When did you - if ever - realize there was nothing wrong with homosexuality?

I don’t believe there is a country where homosexuality is seeing, at best, as not-so-bad, although some countries/societies/cultures may be more tolerant than others about it. Most of us must have received a dose of homophobia at some point in our lives, but most (dopers) seem to have grown out of it.

When did you realize that, “well, what the heck? There’s nothing wrong with being homesexual!”

I’ll share…

Strangely I never did realize it, because I don’t remember a time in my life when I had a negative view of homesexuality.

I know, I know. Sounds difficult to believe, but that’s the way it is.

I think I know why: My mom’s closest sister is what is known today as “a hag”. For some reason her best friends were 3 male homosexuals. Growing up I spent a lot of time at her house because her kids were my playmates and they didn’t leave far from my house.

My aunt’s friends seemed to like kids so I always liked them.

I don’t remember any time in my life where I had a negative view of homosexuality. I remember I have been accused of being a lesbian before I even knew what a lesbian was because I was always outspoken about the fact that homosexuality didn’t bother me and that I didn’t think it was anyone’s business. I am not proud of it, it was just the way it was, I never had the chance to analyze it.


Heh. Mark me down as another “ditto.” I just never saw homosexuality as anything other than just another way of being. Odd, considering my father was very much the Southern, racist, sexist, good ol’ boy type.

I’m not even sure I was aware of the existence of homosexuality before I got to college (this would have been back in the mid-70s). When I learned about it, I just thought, “How odd.”

I still feel more or less the same. I don’t understand it, but I never thought it was bad, never felt threatened. I feel pretty much the same about gays as I do about stamp collectors – um, ok, whatever.

College. My parents are very conservative, and still have a long ways to go to coming around to believing that gay people aren’t sinners. It took until I left for school for me to really question what I’d been taught as a kid.

What turned the tide for me was that I met some really nice girls that I became friends with, and it seemed hard to believe that they were doing something terrible for not liking boys like the rest of us did. I think this is a not terribly uncommon trend with young moderates, given this survey in 2004 showed only 25% of those 18-29 strongly opposed gay marriage while 48% of those in the same age range voted republican in the presidential election that year. (obviously the two polls weren’t given to the same groups of people, but there have been several surveys with similar findings) Sometimes it is just as simple as meeting “the sinner” and seeing them as a real, complex person rather than an idea.

I stopped caring pretty early on. Though, there was a difference between accepting other people being homosexual and thinking it was ok for ME to be homosexual.

I really don’t care what other people do that doesn’t affect me.

I never thought it was wrong. Saying that some men liked men and some women liked women was like saying some people like chocolate ice cream and some people like vanilla ice cream. Sure, of course, makes sense. We’re all different, right?

No one in my family ever said anythiing negative about being gay until my cousin came out. Her mother was vaguely disapproving. Fortunately, no one else seems to have a problem with it.

Another ditto. Although I admit that for a long time I didn’t have a good idea of the details. My mom brought me up to be tolerant of difference, while being intolerant of jerkishness. I guess it rubbed off. :slight_smile:

Huh, well, I’ll be in the minority in this thread. I am so intensely straight, I just don’t get it. It does seem wrong to me. I don’t care to think about anyone else’s sex life in general, but for the most part, live and let live. An old roommate of mine was a lesbian, and a very good family friend is gay. I love both of them dearly, but I still don’t get it. I’m not sure I ever will.

For me it was High School. I worked at a fast food joint and had a gay manager. I had lots of reasons to not like him, but his orientation was not one of them. God, I hate to be stereotypical, but he had all the mannerisms of someone who is homosexual, and I never realized that I knew a true to life gay man. When I was finally told by someone else that this person was openly gay in his private life, I was really not concerned. I thought of all the prejudicial things I had believed were true, and he hadn’t tried to hit on me, he hadn’t molested children (as far as I knew) and he always had a bag of weed he was willing to share. In the mid 80’s and my teenage years, that made him ok with me.

SSG Schwartz

Growing up, it simply wasn’t on my radar. The only time I heard reference to homosexuality was when the boys in school called each other fag. When I was a senior in high school and decided to attend a woman’s university, several of my classmates tried to warn me that lesbians were there. I found that annoying. Yeah? So? I’m not going to date any, and they’re not going to gang up on me and force me to join their roving lesbian gang.

