News and Opinions

Neither here nor there

Written by Guest Writer on . Posted in Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity/Expression

I am often faced with this question from my girlfriends: Am I straight because I am with you? One was even a medical student.

I am not sure what to answer. I have curves that rival most women but I feel strange saying that I am 100% woman.

I have ovaries, but no womb: so no kids for me. I am not complaining. But how do you explain to girlfriend that you have fleeting feelings about your phantom body parts, cut off before you were even aware of its existence?

“Easier for the doctors to make a hole than to make a pole”. That’s what I was told.

In the Indian culture , someone like me is respected and honored because it is said that, my words, whether curses or blessings, being from someone straddling both genders, will come true. But, that is fear, not understanding.

I am not angry. I am just tired. Tired of being used to all this stuff happening, just because I understand how others don’t understand. I wish people around me could accept both parts of me: in a shaved head, packing, male looking body as well as a sari clad jewellery wearing one.

I am both and neither. Neither here, nor there.
I am not whining. Just hoping that my words will make you think, wonder and try to gain the answers.

Why Homosexuality is NOT a Mental Sickness

Written by AnJ on . Posted in Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity/Expression


Before i begin, i want to state something with respect to Liberty League:

It is acceptable for someone to have negative views on homosexuals… After all, it’s their right to choose what they wish to believe in. Freedom of faith, yes?

BUT, it is NOT acceptable to LIE about what mental health professionals are saying about homosexuality. You want to have bad thoughts about homosexuality… Sure- but don’t you dare support that with scientific claims. That’s LYING.

It is VERY UNACCEPTABLE to advocate, and put into praxis, a therapy (i.e. reparative/conversion therapy) that has an extensive pool of research that indicates its harmfulness to one’s mental well-being.

Some of us think that counselling is “Words! How much damage can words do?!” Words are easy- but they have a certain power to them. Have you ever been hurt by what a teacher said to you in your younger years? Ever heard of VERBAL ABUSE? Has anyone said anything encouraging such that it changed an aspect or a period of your life? There- i just demostrated the power of words in your life.

Now that i got that off my chest… i am going give you an insight as to why homosexuality is not considered a mental sickness by up-to-date psychologists (and other mental health professionals). Knowing that there is nothing wrong scientifically is not enough- you need to know why that conclusion was made.

What is abnormal behavior?

Abnormal behavior (mental sickness) has been defined in a number of ways over the years. Let’s look at some of the definitions that have been used. And finally, we will touch on what is best used- which is the eclectic approach (combining multiple perspectives for a more balanced view).

Reparative therapy & Homosexuality

Written by AnJ on . Posted in Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity/Expression

What does Psychology say about Homosexuality?

Homosexuality was removed from the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-II) in 1973. It was replaced by ‘sexual orientation disturbance’- specifically for homosexuals who are in conflict and wish to change their sexual orientation to heterosexual. The term ‘ego-dystonic homosexuality’, which was introduced in DSM-III, captures the same essence. However, this term was eventually removed in 1987 as well, marking the most significant step. Despite these changes, many mental health professionals (especially those who are conservative Christians) continue to regard homosexuality as an abnormality that requires ‘correction’. The last decade has seen a resurgence of research on reparative therapy (also known as conversion therapy) as the dialectic between proponents and opponents of this therapy intensifies.

Theories of homosexuality:

The psychoanalytic perspective indicates that homosexuality results as a developmental disorder (during a pre-oedipal crisis)- when the child failed to attach to same-sex parents or peers. Hence, they develop inferiority towards same-sex others (Morrow & Beckstead, 2004). Father is experienced as distant and cold (Bright, 2004). The child attaches to his mother, adopting a female identity. To compensate for the lost male identity, male child ‘absorbs’ masculinity by ‘feeding upon’ other men (Bright, 2004). Reparative therapists believe that’stronger and more confident gender identification’ would help (Spitzer, 2003). This was later translated as more masculine for men and more feminine for women- a reinforcement of traditional gender roles (Beckstead & Morrow, 2004).

Sanor Rado laid the foundations for reparative therapies (Halpert, 2000). Sanor Rado replaced Freud’s model with one of inherent bisexuality, where heterosexuality is the correct outcome of sexual orientation. Socarides popularized ‘domineering mother and absent father’ model of psychopathology. He proposed a conflict model, where intrapsychic forces come into play, and hence defining homosexuality as an illness. Ovesey (1969) took gender roles into the theory and proposed a behavioral approach that requires engagement in heterosexual intercourse to over phobia of the opposite sex (Halpert, 2004).

What is Reparative therapy?

Sexual Identity and Identity Development

Written by AnJ on . Posted in Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity/Expression

You may wonder:
Why do i need to know what are “sexual identity” and “identity development”?

Of course it is important… Knowledge is empowerment!

For starters, you must be able to identify yourself- am i gay? What makes a person gay? Behavior alone does not make you gay. It takes many aspects (refer to part 2).

Secondly, it puts things into perspective. Sexual identity is only one aspect of you. If you face discrimination based solely on your sexual identity, you will know that it is unfair and unreasonable. Especially if it is irrelevant to whatever is at hand i.e. seeking a job as a lawyer. Your vocation and intellectual identities would be more pertinent.

Third, a person who is in confusion is malleable (Refer to Part 3). If you are confused about your sexuality, you are susceptible to messages and may be inclined to “change” your sexuality. Knowing who you are and being equipped with the necessary knowledge will put you in good stead. First of all, you need to know that sexuality is not easily malleable (Refer to article of reparative therapies for a quick read). There are highly probable adverse consquences.

This post alone will not give you enough to conquer the world. But it’s a start!

In your exchanges with homophobic peeps, remember:
Locate the premise on which the argument (against your sexuality) is based as well as the linkages. Then attack them. The fact is: these arguments are flawed and cannot stand up to scrutiny. *Applicable to ALL sexual orientations.

For a better understanding of sexual identity, let’s delve into some psychology nonmenclature.

Sign up to receive announcements and updates