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Saturday, October 27, 2012

Born This Way - How?

Here's a great 60 Minutes piece on the origins of gayness, which was first shown in 2006. Maybe it's old news to you guys but I've never seen it till now, so just thought I'd share.

And just to forestall any criticisms - yes, Virginia, there are "gay" mannerisms, which are feminine traits distilled through a man's body. Not every gay man has them, or to the same extent, which is the important thing to educate straight people on. And some guys largely grow out of it. But if there weren't any such "gay mannerisms" at all, how would your gaydar ever work, huh bud?

BTW - Purple is not my color, I never was into decorating my room, and even at my girliest, I would never have said that I wanted to be a girl. But I can relate to the fingernail painting. When I was in about 4th grade, I went through a phase of being a little fascinated with nail polish, and once or twice I went to school with some of my mom's perfectly transparent nail polish on - thinking, it's transparent, so nobody will know, right?

Somehow, though, all the little straight boys noticed. And gave me shit about it. Bummer.


Tim said...

An interesting clip Russ, but I'm not sure we're 'born' that way. I'm most decidedly gay, but I don't have many 'gay' mannerisms, and do not particularly like them in other gay men. I think the mannerisms are much more cultural in origin. holding-hands, kissing, using make-up, artistic skills, might be considered gay in the west, but not in the near, middle and far-east for example. Why are 'Jazz-hands' considered gay for example? Most all children do it, but grow out of it because it's not considered adult, not gay, behaviour. Perhaps that's nearer the truth, we gays never grow up! Hmm?

Russ Manley said...

There are lots of un-grown-up Peter Pans among us, I agree. And you prove my point: not all gay men have noticeably "gay" mannerisms. Straight or gay, male or female, the range of individual variations is enormous. But speaking of large groups, there are traits, interests, and aptitudes that tend to cluster in one group or another - as the program demonstrates.

And I am certain beyond all possibility of doubt that I was born this way - I was a little girly boy long, long before sex entered the picture, or social conditioning.

Grandmère Mimi said...

Very interesting. I was not aware of this program till now. In fact, it was only about a year or so ago that I heard about the theory of the effect of intrauterine hormones on sexual orientation. More recent studies confirm the association. When one twin of a pair of identical twins is gay and the other straight, then the cause would have to be other than genetic.

I've heard a good many gays and lesbians say they knew from early on that they were different from others of the same sex, some as young as 5 years old.

Russ Manley said...

Make that 4 for me. However it happens, it's not by choice; the differences start way too early.

Grandmère Mimi said...

OK, 4 is my new record for youngest in gay self-awareness in my completely unscientific book of records. :-)

Russ Manley said...

And Mimi, that's just when the first glimmerings of awareness that I was somehow different from other little boys began to seep into my head. The differences themselves started much earlier.

For example, I wanted a toy washing machine - a "girls' toy" - when I was not yet 3 years old, which was one of the presents I got for my third birthday - and I have pictures from that birthday party to prove it!

So if you're counting the age at which actual differences become apparent, you'll have to ratchet down to 2. No doubt if my parents were here, they could give some more details on all that too. Curiously, they were never bothered by all that; towards the end of her life, I asked my mother why and she said they just thought I was going through "a phase."

Grandmère Mimi said...

A friend who is lesbian tells the Christmas story of her and her gay brother, who, at an early age, went after each other's toys on Christmas morning. Their parents gently directed them back to their own toys, but the two kids had minds of their own about what toys they wanted to play with. She wanted trucks, and he wanted baby dolls.

Russ Manley said...

Hahaha, I can just picture that.

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