TO: Homophobes and the Sexually
FROM: Bill Swart
I DID NOT CHOOSE TO BE HETEROSEXUAL.
The recent case of a young man being beaten to death by two homophobes in
Wyoming prompts me to come out of the closet and confess: I did not choose
to be heterosexual.
And I was not taught by parents, teachers, or preachers to enjoy seeing my
cousin with her pants down in our you-show-me-and-I'll-show-you exchange.
But it was thrilling enough that I remember the view vividly from 60-plus
years ago. Hairless and symmetrical, it was rather cute. At about that same
time, age five or six, my only homosexual activity, a playmate and I fondling
each other, wasn't even interesting.
And, about that same time, I appealed for sex education. I asked Mom, as she
was hanging the wash on the line, what a boy's "peanuts" were for. Very
calmly she said, "Someday you'll find out." There was a message in that calm
response. We don't talk about sex organs and what they are for. Mother was
unprepared. She had not read any books on how to deal with such questions,
and there were no newspaper columns devoted to it. Dr. Ruth was but a
Sex education in school! It's to laugh. Teachers in our town went twenty
miles away to buy beer and cigarettes. Teachers or preachers who would have
addressed sexuality in our 1930's and '40's town on Monday, would have been
assisted in loading their belongings in the Model-A Ford on Tuesday. So I
enrolled in the school of my peers, attending street classes, and
back-seat-Chevy seminars - a roads scholar, as it were.
Well, given that libertarian development, without even a one-semester-hour
course in sexual orientation, how, why, and when did I become heterosexual?
I suspect it was at the moment Dad's lucky sperm wiggled its way into Mom's
ovum. Maybe if a different sperm cell had won the race, or if Mom had
ovulated from her other ovary, I would have been homosexual. Who knows?
I'm glad that particular combination of genes got together. I do wish there
had been a good-at-hitting-baseball gene in the package. Fifteen more
IQ-points and a full head of hair at age 69 would be nice. But I'm mostly
satisfied with me. I'm especially grateful to be heterosexual. I should
hate to have missed the excitement of seeing Sonja Henie's pants as she
skated, and of seeing my cousin with pants off. I savored that masochistic
necking in the back seat as a 16 year-old until the testicles ached (boy,
that hurts). And then, and then, there was making love on our honeymoon (and
again last Sunday) with my wife.
It's not that my sexuality was a fertile bed of stamens and pistils. From
circa age ten, when puberty struck, until marrying at age 32, I was one of
the most sexually frustrated mammals in the solar system. That's not to
claim I was a virgin at 32, but my sexual activity had been sparse enough
that I might as well have been.
Could I, if imprisoned for years, or marooned on an island with another man,
willingly become homosexual? I don't think so. The thought of being
sexually touched by another man is unpleasant.
So, since the thought of being sexually touched by a man is not pleasant,
what should that say about being ogled by a man? That, being ogled, is one of
the reasons for opposition to homosexuals in the armed forces. I know, for a
fact, that, in the army, I was seen naked in the shower by homosexuals.
Ogled? I don't know. They didn't pant or drool.
In my lifetime I became friends with three men whom I knew to be homosexuals.
One was as handsome as Rock Hudson. So, "Rock" we'll call him. Rock was
built like a prize fighter. One guy in town, a tough customer, good with his
fists, roused Rock's ire, got knocked on his keister for it, and didn't get
up for a while.
Rock made a pass at me once. I made it clear that I was not for him, and
that was the end of it. I'll tell you this about Rock. If I were to go up
against some badasses in an alley, or against enemy infantry, I would like to
have him on my side. It so happens that, while I had no wish to share a bed
with any of the homosexuals I've known, I would have welcomed them beside me
in a fox hole. Barry Goldwater, no raging libertarian, he, pointed out that
a soldier doesn't have to be straight, just has to shoot straight. Wish I
had voted for Barry.
To those Supersoldiers who get their noses, and maybe other appendages, out
of joint about being ogled in the shower by a homosexual, I say lighten up,
most of you are not all that attractive anyway.
One of the most asinine policies ever concocted by the asinine military
"mind" is the don't-ask-don't-tell policy. If that policy were followed, it
wouldn't change anything. The homosexual would still be in the barracks
shower, ogling away, but not telling. It might be better to know, so we
oglees could strut a bit.
Recently a career navy man was given the boot after it was learned that he
was homosexual. Then, when it was revealed that his sexual orientation was
discovered through extraordinary naval snooping, he was reinstated. I note
that, before his sexual preference was exposed, his homosexuality didn't run
his ship aground, didn't increase the AWOL or suicide rate among his
shipmates, and didn't curdle the milk in the galley. So, how is it that
after he slipped out of the ship's closet, he suddenly became a threat to the
vessel, to his mates, and to national security?
Margaret Mead, I think it was she, quipped that she didn't care what
consenting adults do as long as they don't do it in the street and scare the
horses. I don't care either, as long as they don't scare the horses or
interfere with what I do in my bed. I'll stay out of their beds, and I
expect them to stay out of mine.
And that's what the Supermale homophobes should do. It's what the
Superchristians such as Pat Robertson and Jerry Falwell should do. I wonder,
was their passage from erector sets to erections so different from mine? Did
they ask Mom or Dad what their peanuts were for and get a straight answer?
Were they sex-educated? And then, did they decide to be heterosexual? Boy,
reflect on that for a minute! If they did, it raises some sticky questions
about heterosexuals! Could it be that God created genetically pure, NO-CHOICE
HETEROSEXUALS, like me, and pro-choice heterosexuals like Pat & Jerry? If
so, for what sex does a pro-choicer truly lust in his heart?
And, even stickier -- if upon reaching an age of sexual-confirmation (maybe
the first Sunday after the first wet dream), Pat & Jerry reviewed their
sex-education notes, revisited pertinent biblical references, and had to
consciously decide to lie down with females instead of males -- should they
be allowed to procreate?
Trouble is, we don't have a reliable test to distinguish HETEROSEXUALS from
heterosexuals. Until we do, we must not judge Pat & Jerry. We can, however,
urge them not to recruit.