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Terbitan 1 Jul 2001

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What is like to be gay

Oleh : Nizam Mohd Nor

Are you straight? Are you curious? What is like to be gay?  

If you are reading this as a heterosexual person, then I would firstly like to thank you for taking the time to try and understand. Often, the first thing straight people think of when they think of somebody being gay is that this person has sex with males. The methods of gay sex are often seen as repulsive or perverted. What is often overlooked is that gay people often think this about Ďstraightí sex.

Obviously, being gay means that you are attracted both physically and mentally to persons of the same sex. This concept can often be quite difficult for straight people to comprehend. I think the easiest way to imagine what this is like is to simply think about the way you feel when you find somebody of the opposite sex attractive. Itís EXACTLY the same when youíre gay. When you are in a gay relationship, the fact that your partner is of the same sex is completely irrelevant, and you donít even think of that at all. It just feels completely natural. Even in todayís more liberal world, there sometimes seems to be a general animosity between gay and straight people. Iím not trying to say that this is all homophobia, because there are many gay people who donít really trust straight people. These attitudes need to change in order for our society to fit together completely. It must also be accepted that gay and straight people live in the SAME society. Sometimes, straight people seem to think that there is a Ďsecret gay societyí where gay people operate separately. It is true that there are gay pubs and clubs and sport centres, but there are no gay supermarkets, gay work places or gay buses and trains. There are gay people throughout every layer and class of our society, and they are a regular and important part of it.

Being gay can have varying effects on your life, depending on how you see yourself. I sometimes forget that I am different to straight people in any way, and being gay is not an issue in my life. This is because I see myself as the same as anybody else, because I AM a normal person, even if I have a boyfriend. I have accepted my sexuality as much as is possible and am happy the way I am. For some gay people, this is not the case. The fact that they are gay makes them feel different to other people, and may result in them being shy or reserved. Some people are frightened of the reactions of other people if they find out. Leading such a life can be very distressing.

Regardless of how happy you are with your sexuality, there are some things that gay people simply canít do. Although adopting children IS legal in the UK for gay people, there is very little chance of this being feasible. Even if you manage to adopt, the views and biases of society can make this a disaster for both the adults and the child. Even holding hands or kissing in public can be difficult. It is only really possible if you donít give a damn about what everybody else thinks. Despite loving my man to bits and cuddling openly at home, in the street we become two male friends, not even holding hands. Itís not just that people stare, mutter and throw all kinds of looks, but also there is the safety aspect of it.

Finally in this section I would like to point out, that the only approval anybody really needs in this life is the approval of themselves. If you are happy the way that you are, then thatís ok, as long as you donít judge other people for being the way they want to be.

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