“Being gay is not about sex.”
But it’s also not NOT about sex. I mean, I understand what people are trying to communicate when they say it’s not about sex, as Justin Lee did recently in Homosexuality: It’s Not What You Think:
So that’s what people mean when they say they’re “gay.”
It’s not about sex at all.
It’s about what you feel inside. It’s about how you relate to other people. It’s about who you’re attracted to—not just physically, but romantically and emotionally. It’s about who you could—or couldn’t—fall in love with.
So… right. There’s more to it than guys putting “their you-know-what in another man’s you-know-where.” I’ve heard so many straight people in my life (and especially ones who call themselves “Christians”) minimize or discount homosexuality in this way. And so I totally get wanting to clearly communicate that there’s more to it than that. (For a less christian-y rant on the same topic, see Being gay is not all about sex.)
But it might be going a bit too far to say it’s not about sex at all. I mean, sex has something to do with it. There’s an opposite mistake of thinking that sex isn’t any part of it. In a straight marriage, it’s fair to say that a good marriage isn’t all about the sex. But that doesn’t mean that sex doesn’t matter. Sex is a part of marriage; and it should be. A mysterious, wonderful, intense, delightful, part of the relationship. Not the whole, but an integral part.
For most of my life I’ve hated my sexuality, been ashamed of it. So much effort poured into denying it, minimizing it, hiding it, rejecting it. In some ways it’s been easy. My life has been – and still is – full of wonderful things. After 20 years of marriage, I still love my wife deeply; and she clearly loves me. Our kids are healthy, happy, quirky, funny, (blah, blah, blah – puke on the parental bragging). I enjoy my job; we have a beautiful home; etc. etc. And so with all of this, I SO want to tell myself that it shouldn’t matter, that it doesn’t matter, that I live without expressing my basic sexual identity.
But in the end, I think, it might matter.