News, Wit & Commentary for Lesbians
JIC Post:Amy DickinsonDenver PostDear Amy: Is there a difference between being gay and being homosexual? When I came out in the early '60s, homosexuality was a preference. It was what I did in bed, and early gay-rights advocates were fighting for the rights of consenting adults in private.Today, it seems as if "gay" is a minority group on a par with racial and religious groups. There are gay stores, gay music groups, gay restaurants, none having anything to do with homosexuality except for the sexual preference of those involved.Gays parade in the streets and let people know what they do in bed. I have been told on more than one occasion that I am homosexual, not gay, because I don't participate in primarily gay activities.I do not hide my homosexuality, but don't flaunt it either. I don't think it is something to be proud of, nor do I believe it is something to be ashamed of. It is just one part of me.- Not Gay But HappyDear Not Gay: My one quibble with you is your assertion that homosexuality is a preference. If sexuality were a preference, I might choose to be gay, because I know so many fabulous women. Let's stipulate that a person's sexuality is not a preference or a choice anymore than a person's eye color is.I ran your letter past Josh Tager, editor of PlanetOut.com, the popular online gay community. Tager says "gay pride" is the natural reaction of people who have been shamed for so long, but really "it's all semantics." "We are all the sum of all of our characteristics. Gay versus homosexual is an artificial distinction." He says your attitude - that your sexuality is private and not necessarily a lifestyle - puts you on the forefront of where gay culture is headed.After the cultural pendulum takes its inevitable swing back toward the middle, you may feel less pressure to be "gay." Then you will realize that, as Tager says, "you can define yourself in any way you choose."
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