LGBT and Authenticity

I am surprised that there is not more intense search of the concept of “authenticity” among the LGBT community. It is the central question. Is there a literature that directly addresses these concerns? It should be extensive.  I believe my book
see my book“should be prominent among that library.

I think there are two issues of authenticity in the LGBT community. (In the straight community there is only one.) Let me explain. In the heterosexual male and female worlds, there is only one question of authenticity and that is the search for whatever it is the makes them feel real and connected to themselves. They are not in the mode to seek a complete break from their own authenticity, but rather only to enhance it.

In the LGBT world there are two phases of the struggle for authenticity. The first is the recognition that they do not fit in the traditional mold of heterosexuality and will thus never find authenticity there. They must completely vacate that realm where everyone else seeks theirs.  The second phase is, that once accepting that they must vacate the traditional search for authenticity; they must seek it in an entirely new arena.  Accepting oneself then as an outlier, how does one reconcile with this second opportunity for authenticity? Let’s go back and add detail:

Humanity’s first and fundamental function and purpose is the propagation of itself. This is built into the species. Thus heterosexual contact is essential to humanity’s survival and continuation. This is not a moral or ethical discussion, it is simple procreative biology. That species survival rule, as the basic nature of things, then implies that all that does not lead to that is outside the “norm”. It is on that premise that all alternative sexuality was thought “abnormal” and was shunned, hidden or forcibly “banned”. That was the social norm (with some exceptions) for most of history. To its credit today, America has begun to recognize that the LGBT community is here, has been here, and is not going away. A growing number of people are beginning to accept the fact that there is a component of people whose sexuality is persistently different and is not going to go away or change.

For the sake of simplicity in this limited essay, lets assume that the LGBT component of our species is a simple biological variance caused by who knows what. But that variance is in sufficient numbers to require that it be recognized. The LGBT have lived in shadows for centuries and haven’t gone away or changed. Theirs is a variance that is embedded and here to stay. For the preservation of the species it has to be forever a minority. But harsh judgments have not and will not change their continued presence among us.

So the first hurdle of authenticity for the LGBT community is to recognize and accept that they will not find their authenticity in the predominant mode of our species. The second hurdle is to find authenticity in their own skins. “Coming out” in all these modes is the first step toward authenticity. Settling in to who you are is the first step to authentication. Here again, I must defer to my book which is of the necessary length to examine this process.  Suffice to say here, that the requisite shedding of scripts that are irrelevant; the self aware rewriting of your own authentic scripts; the brutal honesty that can only come from cleansing every “script” that has haunted your lives, is all detailed in my book.   While you are reading my book and struggling along the path to one’s own true self, I have only one additional caveat for this particular essay.

I think too much friction is created by forcing others to take note of one’s own new authenticity. It should be a reward unto itself. Taking “pride” in this public identity is a normal first step in personal growth (see “gay” pride and “black” pride), but it is one that needs to be outgrown as soon as possible. Disparate groups who live in harmony do not rub other’s noses in their differences. Live your differences, but don’t make a spectacle of it. Just get on with it. Sexuality is mostly a private matter. It is not a social or corporate lubricator. It is not important to industry or finance. When a group is working around a conference table in order to improve an idea or corporate or medical advance, sexual orientation or gender does not matter. Both sides need to get that! I hate to break it to you, but sexuality is not all that important! Generally, it is only important to two people and that should be private. Frankly, I don’t care about your sexuality. I really don’t want to hear a lot about it. Don’t make it an issue yourself, and I won’t do it either. And as a sub-note, I would make the same case about the “black issue” that has reared its head again. In modern America, most people don’t care what your color is. Join the community. Whether black, white or brown, whether heterosexual or LGBT, get over it! Quit beating me up over it! Just join in and help solve the problems we all face, and soon enough, the differences will be forgotten. Believe it or not, there are bigger issues. Quit reminding me of your differences, and I will quit noticing. Once we all get a little bored of our differences, we will all get along quite nicely.

I just want to interface with people who are cooperative, friendly, helpful, smart, loving and calm.  I don’t care about your color or your sexuality if I can engage in these other attributes.  In the process, if you look or act a little different, I don’t really care. I’m all for variety in this world.  It leavens monotony.  Let me repeat: variety is great! Just don’t force me to notice it all the time.  Let’s gather around our commonalities.  Enjoy your differences.  Let me enjoy mine, or even the lack of them.  Enough with the announcements, the pronouncements, the parades, the placards, the demonstrations.  Give it a rest.  Move on. Time out!  I’m worn out hearing about everyone’s differences and their struggles for identity. Do it quietly. Do it privately. Do it with some humor. Let’s meld.  Let’s hear it for a little alleviating BLUR……………

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2 thoughts on “LGBT and Authenticity

  1. Yes, it always strikes me when people are so eager to point out differences about themselves when those around them already accept them for whatever and whoever they are. Perhaps they don’t give enough credit to the world they live in to notice that most people accept them for who they are. There will always be the haters in the world no matter who you are. These instances will be widely hyped by the News and other Media; but I don’t think this defines the masses anymore.
    Note: we have a Black President. People seem to overlook the fact that millions of people voted for a Black president; but still harp on the fact that America is prejudiced. Al Sharpton is up in arms because there are no black actors nominated for Oscars this year. Shouldn’t it be judged on talent and not on the color of ones skin who gets nominated? His objection seems to contradict the very equality he says he stands for ? A related anecdote:
    Recently I was at work walking through a hallway that had many pictures of the history of the building. A friend and Co worker was walking with me, I’ll call him “Gabe.” I noticed in one of the photos that the man in it resembled Gabe. I said “Gabe, look at this picture; this guy looks like you.” Gabe looked at me with a long pause and a bewildered look. I wasn’t sure why. He started to laugh and said “That guy is white!” Because I saw Gabe just as Gabe – not a color- I really never registered him as my “Half black friend and Co worker.” But it was interesting that he had.
    So, in that sense you are right – I think an important step is for people who see themselves as ‘Different’ ( Black, Gay, Lesbian,..etc) to let go of that stigma and start seeing themselves as the same as the rest of us- just people. They just might realize thats how most of us see them already.

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