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Something I am noticing about LGBT+ people

Discussion in 'Chit Chat' started by fadedstar, Nov 7, 2017.

  1. fadedstar

    fadedstar Guest

    FAIR WARNING: THIS IS JUST A HYPOTHETICAL MUSING BASED ON MY OWN PERCEPTION IT WILL LIKELY BE POLITICALLY INCORRECT, CONTROVERSIAL AND UPSETTING TO A LOT OF PEOPLE.

    I know A LOT of people are probably going to hate me for writing this but I think it's something that needs to be seriously considered and discussed.

    Around the time that I fully recognised myself as being part of the LGBT+ community I also happened to stumble across the issue of parental pathology (namely parental narcissism) and it's affects on children/adult children. I consider myself to be affected by both issues. Initially I compartmentalised both of these issues and tried to keep them as separate as possible. Had I not joined this site it probably would have stayed that way. However I'm starting to notice a pattern. I keep seeing post after post on this site by people who make reference to frayed or abusive dynamics between themselves and their parents/families. The anecdotes they share about their parents always seem to contain textbook examples of traits one would expect to see in someone who is pathological or "character disturbed" in some way; projection, emotional manipulation, gas lighting, raging or controlling behavior etc.

    Is my orientation partly the result of a childhood marred by emotional abuse/neglect? I would REALLY prefer that not to be the case but feel forced to at least consider it. I would rather be completely honest with myself even if it makes me uncomfortable.

    I remember as a child longing to be accepted and make new friends, every time I met someone close to my own age however they (my parents) would often pull me away.. they'd say "come here! stop talking to that boy, we're going now.." etc... or they'd simply mock me. Over time I probably started to doubt my self worth and gave up on my natural inclination to form platonic friendships with my own gender. I can't help but think that maybe this longing never really dissipated and every time I got pulled away it left some kind of emotional wound on my psyche. I wonder if this longing for friendship/companionship coupled with isolation became distorted over time and turned into a want for something deeper and more meaningful. Don't get me wrong, I'm not attributing my same sex attraction solely to this. There probably are biological factors involved too. I show one of the classic signs of pre-natal low testosterone exposure (female digit ratio.) I just doubt the theory that LGBT+ identity is 100% rooted in biology. I think latent biological traits might be catalysed or "triggered" by social/environmental factors (at least in my case.) There may be people who are gay from birth. But as a child I think I was predominately straight only at the onset of puberty did I start questioning myself.

    No, I'm not saying that everyone who is LGBT+ had abusive or neglectful parents, clearly many of you have had non-abusive healthy childhoods and still identify as LGBT+. But... and here's the crux of this entire post, I'm NOT content with the assumption that a child's LGBT+ identity is the causative element in the correlation between said identity and a breakdown in the relationship between said child and their parents. Maybe the bond between that child and that parent was already broken or tenuous to begin with. Why does hardly anyone ever consider this? I suppose if you've had a reasonably healthy relationship with your parents it might be hard to conceptualise dysfunctional parenting but we know for a fact that it exists.

    I've heard people claim that rates of domestic/sexual violence are higher in LGBT+ relationships. A higher rate of people who exhibit co-dependent or abusive tendencies having had adverse childhoods as a result of parental dysfunction is well documented in the general population. One of the theories behind this is that people subconsciously seek out romantic partners who mirror the relationship they had with their parents growing up in an effort to "resolve" stunted aspect of themselves.

    Up to 40% of homeless youth identify as LGBT+ is a statistic that gets thrown around a lot. I suspect at least 80% of homeless youth could have parents who are acutely pathological/incompetent in some way however. Seems likely, no?

    I've seen cases in the media where people convicted of multiple murders and/or rapes are still proxy defended by their parents whereas people who are simply attracted to their own gender or presenting themselves differently are totally disowned by their families. I can't be the only one who finds this difficult to comprehend? This just seems to fly in the face of human "decency" and defy all logic. Many parents do not disown their children for being LGBT+ of course. Granted, my parents didn't disown me, but they didn't exactly deal with it well (they refused to even believe me the first time I tried to tell them.) Many parents are no doubt just concerned for their children's future in societies where bigotry and misunderstanding still thrive. I can understand that concern but to throw your child out onto the street with total disregard for their wellbeing just seem "a bit off."

