Now, today’s topic: the gay identity. I don't think this will be my only post on the subject. I’ve lost count of the various pissing contests over “gay” versus “same sex attracted” and whatever else, and I just want to say, I don’t give a shit. Personally I think “same sex attracted” is fine, but I don’t use it because it’s stupid long even if you abbreviate it. “Gay” wins on that front even though I don’t feel it’s entirely accurate for me because “homoromantic asexual-leaning” is even longer than “SSA,” and “queer,” though otherwise my favorite, still has a negative connotation. You know. From the days when it still meant “weird.”
When I was seventeen I went to an Evergreen conference in SLC, and for about a year after that the distinction between “gay” and “SSA” was a big deal for me. It helped me acknowledge my orientation and my religious disbelief more or less separately, since there was a space in Mormonism for “SSA” but not “gay,” and at the time I couldn’t have dealt with both. “I’m same sex attracted, Mom, not gay. I’m not going to live the lifestyle.”
“SSA” let my put the whole question of liking guys on hold while I dealt with the question of “Is Mormonism God’s thing?” It simultaneously let my parents get used to the idea of me being attracted to boys without pushing the possibility of a flesh-and-blood I’m-sinning-with-this-guy boyfriend in their faces. A year later when I’d more or less decided against Mormonism and started using “gay” around my mom, she was upset a little, but nothing like she would have been if I’d insisted on “gay” right away. You will probably never convince me that there is no place for “SSA” as a descriptor. I say that if the distinction is important to someone, let them have it.
This is another way of saying that I don’t fully identify with “the gay identity.” You do? That’s great. That’s excellent! I’m happy for you, but don’t assume everyone agrees just because they’re gay. Some of us use it only because it’s the closest approximation to truth, not because it’s truth itself.
Two old blog posts pushed my mind to this topic last week: This woman kept her religion and her gay identity. This woman did not. Their writing made me think.
I passed the Navy officer aptitude test. (Mentioned it here, remember.) My score was in the top quartile, so I’m cleared to continue my application.
Related: This week I will think about a boy who, if I go into the Navy, I will have approximately zero chance with.