Then, my freshman year of college, a friend from high school, who I utterly adored, came out to me. I remember being shocked almost speechless. When I got off the phone, my reaction was fairly negative. What did he mean he was gay? You mean, he has sex with other men? Ew! Yuck! I felt a little betrayed and more than a little thrown, but within about a week, I had gotten it figured out in my head. My friend = good person. My friend = gay. Therefore gay can = good person. Oh. Well. Okay. Carry on, then.

Some time in college, probably, and after I stopped listening to the Baptists.

I don’t understand how “not getting it” equates in your mind with it being “wrong”. There’s a zillion things I don’t get, including homosexuality, stamp collecting, quantum physics, cubist art, line dancing, etc. I think people who indulge in them are kinda wierd, but so what?

BTW, I don’t want to suggest that one adopts homosexuality as one might become a “hobbyist”. Maybe it’s more appropriate to say that I don’t understand people’s tastes for all kinds of things, homosexuality among them. I don’t expect everyone to love what I love either.

So fisha, to you put homosexuality in a different class of not understanding than you do, say, for some form of music you don’t like?

When I asked my mom what gay meant (third? fourth grade?), she told me that it meant that some boys like to date other boys instead of girls, and vice versa. I was like, Wow! That’s awesome! I like girls better than boys! So I thought there was a good chance I was gay. The difference between enjoying someone’s company and being sexually attracted to them wasn’t apparent to me at that age, but I knew being gay wasn’t something I was supposed to talk about. Later on, when sex and attraction clicked for me (Oh…I enjoy hanging out with girls more than boys, but I don’t want to kiss them or make out with them…), it still seemed like a perfectly normal, preferential thing. Like the ice cream analogy mentioned earlier.

So yeah, my ultra-conservative mom was trying to be discreet, and instead, she made me tolerant.

I think, for me, it was a logical conclusion I came to fairly early on in life. I mean, I’m a guy, and I like girls. It was never a choice; it just always was. There are things about girls that just get my attention. The same, I assume, for some guys when it comes to other guys (and girls when it comes to other girls).

I’ve never understood the argument from some people that it’s gross to imagine homosexual sex, so it’s “wrong”. I mean, sure, I’m not into that. And I wouldn’t want to participate. But I feel the same way when I see an ugly heterosexual couple, and yet it doesn’t offend me. I’m not interested in some people’s sex lives, but that doesn’t translate to how I feel about them.

I’ve always thought of being gay like being left-handed (which I am). It’s a perpetual trait that fits about 10% of the population. Unusual, perhaps, but that doesn’t mean there is anything wrong with it.

You’re left-handed?*That *is gross!


At some point being left-handed was not a good thing, not as bad as being homosexual though.

No, it has a wrongness about it. More than a matter of just personal taste, as in music, or dressing or occupations. Do I care? No, not really, like I said, I prefer not to think of anyone’s sex life but my own. I really don’t have time for idle speculation most days. Would I hold it against a potential employee, or roommate or friend? No, I wouldn’t. But I still think on some level it is wrong. The appeal is so foreign, like the appeal of extreme S&M, or living in a submarine for months, being a coal miner, or choosing suicide.

Sure, let ‘em get married, has no impact on me. I wouldn’t care if my kids friends’ parents were a gay couple, or if one of my relatives were gay, but there is still a wrongness.

I’m guessing that I might be older than most of you, because when I came out in 1963, at the age of 18, I thought that I was the only person on the planet who admitted that they were gay. (Actually, we didn’t even have words like “out” and “gay” yet.) And not only that, but ***nobody ***was saying that homosexuality was ok. Even the most liberal, enlightened people were saying that it “wasn’t our fault” for being that way. Saying that you were gay was like saying you were a child molester. Nobody was saying that was ok.

So I had to deal with the whole gay thing internally, with nobody else’s help. Understand that there was nothing like a “gay community” back then. There was sex, and that was it. So all in all, we all had to go through our own personal struggle toward the truth and self-acceptance.

For me, that journey took a whole lot of little baby steps, and many “aha” moments, and I didn’t really accept myself till I was 35.

In 1963, you probably WERE the only person to come out and say you were gay, or --what was the term back then?

Ok, but please understand that there are things that some straight people do, that seem to have a “wrongness” about them, to us queers. (I will never, ever understand the appeal of cunnilingus, from the “giver’s” point of view.)

But wouldn’t it be a boring world if there weren’t a little “wrongness” thrown into the mix, if we couldn’t coexist among things that we “don’t get”?