Thursday, 20 March 2014

So What If Your Child May Be Gay? Get Over It

If I was to go and try and get my 'gayness' reversed it would probably open up a plethora of Pandora's boxes. There would be demons, there would be horror, there would be sin, lustfulness and an absolute shed load of glitter, feathers, fun and debauchery.
My childhood would be looked upon as being the perfect text book homosexual 'breeding ground'.
Every religious zealot and every bigot would point to my hate of football, my emotional distance from my father and my absolute adoration of my mother as the reason I never wanted my hair cut shorter than my shoulders and why I had a habit of wandering around the house in my mothers dressing gown and (occasionally) lipstick.
It wouldn't take long to understand why I wanted a pushchair and a doll for my fifth birthday rather than a gun and a hand grenade and I'm sure my insistence on singing 'Gimme Gimme Gimme (A Man After Midnight)' at the tender age of eight would not be taken as my having a good ear for a perfect pop song, but rather an insatiable and unnatural deviance that would soon turn me into a raving and unapologetic homosexual.
I am sure any aversion therapist would consider me a classically trained gay, a queer cliche and a suitable candidate to put on the breaks, slam into reverse and then speed away from the horror of homosexuality.
I was never told to temper my behaviour or be anything other than what I was as a child. I only ever remember once being told to curtail the endless 'wiggling and giggling' by my mother because I think my doing a Marilyn Monroe impression in a Dr's surgery was even a bit too much for her to comprehend. I have no recollection of this but at the age of six I had to be observed (for a week) by a child psychiatrist at my school because I had a tendency to swap shoes with the girls, my favourite colour was pink and my teacher could never 'drag' me away from the dressing up box. My mother and I have never really talked about this episode in my 'growing up gay' but suffice to say the psychiatrist advised the school and my mother that this was 'just a phase' and that I would grow out of it.
Thankfully my mother didn't much care if I grew out of it or not, she was happy if I was happy.
My obvious 'femininity' had all but disappeared by the time I went to secondary school. I still hated football but with puberty came a hair cut, facial hair and an absolute love for fashion (you can't keep a good gay down). I didn't like the colour pink anymore and the swapping of the shoes had died a very sudden death (I'd been chosen to attend an all boys school). Outwardly I didn't show any signs of being 'typically gay'. I'd butched it up, learned to fight and instead of being the class queen I now took on the role of class clown. My sexuality wasn't discussed. I wasn't even aware of who or what I should find attractive and my teenage years settled into a kind of casual normality, except with good shoes and a nice haircut.
But not all children who outwardly show signs of not fitting into the standardised regiments of 'normal' behaviour are lucky enough to have a mother or father as understanding or as tolerant as mine were. I was always allowed to be myself, so I never thought asking for the Bionic Woman doll rather than the Bionic Man at Christmas was odd. Instead, I woke up to find Santa Claus had delivered both and I could decide which one I wanted to play with. I find it more incomprehensible that we teach children to believe in a fat man in a red suit rather than allowing them to choose whether Barbie or Action Man is their toy of choice.
Fast forward 35 years and I'm gleefully gay, a happy homosexual and I look back at my childhood as being perfect. I didn't have an overbearing mother or an absent father. So what if I played with dolls and wandered around in my mother's shoes? I still listen to Abba every now and again and I can still remember cutting off all of the Bionic Woman's hair and turning her into Action Man. I'd be interested to know what an aversion therapist thought of that?
What I'm trying to say is that my 'gayness' wasn't nurtured. I wasn't taught how to be gay. It came naturally to me. I was the little boy who for around three years behaved like a little girl but I did grow out of it.
The only thing I didn't grow out of was being gay. I grew up, grew a beard, got some muscles and learned to just get on with it.
So to anyone who feels ashamed of themselves, their childhood, their gayness or even their gay children?
It's not something you can change, suppress or run away from.
The only way you can deal with it is to grow up, get on with it and get over it.
 

Follow Daniel Warner on Twitter: www.twitter.com/picnicdontpanic

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