So many misconceptions!
Hardly anybody says all these self-evident things so blatantly. Be ahead of the curve and clean up your understanding of sexual orientation.
I’ll use Gay with capital to distinguish it from gay=happy. I don’t use homosexual because Gay signals pride, and where there is no pride, shame reigns, and that’s most unhelpful. I don’t mean to say that everyone should undersign every Gay manifesto in the world. I also don’t mean that every Gay should come out or be blatantly openly Gay (though many say it saved their lives). But don’t feel bad about who you are. How? Straighten (sorry for the word) your shoulders, right your back, smile, and say proudly: I’m Gay. Not what everyone assumes that implies, but Gay still.
For simplicity, I will not discuss nor deny the existence of Women, No-labels, Transgenders, Bi-genders, Agenders, Gender-Queers, Gender-fluents, Bisexuals, Pansexuals, Asexuals, Queers, Questioning, etc.
(Talking of which, the popular definition of sexual preference makes it harder to define it if one doesn’t see oneself as Cis-gender. What is male to male if one is Bigender, Agender, or Transgender? At least, if we’d speak of Androsexual and Gynosexual, the sexual preference of a Transgender female fancying, men we could call Androphilia. But what to call oneself if one fancies Transgenders or Gender Queers? To them, likely, labels don’t matter. Possibly, many women are mostly attracted to someone’s gender, and men mostly to what sex someone is, but that’s for another time too.)
Gay Lib is two things. 1. Demanding that the State and other authorities let everyone do what they want. And 2. demanding we all acknowledge some men need men and some women need women ‘to become one flesh.’
I’m not defining what anyone should feel, think, say, or do! I’m only giving definitions of Gay that make sense amidst many I don’t think are valid.
What Gay is NOT
Being sexually attracted, fascinated, staring at, or dreaming of sex with someone of your gender or sex. Many Gays see this as Gay. You are what you feel. ‘Believe your feelings.’ This is a reaction to the oppression that denies feelings. But these feelings happen to many, but many are not Gay.
The flip side is not Gay either. To be very shy toward women. To feel terrified of women. To not have sexual attraction to any woman or be repulsed by the thought alone. Therapy can help you discover why and get over it but can’t change sexual orientation (see below) or cure the Gay.
Some Straight men have sex with men, not for sex but for love! They missed love from their fathers when they were young. Maybe he was too stern, selfish, or homophobic to be close to his son. But in any case, the safest way to get close to men is by having sex with Gays. Sex with people who love you is extremely nice, but it won’t satisfy your sexual need i.e. to give you a lasting deep connection if it’s outside of your sexual orientation. Many Gay boys may need more closeness from their fathers than their Straight brethren, but paradoxically, they might get more rejected by them when the fathers’ homophobia starts kicking in. This won’t turn the boys Gay, but it will make them terribly lonely at the start of their lives. (Many Straight fathers push away their daughters because their sexual feelings scare them. This leaves many young women heartbroken too.)
To have same-sex sex. Psychologists call it Gay. What you do is what you are. It’s a mistake. If this were true, no one would be Gay or Straight. Sexual identity and needs would change per action. We see they don’t. Some Gay men have no same-sex sex. It doesn’t make them less Gay. It probably makes them obsessed with Gay sex. Not because sex itself is an indispensable need but because they stay unconnected and thus lonely.
We are not what we do. Probably more Straight men have sex with men than Gay men. There are just so many more of them. Maybe, therefore, the Hebrew Bible forbids it to Straight men: ‘Don’t have intercourse with a man as [you would have] with a woman.’ The Talmud explains: It will lead them astray, away from their wives. Replacement Gay sex makes addicts.
To be addicted to Gay sex. In fact, Straight men have a greater chance to get addicted to Gay sex than Gay men! Life same-sex sex (not solo sex) tends to deeply attach a Gay but not a Straight man. For the latter, it is not the real thing. It’s like only eating white ‘bread’ and drinking cola. It may feel nice for a moment, but it won’t satisfy and only make you want more.
Effeminate does not equal Gay at all. There are macho Gays and effeminate Straights. Men may cry, care about clothing, wear perfume, and still be Straight as an arrow. Boys may play with dolls. Galls may play judo or soccer. Nothing transformative will happen. It is true that if a guy is extraordinarily effeminate for the culture he comes from, it could be an aware or unaware sign of: I’m Gay, I’m Trans, or I don’t care about gender roles/rules because I’m not Straight/Cis. But it doesn’t have to mean that.
Gay is not: being oppressed as Gay. I once met a guy who was bullied by Antisemites in his Dutch village though he had nothing Jewish on him. They shouted ‘dirty Jew’ at him and hated him. Later, he chose to convert to Judaism. The oppression alone didn’t turn him Jewish. Some guys discover they are Gay because homophobes around them sense their extra-normative behavior before they notice that themselves. But being seen as Gay doesn’t make you Gay. It’s horrible and homophobic, but, as with any oppression, it has more to do with the haters than the hated.
A man could very well be Gay when he very much doesn’t want to be Gay. (Like someone who absolutely rejects being a Jew is never a Gentile.) But it could also be a sign of him being addicted to same-sex sex. Therapy for the sex addiction will reveal what underlying sexual need he really has.
Strange sexual hang-ups are probably rooted in early trauma around sex. Straights have them too but worry less about them. He has to be fat, or bold, or with brown hair. Therapy diminishes what kind of looks attract or repulse but is powerless to change the sex/gender the spouse should be.
What is Gay?
1. That you need a steady sexual partner of your own sex or gender, to deeply connect and do away with your existential loneliness forever. Takes some years to stick. No amount of the best therapy can make you Straight, meaning you would need a steady sexual partner of the opposite sex or gender, to deeply connect and erase your existential loneliness forever.
2. Two men so deeply in love and aligned that they decide to be a sexual couple, although one or both are Straight. They won’t both become one flesh, but they may live in a deeply committed love relationship. I’m not sure it will last. But surely, it won’t turn a Straight man Gay or Bi. But it can be goodness. It’s not instead of women but because of this particular man.
Gay is not what you do, feel, seem, fear, long for, or are obsessed about. Rather, Gay is that you need someone of your sex or gender to cleave to. Additionally, some Straight men might flourish in Gay love relationships.
I dedicate the above to all the LGBTQIA+ activists unfortunately fighting burnout and all the closeted ones so pained that they are called mentally ill, battling despair and depression, or who sadly have ended their lives.