How did you learn about sex? This is how I learned about sex:
When I was around seven or eight years old my mother asked her ex-husband to teach me about the birds and bees. Unbeknownst to her at the time, that man had been sexually abusing my older sister Amy for years, starting well before he and my mother separated. (Just for the record and just in case Google is paying attention, the man’s name is Michael William Lundy.)
To teach me about sex, this poor excuse for a man used himself and my sister as real life anatomy dolls. He forced me to touch her; he forced me to touch him; he forced her to touch me; he forced her to touch him; he forced me to watch him touch her. I’m not sure what all transpired because after a certain point my mind stopped functioning. I believe that point was when the sick motherless piece of shit forced me to smell and taste my sister’s vagina. I think at that point my mind shattered into a million pieces and I floated away.
There’s an old, semi-autobiographical book titled “When Rabbit Howls” about a woman that suffered unimaginable abuse as a little girl and subsequently developed a dissociative disorder (back then referred to as “multiple personalities”). I only read the book once and it was a very long time ago, but I remember one part where the author describes the moment her mind shattered into the pieces that became those disparate personalities. “Rabbit” was one of those personalities and all Rabbit did was howl. Rabbit howled from the all pain.
I didn’t develop a similar dissociative disorder (I dissociated in my own special ways), but the author’s recollection of her own shattering resonated with me, and it still does. My mind broke into pieces that then turned on themselves and shattered each other into smaller and smaller pieces. I can still feel the breaking, like how someone who lost a limb can still sense a ghost of that limb extending beyond where that particular appendage now ends. The shattering was a reverse fractal of sorts that continued until I was so broken that it no longer mattered how broken I had become. After all, what’s the endgame of breaking if not to become shattered into a dust that can no longer be touched or hurt?
Almost more damaging than the abuse was that my young mind didn’t understand it was abuse. How could I understand? As far as I knew, that’s how little boys learned about sex. For all I knew, that’s what dads were supposed to do with their sons and what brothers were supposed to do with their sisters. I was so young that our abuser didn’t even have to order me not to tell anyone what happened; he didn’t even have to frighten me with threats of what would happen if I did tell anyone. He simply went on as if everything were normal, knowing full well that because I lacked the ability to process what he put us through–let alone articulate it–I would follow suit and also go on as if everything were normal.
When the abuse of my sister was finally divulged to my mother and the authorities, I still didn’t speak up about what had happened. Instead, I tortured myself for not knowing that what had happened was abuse. At some point my young brain decided that since I hadn’t recognized it was abuse, there must have been something wrong with me. I must have been like him. I must have been sick. Sick and evil.
Nobody knew for many years, and when people (like my mother) did finally find out, I was so much older that it didn’t really affect me as much — so it wasn’t some huge announcement or revelation. It was more like, “Oh yeah, and this happened,” not unlike how I would reminisce about the drug-fueled adventures of my youth. My mom’s reaction (understandably so due to my nonchalance about it at that point) was, “Wow. Well, I never knew.”
I didn’t give it much thought.
Then, later in college, I had one of those epiphany moments as a professor explained how child victims of abuse often either 1) assume adults magically “know” what’s happened to them or 2) don’t understand why adults don’t just magically “know.” The child often explains their reasoning as: “But I was so sad all the time. How could they not see that I was so sad?” Children operate with magical thinking. Literally. So, if they look “sad” enough (or act out enough), then mom will simply intuit the truth of what’s really going on and mom will kiss it and make it better. Because that’s what moms do.
In my gut I knew that’s what I had done for years: assumed people magically knew or thought they should magically know. I was so sad. I was so fucking sad all the time.
But, fucking hell, I should have never been put in that position in the first place. A child does not have the capacity or ability to process or articulate those kinds of thoughts or feelings. Their brains do not function in that way, just like how teenage brains simply cannot comprehend complex concepts — like how insignificant their current lives will seem in retrospect as they become older, no matter how significant things may seem now.
