To be raised as something?

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Jurgen Wullenwever
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To be raised as something?

Postby Jurgen Wullenwever » 2014-06-20, 9:24

linguoboy wrote:
Ciarán12 wrote:Are you claiming to know what it's like to be a heterosexual?

I was raised as one, you know. Were you raised to be gay?

viewtopic.php?f=5&t=42476&st=0&sk=t&sd=a&start=120#p954010

When I saw the heated exchange in the sexism thread I became curious about what it implied - are children actually raised to be sexual (of whatever kind)? How is that done? Are they told to screw and bonk or something?

For my part, I grew up in Sweden in the 1970s, and we had something that was called "fri uppfostran", i.e. "free upbringing", or rather "lack of upbringing". This meant that there were no strict rules that you were told, instead you had to figure out rules by yourself. The result of this, for the individual child exposed to it, was not that "everything was allowed", but rather that "everything was forbidden", since we had no field of action that was clearly free. (I have read others sharing this experience, so it is not just me.)

Sexual stuff was never mentioned, and children do not have such feelings, so that was definitely not part of the child's world, unless you count hearing of family relations as indoctrination into heteronormative society.
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Re: To be raised as something?

Postby linguoboy » 2014-06-20, 13:12

Jurgen Wullenwever wrote:Sexual stuff was never mentioned, and children do not have such feelings, so that was definitely not part of the child's world, unless you count hearing of family relations as indoctrination into heteronormative society.

So how many stories did you read or see on screen where the prince ends up with another prince?

There's a lot more to heterosexuality than just sex. I had a fairly orthodox Catholic upbringing. At school, they explicitly told me, "Some are called to marriage, some are called to the priesthood." I thought I was going to be a priest because I didn't feel like there were any women I really wanted to marry. When I was thirteen, I even won a contest for best prayer for vocation.
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Re: To be raised as something?

Postby Levike » 2014-06-20, 14:08

linguoboy wrote:When I was thirteen, I even won a contest for best prayer for vocation.
What funny school did you learn at?
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Re: To be raised as something?

Postby linguoboy » 2014-06-20, 14:35

Levike wrote:
linguoboy wrote:When I was thirteen, I even won a contest for best prayer for vocation.
What funny school did you learn at?

There was nothing funny about it. It was a Catholic parochial school, and these are a dime a dozen in the States. The prayer contest was nationwide, sponsored by a religious organisation called the Serra Club (not to be confused with the Sierra Club, an environmental organisation; Junípero Serra was a Spanish Franciscan who founded missions in southern California).
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Re: To be raised as something?

Postby md0 » 2014-06-20, 15:00

When I saw the heated exchange in the sexism thread I became curious about what it implied - are children actually raised to be sexual (of whatever kind)? How is that done? Are they told to screw and bonk or something?


Like linguoboy, I also mentioned that I was raised to be straight, and I am still treated as one, and that makes me more knowledgeable of how it is to be straight than a straight guy is knowledgeable of how it is to be gay.

Now, unlike linguoboy's, my household, by Cypriot standards, wasn't extremely religious - at that time (15+ years ago) mine would be one of the most non-practising Christian families (I do have a point of comparison).
Yet, from as long as I can remember I was taught how to be straight. All the children tales are about how princes make girls fall in love with them (like kissing them when they are unconscious, solid moral lesson there :roll: ), from 4 years old on you had public education which outright advocated the nuclear family model (a father-protector, a mother-caretaker, and obedient children) and religious marriage, from around 6 years old all relative asked you if you had any girl at school you liked (and they still do everytime they see me, replace school with work), later yet you get the most roundabout sexual education in school (sex is when a married penis penetrates a married vagina, it hurts a lot, but the result is a miracle of life, a baby), all role models the educational system provides you with are straight (also, bloodthirsty nationalist killers, but I digress), and you never ever hear that homosexuality is a thing that exists (15 years ago, apparently now they get some more info because internet exists), so your attraction to people of the same sex is something that no one told you what to do with.

Anyway, that "told how to screw" thing you mention is a fallacy (obviously being straight is way more than how you have sex), and I actually think it's on purpose, pardon my bad faith.
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Re: To be raised as something?

Postby linguoboy » 2014-06-20, 15:18

meidei wrote:Now, unlike linguoboy's, my household, by Cypriot standards, wasn't extremely religious

My household wasn't "extremely religious" either--by US standards. By the standards of most European countries, however, it must look semi-fanatical. We went to Holy Mass as a family every Sunday without fail. (I remember my sister and I skipping mass one Sunday when my parents weren't around and feeling terrible about it.) Both my brothers were altar boys, my father was a Eucharistic Minister and eventually a Deacon, and we were all active as Readers. We observed fasts and days of abstinence and always prayed before eating dinner together at home. But this was all mainstream behaviour for the communities we lived in.

