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#71849 - 06/24/03 09:34 PM Homophobia
outis Offline

Registered: 02/27/03
Posts: 2261
Loc: Maryland USA
Danny has asked a couple times for people, particularly hetero male survivors, to comment on homophobia and Kali Munro's article . I think Marc's thread is something more along the lines of Gay Pride, and this topic will need a thread to itself.

(If the discussion takes off over in Marc\'s thread , could one of the mods move this post over there, please? I don't want to get left out. \:\) )

I was 16 when I was molested. I think there was enough threat of violence to use the word, "rape," but I don't know what the legal definition in PA was back then.

I was very acutely aware of any perceived "threat" to my masculinity. Boys of that age spend a lot of time thinking and talking about what it means to "be a man" and what "sex" is about. At least the crowd I hung with did. (I have a tendency to speak for the crowd, the world, whatever. I'll apologize up front and try to catch myself as I go.)

I was very much afraid that someone would find out what had happened to me, and what I did. I was petrified that they would then presume I was gay, and persecute me for it. There are guys I grew up with who will surprise me a great deal if they don't react that way once they do hear that I was sexually abused back then.

I don't remember being afraid that I was gay or had been "made gay" by the SA. I do remember thinking that some of it felt good, in a physical kind of way. The first night I had definitely been intimidated, but I went with him again several times, first suspecting it would happen again, and later knowing it would happen again. I don't know now if I was looking for the physical sensations, or trying to maintain the relationship that had been important to me, or both, or something else. At any rate, I did go with him again, and later I worried a lot that I'd fall asleep when stoned with my friends and say something that would let them know what happened.

Of course, any sound that might come out of me when I was asleep would immediately inform all within earshot of all the shame I felt, in exquisite detail, leaving no room in their minds for doubt. Or maybe I was a little paranoid. Whatcha think?

I don't think I felt any particular malice towards gays. I didn't think what happened to me was "gay sex" because it had felt so wrong. Not wrong as in "Gee, this ain't really my bag, man." Wrong as in "This should not be happening. I should not be someone's property."

I never understood "gay sex" until I had a chance to talk to a guy I know who's openly gay and seems to me to be quite comfortable with it. I was still doing drugs, but I was gearing up the next addiction (computers, leading to workaholism). I asked him when he figured out he was gay, and he said he had always known it. I said something like, "I didn't even admit to being anything-sexual until I was in college, and I took four years after leaving high school to start college." (As I'm writing now I realize I still did not recognize the effect of the SA on my sexuality, even in that conversation with my friend. What's that river in Egypt?) But I began to understand that people can be aware of sexuality even before they're physically mature, so I thought there must be more to it than "just sex."

I still didn't understand until I read something Josh wrote here, about the romantic attraction for a member of your own gender. Then it clicked. Maybe part of me actually did understand something of that, and the complete lack of respect that had been in the abuse kept me from thinking of it as "gay sex."

Do I understand now? Probably not; I'm straight. I think that I do understand that healthy people can express intimacy through their sexuality. When you have the care and respect that make a relationship worth investing of yourself, maybe making a commitment of yourself, you have something precious. If you're put together (for whatever reasons) in such a way that you find that kind of care and respect in people of the opposite sex, don't be ashamed. I do, too, and there are others like us. \:D And just like us, gay people can find sexuality to be an important part of their most precious relationships.

Oooh, caught myself. Now I'm speaking for gay people. Actually, I'm trying to say what I think we all have in common.

So, how did I suffer from homophobia? I felt that I would be isolated and ridiculed by the people who were at that time closest to me. I fully expect some of those people to try to ridicule me when they do hear, but I'm already beyond the reach of their ridicule.

OK, there's one straight guy's tale. Take it from the expert who mixes sex with flashbacks these days!



"Telemachos, your guest is no discredit to you. I wasted no time in stringing the bow, and I did not miss the mark. My strength is yet unbroken�"�The Odyssey, translated by W.H.D. Rouse

#71850 - 06/24/03 09:59 PM Re: Homophobia
dwf Offline
Moderator/BoD Emeritus

Registered: 05/24/03
Posts: 1223
Loc: Austin, Texas USA

Hearing this part of your story saddens me. The

thought of you as young man living alone with

all these thoughts, feelings, doubts and secret

shame is so much the story of my life.

However, thanks to you sharing this pain with us

I also feel some hope today. Sadness and hope.

Sadness for the past, but lots of hope for the


Thank you, my friend, my brother for talking about

what still must be very painful.

I hope that being here and speaking the truth

helps you heal. I know that it is helping me.

You let me see that as men we are more

alike than we are different.

I've always wanted to feel like I belonged with

the rest of the men in the world--where my dad,

brothers and my heroes were.

As a gay man, suffering from the effects of male

to male sexual abuse, I felt separated, alone,

isolated---not a part of the pack, Mike. ;\)

Thanks, Joe, for having the compassion and courage

to build this bridge across that chasm that kept

me so sad and so alone.

You're a wonderful person and it's an honor to be

here with you.

