By: Suzanne Maiden
As a psychotherapist, I see many young people struggle with their sexual orientation. Many confide feelings of both bi-sexuality or straight homosexuality. And, the sacred space in which they divulge their secret is the first they have verbalized their inner truth. I have the privilege of being the first person with whom they share their most inner struggle ~ their sexual orientation.
The realization that one is attracted to the same gender throws many into a tailspin. How will their families respond? What will their friends say or do? Who will accept them and their sexuality, and who will ultimately be so uncomfortable with their disclosure, that they will be rejected?
The intensity of such feelings are no different than straight sexual attraction. Recently, I had a client who stated, “But, when it’s my first time, I won’t know how to do it.” Why would ‘doing it’ with a same sex partner be any different than with the opposite gender? OK, so the physical equipment is the same. I get it. But, what a potential benefit – experimenting with what you know! When sexual feelings are aroused, most people don’t need an instruction manual, it just happens. The body responds.
If the reader is waiting for me to make some professional value judgment on another’s sexuality, I won’t. It is not my place to assess whether another’s love is right or wrong, good or bad, sacred or sin. Physical attraction is like an alter personality that resides within us. Sometimes there is no rhyme or reason. Oftentimes an attraction to another violates one’s mental checklist. One can be attracted to another and it makes no logical sense. So it is with same sex love. Many clients who struggle with their sexual orientation state that they would not consciously choose this path. They report ego-dissonance, that is, they feel acute emotional turmoil and bewilderment. They experience anxiety with their bi-sexual or homosexual feelings which they know violate societal norms. They are scared.
Physical attraction is elusive. Physical attraction grabs you by the throat and demands your attention. It follows no script, no rules, no predetermined notion. Same sex attraction and love is no different than heterosexual love. Let tolerance prevail.