I’m in Thailand right now visiting friends and family, and I’ve come to learn something very interesting. I met a friend of a friend here who is clearly gay. He calls himself gay, he acts in a feminine manner, and even uses the female modifiers for himself when speaking. We were all out bowling together last night when another friend showed up who was clearly a lesbian, doing all things, including speaking, in a male manner.
My confusion began when the gay man and the lesbian began flirting with eachother and holding hands, obviously interested in eachother. I asked one of my friends about it, saying “Are they flirting?” He said they were, and that they might begin dating. I said I thought the man was gay, and he said he was. It took me a while to work it out, but it turns out that most “gay” and “lesbian” people in Thailand have sex exclusively with the opposite sex, but with reversed personas. Those men who are feminine growing up, what we would consider “always having been gay” pursue “lesbians” rather than other men. These “homosexuals” marry, have children, and raise families just like any other couple, albeit with reversed roles. Of course there are some homosexuals who do have sex with the same sex, but they are not nearly as common as in the US. When I asked about people having sex with the same sex, even the “gay” man was a little shocked. The response of my Thai friends was that “that’s too unnatural!” When I told them that in the US most gay men slept only with other men, they were very suprised.
So it seems that the Thai culture has a completely different environment for homosexuals, one that recognizes the differences in gender preferences, but also encourages male and female coupling. This gay culture is open and free, with all of the trappings of American gay culture, but with natural sexual relationships preserved with reversed genders. These people are completely comfortable in who they are, with no apparent self-denial or self-hatred. I’ve never seen anything like it.
So what do others think of this? I’ll have to do a bit more questioning and research, but it seems that they may have found a novel way of dealing with the “homosexual” impulse that does seem to be present in many people from a young age while not abandoning Natural Law. Personally I’m fascinated by this, and I’m curious how such a set up would work in the US with its strong push for people with opposite gender identities to couple with people of the same sex.