Monday, January 17, 2011
The Socialization of a Young Impressionable Gay Boy
This might not sound PC or even be in line with gender/queer theory today. Frankly, it doesn't matter. I was raised/socialized as a girl. Yeah, I said it. Now I don't mean I was born inter-sexed or my penis was chopped off in an accident while being monstrously circumcised (fyi, I'm not). Simply put, I was raised in what would be typified as women gender roles, from the 1950's, or just maybe within a Mexican cultural context.
Growing up, I was raised with the idea that I should fall in love, find a wife/husband (turned out to be the latter), have kids, and be happy. Be happy. Now there is a concept that is gender-fucked from the beginning in this story. My mom taught me that it is important to fall in love and find someone that would complete me. She wanted me to have the same type of relationship she and my father have...to this date. They have been married for almost 40 years. She taught me that through all the ups and downs, we have to make the best of it. We have to be strong and that everything can and will be worked out, in the name of love. Surprisingly, my mom never spent much time telling this to my older sister. It was always directed towards me. Maybe subconsciously I was being prepped for playing the girl part in the relationship. Unfortunately, there is no better way to describe it, and I don't mean it in a derogatory way towards women. Most of my role models in life are women. In a traditional Mexican cultural ideology, these would be deemed women's role in love, life, and family.
I remember most of my childhood clearly. I didn't fret over toys, especially cars, transformers, and video games. Most of my time was spent helping my mom. Momma's boy? Maybe. On weekends, I would wake up extra early so that I could start doing my chores. My chores were simple; I had to clean the house. That included dusting the tables and my mom's knick-knacks, vacuuming, and cleaning the bathrooms. I don't understand how my mom didn't realize I was different than most little boys. I thought it was normal to clean the house while listening to Mariah Carey's, Emotions, while pretending the Pledge can was my microphone. All in all I was in charge of doing mostly house chores, and my mom prized her home on the fact that her little boy kept it clean. Once again, most parents, especially in Mexican households, would force the men/boys to do yard work. Good thing I had a different family. A progressive one at that! I am not going to lie, my dad sometimes showed a hint of disturb in his eyes when he saw me dancing around cleaning. But he always let me be.
Families are microcosms where we learn the big rules and ideas of life, love, and family. Yes, that is a reoccurring theme for me. The way I was brought up to think of relationships greatly affected on what I seek in my present/future. In the early stages of my 9-year relationship I sought emotional security. Most people thought I was with my partner for financial stability and that he was my sugar daddy. That point is far from the truth. From my socialization through my family, I was seeking someone to nurture me and provide me with security.
Everything I had learned I was trying to put into practice in all my past relationships. I forgot who I was and what I wanted. Truth is, I never formulated those ideas for myself.
Now here I am, trying to tie-up loose ends in my dating life and relationships. I have learned a lot from my past and have grown to know that what I want is to be an equal in my relationship. Until then, I want to explore myself and who I am. My possibilities. I want to be able to provide for someone else...emotionally. That is why I say, have fun, enjoy life, live and learn! But always, always be SAFE!
Protect your penis...and protect your heart.