    My patience for parents who treat there child's identity like an imposition on their "normal lives" is growing increasingly thin. I think in some cases your child's orientation may indeed be partially your "fault" sorry. That's not to say you can feasibly reverse or "cure" your child's orientation, I think once puberty takes place it's probably set in stone.

    Maybe this is just conformation bias on my part and there is no "correlation" at all. But before writing me off completely maybe research this yourself if you haven't already. There are numerous online resources available to people who have suffered at the hands of (often undiagnosed) abusive/neglectful parents. Some of them are fairly niche; only "sons of alcoholic fathers" or "daughters of narcissistic mothers" and yet type in "LGBT children of personality disordered parents" into google and the results are comparatively barren.

    if there really is an LGBT+ "community" who claims to want to improve the quality of life for LGBT+ individuals then shouldn't we be training ourselves to spot and call attention to this issue, especially if this is something that affects us disproportionately?
     
    #1 fadedstar, Nov 7, 2017
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  2. fadedstar

    fadedstar Guest

    confirmation*
     
  3. silverhalo

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    Hey I don't have abusive or neglectful parent or whatever you want to call them I have amazing parents and I'm definitely still gay, which you also pointed to in your post. It's probably true that I can't imagine exactly what it is like to have parents like that, in the same way a straight person can't know what it isn't like to question their sexuality or be gay but I don't think there is going to be a statistical backing to your theory in the real world. I think on a forum like EC the result may well be different but I don't think it's a fair sample. I think on EC you might find a higher proportion of people who have parents as you mention but perhaps that is why they are having more trouble accepting their sexuality and the reason they end up on EC. Not that I'm saying a person with good parents shouldn't or doesn't need help as clearly I did myself.
    I think the reason sometimes people are straight or believe themselves to be straight until puberty is because attraction and sexuality aren't really big things until we hit puberty.
     
  4. Mabel

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    I’m gay and I also had abusive parents, my mother a narcissist for sure. I do not feel this is responsible for me being gay. I do, however, think it has a lot to do with me coming out later in life. I can imagine if I had a higher self awareness and self esteem growing up I would have had the necessary confidence and skills to understand myself better earlier on.

    I think there may be incidences in ones life where severe abuse from a certain gender parent could influence a persons sexuality. Maybe one gender is more comfortable for intimacy than another. That is not my case though and I honestly have never met anyone that claims this.

    I also know someone who has very religious parents and feels very loved and as if she was raised in a healthy way. She does not tell her parents of her orientation because they could not ever understand and would be done with her. That’s the religion that has brainwashed them...they are very loving people otherwise. It would be abusive for them to do that to her, I just don’t see any other examples in their behavior as such.

    Honestly, I think you here a lot of stories from lgbtq people about abusive parents because 1)previous generations of parents Didn’t know how to deal with it and would become dysfunctional when confronted, when otherwise functional and healthy.
    2)having abusive parents predisposes people to mental illness which makes it harder to cope and understand their sexuality in a healthy way.
    3) lgbtq people in forums can make parental abuse look like a trend because The effects abuse can make anonymous sources of support seem safer, and rightly so. unabused lgbtq people maybfeel more comfortable in mor
     
  5. Ryu

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    I don't have abusive parents, though my father is somewhat of a self obsessed NEET.

    I wouldn't necessarily say it is particularly having abusive parents or some such, but I would say that not having a strong father/mother figure In your life is probably a contributing factor, and at the very least I wouldn't say that it is exclusively a nature case, but there must also a nurture attribute in my opinion, as in more liberal countries (like Sweden), kids are being raised without 'societal gender norms) and some such bullshit, which I feel is, in turn, resulting in more kids growing up being gay or trans or gender fluid or whatever because they are raised that way, which personally I am against.
     
    #5 Ryu, Nov 7, 2017
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  6. fadedstar

    fadedstar Guest

    Very true. That's a brilliant point I hadn't really considered.
     
