Gandalf: I am looking for someone to share in an adventure that I am arranging, and it’s very difficult to find anyone.
Bilbo Baggins: I should think so—in these parts! We are plain quiet folk and have no use for adventures. Nasty disturbing uncomfortable things! Make you late for dinner! I can’t think what anyone sees in them!
There is a mystery to sexuality. A large part—perhaps even the largest part—of maturing into an adult is exploring and coming to understand sex and sexuality. And perhaps that mystery is never quite fully dispelled, even after one finds comfort in one’s own skin, so to speak.
However mysterious one’s own sexuality remains to oneself, so much more mysterious is the sexuality of someone of the opposite sex! To draw an analogy, the mystery of one’s own sexuality is like the undiscovered in a familiar land. What caves, gems, artifacts, or other unknowns lurk beneath your own house or in the hills of your own hometown? But the mystery of someone else’s sexuality—someone else of the opposite sex, that is—is more like the mystery of an altogether undiscovered land. What is this place? What will I find here? Is it like my own? What are the people like? That’s at least partly why we admire early explorers. Penetrating the mystery of foreign lands and peoples requires courage.
After Adam and Eve partook of the forbidden fruit, they looked upon each other and for the first time felt embarrassed by each other’s nakedness. Why don’t men feel the same sense of embarrassment before other men in, say, communal showers? Or why don’t women feel that same sense of embarrassment when they help dress one another in a clothing store? Because when Adam and Even partook of the forbidden fruit they alienated themselves from God and, in so doing, alienated themselves from each other. They became foreigners in a land God created for them, and their sexuality became foreign to each other as well. But the sexuality of man is not foreign to men, nor is the sexuality of woman foreign to women.
Now, just as exploring a foreign land requires courage, so, too, does exploring the sexuality of someone of the opposite sex. But not everyone has the courage required to explore foreign lands. Some people simply prefer the known to the unknown, even in their own hometown. There is comfort in the familiar. I can understand, therefore, why, in the process of coming to understand sex and sexuality, a less courageous spirit will find comfort in the more familiar territory of one’s own sexuality, thereby finding oneself attracted to people of the same sex.
I don’t have to explore the unknown, for I can reliably depend on what I know about myself. There is less of a mystery about how I can please someone else; I can reliably depend on what pleases me. I don’t have to overcome the embarrassment of feeling foreign before, well, a sexual foreigner. In short, I can be a sexual coward. I can prefer the known to the unknown, the familiar to the unfamiliar, the domestic to the foreign, and forsake the courage and trust that’s required of men and women in heterosexual relationships.
Perhaps this what’s behind calling homosexuals “sissies” and “pussies” (not that I advocate calling homosexuals such things; I do not). They are those poor, pusillanimous souls that don’t have the guts to leave their hometowns. They never go on an adventure. They don’t have the courage to explore the foreign land of a person’s sexuality unlike their own. Of course, maybe not all homosexuals are sexual cowards. But not all human beings have two legs, either.
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