Unlike meidei, I'm not convinced that Jurgen's equating sexuality with boinking is evidence of bad faith. It's a misconception I've had to combat all my life. Heterosexuals never seem to consider all off the myriad ways they (and us) have been socialised to be heterosexual (and in extremely binary-gendered ways at that) until you begin pointing them out. It will be very interesting to see how differently things turn out for my nephews, who have at least been raised with the notion that homosexuality (albeit of a very "respectable" mainstream variety) is an acceptable option rather than a tragic live-destroying mistake.
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Re: To be raised as something?

Postby md0 » 2014-06-20, 15:49

My household wasn't "extremely religious" either--by US standards. By the standards of most European countries, however, it must look semi-fanatical.

I actually think yours sounds a bit more religious than my upbringing too. Bar the religious indoctrination that was omnipresent in public education up to the age 18, going to mass every Sunday, going to Bible Study on Saturday, praying before dinner, or upholding the whole 40 days of lent was something we stopped doing by the time I was 11. So all my later memories are of a household that only practiced on high holidays like Good Friday and Easter. And still, I was clinging to the hope that God exists until I was 15 (although I was losing my faith for many years before that).

But thinking back, I think my parents' divorce might have influenced how practising my family was - my mum had to take care of a whole lot of things at that time, so she had to skip going to Church and so did we
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Re: To be raised as something?

Postby linguoboy » 2014-06-20, 16:21

meidei wrote:But thinking back, I think my parents' divorce might have influenced how practising my family was - my mum had to take care of a whole lot of things at that time, so she had to skip going to Church and so did we

Certainly did in our case. The Archdiocese had never had to deal with a Deacon who was separated from his wife before so they suspended his faculties while they came to a decision. (Or rather, didn't; as far as I know, they never got back to him before he eventually left the RCC seven years later.) When my mom moved out, I stopped boarding at school but often had to kill time there afterwards while I waited for a bus or a ride. A lot of that time I spent hanging around with one of my classmates who I eventually discovered was gay. He knew all about the seamy side of our high school and filled me in on the details. (One of the priests there he used to run into at gay bars; the man eventually died of AIDS. And one of his friends was molested by the principal, who was later quietly reassigned and then left the order.) Shortly after, I came out to myself. A year later I went away to college and broke decisively with the Church.

The other day, my spouse and were speculating whether my younger brother is still a practicising Catholic. His wife is agnostic (her father was treated pretty shabbily by Francoist Spain and she's held a grudge ever since; they were married at a hotel by an Episcopalian), but he is godfather to at least one of my (Catholic) nephews.
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Re: To be raised as something?

Postby md0 » 2014-06-20, 19:51

A lot of that time I spent hanging around with one of my classmates who I eventually discovered was gay. He knew all about the seamy side of our high school and filled me in on the details.

So it seems like you experienced what I am currently experiencing on dating sites. Although the people I find there remain very vague in their descriptions of that underground network, and go all "hahah how can you not know? :P" when I ask for details, never providing them.
I didn't hear a word on teachers or priests from those former classmates/brother's classmates. Honestly, if I hear something like that I will be freaked out. Not sure how you coped with those stories, given our somehow similar background. (A bit of derailment here)
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Re: To be raised as something?

Postby linguoboy » 2014-06-20, 20:34

meidei wrote:I didn't hear a word on teachers or priests from those former classmates/brother's classmates. Honestly, if I hear something like that I will be freaked out. Not sure how you coped with those stories, given our somehow similar background. (A bit of derailment here)

I was actually attracted to some of the clergy involved, so I think I had a much different reaction than most of my peers would've. My friend once admitted that he'd feel much differently about the principal's activities (he was the only one we knew for sure was shitting where he ate, so to speak) if he were conventionally handsome, because then he could convince himself that the students were willing parties. (Still massively unethical and problematic in all sorts of ways, but at least less blatantly exploitative.)

Incidentally, this hastened my break with the RCC because when then previous principal had an affair with the mother of a student, he was fired. But when it was a member of the order which ran the place (not even a priest either, but a brother), he was quietly sent down to Texas to go to cooking school. Around the same time, a lay teacher propositioned a student on a camping trip, who reported him; he was immediately dismissed. (Age of consent in Missouri is 17.) It was one of my earliest and clearest lessons in how organisations work to safeguard the privileges of their own members at the expense of their primary mission.
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Re: To be raised as something?

Postby Lur » 2014-06-20, 21:05

I was raised being expected to be a heterosexual cis boy in a non-Christian household, even though my parents did consider the possibility at some point that, hey, I could be gay as well (but not bisexual/asexual/other possibilities). I think that, were I gay, I was expected to "correct" the mistake.

I was once mocked in a childish way at primary school by others for "being gay"(I didn't even know what that meant). (the word used was actually "gay".)

I seems to me that, even if a child is raised by parents expecting any outcome in the child's sexual/romantic orientation, external society does a good work on putting heteronormativity somewhere in your brain.


(On a paralell but related discussion, this whole "being raised as" goes up quite a few notches when cisnormativity. And everybody being raised binarist and cisexist. Which can fuck with your mind.)
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Re: To be raised as something?

