the trauma of the homosexual

As I grow older, I realize that my homosexuality is not the typical one, i.e., a homosexuality predicated on the notion of it being a lifestyle. In fact, with age, I grow more frightened of homosexuality. I regard it as something for the young. It is phase-like, a thing that with time, like some dirty and brutish habit like the sucking of the thumb or biting of the nails, ceases and is long forgotten. “Yes, I used to do that, but I have grown out of it; I know better now”. Indeed.

As a supple child of eleven, I made a fantastic discovery one day. Amongst the books of Greek mythology that insidiously occupied recess and lunch – for I was that child that as soon as the bell rang, that raucous and vexatious sound of liberation, would run with the vitality of an asthmatic to the library – my mind was bemused by something wonderful: there were other beings like me.

I always knew there was something to me, something that made me different; perhaps I wanted to believe this – I still believe it. At an early age, my penchant for those of the same sex became evidently clear to me and probably to my parents. But it was more of a fascination rather than a sexual desire. I did not lust over those few boys that would on occasion occupy my thoughts; I wanted to be them.

But sexuality is taboo. Sex is something awful, too human and therefore horrendous. Those that save themselves from the desires of the flesh are placed on pedestals; celibacy is sublime. But sex is also necessary; it is a necessary evil. So it lives in darkness. We are shocked when we hear about it … children having sex… gad, what is this world coming to? At least, we’d like to pretend that we are shocked by sex; if anything, we are excited by the mere word, our lips tremble as they give life to it, the sweetness of the syllables left behind in our mouths.

So there is something bad about sex: it’s dirty! But there is something horribly bad about homosexuality: it’s an aberration. I was an aberration. I just kept it all too myself. It’s not as if I could have approached my parents and said: “Mum, Dad… I think I like boys”. That would have been the end of me.

But we must return to the library, to that wonderful cave of darkness and books, those fantastic pillars of knowledge that seem to gain authority and apotheosis, elevated into the heights of imagination on their lofty shelves. As I fumbled through a book, whose name is now unbeknownst, I came upon the story of Zeus and Ganymede. Here were two characters, as real as me, who were like me. And what was more amazing – God himself was sanctioning me and my future behavior in potentia. I was not alone – I was transformed. Yet, my sexuality, like paganism had to descend from the stage of the world and delegate itself into the opaqueness of a sub-culture, of deviant behavior; something all-too-me.

But I must say that I don’t view homosexuality as being ‘cultural’ . I am virulently attached to the notion that homosexuality is anything but that. I still adhere to the notion that my sexuality is à la grecque.

I find myself writing about homosexuailty because of something peculiar that happened to me this past week: putting up for display my homosexuality.

As always, cities are breeding grounds of everything subversive. The provinces are hotbeds of tradition, of everything traditional. Suburbs fancy themselves something in the middle but I suspect they are more rural than urban; one need only look at their fascination with the SUV – they seem to be under the illusion that they live in a world of dirt roads and rugged terrain!

Having grown up in San Francisco, I had the sensation that homosexuality was tolerable. But with all honesty, I must confess that San Francisco disgusts me for this same reason, but especially because of its showcase of the societal paradigm of homosexuality. “You may be homosexual, but you must adhere to the old system of relationships and …” etc.

To go from a city to a town is traumatic – culturally.