Saturday, December 1, 2012

Man, I do not miss adolescence. Not one bit.

A good friend of mine lives in Utah. She was dating a guy a little while ago. We write to each other frequently and sometimes Skype, so I heard lots of lovely details about his job and his biceps and his issues and yes, I called it, he’s gay.
Well, he says he’s bisexual. I should probably defer to his self-identification—bisexuals are real I think—but I’m pretty sure he’s just in fooling himself. I say this because some weeks before my friend and this guy broke up, he forwarded her a link to a talk, which she forwarded to me. The speaker? Jeff Robinson.
Maybe you don’t recognize the name. He’s famous / infamous in gay LDS  circles.
I would share the link with you, but the url has some private information in it thanks to the guy’s file-naming choices. It’s essentially a John Bytheway style talk expounding Robinson’s theories about how boys become attracted to boys and how they can combat that . . . that “challenge.” Sorry ladies, your development is not theorized.
My friend’s “bi” friend treats these ideas as God’s Honest Truth. I do not think this is so. Nevertheless, I find some of the ideas appealing. Robinson says that gay guys are generally intelligent boys who are in touch with their feelings and who have a higher than normal urge to be Good, and that coupled with the somewhat dysfunctional/negative/nonexistent LDS teachings about sex leads these boys to orient themselves toward other boys. He goes on to say that during puberty, when boys are aroused pretty much twenty-four / seven for any reason at all, that orientation becomes sexualized. (Other boys are bored with boys by this point, so it’s their budding interest in girls that becomes sexualized.)
There are good things about this view. It’s more compassionate than one that says we’re just Satan’s aberrations or whatever. Who doesn’t want to think of themselves as intelligent, in touch with their feelings, and desiring to be Good? And yes, for those of you who’ve never been adolescent boys, that frequency of arousal is just about right. And so frustrating when you’re trying to be Good.
There are problems, though. Forgive me for not getting in to them, but without a copy or transcript of the talk to give you, I’d have to transcribe big chunks of it on my own even before setting upon the rats’ nest of logic and assumptions going on there. I’m not up to it tonight.
Luckily for all of us, I’ve been reading gay Mormon blogs for a loooong time, so I remember when way back in 2009-ish a couple of other bloggers talked about the same guy! (Though not the same talk.) Jon contemplated him. O-mo disagreed with him. And Alan eviscerated him. Ouch.
My ending thoughts are that for all I know, for at least some of us, he could be on to something regarding how sexual orientations are formed, at least in part. Lots of little bits of his theory resonate with me. I don’t think that means same sex attractions can be changed or even substantially lessened, though perhaps you can learn to devalue them and not pay attention to them. As someone who doesn’t believe in God’s condemnation for homosexual sex, I don’t think that’s necessary or even desirable, but if you, like my friend’s “bi” friend, want to try, be my guest.


This week I’m going to think about “the gay identity” and read a few essays that I came upon this week and tucked away.


I’m twenty-four now. It's been a really long year, full of good, and now I'm ready to hibernate. Three more weeks of school!

1 comment:

  1. A "John Bytheway style talk" by Jeff Robinson? *shudder*

    Excited to hear your thoughts about "'the gay identity.'"