What truly defines "gay"?

Discussion in 'Relationships, Discrimination, and Jealousy' started by Ramsey, Jan 3, 2011.

  1. Ramsey

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    Is it the physical/sexual attraction to the same sex? Is it an emotional attraction to the same sex? Is it parts of both? Does it naturally include a repulsion to the opposite sex? How do you folks define it. It's out on the table for discussion, have at it. Happy New Year!
     
  2. Bbucko

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    Gay actually involves a number of things.

    1) There's got to be a same-sex attraction;

    2) Additionally, there's got to be an emotional component: you should be open to at least the possibility of falling in love and building a life with someone of the same sex. But seeing how so many men (of all sexual persuasions) are commitment-phobes, I'm not sure how much of a gague that is one way or the other;

    3) Being gay is also a perspective and a POV. That's not to say that we all think alike (because we don't), but being open and out involves certain cultural realities that, 41+ years after Stonewall are still a fact of life. Anyone who claims to be completely integrated with the straight majority is either delusional or actually pretty closeted: things are changing, but it will take another 20 or so years before being gay is seen as uneventful as being in a bi-racial relationship, for instance.

    This cultural baggage has both good and bad qualities, depending on your perspective. I purposefully live in a very gay world: I live in the heart of one of the largest (per capita) Gay Villages in the country and work in a gay bar. I rarely even associate with straight people in my day-to-day life; when I go out to dinner, it's at one of the local places I can walk to, which are 100% gay owned/operated/staffed (except for this great little Sushi place, but they're obviously very gay-friendly :cool: ). I guess you could say that my life is hypergay: even my doctor and pharmacists are gay.

    I have lived in places where, as my then-partner and I would say, we were only "gay" on vacation, and I personally felt very isolated. I also remember being the object of intense curiosity at an out-of-the-way but upscale restaurant among the other diners, which made us acutely uncomfortable, but then CT is a strange place (even if they have full marriage equality, you are an "other" if you're gay). It's not like we were holding hands or anything, though we did have a small, quiet toast with our wine, which I guess is something two straight guys wouldn't have done.

    I am frequently complimented for my lack of gay affectations, which seems strange to me: I'm just being me. Though I find nothing inherently terrible in nelly guys, I am less inclined to be impressed with aggressive, self-conscious put-on butch than I am with obvious effemininity. I wish people were just comfortable being themselves regardless of the opinions of others, but that's an exercise in magical thinking.
     
  3. MrHangman

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    I always just look at it as if a person of the same gender is one you wish to spend the rest of your life with.
     
  4. erratic

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    What truly defines gay? The person who self-identifies as gay.

    As for a common definition...I'm afraid you won't find one.
     
  5. spiritsong72

    spiritsong72 New Member

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    Outside of a clinical definition or one found in the dictionary, I would have to agree with you. (Although to be fair the online Merriam-Webster dictionary lists four.)

    Keeping that in mind, I'll give you my definition of gay. Will it be the same as yours? Probably not, but that can be where good conversation begins.

    At its core, and I think we're all in agreement here, a gay person is someone that is physically attracted to the same sex. However, it's been my experience that one gay romp in the sack does not a gay person make. Nor does two. Or three. It could be experimentation. It could be discovering "once (or twice) and for all" what makes you tick and what doesn't. Hell, blame it on the alcohol if you have to. Just because you've had dalliances with the same sex in the past does not make you a gay person. To me that diminishes who we are to nothing more than a biological function we're hard-wired with from birth. Sure, that hard-wiring is at the core of our sexuality. But in my opinion it's much deeper than that.

    I firmly believe that emotions play just as big of a role in sexuality as does biology. This is where it gets kind of hazy and certainly not quite as clear because trying to explain emotions is almost like explaining the color orange to a blind person. You can almost get it by having it explained to you. But until you experience it, you can never fully understand it.

    I love men. I can picture myself in a loving relationship with a man. I can picture us creating a family (however that family looks) with a man. I can picture myself going through really rough times with a man and still sticking around because the love I have for him transcends how much I hate him in that particular moment. I can see myself being 16 year old over the moon in love with a man. I can visualize going to sleep next to him and waking up in the morning next to him and being happy and content that he stuck around not just for the night but will be around for the long haul. In my head I see myself with a man that constantly engages me on a physical, emotional, intellectual and spiritual level. It's easy for me to visualize a constant evolving relationship with a man. I can see myself growing old with a man.

    Yeah, I'm hard-wired to be gay. Yes, certain guys give me hard-ons. And there are certain men that in my mind would rock every sexual fantasy I've ever had or ever will. But deeper than that is the guy that meets my emotional needs and I his in a way I just cannot picture with someone of the opposite sex.

    For those reasons and many more, I am gay. :biggrin1: :wink: :biggrin1:
     
  6. Supersized

    Supersized New Member

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    Someone who prefers the same sex over the opposite sex.
     
  7. D_Woody_Bush

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    Beautifully put
     
  8. midlifebear

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    Well, it sort of helps to know the difference between charmeuse and nylon satin.
     
  9. houtx48

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    flawless accessories...............
     
  10. SouthernSpunk

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    When the balls touch.
     
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