Sex is an interesting subject of discussion that usually draws people’s attention. Additionally, views of what sex is, people’s sexual orientations, and normal and abnormal sexual activities have evolved. Reading materials and lessons learned in this course have opened my eyes to the position and feelings of homosexuals regarding their sex lives. My reflection will take three forms: cognitive reflection, affective reflection, and behavioral reflection.
I have received a lot of new information regarding people’s sexual orientation. First, I have learned that there are several sexual identities of humans including the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, pansexual, heterosexual, and asexual, described by Plante as the Alphabet soup (196). I was only aware of the LGBTQ, but not the others. Although I am a lesbian, I am still getting used to the idea of the pansexual and transgender sexual identities because I did not know that they equally exist. Specifically, I was intrigued by the transgender identities discussion. Who would have thought that it was possible for a girl or lady to make themselves a boy or man through their behavior, including dressing and speech? The LGBTQ movement is still a way of life that most humans do not understand or even accept as much as it has been highly publicized. I agree with the writer who states that the definitions of sex, virginity, and virginity loss have evolved over time. He challenges the conventional assumption that sex was all about vaginal intercourse (Carpenter 127). Traditionally, virginity was defined as innocence and purity from any form of sexual experience and desire (Carpenter 128). Consequently, virginity loss was the irrevocable loss of innocence (Carpenter 128). This evolution in definitions of these words has been motivated by the increased oral sex and pornographic materials on the media. My experience as a lesbian is that it is possible to enjoy sex without having the presence of a man. Therefore, it is unfair to conclude that sex only happens through vaginal intercourse
Secondly, the literature read in this class has also outlined the challenges faced in normalization of “untraditional” sexual orientations. Seidman highlights real-life scenarios whereby the homosexuals try to normalize their sexual identities by revealing it to their family members (4). His observation is that, in most cases, the news is not received well. It results in anger and rejection. However, some parents have accepted the differences in their children’s sexual identities as normal. Unfortunately, some people who have come out as gay have even lost their jobs. Personally, I think normalization even begins with one accepting their own sexuality even before telling it to the world. It was not easy for me to open up to the world to say that I was a lesbian. I faced weird looks across the room in our family meetings and in class. However, with time it felt less weird and is now normal.
Just like the case of the Queers publication, discussions regarding people’s sexual orientation result in very heated discussions and sharp emotional reactions. I share the Queer’s feelings of anger and disappointment in the way the world treats those of us who are sexually different. As she states, we indeed have a right to privacy and should not be ashamed to declare our sexual identities in public for fear of oppression and bigotry (Queers 2). A review of the course material with my peers revealed two groups of people. The first group is traditional in their way of thinking. According to this group, the LGBTQ agenda is a vain argument since it is unlikely that these sexual orientations are genetically initiated. They believe that these sexual orientations have just been an outcome of societal influence of society through channels such as media. Thus, for them, the other sexual orientations are a perversion of the true sexuality of humans.
The second group which I belong to is open to the idea that it is normal for people to have different sexual identities as proposed by the LGBTQ debate. We feel that the first group should not judge us; but rather accept us in society and make us feel valued and appreciated. We have a right to act in sexual ways that we choose. Eventually, we got into a heated debate with the first group telling us how wrong we are and that we needed to reconsider our stand and choose the right sexual life.
Studying the different sexual orientations in class has made me respect the opinions of those who hold a different opinion than me. However, I have made up my mind not to allow them to trample over me with insults and judgmental looks. I expect to have them respect me as I respect them and their opinions about sex. I have also decided that henceforth I will be bolder about my sexuality. I am proud to be a lesbian and I enjoy my sexual experiences. I will continue doing so without any pressure to please other people but myself.
Carpenter, Laura. “The Ambiguity of “Having Sex”: The Subjective Experience of Virginity Loss in the United States.” The Journal of Sex Research, vol. 38, no. 2 May 2001, pp. 127- 139
Plante, Rebecca. Sexualities in Context: a social perspective. Perscus Books Group, pp. 195- 339
Queers, Read This. July 2009, pp. 1-16.
Seidman, Steven. “From Identity to Queer Politics: Shifts In the Social Logic of Normative Heterosexuality in Contemporary America.” Social Thought & Research, vol.24, no. 1&2, 2002, pp. 1-12