  7. jam93

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    First off, this is definitely an interesting idea. I tend to disagree with it, but that doesn't mean it has no merit. It's definitely something that could be investigated further, and who knows, maybe you're actually on to something. However, there are a few points I'd like to make.
    1) First off, whenever you look at statistics, which is what your doing here, you need to be careful how your interpret what your looking at. Correlation does not equal causation. What this means is that just because two things seem to share a connection, doesn't mean that one causes the other. Just because the leaves fall off the trees about the time football season starts, doesn't mean that football causes the leaves to fall. Furthermore, you need to be careful when determining causation, because it can be pretty easy to get it backwards. My Statistics professor in college gave a great example of this: If you look at the number of firefighters compared to the size of a fire, you could easily conclude that more firefighters leads to a bigger fire, when really the relationship is that a larger fire needs more firefighters to be put out. Basically, what I'm saying is that you need to be careful when drawing conclusions from things like this. Maybe your right, maybe an abusive childhood does make you more likely to become LGBTQ+ in your teen years. Or maybe being LGBTQ+, in a society where such things are still often frowned on, leads to a more abusive home life.
    2) @silverhalo already mentioned this, but Empty Closets may not be the best sample for this kind of investigation. Not everyone who identifies as LGBTQ+ is on this web site, only a small subset. Because of this, and due to the nature of the site, it is very likely that the sample here could be biased. After all, this is a website for people confused about their sexuality, and I can think of few things that could make it more confusing then having a home life where your told your sexuality is wrong, fake, sinful, unnatural, or immoral. Obviously this is getting into the causation vs correlation stuff I just talked about, so don't take what I just said as a hard fact. But it's still something to consider when drawing conclusions using this site as a sample.
    3) Another thing to consider, is that thinking you are straight or considering yourself straight, and being straight, are not the same thing. I thought I was straight till I was 23. Does that mean that until I was 23 I was straight? I don't really think so. There were definitely things, going back at least till puberty, that should have probably tipped me off, I just wasn't willing to look at them at the time. As for before puberty, I don't really think that matters much. I know some people say they knew way back till when they were little, and I'm not discounting their experiences, but I think for most people sexuality doesn't really matter till those hormones start flowing in your preteen years. Thus I don't think someone not considering their sexuality till they hit puberty is a sign they were straight until then, more of a sign that they just never thought about it till their hormones made them start looking at people in a sexual manner.
    Well I think I've written enough here. I want to reiterate before I go, that I'm not saying you have no point, and I'm not trying to trash your argument. You definitely have an interesting idea, and it definitely is something to look into. I just wanted to post a few comments, to help consider all angles and make sure you weren't rushing to conclusions. Thank you for posting an interesting hypothesis, you've given me something to think about.
     
  8. fadedstar

    fadedstar Guest

    I think people are getting a bit hung up on the "abuse makes you gay" thing. That wasn't exactly what I was saying and it was more of a speculative side note I just threw in there for some reason.
    This was my main point. Just because it SEEMS reasonable to assume that a parent's ill feeling towards their child is caused by said child being LGBT+ doesn't mean it's right or even correct to assume that in every instance.
     
  9. Suomi

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    Gay/LGBT/queer/trans etc, along with other things, abusive backgrounds, drug activity or criminality, no family or friends, a minority race, a religion that's hated, poor education, being disabled mentally and/or physically, being unattractive, are all things that people can paint the town red, using you as a paintbrush.

    So this issue goes along with what I said above.

    Being that you were gay, but not only had a shitty childhood, myself included. I was also black and gay, and grew up in the ghetto with no positive role models or good education. Lots of people were going through many drug issues and law issues. I hated going to school, and still hate school. I graduated High School but college isn't for me. I just hated it, and I blame the fact I had no motivation to continue college.

    I think what I can do is only use that as proof as to why I need to work harder. Not use it as an excuse, because it is an excuse, but just try to erase or detach myself from that, if you can get what I mean.
     
  10. Loves books

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    My dad is verbally and emotionally abusive and definitely shows signs of narcissism but he wasn't always like that. If that theory were true my younger siblings who spent more of there younger years with the bastard he became would be gay. Both of them are in their 20s and straight. However my brother made it clear that he never comes home to visit because of my dad. My mother was surprised when we told her how much we truly hated our father I don't think she knew it went that deep.
     
  11. Suomi

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    That's not what he's necessarily saying. Abuse doesn't make you gay, but being gay in the first damn place isn't making it any easier for that shit to brew. Dealing with abuse under normal and typical situations, isn't good or ideal. Coupled with that shit, in addition to the fact you're gay as well, isn't that fucked up. Like how cruel the world is.
     