Postby Hoogstwaarschijnlijk » 2014-07-02, 16:59

I was raised without any religion and rules (I recognise what Jurgen mentions about that!), yet my parents expected me to be heterosexual, and/or at least society did. I think everyone is raised heterosexual just because people don't expect children to be gay. And because, you know, that's how it goes in stories and movies about normal people, that's what you see around you. I think I never met a(n outed) non-heterosexual person until I went to university, now I think about it. Now she's my wife.

Oh, and children can have sexual feelings too, that's perfectly normal yet very taboo.
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Re: To be raised as something?

Postby Sol Invictus » 2014-07-03, 4:30

This topic remainds me of how favoutite argument of Latvian homophobes is that poor kids will grow up to be gay or transgender, if they get exposed to any information about the topic (few years ago they even attacked a book about gender equality for kindergartens because it revolved around body switching scenario). Seems strange to me that somebody would assume that just by being exposed to information about life of majority they've been raised to be main stream.

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Re: To be raised as something?

Postby md0 » 2014-07-26, 5:06

Not just raised as straight, but also still socialised as one. This happened yesterday and I was on the verge of setting the record straight.

So my main job is being a busboy, and at one point I was cleaning the till area when the two (female) cashiers began talking about a "dat ass though" and "oh my god". I assumed they were talking to each other so I didn't even bother to look at the cashiers. After a while they began shouting at me "We are talking to you". I tell them I thought they were talking to each other and they took offence to it "I haven't converted yet. I only look at men. We were doing that for you".
So, what they were trying to do was to make me look at a woman in possession of 'dat ass'. Because you know, it's very normal that you talk about your clients like that. It's also not the first time they've done this exact same thing. Last time I was even in the other end of the restaurant, and they called me over without saying why, just to have me look at another female client's ass. As if that's okay. Or that I was ever interested in that anyway.

So yeah. When people stop doing that, or in fact, when they stop pressuring 10 year old boys to profess attraction to girls from school (another memory resurfaces of parents, uncles etc pressuring me to name a girl I like from primary school), we can talk about how kids aren't raised as straight but they are allowed to develop their personality themselves.
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Re: To be raised as something?

Postby linguoboy » 2014-07-26, 19:50

Here's a quick quiz for everybody: How old were you when you saw your first same-sex romantic kiss? How many opposite-sex romantic kisses had you seen up to that point?

For me, the answers are, "Well into my teens" and "thousands".
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Re: To be raised as something?

Postby Levike » 2014-07-26, 19:57

Well, duh?! Why would it be any surprise, it's just normal since the majority's hetero.

I think the first man-man kiss I ever saw was on TV
but it was a comedy movie so they weren't gay, it was just by accident.

It took me like 14-15 years to realise that gay people actually exist.
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Re: To be raised as something?

Postby md0 » 2014-08-10, 5:43

Something from work yesterday:

A family calls me to their table, because their son (I'm going to guess 6 years old) spilled his drink.
The father needed to add "Hehe, he saw that pretty lady over there and he lost control". And while I was leaving, after cleaning, he added "He might be young, but he's a pleyah" (Let's hope my slang is up to date).
Yeah, from what I could tell, the kid couldn't care more about any lady, he was obsessed with his mobile phone game.

But fathers advertising their preteen son's expected heterosexuality is not at all rare. Happened to all of us.
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Re: To be raised as something?

Postby Lauren » 2014-08-10, 6:55

meidei wrote:Something from work yesterday:

A family calls me to their table, because their son (I'm going to guess 6 years old) spilled his drink.
The father needed to add "Hehe, he saw that pretty lady over there and he lost control". And while I was leaving, after cleaning, he added "He might be young, but he's a pleyah" (Let's hope my slang is up to date).
Yeah, from what I could tell, the kid couldn't care more about any lady, he was obsessed with his mobile phone game.

But fathers advertising their preteen son's expected heterosexuality is not at all rare. Happened to all of us.

Ugh, I really hate that...

And it's "playa", btw. ;)


When I was younger, and everyone (including me) thought I was a cisgender, heterosexual male, I used to get stuff like that from family members. I also got a lot of "Do you have a girlfriend yet?" or "Is there anyone you like at school?"

I like girls and always have, but it was really annoying when they would ask that. I always thought "What the hell is it to you??"
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Re: To be raised as something?

Postby vijayjohn » 2014-08-10, 10:20

Yeah, I think that's pretty annoying even to a male cishet. It's an awfully personal question that I think is likely to be pretty embarrassing for the kid being asked (at least in Western culture, for instance).

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Re: To be raised as something?

Postby Hoogstwaarschijnlijk » 2014-08-10, 13:35

linguoboy wrote:Here's a quick quiz for everybody: How old were you when you saw your first same-sex romantic kiss? How many opposite-sex romantic kisses had you seen up to that point?

For me, the answers are, "Well into my teens" and "thousands".

In real or on television?

Actually I can't remember that I've ever seen a same-sex romantic kiss in real life :hmm:
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