“What if he’s gay?
I’ve been asked this question a grand total of four times in my son’s short, three and a half year lifespan. Every single time it was during a conversation about something like marriage equality (I’m for it) or whether or not being gay is a choice (it’s not). The fact that we’re still debating that last part in this day and age is enough to make me weep for humanity, but what really gets to me is one thing: I’ve never been asked this question about my daughters. Not once.
In fact, before I had my son, who is my youngest and final child (this baby making machine is closed for business, thankyouverymuch) the question was “What if you had a son and HE was gay?” Never was the question about my little girls. Why? I’m not sure. I have some theories, but honestly, I don’t know. Maybe my experience is purely anecdotal and means nothing. But I’ve talked to quite a few other parents who have experienced the same phenomenon, so this must be a pretty widespread anecdote.
My main theory on why this happens is that, for some, lesbians are titillating and therefore have at least a little value in our male-oriented society.Or perhaps human sexuality is indeed on a Kinsey type scale and homosexual men threaten the tenuous masculinity that has been foisted upon men in a society that doesn’t allow for even a discussion of non-traditional sexuality or sexual exploration.
All of this is speculation on my part, and I am the first to say that I’m not educated enough on the subject to do more but speculate. Still though, it bothers me.
As a bisexual woman who has been quasi- out since I was 18, I’ve witnessed the bias that men-who-love-men face as opposed to women-who-love-women. The response that I’ve gotten about my sexuality, when it does come up) has ranged from unabashed support, to disinterest, to asshole teens throwing garbage at myself and my girlfriend on a NYC bus. But never have I experienced the vitriol described by my bi male friends. When you’re a woman, people who don’t understand assume bisexuality is just a phase. When you’re a man, bisexuality is a serious problem, in their eyes. According to a certain segment of the population, a bisexual men is either a closet gay or a liar. It’s unfathomable.
How would I feel if my wonderful, intelligent, caring, brave son were gay? The same way I’d feel if one or both of my wonderful, intelligent, caring, brave daughters were gay: just fine. Probably proud that they were wiling to come out of the closet in such a closed minded world (though hopefully the world will be slightly better). But all in all? Fine. Period.