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What is Homosexuality?

This is perhaps the first question an individual questioning or perturbed by their sexual orientation might ask. The question or frustration may begin as a noticeable lack of interest in the opposite gender along with either a subtle or an overt interest in member(s) of the same gender.

Being homosexual is simply persistent or recurring sexual, affectional and/or romantic attraction on a long-term basis for member(s) of the same gender as oneself. Physical, sexual acts may or may not accompany that attraction. You can be celibate and still know your sexual orientation-–be it lesbian, gay or bisexual.

But physical/sexual acts between members of the same gender do not make the involved individuals necessarily homosexual, or lesbian, gay, bisexual, etc.

How do I know if I’m gay?

No authority is in a position to tell you whether you are homosexual, gay, lesbian or bisexual. Only the person who is experiencing such an attraction is in a position to make this decision to label oneself.

Different lesbian, gay, and bisexual people have very different experiences regarding their sexual orientation. Some people know that they are lesbian, gay, or bisexual for a long time before they actually pursue relationships with other people. Others engage in sexual activity (with same-sex and/or othersex partners) before assigning a clear label to their sexual orientation.

Prejudice and discrimination make it difficult for many people to come to terms with their sexual orientation and identities, so claiming a lesbian, gay, or bisexual identity can often be a slow and painful process.

Is homosexuality natural?

Homosexual behaviour is extensively found in nature. “It has been observed in: antelopes, boars, bulls, chimpanzees, cows, ducks, cats, dogs, fruit flies, geese, gorillas, gulls, horses, humans, langurs, rams, sheep, macaques, monkeys, turkeys and vervets.” 2

According to research conducted by Bruce Bagemihl, a biologist from Seattle, Washington, at least 5% of Humboldt penguin pairs he observed in a zoo were gay. In his book, he has surveyed homosexual and transgender behaviours among 190 species, such as butterflies and other insects.3

Another source states that “Homosexuality exists in proven ratios in all mammal species….It is as natural as blue eyes, left-handedness, or the genetic predisposition to walk on two legs.” 4

It is interesting to note that the Greek philosopher Aristotle noted apparent homosexual behaviour among hyenas about 2300 years ago.5

Can I tell if someone’s gay?

Males with feminine traits are not necessarily homosexual or gay, and likewise females with masculine traits are not necessarily homosexual or lesbian. For instance, if the following two pictures are observed it would be wrong to conclude that the man on the left is straight and the man on the right is gay. The man on the left is Sir Ian Mckellan, an actor who is gay, and the man on the right is Marilyn Manson, a musician who is straight.

 gandalf  marilynmanson