The funniest thing I have heard about my sexuality is that I was brainwashed into accepting it. That a colorless man had concocted the concept and I chose to drink his creation, to re-orient the mushiness responsible for the workings of my mind.

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“I believe” a straight friend started, “It’s all in the mind. One has to choose to wish it away”.

I found it hard to stop myself from laughing. I was amused by memories of past experiences where I had those same thoughts embedded in my mind. I saw “praying it away” as the best remedy to my sexuality. When I asked for the button he had pressed to switch on his love for women. He saw some silliness to the idea of “wishing it away”. Before adding “I just believe”.

It’s easy to label people’s misconception of homosexuality as homophobia. Call friends, we would otherwise care about, bigots and intolerant. But, I think, most of us aware of our path in self discovery can tell of the moment of first realizing our same sex attraction. The lining of self disgust that brews an unexplainable shame. It’s unhealthy to think that people, by their nature, come from a place of malice. Usually what’s closer to the truth is that they were brainwashed into beliefs they now think is their own.

Look to how children are trained. How a well meaning mother slaps her son in the head for being slow to stand up for the procession before the commencement of mass. You must show respect to God and the church. She adds, pointing her index finger to his face. Imagine the other concepts, good or bad, that are enforced this way (or in more benign ways) upon an impressionable child from a member of society that is pivotal to the way he gets to mold his understanding of the world. The concepts they preach latch on to his identity. To pull at such a concept, when he is a grown man, and the mold of his understanding has lost some of it’s plasticity, in an attempt to rid him of it is akin to trying to rip off a portion of his skin. He is bound to want to protect himself from such an injury.

It’s important that we pick understanding over self righteousness. To put our pointing fingers down. Use malicious labels as sparingly as we can. It may be just me but when you think about it, we are constantly being brainwashed, whether by the media, our friends, or our religious centers. The good thing is that we are at liberty to do what we want with what is being poured into our heads. Choose wise. Be kind.

You are Awesome.

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