With gratitude for solidarity,

"Poke salad Annie, 'gators got you granny
Everybody said it was a shame
'Cause her mama was aworkin' on the chain-gang"

-Tony Joe White

#71851 - 06/25/03 01:09 PM Re: Homophobia
dwf Offline
Moderator/BoD Emeritus

Registered: 05/24/03
Posts: 1223
Loc: Austin, Texas USA

Just a PS to my earlier response:

I forgot to acknowledge the very important distinction you made in pointing out that one thread about the parade was specifically about "Gay Pride" and that this subject of Homophobia was not the same (forgive me if I misspeak).

Thank you for that, as it helps me understand myself better.

I agree with your assessment because it seems to be an attitude more likely to promote unity among male survivors, something I feel is essential.

While gay pride may represent a way for some men to struggle against the repression of homophobia, it does not necessarily follow that those of us who are uncomfortable with the parades or other
activities are encouraging homophobia.

The two positions are not equivalent.

This is the same sort of false logic that pervades much of the discussion of male sexual abuse and keeps survivors isolated and antagonistic towards their fellows.

For me, I feel a great deal of hope for progress in preventing and treating child sexual abuse because of the dedication and concern of the MS members who happen to be

The perps use fear of homosexuality as a tool to keep us all quiet, gay and straight.

Thank God, there are some very courageous men who are no longer willing to remain silent and allow this lie to pass for truth.

I salute all of you. You make me proud to be a man.

Your brother,

"Poke salad Annie, 'gators got you granny
Everybody said it was a shame
'Cause her mama was aworkin' on the chain-gang"

-Tony Joe White

#71852 - 06/25/03 02:46 PM Re: Homophobia
Lloydy Offline
Administrator Emeritus
Registered: 04/17/02
Posts: 7071
Loc: England Shropshire
At the time of my abuse the culture within the boarding school was rabidly homophobic.
The usual terminology was used - arse bandits, turd shovellers and all the rest.

So to be remotely linked to anything sexual with another boy was so terrible our secrets were safe.

Amongst the gang who were my abusers I was often called "sucker lloyd" and I was so determined to keep this nickname a secret that I beat a boy senseless who called it me in front of some other boys.

When the ringleaders left, they were two years older than me, there was one other member of the gang remaining in the year above me, and he hit on me often.
But he was I believe, genuinly gay. He wanted to kiss and cuddle, walk holding hands and show affection. And I couldn't deal with that at all, I'd do anything sexually with him - all he had to do was ask by that time because sex was 'good' for me. I did enjoy it, and I've never denied that gay sexual acts have their attractions.

But that one abuser did more to make me homophobic than all the others put together.
I left school repulsed by and hating "f'ing queers!" and it took many years to get past that.
Thankfully I did and I'm perfectly accepting of gay people now.

But I believe I've always dealt with sex between boys / men and being gay as two entirely seperate things.
I don't think any of my abusers have gone on to be 'gay' except that one, who is definately gay.
The rest are, as far as I know, are just sexual opportunists as far as gender is concerned.

To call them Gay would insult us all, not just the Gay community.


Go confidently in the direction of your dreams! Live the life you've imagined. As you simplify your life, the laws of the universe will be simpler.
Henry David Thoreau

#71853 - 06/25/03 04:04 PM Re: Homophobia
Mike Church Offline
Moderator Emeritus
Registered: 01/23/03
Posts: 3439
Loc: Toronto, Canada
Joe, Danny, Dave:

You guys all know my story. I think that the upperclassmen found an easy outlet for sex in a male only Military College. I dont think they thought of themeselves as gay. I certainly did not. Did I think I was? I honestly dont know but I sure did not want to tell anyone about it because of the stigma of being queer. That was the term used in 1958. So I hid in fear of being found out. I was always uncomfortable when jokes about gays were told. I always remember blushing when it happened. So much so that the gay question was always raised; and which I would react to with a no holds barred fight.

When I was prostituting myself on the street I hid behind the money and later the heroin addiction as the reason for what I was doing. I am sure that there were as many gay customers as there were straight. I never gave it any thought. It was never an issue with me.

I have always wondered about my sexuality during 36 years of marriage but feel comfortable in my hetro world.

I have many friends who are gay and they are just friends not different from other friends. I will never tolerate at age 62 anybody deriding or putting someone down because of race, religion or sexual persuasion. I mean afterall we all search for the same thing. Belonging and love. Many gay friends have taught me the meaning of togetherness and suffering. As a survivor I am just that and everyone here I consider to be my brother in a journey of life. You all know that I have a special place for Little Al as I percieve him to be a soul brother of mine and as such I love him like a brother. I have an affection for all here not matter who.

Now to gay pride parade. We have one here in Toronto every year and it is a lot of fun for the participants and the audience. This year, because of SARS, The Provincial Government is helping to sponsor the event. There does not seem to be the homophobia there was when I was a teenager and I attribute that to the skills of teachers in our school system. Having said that I realize that boys at the ages 8-17 can be brutal with their comments and I am sure that many of my brothers have suffered the brunt of that verbal and not so verbal discrimination. Gosh I am long winded.

To finish I would say that whether my perps and customers were gay or straight was never an issue with me and I have attached no particular blame because of sexual persuasion; only because of what the action was in the case of my perps. As a hustler I have to admit most times I revelled in the violence and the sex. Shit I was addicted to it.

Homophobia never was an issue. Boy that is confusing for me.




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