    #11 Suomi, Nov 8, 2017
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  12. GalleyGirl

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    The problem is science still hasn't been able to completely attribute sexual attraction to biological factors. So theories on how deeply your sexual orientation is involved with your psychology, is still a highly debatable and of course controversial issue. After all, homosexuality used to be considered a mental disease, Freud does in fact trace it back to a dysfunctional family relationship, but he was treating it as an aberration he hoped psychology could fix. This is why talking about these ideas is so controversial, many people are worried linking sexual orientation to psychology will lead to more discrimination, people calling it a mental disease, or curable, or a purposeful choice made by people. Obviously these things are completely false, and I understand not what you are trying to say at all, but these are the things that tend to cause people to be uneasy about linking sexual orientation with psychology. However, I think there is some validation to the theory that psychology does factor in some way, after all the type of person you are attracted to depends entirely on psychology. I'm don't think it could change your orientation entirely but it could have some impact, for instance I'm bisexual but much more strongly attracted to females, I'm rarely attracted to guys. I suspect this is due to bullying when I was younger, that caused me to think of girls as more approachable and safe. So I think there is some merit to what you're saying, but at the moment it's difficult to know entirely. As I said most scientists are very careful about this issue, so won't make any presumptions without very clear data- which is hard to get as everyone is so individual. However, I'm not so sure if I would link it specifically to childhood abuse.
     
    #12 GalleyGirl, Nov 8, 2017
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  13. Suomi

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  14. SomeAverageBoy

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    I’m unsure about that, I was bullied by getting called “gay” in the past but I haven’t really been phased by it (at least I think so)
     
    #14 SomeAverageBoy, Nov 9, 2017
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  15. Pacack

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    I feel the need to point out something as a psychology student.

    A: Freud is not a reliable source.

    Freud was influential because he made history for being the first person to attempt to explain certain phenomenon. The groundwork which Freud set down was incredibly important, and I do not mean to understate it, as it is significant. However, almost all of Freud's work has been rejected by modern psychologists, psychiatrists, and sociologists. In regards to sexual behavior in particular, there is no reason to regard him as even remotely credible.

    Thus, when considering the case of homosexuality and trauma, realize that the idea of fixation from a Freudian perspective (that a traumatic event leads to a fixation on a particular behavior) is largely considered to be pseudo-science.


    B: Statistical Errors

    Obviously, people have pointed out a lot that correlation does not imply causation, but I wanted to elaborate on that a bit.

    Suppose, as is true, that shoe size and intelligence are correlated. While this is a true statement, it is not true to say that shoe size influences intelligence or that intelligence influences growth of feet. Rather, there is a lurking variable at play here - age.

    Likewise, it is possible that a correlation between abuse and same-sex attraction (which I need evidence for) has a lurking variable causing the correlation. While I am not sure what that variable may be, it is possible that something else is causing both of these things.

    My personal explanation, though, is that this is a case of cause and effect being reversed. Instead of abuse causing homosexuality, homosexuality may be a reason for abuse (and poor relationships with family).

    Or, it could be a completely spurious correlation. Many things have very strong correlations but are still entirely unrelated. Take this real statistic:
    [​IMG]

    This is a correlation of 0.992082 out of 1.

    In this case, there is little to no argument for there even being a cause, it's just numbers being weird.
     
  16. Aussie792

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    There are lots of way parents end up being shit parents and causing trauma because their children appear to be LGBT, rather than the other way around.

    It's also really, really easy to create narrative approaches to psychology with no support from, or which exist directly in opposition to, clinical studies. For example, the tropes of an abusive father, motherly coddling or female friends, as explanations of male homosexuality could relatively easily be turned into a narrative of encouraging male heterosexuality, if you differently depict the social circumstances that cause those tropes to come about.

    Most people, including me, know just about fuck all about psychology and consequently easily conflate sociological beliefs and cultural narratives with psychological realities.
     
  17. fadedstar

    fadedstar Guest

    I blame myself for not being more concise in my original post.

    I was making two points.

    1. Abuse in general doesn't cause homosexuality (clearly) but perhaps certain life experiences in conjunction with certain biological factors can catalyze what would have otherwise been latent or incidental homosexuality and make it much more pronounced.
    2. Yes, in many instances there may be reasonable grounds to assume that a dysfunctional or tenuous relationship between LGBT+ identifying children* and their parents is caused primarily or solely by the LGBT+ identity itself. I however foresee a problem whereby that assumption causes certain outlying individuals (who's parents are acutely pathological) to be overlooked when reaching out for help in places such as this, due to a lack of awareness. Indeed such outlying individual may themselves lack awareness due to being severely isolated and manipulated from a young age (as is a common feature of their predicament.) Such individuals most likely would have been subject to poor treatment any way regardless of how they identify but having an identity which is renowned for inviting prejudice may cause others to misattribute the poor treatment solely to said identity and overlook the real issue.
    I feel like I should have put more emphasis on the second point as it's probably the most pressing and maybe left out the first one altogether.

