almost always implied a loss of control over the body. The loss of control, in turn, suggested a compromise of the self and a disintegration of identity. These associations follow Melville from sea to land" (Caleb, 1994).
"According to Foucault, lesbians and gays would not be liberated if they affirmed that their sexual desires defined their identities; they would only be further inveigled into a way of thinking that labeled and policed them. Instead, Foucault suggested, all people, whether classed as homosexual or heterosexual, should resist categorization by breaking down sexual identities into their component acts and by divorcing the practice of sex from the tyrannous insistence that it mean something" (Caleb, 1997). One imbedded "meaning": 'We' were 'created' to be everything normal male should NOT be. Decree that "Homosexuality = Disorder," therefore "Need for Cure" to 1973 = "We should NOT exist" underlying ideology and motivation.
"...Berkeley professor of rhetoric and comparative literature Judith Butler has given to queer theory a certain density of vocabulary and the notion that gender is a kind of involuntary drag. For her, sexual identity is a straitjacket - not a pretty frock you don or doff at will. The best way for lesbians and gays to loosen the stays, Butler suggests, is to acknowledge, highlight, and exploit the artifice and provisional nature of all identities" (Caleb, 1997).
Comment: Do "gay" males need /want a "stable identity"? A related recent problem was noted: a gay HIV-negative "identity" is NOT stable, but a gay HIV-positive identity is stable, meaning that some gay males are becoming HIV-positive to have a stable identity. The "Gay = Bio" ideology may also have been fueled by desires for a stable identity. The ideology - always implying that "being heterosexual is bio" - best serves ruling heterosexual male interests - given that non-thinking subjects are the easiest to rule over. Do "gay" males become as defined? Have gay males been accepting their heterosexual male defined "anally passive" sexual role? Maybe, the unspoken 'message' has always been "Gay = Death" (as acted out by some male youth), and AIDS is now making the ultimate acting out this 'identity' possible.
At the same moment that I abandon myself, I am also in a state of possession. This is more difficult to write about, but it is linked, I feel, to a common misperception about intercourse - the concept of 'active' and 'passive'. For myself, I prefer the words 'giver' and 'receiver'. Our miserable, patriarchal conditioning has given rise to the conception that 'active' = 'masculine' and 'passive' = 'feminine'. I have increasingly come to reject this sort of thinking. Just because one person (male or female) takes a lover's penis into their body, doesn't necessarily mean that they are automatically 'passive'. This is clearly illustrated into the Tantric icons of Shiva mounted by Kali. Societal conditioning is strong enough to make some Gay men feel that anyone who takes it up the arse is somehow less than 'male' because abandoning oneself to pleasure is not appropriate 'male' behaviour. Why not? Personally, I feel that being fucked is a celebration of my maleness. I hardly ever feel that I have relinquished my personal power to the other (unless of course there is role-play of 'surrender' as a sexual game)" (Phil Hine).
Gay males do not self-identify in a vacuum; they are a product of a socialization process. Imbedded in their social construction, however, is the "the definition" of a gay male believed by the traditional rulers of society:
It is anal intercourse that the heterosexual man generally thinks of when he thinks about homosexual sex at all, and it is a possibility that arouses nearly universal feelings of fear, anger, shame, humiliation, and degradation in heterosexual men (Odets, 1995: 189).By the late 1970s, gay-identified males were apparently fully accepting the heterosexual male's traditional definition of "a gay male," resulting in the significant gay community pressures I was repeatedly observing in Canada. All same-sex desiring males were to "become" as defined, or else there must be something very wrong with them:
[Micheal, an American] When I first came out [in 1978] there was tremendous pressure [in the gay community] to have sex - I mean you name it, but especially anal sex, which was something I've never been into. And if you weren't into it, well then, your growth was stunted, or something like that, and people would tell you to get into a group to work it out. There was this idea that you just hadn't gotten over your own homophobia if you weren't into a lot of sex, and especially anal sex (Odets, 1995: 130).Therefore, it is maybe "becoming" as defined by heterosexual males that results in gay males feeling "transformed" when they finally accept their prescribed "anally receptive" role. If so, the word "transformed" would essentially mean "feeling whole" - or "one" - with respect to one's socially programmed inner self-definition. An interesting implication of this outcome is that that the ruling heterosexual males are made into the experts on "gay identity" - as it is accepted and manifested by most gay males. A few gay males, however, resist the ultimate gay 'identity' attribute - being receptive anally - and they experience a number of "feeling different" - "not as one should be" - problems:
As I've listened to men speak about the transformative powers of getting fucked, I often find myself relating to feelings and thoughts which seem to fall out from the act. The relationship between receptive anal intercourse and alternative visions of masculinity and male identity has struck me as particularly appealing. A penetrated man remains a man, but he may be different from men who don't get fucked. As a man in the latter category, I feel the difference acutely (Rofes, 1996: 169).It is therefore likely that the reported 'spiritual' effect of being anally penetrated, as reported by some gay males (and the word "sacred" has also been used) is nothing more than the feeling of a [gay-identified] male finally becoming "one" with his 'creator': the heterosexual ruling males in our society. That is, a [gay] becomes exactly what he was always defined to be since a young age by boys being socially constructed into the ruling heterosexual males.
