20 May 2006

Responding with thought

There are 3 letters here. The first writer describes how he/she felt when she realised how homophobic a TV program on sexuality was. The second (straight) writer works out what homosexual orientation means, drawing from his own self-awareness. The third letter tells of how a father took in the fact that his son was gay. Full essay.


Anonymous said...

I find Letter Two of particular interest because the embedded subtleties. The writer suspects his friend is gay because he "sympathises" with gays, and thinks that "straight males despises gays because they're terrified of the thought of being sodomised as it'll rob them of the dominant role of being a male". It is interesting because both views are irrational and yet common.

I am not gay but I find the thoughts and views of gays interesting. By virtue of the lack of general social acceptance, any gay who is comfortable with his sexuality is naturally unbounded by any conservative societal norms. For someone whose basic emotional needs are rejected as morally wrong, societally-imposed values have little meaning so the individual is free to explore morality objectively. This has alot of value to us because it allows us to explore what values and norms we should have in our current society rather than be bounded by historical tradition.

Unfortunately, aside from the freedom, there is also a desire to explore the opposite extreme - to reject all societal norms as meaningless without scrutiny.

Lastly, I do not think the primary reason that straight men despise gays is due to the fear of sodomy. We fear the unknown and we fear those who are different from us; it is a natural human tendency. We fear strays but love our pets, fear strangers but love our friends. The key is to focus on our similarities, not our differences.

Anonymous said...

The statistics you presented at the footnote seems to suggest that gay men has a disproportionately higher risk of infection with AIDS. Although 3/4 of those infected are straight men (majority in this case), and 1/4 are probably gay men, but I am quite sure the proportion of gay men in the male population would be lower than 1/4. This means that gay men disproportionally have a higher risk of been infected with AIDS when considering the baseline distribution of gay and straight men. It would help if we know the percentage of gay men in the whole male population. But I would guess that the proportion of gay men would be much lesser than a quarter of the male population. But I might be wrong of course.

But with the disproportionately small number of lesbian been infected with HIV, it seems to suggest that the demographic groups' sexual behaviours or lifestyle are going to be the key factor to AIDS rather than chance due to contaminated blood infusion which might be quite high or needle sharing (since drug problem and blood contamination are relatively minor risks in Singapore ).

I am not trying to demonize gay men. But just trying to make sense of the AIDS data in your footnote. We should of course be very careful when making generalized conclusion with such statistics. But I am interested in your view with respect to the risk of AIDS among gay men. To say that gay men are all AIDS patients is just wrong since majority of AIDS patients are straight men. But at the same time, the risk of gay men are not exactly very low either. I mean I totally believe that gay men can be faithful to their partners, which I believe might have been the case for most lesbian partners. But in your view, as a gay man, are gay men more promiscuous? Do they have riskier sexual behaviours than other demographic groups?

AIDS patients in Singapore, who are straight men are probably due to commercial sex as you have indicated in the footnote. How about the gay men? Can we have an honest assessment and dispel any superstitions?

Anonymous said...

What I dislike about the gay community is the militant gay component that seeks to criminalise my words or behaviour if I make the barest gentle criticism against them.

I already support the concept of gay marriage while having reservations about the well-being of children brought up in such a situation.

Yet, esp in america, one only has to say "Gay behaviour is abnormal" to have a host of outraged screaming directed against you, with accusations of bigotry and homophobia piled on top you, ganagbang style.

Gay behaviour is not the norm; it is only the "norm" in the sense that any population will have a certain small percentage of gay individuals in it.

Then all this argument over whether one has a choice, which is used by the religious groups.

Of course it depends of how strong one's gay tendencies are. If one is born more than 50% gay, then obviously you have not much choice. But with a lower tendency, it is there.

Neither side seems to understand this.

Thus, I have gays expressing amazement that I have never had a gay fantasy or dream about a same sex individual. I explain, some straights are 100% straight in tendencies, just like I am sure some gays are 100% gay in tendencies.

Well, to each her own.


PS--your blog is excellent and doubtless performs the necessary social service of provoking thought and discussion. I particularly liked your election coverage. Keep it up, Alex!!!!!