NEW YORK, Aug. 27 (AScribe Newswire) -- Following is an editorial by Jack Drescher, M.D., Training and Supervising Analyst at the William Alanson White Institute in New York. A gender and sexuality expert, he serves as Chairman of the Committee on Gay, Lesbian, and Bisexual Concerns of the American Psychiatric Association. He is the author of Psychoanalytic Therapy and the Gay Man (1998).
When New Jersey Gov. Jim McGreevey declared "I am a gay American," a shock wave rippled across the nation. After all, a 47-year-old man married to his second wife, with a child from each marriage, is not most people's idea of being gay.
By "coming out of the closet," which in gay culture means admitting his homosexuality to himself and disclosing it to others, McGreevey was forever changing his public persona and his own self-image as well. While some may regard the Governor's secrecy about his homosexuality as a simple matter of deception, being "in the closet" is psychologically complex.
Many gay men and lesbians spend long periods of their lives unable to acknowledge their homosexuality, either to themselves or to others. Most children who grow up to be gay routinely pretend to be heterosexual. Why? Beginning in childhood and throughout adolescence, even suspicion of being gay can lead to teasing, ridicule, family censure and even violence. Consequently, many young gay people come to regard their homosexuality as an unpleasant fact they would rather not know about themselves, let alone admit to others. The psychological means by which they avoid thinking about their sexual orientation is called dissociation.
Dissociation, of course, is not limited to gay men and lesbians. Most people are capable of pushing unwanted knowledge about themselves out of mind. Given some of the consequences of being openly gay, however -- estrangement from family, loss of employment, loss of home, loss of child custody, loss of opportunity, loss of status and even blackmail -- dissociation may seem a viable option for survival. Indeed, some closeted gay people marry and, on the surface at least, live their lives as if they were typical heterosexuals. While some do not act on their homosexual feelings, others enter into secret sexual lives that may involve one-time trysts, sporadic affairs, or even, in extreme cases, living full-fledged second lives. In fact, through dissociation, people can live double lives for months or years and never admit they're doing so, not even to themselves.
Jack Drescher, M.D.
On-line articles: Jack Drescher, M.D.
SEXUAL CONVERSION THERAPIES - Jack Drescher, M.D.
The Closet: Psychological Issues of Being In and Coming Out
By Jack Drescher, M.D. - October 1, 2004
The Pope Is Not Gay
Andrew Sullivan – The Daily Dish
The Psychology of the Closeted Individual and Coming Out – 2007
by Jack Drescher, M.D.
Benedict’s unsubstantiated antigay teachings –
“The Pope Is Not Gay” by Angelo Quattrocch, 2010
Among the Flutterers
Colm Tóibín - London Review of Books
“Someday, maybe, there will exist a well-informed, well considered and yet fervent public conviction that the most deadly of all possible sins is the mutilation of a child’s spirit.” Erik Erikson
…whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in Me to stumble, it would be better for him to have a heavy millstone hung around his neck, and to be drowned in the depth of the sea.
Important note: No disrespect meant to Pope Benedict XVI or the hierarchy, the one and only concern is the safety and well-being of children.
Kids Are Being Hurt !!!