    *I'm using the word children/child here to mean progeny and not solely individuals under 18 years of age.
     
  18. Ryuichi

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    So then you're talking about outliers then, which don't really apply to an LGBT support forum such as this?

    The problem here isn't abuse in general. The problem is that people who tend to be over 40 years old have a much harder time accepting LGBT people in general, if they're not LGBT themselves. Part of it comes down to religion. The real question of whether they can handle it or not comes down to when someone they know comes out to them. For me, my parents (who are absolutely wonderful people, and sometimes do get distracted by other issues) were said people. I was thankfully accepted after coming out in 2011, but still had some issues along the way in relation to this kind of stuff, even after I'd joined EC.

    My sister had worried, shortly before I came out to both of them that Mom had whispered "I swear, if my son is gay..." My father is also a card-holding Republican, and I've had numerous debates to him whether gay marriage would be a good idea. It also wasn't until after I had come out that he'd stopped making gay jokes. Mom also has tried to push me back when it came to expressing and experimenting with my gender, in front of my (at the time) 5-year-old sister, asking "What should we tell her, then?" when it seemed obvious to me that my little sister knew how to deal with this much easier than my mid-40s mother. It also took Dad up until this week to accept me as the gender I identify as. Mom still seems to have issues, despite the fact she's told me that she was on a hit list for being part of a pride group in the late 80s.

    There are families that are much more against the idea of LGBT people in general, and those families, believe it or not, will kick their child out after they come out solely for that reason. I know at least 4 trans individuals IRL who are still homeless after nearly a decade. One of them had been previously shown off by their dad as "such a manly son" while shoveling snow. I've seen an interview with WBC's founder, Fred Phelps, answering the question "So, what if one of your own kids came out to you?" to which he replied, "... Bye." I have seen video upon video upon video of LGBT people getting assaulted by their parents after they came out. I'm not posting them here because they're truly horrifying and this is a support site.

    However, I will share some of the numerous studies that focus on LGBT homelessness and abuse.
     
  19. fadedstar

    fadedstar Guest

    LGBT+ outliers are still LGBT+... No it's not all about religion or simple bigotry. I don't know why this is so hard for people to grasp. And those outliers will continue coming here or going to other places designed to support them. Whether it's deemed "appropriate" or not is completely irrelevant because it will probably keep happening. This isn't about some abstract debate on statistics. I was mostly raising my concern that such individuals will slip through the cracks of the support systems they go to looking for help. I did this so that people might not be so quick to jump to conclusions when giving advice on a family situation.

    And as silverhalo pointed out: I think on EC you might find a higher proportion of people who have parents as you mention but perhaps that is why they are having more trouble accepting their sexuality and the reason they end up on EC.
     
    #19 fadedstar, Nov 10, 2017
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  20. Pacack

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    If I'm understanding you correctly, you are arguing that it could be the case that life experiences could lead to an increase of attraction to the same sex in predisposed individuals, correct?

    If that is what you are arguing, then that's possible, but I'm not sure how plausible it is. While it could be the case that certain individuals could hyperfocus on their same-sex attraction tendencies when looking for an answer to "why" the abuse happened, I would imagine the opposite reaction in the majority of individuals. If a person is abused (and they attempt to rationalize the abuse somehow) and they come to the conclusion that same-sex attraction is the "cause", then would they not be more likely to suppress those feelings in order to find acceptance?

    I'm afraid I don't quite understand what you're proposing here. Is it that certain individuals with same-sex attraction or gender non-conformity are less likely to seek help for abuse than for LGBT related issues?

    If that's what you're getting at, then I completely see where you're coming from on the issue. If a person isn't addressing that the majority of their problems are caused by childhood trauma of some sort rather than their identity, then they may not seek the proper resources needed for their recovery.

    Am I understanding you right?
     
    #20 Pacack, Nov 10, 2017
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