[Written around 2005.]
Gay people who have come out of the closet have one main evolutionary advantage over straight people: they have experienced a basic pattern of breaking from the family system, and this creates in them a template for truth-telling that can apply to all other areas of life. At some level they know firsthand what it feels like to be rejected and pathologized by the worst of the family, and because they know how to define a part of their identity in spite of it, they take one step closer to enlightenment.
Much as some modern parents disguise it, parents do not want gay children – for a variety of reasons. A gay child is both a threat to rigidly heterosexual social norms and a fly in the ointment of the spiritually blind status quo. Parents often consider a gay child to be a humiliation, taking his homosexuality to be a reflection – distorted or otherwise – of their parental errors or imperfection. A gay child is also less likely to create children, and thus is less bound to perpetuate the denial of the family system. This puts parents at risk, because a child who does not procreate breaks an infinitely long intergenerational pattern and thus lives that much closer to looking them in the eye and calling them on their lies and depravity.
But many, if not most, gay people fail to seize their opportunity to break away and tell the truth, and in so doing serve the lying norms of society. They spend their lives pretending to be straight, jumping into gay relationships that might as well be straight, adopting children, or often even consciously denying that they are gay at all and getting married to members of the opposite sex – and actually procreating. It is no surprise that many closeted or pseudo-straight gay men become such pillars of our troubled society, and are even sought after as husbands by many stunted women: they are the poster children of dissociation! Their arrested development is not their homosexuality, but their dissociation from their homosexuality due to the traumas they faced in a family and society that hated their difference.
Other gay people squander their gift by acting out the worst of their traumas. They disappear into soul-numbing addictions and into the deadly mazes of S&M, promiscuity, exhibitionism, and other sexual compulsions. This sets the stage for society mislabeling their trauma-based perversions as the essence of homosexuality itself. They become caricatures of their potential and mistake self-hatred for self-love. Society, in its own twisted way, secretly applauds this self-abuse because it gives the norm a group to despise and a group onto which it can project its own disavowed shadow.
Yet all of this denial of self by gay people masks a desire to finally be loved and witnessed and accepted by the rejecting family. But of course this will never happen, and it’s not because of sexual orientation, which is just a cover issue. It’s because the family, wherever it is in any degree of denial, cannot love anyone fully. The sick sides of the family will only love – in a tainted way – those who have a false self that reflects back the family’s lies.
In order to evolve, each person, regardless of sexual orientation, has to face the same issues. He has to face his traumas, feel his buried rage, and grieve what he lost – and what he might have become if he had been better nurtured. This may be harder in some ways for gay people because they were more hated as children and had to hide more of their true selves. It is crushingly painful to be raised in a world that doesn’t support or often even acknowledge one’s feelings, and instead pathologizes them. But if gay people can grow true and express every iota of who they really are, then our world needs them more than ever. They model something that everyone needs: a connection with and a public acknowledgement of our beautiful and disenfranchised self.