I suffered in self-imposed silence and inadvertently used LSD and MDMA to reprogram my brain so that I could think and feel again. Yes, I believe certain drugs aren’t inherently destructive and that they can be productive if used correctly and in moderation. I believe the same thing about other conventionally derided things like pornography, partying, and piety.
I also think that while some people have intensely innate and predisposed sexual predilections, others can have theirs shaped by trauma or environment, while still others may experience their sexual tastes fluidly evolve throughout their lifetime. My sexuality was shaped by my experiences as a child. How could it not be? It’s a reality to which I’ve spent my entire life adapting. Conversely, I find absolutely nothing wrong with people that can’t adapt and whom feel compelled to “fix” or “heal” their sexuality. More power to them. What I have a problem with is people having that particular mindset then turning around and insisting others do the same thing. Look, just because something was wrong for you doesn’t mean something is wrong for everyone else, just like drugs may be wrong for one person but right for another. Not everyone becomes an addict.
Arguments about whether or not people are “born gay” or not are ludicrous for several reasons. For one, the argument creates a framework wherein absolute heterosexuality is the default and desired sexuality, while every other sexual permutation is so deviant that it must be examined, categorized, and explained. Why don’t we have whole fields of study dedicated to figuring out what makes people an absolute heterosexual?
Such a line of thinking also presumes that anything but absolute heterosexuality is so undesirable as to make it unworthy of choosing. Why would homosexuality (or any form of non-heterosexuality) be unworthy of choosing? Anyone that has concerned themselves with the origins of any permutation of human sexuality other than absolute heterosexuality has already decided that every permutation of human sexuality other than absolute heterosexuality is wrong. Since they’ve already decided that anything other than absolute heterosexuality is wrong, why in the world would the origins of other permutations of human sexuality even matter to them? Hint: the origins don’t matter to them as a means to justify or validate non-heterosexuality; the origins matter to them as a means to determine a method of eradicating non-heterosexuality.
Does anyone really think that homophobes actually care if people are born gay or if they choose to be gay? Does anyone really think that a solution to that debate either way would magically cause homophobes to suddenly reverse into thinking that there’s nothing wrong with being gay? Hint: No.
Only to someone whose mind is already made up about human sexuality do the so-called origins of various sexualities matter.
Homophobes don’t merely disagree with non-heterosexuality, they disagree with transsexuality (or any sex/gender nonconformists). They think men should behave one way and women should behave another way. They take the biological differences between the sexes and extrapolate those physical differences into arbitrary social roles, norms, and rules. It’s binary thinking: one or the other. Man or woman; male or female; masculine or feminine; blue or pink; hard or soft.
But, did they ever…ever…stop to think that it’s possible their own rigid insistence on these arbitrary roles actually encourages transsexualism, transgenderism, or gender nonconformity? Did they ever stop to think that maybe their unrealistic definitions of manhood/womanhood, masculinity/femininity, male/female impose unnatural boundaries on the human psyche and that those boundaries are what can compel some people to feel like they are somehow the “wrong” sex or gender? Did they ever stop to think that maybe if as a society we were more permissive and realistic about sex, sexuality, and gender, then perhaps more people could feel comfortable in their own bodies and at home in their own skin?
Note: This is not to say that I think people aren’t born transsexual or transgender. This is to say that — just like it’s possible that some people have intensely innate and predisposed sexual predilections while others have theirs shaped and still others fluidly evolve — the same could be true for sex/gender. The point is that the same people that hate (or merely dismiss) anything and everything trans* are the very same people that (however unintentionally) might actually compel trans* identification via their binary sexual framework and power dynamics.
If your worldview is that men should only look/behave/feel one way and women should only look/behave/feel another way, what exactly do you expect to happen to the enormous subset of the population that doesn’t happen to neatly fit into those rigid roles? Why is it incumbent upon them to change who they are in order to fit your reality but not incumbent upon you to change your worldview so that people are simply allowed to be who they are?
I started this diatribe with recollections of my childhood sexual abuse because the man that abused me and my sister encapsulates precisely what is wrong with the thinking of people that are homophobic, transphobic, and everything in-between. To them, anyone non-heterosexual and non-gender-binary-conformist are the monsters. To them, non-heterosexuals and non-gender-binaries are the sinful freaks that need fixing, healing, or plain praying for.
