I would like to address the great controversies that are arising in many places in the world regarding the LGTB community, homosexuality, transgenderism and other sexual orientations and tell you about my own personal and professional experiences in this field.
Many people believe that sexual orientation is a matter of choice; that people choose to declare themselves gay, transgender, genderqueer, pangender, asexual or any other adjective just to be different (!) or enjoy some sexual pleasures that are “forbidden” to the rest of humanity. Please, allow me to question that belief. As you will soon read below, I have had quite a lot of experience with thousands of people, many of whom, had different sexual orientations. If there’s one thing those “different” people had in common was SUFFERING. They all suffered. They suffered a lot when rejected by others. They suffered a lot when literally attacked by others. They suffered from loneliness. They suffered from discrimination. They suffered from lack of understanding.
But the first suffering they all had in common was the suffering of doubting and trying to accept themselves. Coming to terms with their sexual inclinations often resulted in terrible fights inside them, in pain, in self-deprecation and self-doubt. Being different from what society considered “normal” often came hand in hand with questioning their mental health: am I a bad human being? Am I crazy? Am I a strange creature? Do I deserve to be alive? Am I an aberration? Should I die for what I feel? Should I end it?
Many are not brave enough to face up to themselves and bear the pain because that would require almost superhuman powers.
Judgmental people tend to believe that the LGBT community happily choose to declare themselves something. My experience tells me that each disclosure hides huge amounts of suffering.
Accepting one’s difference in a world that preaches uniformity is a very difficult path to follow. I can’t believe that anyone would choose so much suffering if they had ANY OTHER choice.
Let me tell you my stories…
My first boyfriend was gay. The first time I ever encountered the concept of homosexuality, I was about 14 or 15 years old and had started dating a boy in Germany. I was then living in Spain. We had met in his country and seen each other quite often that summer. He came to visit over Christmas. And then he confessed that he felt attracted to one of the boys he met with me and that he was gay. I couldn’t understand what he was talking about. I was still quite naive and didn’t fully grasp what he was telling me. But we loved each other in a very sweet, innocent way, so I went and asked for help. I asked a psychologist to help me help my friend. The answer he gave me was that there was nothing I could do and that sexual orientation is personal.
We continued being friends for many, many years. In fact, we still are. Our friendship is so solid that it helps us talk without prejudice or limitations.
I can tell you that he never chose to suffer as he did and sometimes still does.
My best friend was gay. Funnily enough, a couple of years after dating this German boy, I met another one, this one in my hometown. We became inseparable, closer than siblings, with the type of friendship that only happens once or twice and lasts a lifetime. We were so close that, when he was diagnosed with HIV, only his partner and I knew if for several years, until it couldn’t be hidden any more.
I can tell you that he never chose to suffer as he did.
A person very close to me is transgender. He was born a girl but soon realized there was something different in him. One day, reading articles on the internet, all the pieces fell into place and he understood what the matter was with him: he was in the wrong body. Accepting such a big change was a deep source of pain and suffering for many years. And still today, this person is bullied and threatened because he removed his breasts. So the suffering continues.
I can tell you he never chose to suffer as he did and still does.
Many of my clients considered suicide. If a different sexual orientation were such a fun, easy thing, there would be no suicides or mental hospital treatments for the LGBT community! The suffering is real and often for life.
My clients never chose to suffer as they did and do.
What I learned and would like to share with you…
The LGTB community has two choices: they either accept themselves for whom they are or hide it away from the rest of the world, pretending to be what they are not their whole lives.
I see campaigns and actions targeting the LGTB community all around the world; I hear of punishments, incarcerations, death penalties and other abuse. Do you really still believe they choose to feel the way they do? Do you still believe anybody would suffer so much willingly? Do you still honestly believe that these human beings are doing it just for fun?
I am a humanologist; I work helping people approach and solve their problems in every possible aspect of their lives. One of the things I learned after so many years working with human beings is that EVERYBODY WANTS TO BE HAPPY. No exceptions. True, happiness might mean different things to different people but I never, ever encountered a person who didn’t want to be happy. So let me please question your belief that the LGTB community just want to have fun. The amount of suffering they have to put up with in their lives clearly refutes that belief.
Next time you allow yourself to judge anybody else, please, remember that you don’t truly know them. Remember that they have they own journeys; journeys that you didn’t live. And that nobody chooses to suffer so much unless they see no other way.
Enjoy life, ALL of it,
Jessica J. Lockhart – humanology – www.jessicajlockhart.com