“Coming Out” No Longer Taboo?

Posted: July 3, 2012 in Taboo in the News

Yesterday, journalist and CNN anchor Anderson Cooper decided to tell the world that he is homosexual. Regardless where one is on the issue of homosexuality, it seems that more and more “stars” are deciding to declare their sexual orientation. And as more and more celebrities do this, it only makes sense that the controversy surrounding this issue will begin to breakdown.

Although issues of homosexuality and especially gay marriage have been very relevant topics recently, it seems necessary to think of two things: first, that homosexuality has been both promoted and denounced throughout history. For the Greeks, sexual relationships between men were not as much of a taboo topic.

In fact, the Greeks went as far as to put relationships of man-man/boy at the top of all sexual unions. The “highest value” of sexual relationships among human beings goes as follows: 1) man-man/boy (leads to sexual pleasure and political activism) 2) man-woman (leads to procreation) 3) woman-woman relationships (leads only to sexual pleasure).[1]

Second, it is interesting that the 21th century has flipped these two relationships, giving a higher status to woman-woman relationships rather than man-man/boy. Actually, the man-boy relationship has become completely unacceptable, whereas lesbian relationships seem almost more acceptable as compared to man-man relationships. Katy Perry’s chart-topping song “I Kissed A Girl” further proves this point. I doubt that a song entitled “I kissed a Boy” would have come close to the sales of “I Kissed A Girl.” Though this issue is more for the realm of sociology, and needs to be investigated more in depth.

Nevertheless, as I see the taboo of homosexuality eventually once again falling, so much so that eventually we may lean toward a society of sexual freedom. Yet just as sexual freedom has its advantages, for all of us, it will bring along another wave of disadvantages, such as those calling for sexual freedom in regards to bestiality and pedophilia, even though neither of these are on the same moral level as homosexuality.

For those opposing homosexuality, I think it necessary to imagine a world where heterosexuality was taboo. Again, we would find the world in the same place because things are meant to crumble.

[1] Yves Bonnefoy, Mythologies, trans. Wendy Doniger (Chicago: University of Chicago, 1991), 470.

  1. Phen Weston says:

    Great piece. My brother finally came out last year. I always knew he was gay, although it took him a long time to admit it. He was always scared of what people would think and say. So much so that, even though he is out now, he still has really bad issues with anxiety, self worth, etc because of those fears.

    • bejamin4 says:

      Thanks. Hopefully soon coming out will not even have to be done. Being gay will be the same as being straight. It seems to be moving closer to that in many places around the world. Though unfortunately it will probably stay taboo in certain places as well. Sexuality is a part of who we are but it doesn’t make us completely who we are. We are much more than any single thing.

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