In consideration for a life experience that I would like to attest to, I found that talking of my attraction to men should be at the top. One of the most difficult things that I had to come to terms with after such a long time was that it pervaded my perception of idols and even men around me. It’s had a distinct revival in recent years in media coverage, to which I am grateful for. What I want to identify is a grounded reality of my attraction to men and what it means to not have that reality envisioned in my idols. Growing up around me, I found no solace in the opinions of my peers on the idea of homosexuality. It was difficult to communicate that when they found a woman in a film attractive, that I thought her immaculate male counterpart the better option. Of course this never occurred to me to be a sexual attraction until much later; there was always an air of excellence to him that I supposed had just not gotten across to my friends.
This put an enormous divide between me and my friends at a younger age simply because I wasn’t able to communicate this attraction to men without them defining me with profanity. Knowing what I do now, I could have argued Cass’s theory on homosexual identity formation. This states something to the effect of, identity formation being a process utilizing an initial comparison to someone or something else and eventual inclusion into a community. Learning of how I came to be this way was the only solace I could take in understanding and being able to communicate effectively my feelings. Self-discovery and tutoring myself in the ways in which I could explain my attraction to men was difficult but integral to how I perceive others distaste for who I am. There is nothing to truly explain what I am because I have been brought to this moment of my reality through a collective hand holding.
Finding the community in which I would feel accepted proved just as hard though. Many had experienced the same kind of unexplainable social phenomenon that I had gone through, but I was somewhat different even from these people. Surely their experiences are not devalued by mine, but I found this lack of acceptance for who I was even in the queer community. As a bisexual not prominently appearing as such, I seemed exactly like those that have attacked the queer community for so long. I hold no blame for this but it gave me an important perception that I had not noticed before. The straight majority has an understanding of the queer minorities that has affected the perception of queers in the media. In this realization, I found that no one truly represented who I was. The media climate in which I inhabit has not been able to fully integrate all the colors of the rainbow that make up the beautiful LGBTQ flag.
Being an astute observer of postmodernism allowed me to realize the intricacy of the problem, understanding how straight culture has deluded the aspects of LGBTQ culture that is most important.The aspects of acceptance no matter what it entails. Through this lense, Philip Eubanks makes an excellent point, “postmodernism is attuned to grand narratives or metanarratives – stories that pervade, shape, and, it is often asserted, delude cultures” (Bazerman & Prior, 35). This delusion by straight culture interference just serves the ruination of LGBTQ people as an accepting spectrum. Without a complete representation of sexuality, it will continue to be relegated to a stereotype that will have extreme trouble assimilating into the average.
It was in my research and experience that I found something truly important that was much needed, higher visibility. Gay culture has become more noticeable in recent years, but simply as a political and social movement. Culturally it has had a stereotyped and homogenized placement in mainstream media. Even to this day I’ve seen the closet story of the gay high school teen or the masculine lesbian/effeminate gay man. These are facets to a large picture but mainstream media seems to think this comprises the entire community. This troubled me very much because I couldn’t believe how present queer people could be politically to most people, but the little variation that is seen culturally in representations of queer culture. There’s not much variation in what kind of characters I saw on shows like the CW or Fox. The characters generally had some kind of stereotype that goes along with the gay community being portrayed.
What this awakened in me was a resolve for a change in that perception. At first it came from my ability to write. I wished to inform the public through writing on the subject of my own experience and what it will mean in the coming years for queer representation. After accepting the practicality of the situation, I decided on education. In educating I realized I would have a voice to a younger generation that would be able to adapt and change the views of the world. Imparting my own knowledge of the world through the knowledge of scholars just like me could provide for a world through new minds and intellects. Imparting the teachings of those around me I could provide for a more welcoming world to any person that felt left out by any kind of sexuality.
It’s for these reasons that I find an acute understanding of the world through the lense of my sexuality. Without this understanding I would not have realized such an important dichotomy between straight culture and LGBTQ culture. With the knowledge of it though, I find myself in a place of resolve. Understanding that the next generation could be better than mine. Realizing the hopes of a world outside of turmoil over someone’s sexuality or gender. Education is an important facet in the understanding of our world and the people in it more comfortably for others and oneself. I hope to purvey my knowledge on those I can enlighten. This I Believe.
Cass, V. (1979). Homosexual identity formation: A theoretical model. Journal of Homosexuality, 4 (3), 219-235.
Eubanks, P. (2009). What writing does and how it does it: an introduction to analyzing texts and textual practices (pp. 33-56) (C. Bazerman & P. A. Prior, Authors). New York: Routledge.