For the last few months I’ve been nurturing a theory that there aren’t really gay people, but instead simply men and women who are made up of the opposite sex more than usual.
So there are men and there are women, and then there are people who mix these two things. This would be why so-called gay people tend to adopt the characteristics of the opposite sex–it’s because they, to more of a degree than usual, are the other sex.
You might be tempted to say, “Well, duh!”, but I’m not sure most would agree. I think there is an unspoken notion of gay people being some sort of third type of sexuality, and I’m making a distinction here between a third type and the simple mixing of the two types.
Homosexuality is a manifestation of the physical reality that human sexuality comes mostly from hormones, and these hormones levels exist on sliding bars that have no notches.1
So, using the first idea, which was that there is no separate gay designation, we would go from two categories (gay and straight) down to just straight–with gay simply being the mixing of straight people of the opposite sex. But I think even that is too compartmentalized. What really needs to be collapsed is the very concept of gender.
Quite simply, there are no gay people because there are no men and women. There are only humans–each possessing some arbitrary balance of hormones.
Recent science on the topic is amassing considerable evidence on this path, showing that the presence of lack of certain hormones during critical growth periods often leads to homosexual behavior in the future2. Other evidence shows that the brains of gay people are biologically different from those of their own sex, and actually appear to MRI scanners as the brains of the opposite gender3.
Here’s an idea for consumption: Gay people who take the “natural” role in their relationship are mostly gay due to social influences, while those who take the opposite role due so mostly due to genetic/hormonal influences.4 So, the man who is the “woman” in a gay relationship likely has many of the physical and hormonal characteristics of a woman, while women who take the role of the “man” in the relationship tend to look boyish in both physical appearance behaviors, etc.
There is ample evidence, albeit anecdotal, from the world around us. Women in jobs that commonly involve conflict and ambition often seem to be gay, and even have quite masculine appearances. Rachel Maddow is a perfect example of this. She’s a brilliant and hilarious show host whose job it is to continually spar with political stupidity. She has a woman at home, just like most every other person in that profession, and while she is quite attractive on the show, you can’t help but think she’s been feminized in order to be palatable for a national audience.
And take womens’ sports. Look at boxing or tennis. The women who dominate physical sports often have an extremely manly appearance, and then, unsurprisingly, have women at home. The trend toward lesbianism seems pretty strong with female comics as well. As for the sports side, take a look at the dominant tennis player, Martina Navratalova, pictured below:
To be a bit coarse, why does it surprise anyone that a clearly masculine person would win in sports when competing against women? And to extend the same point, why wouldn’t they sexually prefer women? Men beat women at physical sports. Men like women. This is pretty clearly a trend. So shouldn’t the physical performance and sexual preferences of the person pictured above be fairly predictable?
Meanwhile, most men who do hair and makeup, or interior design, tend to have men (tops) at home and appear quite feminine in terms of features. I am failing to see why any of this is a mystery to anyone.
Anyway, what’s the point, right? Why even mention any of this?
I mention it because I think the concept of “gay” is possibly a harmful intermediary step on the path to what we really need to be saying–which is that we are all human, and we each have a different mix of hormones, experiences, and therefore–sexuality.
Labeling these things may not be the best idea. Rachel Maddow is brilliant, funny, and overall awesome. Rachel Maddow has a partner. They should be allowed all rights given to any other two humans who wish to make a civic commitment to each other. Church be damned.
We are people. The distinctions are arbitrary and are made significant only due to our primitive nature. ::
1 I also believe considerable influence on homosexuality can come from society and culture, so I am not arguing that this is purely biological.
4 This is something I just came up with while writing this and it hasn’t been subjected to much thought.