Living in this lonely cage

Published: December 21, 2014

Original Article:

I am a single gay man who finds nothing to celebrate about Christmas, not only because I no longer consider myself Christian but because gay communities are still not highly regarded in most parts of the world.

Since I do not identify with the traditions surrounding the season, I find myself secluded and cornered into a position of aloneness. I am mostly at peace with my aloneness, but at times I catch myself waging a war with the self. It seems as though, whether one is proudly gay or ashamedly so, the battle against guilt and loneliness can be equally intense. Loneliness is the ultimate downfall – something that many gay individuals stumble over and succumb to.

We are either caged by external circumstances into loneliness, or we cage ourselves through bad choices. In Being Homosexual Richard A. Isay writes that many gay men are forcibly integrated into the heterosexual community. That process of integration teaches gay men to willingly assume traditional masculine behaviour patterns so as to gain some sense of belonging.

Gay men who give in to external pressure to assume a heterosexual identity also simultaneously give permission to society to cage them. These men may sit at the head of the dinner table and be perched high in patriarchy, but they know loneliness too well. These men trade in their power for a safe place in the nest of a heterosexual society.

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