But, the man that sexually abused me and my sister was an outwardly regular ol’ everyday, mustache and gold-rimmed glasses wearing, masculine, heterosexual, conformist male. He was a Dennis Hastert, a Jared Fogle, a Josh Duggar, a Jerry Sandusky. Just like them, he effortlessly camouflaged himself with social assumptions of what a monster looks like and doesn’t look like. Just as all sexual predators do, he operated under the guise of normalcy because normalcy begets a benefit of doubt.
Straight male? Family man? A man’s man?
Straight woman? Mother? A lady through and through?
Perfect. Here, have all the unfettered access you want to any children you want whenever you want however you want.
And also if you were a little bad it’s okay you’ve done soooo much good, except for that bad stuff.
Gay? Lesbian? Trans*?
OMGGGGGG STAY AWAY FROM DA CHILRENZ OMG PERVERT YOU SO SICK.
AND ALSO YOU’RE DEFINITELY GOING TO HELL FOREVER, GO DIRECTLY TO HELL AND DON’T PASS GO.
We’ve got folks boycottin’ and up in arms about “Eddie Izzard and His Legion of Men in Dresses” supposedly using every single ladies’ room in the world to rape everyone’s wife or touch everyone’s daughter, but the same people willfully turn a blind eye to the actual threats: the drinking buddy, the coach, the priest, the man’s man — all because we’re more concerned with some idea that men should act one way and women should act another.
We turn a blind eye to real predators because supposedly as long as a man acts like a “man,” there’s no need to worry. As long as a woman acts like a “woman,” there’s no need to worry. And then, even more sickening, when predators like Dennis Hastert, Josh Duggar, Jerry Sandusky, and their ilk are exposed, people crawl out of the woodwork to defend them, to plead for clemency, to cry rivers over the ruining of the poor predator’s life.
Because, these particular predators must be the exception and not the rule. These predators aren’t the real monsters, they are merely the ones of us that have strayed from the path. They are the ones that have made mistakes. See, the real monsters are those men that don’t act like men and those women that don’t act like women.
Jesus Horatio Christ, hardened criminals in prison demonstrate more anger and hatred for child molesters than does the general public. Da fuq?
My abuser hid in plain sight because people are too busy being obsessed with what it means for future generations if Will Smith’s son wears dresses and if Ellen marries another woman. You know what matters for future generations? If we keep full on status quo sending monsters the message that as long as they act and dress a certain way — and don’t draw too much attention to themselves — then they can rape children with impunity for like a decade or two before anyone gets around to catching them.
Apparently it’s too simple yet radical to suggest that the human race worry less about who wears what, who identifies as this or that, or which adults have consensual naked playdates with other adults of the opposite or same sex.
Fine. Instead, how about we KILL ALL THE FUCKING CHILD MOLESTERS AND RAPISTS? Fucking kill them all. On sight. In public. Hell, do that shit in arenas. Two child molesters fight to the death type shit and then afterwards we go ahead and kill the surviving one too because YOU ALL DESERVE TO DIE.
I’m pro-equality in every single way. I don’t care who or what you are. Black, Asian, white, Middle Eastern, Native American, or Rachel Dolezal? Straight, bisexual, gay, asexual, or maybe you can only get it up for dolls made out of pantyhose and magazine clippings? Christian, Jewish, Muslim, Atheist, or that one guy who got stuck between two rocks and had to drink his own pee and cut off his own leg or something so he must’ve prayed to someone a few times? I don’t care what you are, what you believe, who you sleep with, what bathroom you use. No matter who you are, if you molest children or rape folks you deserve to fucking die and I don’t even believe in the death penalty but fuck it I’m willing to look the other way because just die already just die.
I propose that we can solve all the world’s problems if we stop fighting about everything else for a minute and just focus on exposing and killing all the child molesters.
Fuck it, bring all the guns you want. I don’t give a shit.
Just wear sensible shoes.