Thursday, November 14, 2013

More Gays and Lesbians Than You Think

Two to ten percent as LGBT is too small—I knew that! 

A new study, which attempts to correct for problems with current survey methodology (even when anonymous we don't always answer honestly), finds that 19 percent of Americans don't consider themselves heterosexual. See the article. Further, in this article we find that it's more like 27 percent of the general population, whereas the old Kinsey report suggested 10 percent. Yeah, yeah, yeah, it's on a sliding scale on either end of the spectrum where one is either exclusively heterosexual or exclusively homosexual. That number for either end is smaller. 

While this is a Presidential Inauguration Photo, say 100,000 people...guess what?
27,000 of them are "not heterosexual."
So, when we hear from those alarmed by all this talk about homosexuals, that someone is recruiting them into the "lifestyle," we can easily point out that such is not the case. There have always been a lot more gay people than you think. I want to add that I am not in any way ignoring transgendered individuals. In a great many cases, if not a majority of cases these individuals might be heterosexual. The point to me of such studies is that it counterbalances the claims of fundamentalists and those on the extreme right who actually need for the numbers to be small so they can claim we're an insignificant number of people whose rights don't matter in the grand scheme of things. 

But the other point is that such studies as this one also found that the reason people don't readily admit to being "not heterosexual" even in anonymous surveys has to do with fear. How many garden variety mega church preachers have been caught in gay trysts in the last fifteen years? Why do you suppose they fight so hard against such exposure? It's because of the very fear that they have created in their congregants about the evils of the very sexuality they quite often (apparently) engage in.  No person who identifies as heterosexual has ever had to fear the repercussions if someone else found out. It's just not even in their minds and consciousness to fear being heterosexual.

This lack of fear and having to never even be conscious of potential violence quite often leads the heterosexual to wonder why gays have to have pride parades and "flaunt" their sexuality. Heterosexuals are also not aware of how they flaunt their own heterosexuality, so unconscious are they that it's overwhelming. Both gay men and women have had their heterosexual friends attempt to fix them up with members of the opposite sex, because they assume that everyone is straight—and even this is a kind of unconsciousness on the part of heterosexuals. This is changing, though, as more and more LGBT people come out in public. For a gay person, this is a refreshing change from the closets of yesteryear, and despite the fact that coming out makes some heterosexuals uncomfortable, such action on the part of athletes, celebrities, coaches, preachers, teachers, and students is brave beyond measure.

So, yeah, perception is the key. It only seems that more and more people are turning gay. They're not. They've always been gay, they just haven't admitted it like now. Luckily, I live a small town that attracts tourists from all over the world, and when I engage in conversation with them and we start discussing our residence, which is right off the main plaza and historic, to boot, I often tell them that my partner and I live here, and so far, no one has batted an eye, even though they might feel differently inside.