What Makes You Straight?

 " When you grow up knowing that you are a sexual minority, you become very familiar with the gears that pump your sexual factory."

"When you grow up knowing that you are a sexual minority, you become very familiar with the gears that pump your sexual factory."

When I teach graduate students I always ask them one question: What makes you straight? Most of them look up from their computers with a puzzling look. The room stays devastatingly silent.

When you grow up knowing that you are a sexual minority, you become very familiar with the gears that pump your sexual factory. I find it profound when the heterosexist majority can’t answer such a simple question.

I find it even more appalling that a person who is unaware of their sexuality has the perceived right to call the LGBTQ’s version of sexuality “disordered.”

I am so thankful that Pope Francis has created more room for the LGBTQ person, as the Catholic church has often used this “disorder”ed language.

As a clinician who specializes in Sexuality & Relationships I have spent numerous hours reading through journal articles, reviewing research completed by Christian and non-Christian psychologist, and time understanding the sexual developmental process of my clients.

Men come out after being married to a woman and choose to live their life with another man. And there are men who sleep with men who end up marrying a woman and enjoy their monogamous sex life

One thing that I have come to believe full-heartedly: There is no developmental difference between the straight orientation and those who call themselves LGBTQ.

In opposition to Freud’s theory, plenty of straight people have an overbearing mother and a despondent father.

Before any straight person starts to predetermine that the LGBTQ person has in someway a “disordered” sexuality, they might want to check in with their own story.

Is it fair to say that a straight woman who uses her body to get attention is less disordered than the gay woman who lives out a healthily monogamous sex life with her wife?

There are numerous things wrong with my sexuality and yours, straight, bi, or gay.

We are all human. All of our sexual development was influenced by healthy components and maladaptive experiences.

I get that most take, at face value, the teachings of the Church. But letting an easy “truth” be Truth leaves you claiming a false declaration. These declarations leave a massive space where hurt, judgment, and ignorance can spread its venom.

So if you’re gay, bi, or something in the middle, please know that you are not a mistake. You’re sexuality is not somehow disordered by a developmental process gone wrong.

God is a God of union, not separation. So when love and sex create a beautiful union, whether its between man and woman or woman and woman, it never sounds disordered to me.  

Posted on November 25, 2014 .