The gay liberation movement relentlessly strives for the acceptance of homosexuality as a choice different from heterosexuality thereby consequently divorcing it from the realm of insanity, crime and stigmatization. Behind the curtains of this explicit struggle for acceptance of one’s sexuality there seems to be a catastrophic struggle for basic sense of self that has largely been overlooked by the majority. One is not simply saying that homosexuality should be legalized, the person concerned is desperately asking for few things basic to human survival and growth- freedom of choice, empathy, family and social support, equality of rights and opportunity and a capacity to love one’s self and be loved.
Given the present circumstances, the very moment the person becomes aware of his sexual choices and recognizes that he is gay everything stated above gets endangered. The cost of thinking about one’s pleasure is just too much. The person seems crippled by the fear that any moment a big social exclusion could occur depriving the person of his friends, family, self-esteem, wishes to work and succeed as he will be looked down upon even more harshly and pejoratively then all combined- a mad, a freak, a criminal.
Gays are always given the message that they are weird, their desires unnatural and immoral which they must hide from the world throughout their life. This is a severe form of psychological oppression where one must live with this sense of shame and fear. Living every moment in such a fear is surly not easy and puts up an immense cost on one’s psychological resources and mental health.
The very people whom he loves, derives a sense of self from and whose support he seeks might pressurize him to change and if he refuses outcast him. Everyone who matters may see him as weird, bizarre and ill. His sexuality has to confront possibly everything else that matters to him. The experience of ‘growing up hidden’ and ‘coming out in the open’ is daunting. Someone who must hide an important part and fear being detected and stigmatized is likely to be severely distressed as so the one who comes out in the open asserting his sexuality but as a result must put to risk all that exists including love and support of family and friends and benefits of being in the mainstream. Coming out to families involves loss of love and abandonment by persons of great importance. For married gay men it is even be more difficult to come out before their wives and children. The experience for someone when he lets known his sexuality and faces stigmatization and abandonment is traumatic.
In his contacts with social mainstream be it family, educational institution, work place or friend circle the gays experience a constant sense of shame that they are different and worry about the possible reaction of important others if they become aware of his sexuality. Due to this fear the individual decides to lead a secluded life from mainstream, else may try to adjust to it on a false basis or worse get caught up in the struggle whether to be a part of mainstream or move away.
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