Will and Grace episode.
"My husband's not gay - but his boyfriend is." - ba-dum tshh
"If you have to say he's not gay - he is." - ba-dum tshh
I laughed out loud.
Because it was funny.
It is pretty much what most people think, I'm sure. It may not be true however. Some gay people really do not want to be identified as gay. Some gay people are highly motivated and deeply desire a wife/husband and a family. Some have blogs - now some will be on TV. (Some still identify LGBTQ as well - but probably most do not.)
That said, I wish I could get the Will and Grace "Girls Interrupted" episode clip with Karen and Jack at an ex-gay meeting - there was a married couple there, played by Marianne Muellerleile as Jodi, and Loren Freeman as Kevin. The whole ex-gay concept exploded in the finale - but before that, the highly stereotyped Jodi and Loren introduced themselves to Jack and Karen saying, "Can you believe it - we used to be gay!"
Well it was amusing.
The point is that gay people - especially the activist types - don't want people leaving the fold and telling others they are not gay any longer. And that goes for the Spiritual Friendship writers as well. They like to keep the gay categorization. Some like the LGBTQ, sexually fluid 'identity'. Others - alas, I can't authoritatively speak for others ... but one may surmise.
I'm not sure what or why they want to keep the moniker. If they are under 40, they grew up with the term, the notion, the identity. If they are older, they may use it because family and friends have always accepted them as 'gay'. As Eve Tushnet points out in her book, using the term SSA is in itself an identifier. I try not to get into that stuff since I believe it is not my place to insist on how one identifies oneself. But I digress.
Nevertheless, "My Husband's Not Gay" has to be about that particular debate, and like I said - it freaks people out because they do not want to be pressured to 'change' their sexual inclination in and through therapy, or Gay No Mo pray-overs. Why? Because some people can't. Likewise, for some people, they have all they can do to simply remain chaste - which means vigilance over impure thoughts - replacing impure thoughts about men with impure thoughts about women is not virtuous. The spiritual struggle for chastity takes place within the reality of one's temptation. Likewise, as I always point out, the Church does not require the person to focus on orientation change, rather the Church calls persons to repentance and conversion from sin, the person is called to chastity and sanctity. To be sure, the Church doesn't recognize sexual inclination or attraction as an identity - it doesn't use the same language as the world ... It's quite simple, really.
That said, the world uses that language. Education, science, society, pop-culture, media, - even Catholic bishops and cardinals and priests and one pope use the term 'gay' - it's common usage. "Homosexual" was an invented term adopted in the 19th - 20th century - it has no theological basis - it is simply recognized as a clinical term describing a condition. The Church addresses the 'homosexual person' in official documents, while adding the disclaimer it is not their identity. Yet it is common usage.
Hence, pop-culture's incomprehension over the term ex-gay, or my husband's not gay.
Like I said, people do use the term gay, often interchangeably, with SSA and homosexual. They do that. As I told a friend in a combox response for another post on the admonition: "You just think you're gay.":
I did see the press on My Husband is Not Gay and I was thinking of writing about that but may not. I don't have cable so I won't be able to watch it.
You and I disagree on that - but for sure it is not for everybody. Mormons obviously do not have a spirituality of celibacy so I suppose marriage is the only alternative. I dislike that type of spirituality. (Because I'm Catholic.)
As for gay guys getting married - it works out if they are honest about it - and of course, are in love with the wife. It happens - I have friends who have done so... The men really wanted a family and found the right woman. They stopped being 'gay' - through trial and error, of course. The wives knew their past and could definitely say, "My husband is not gay".
I've also worked with closeted gay men, married to women, with families - very sad and sometimes extremely creepy.
It seems to me most confirmed bachelors do better with celibacy and chaste friendship.
Then there are many who take their chances and have a husband and kids - What can I say?
When I was younger I felt deep resentment that my friends were getting married - I wouldn't admit it of course. Secretly I felt they were somehow abandoning me - excluding me somehow. They were becoming normal and I was this outsider. I got over that, but the experience suggested to me that many gay people may have some issues with envy and jealousy when it comes to others finding happiness in hetero-normative lifestyles.
Let me know what you think after watching it - I know you have strong feeling against this - not for the reasons I mentioned above of course. - Terry
My friend, like many others, disagrees with me, and that is perfectly fine - people do that all of the time. That's life. I'm just a single, Catholic man, with no authority to dictate to people on what to think or what to say, or how to say it. Naturally, television audiences will disagree with the TLC show, "My Husband's Not Gay". But now we may have a better understanding as to why.
Trailer for My Husband's Not Gay here.
"You just think you're gay."