Gaydar*
 

What About Gay Children


“When I told my parents I was gay, they said, ‘Let’s see how the second Grade goes first, dear.’ ” Carson Kressley to Oprah Winfrey

In my writing and talks on Gay Affirmative Therapy I talk about the idea that gay and lesbian adults were once gay and lesbian children. This makes many people uncomfortable as most people think of gay/lesbian identity as nothing more than sexual. Homosexuality is one's identity and romantic interests and not any more sexual than is heterosexuality.

Because people typically associate gay and lesbian identity with adult sexual behavior, thinking that children might be gay superimposes adult sexuality onto them—which is certainly inappropriate. But considering a child to be gay is not more (or less) sexually suggestive than assuming he is straight.

Look at these pictures of little boys and girls holding hands and licking ice cream together. No one would superimpose adult sexuality on these children. They would see it as sweet romantic and practice for later in life heterosexual romance and intimacy.

But take these same images and put two little girls or boys licking an ice cream cone or holding each other and people would be outraged. Heterosexist and homophobes would say that it is modeling and affirming homosexuality. So what if it is? How is that any different than pictures of opposite gendered children like these shown here?

I live for the day I see pictures of two little boys or girls in poses such as these.

©2009 by Joe Kort

Related: Issues, Books

Psychotherapist Joe Kort, MA, MSW, has been in practice since 1985. He specializes in Gay Affirmative Psychotherapy as well as IMAGO Relationship Therapy, which is a specific program involving communication exercises designed for couples to enhance their relationship and for singles to learn relationship skills. He also specializes in sexual addiction, childhood sexual, physical and emotional abuse, depression and anxiety. He offers workshops for couples and singles. He runs a gay men's group therapy and a men's sexuality group therapy for straight, bi and gay men who are struggling with specific sexual issues. His therapy services are for gays and lesbians as well as heterosexuals. His articles and columns have appeared in The Detroit Free Press, Between the Lines Newspaper for Gays and Lesbians, The Detroit News, The Oakland Press, The Royal Oak Mirror, and other publications. Besides providing therapy for individuals and couples, he conducts a number of groups and workshops for gay men. Now an adjunct professor teaching Gay and Lesbian Studies at Wayne State University's School of Social Work, he is doing more writing and workshops on a national level. He is the author of 10 Smart Things Gay Men can do to Improve Their Lives and 10 Smart Things Gay Men Can Do to Find Real Love. www.joekort.com or E-Mail

* Gaydar (gay'.dahr, n.): (1) The ability that lets gays and lesbians identify one other. (2) This column--where non-gay readers can improve their gaydar, learning more about gay men's psychology and social lives. Also, (3) a regular feature where gay readers can discover the many questions and hassles their straight counterparts--and themselves--must face!



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