The words "sacred" and "spiritual," however, generally have a history of being the opposite of what the words are intended to mean. In fact, most humans have the unfortunate history of slaughtering / abusing each other most often for underlying 'spiritual' reasons? Typically, men on either sides of wars always prayed to their 'god' to help them defeat - murder - the enemy defined to be evil and 100% non-spiritual. Tragically, they both could not see that they were projecting onto others what essentially applied to themselves.
Once gay-identified males have "become" as dictated by their 'creators', they essentially become the ideological slaves of their 'creators', and their collaboration with heterosexual males can be expected with respect to harming all males who are not accepting the binary "either / or" sexual orientation outcomes desired and demanded by heterosexual males. For an excellent example of this collaboration, see: The Binary & Bisexual Erasure: A Hatred of Bisexual People in Gay Communities?
Another example of ideological collaboration has been the increasingly anti-feminine atmosphere in gay communities which replicates the traditional anti-feminine feelings of heterosexual males, and these feelings continue to be an integral part of socially constructed North American adolescent heterosexual male identity (Mandel, 1996). Harris (1991) summarized the situation in gay communities: "...rather than endorsing effeminacy, gay liberation has led to the institutionalization of its ridicule" (p. 78).
Tremblay (2000) summarizes the anti-feminine gay community situation within the context of the more feminine gay / bisexual male youth being the most at risk for suicide problems, and the fact that gay-identified males are generally more feminine than heterosexual-identified males. It appears like gay communities are doing to the more effeminate gay males (to themselves) what all the bullies had not managed to accomplish during their childhood and adolescence, thus producing the outcome described by Harris (1991): "the gay oreo, effeminate on the inside, masculine without" (p. 76).
This induced self-hatred situation is the price being paid by gay males for their apparent need to feel 'one' with their 'creators': the ruling heterosexual males. In some ways, the situation replicates the phenomenon of the abusers fully identifying with their abusers, the result being that the abused become worse than their abusers with respect to having accepted the role of abusing their own kind, including themselves. This highly immoral situation would also preclude the possibility of gay males having anything which could be called "spirituality," much like what has been the situation for heterosexual identified males given their history of imposing an inferior status on females, and especially any male who dared to be feminine.
Basically, gay males should heed to
what de la Torre (1999)
noted with respect to the social construction of the anti-feminine anti-maricón
Cuban macho males. The situation is much like being in "a hall of mirror,"
where what one sees or believes may be the opposite of reality: an illusion.
It is important to suspect that 'heterosexual' males may not be what is
claimed, and that gay males stating that they are in most ways "just like
heterosexual males," and wanting to be so, is maybe a suicidal endeavor,
given the intellectual and spiritual suicide required to accomplish this
'feat'. (More on this in The
Addition (2011): New study finds gay and bisexual men have varied sexual repertoires:
"As such, this study was focused primarily on a single sexual event --
the most recent -- and therefore these data are able to provide a level
of detail about MSM sexual behavior that has not previously been
documented," he said. The study will appear in the November print issue of the Journal of Sexual Medicine...
The data revealed some interesting information on the types of sexual
behavior that MSM reported, including that less than 40 percent of men
engaged in anal intercourse during their most recent sexual event. "Of
all sexual behaviors that men reported occurring during their last
sexual event, those involving the anus were the least common,"
Rosenberger said. "There is certainly a misguided belief that 'gay sex
equals anal sex,' which is simply untrue much of the time." ...
Comment: Note that labeling all
male same-sex-sex on earth to be "gay
sex" - with "gay" being a white western socially constructed concept of
origins - reflects the ongoing white colonial historically abusive
arrogance of the
West. Less anal sex may also not reflect what western mostly white gay-identified
American men really desire, with one possible cause for this outcome
being that "having less anal sex" reflects one of the HIV-prevention
methods used by some MSM males to lessen HIV risk with relationship
partners who may not be monogamous or with lesser known males who may be
in "more-like-anonymous" categories.