Thursday, October 27, 2011

Why Do Gays Raise Their Eyebrow Too High?

Here's a thought-provoking observation by Bro. A on why gay men have this habit of raising their eyebrows.

One characteristic mark of gays is that they tend to raise their eyebrows so high whenever they feel something is off or calls for a little incredulity or sarcasm, raising their eyebrows often higher than women would. A possible explanation for this is that raising eyebrows atmospherically high is just typical, symbolic of the other manifestations of gays to have very high standards, raising the bar to the highest level possible because they are trying to prove something.

One can easily notice how gays consistently have a high-achiever streak. Name a field and they are often the leading lights, the best possible mentors, the standards of excellence, be it in the arts, literature, music, dance, cosmetology, etc., especially topping the fields that are typically female-dominated. Other observers may easily contend that this is a strong basis that gayness is genetic. They may be right in making the link, “gay = excellent/intelligent = genetic?” But what they fail to see is that the equation could be an oversimplification, and that there might be another possibility: it could be that gays are often excellent in any of their chosen endeavors because they are extra-driven for some reason.

If that is the case, the next question to ask is: why the freakish, preternatural drive to excel, reap recognitions, accumulate awards? Could it be that there is such a high desire for affirmation? Why is there such a strong desire? Is affirmation lacking in the first place? Why? What happened?

If one sees this other possibility, one is forced to dig deeper into the secret life of the gay man, particular his inner life and how it was formed growing up. Impartial, independent studies have shown that almost all homosexuals, if they were not sexually abused, grew up in dysfunctional homes characterized by a break in the any of the three crucial links that play a major role not just in the formation of a person’s gender identity but identity itself: mother-son, father-son, mother-father. Developmental psychologists say that any break in these links can possibly be a trauma for the child, especially when that child has a particularly sensitive nature.

These breaks in the childhood development, investigators have noted, explain why homosexuals, as they grow up into adults, exhibit “attachment loss” in various forms: lack of rapport with or lack of a warm and fond relationship with the father, antagonistic relationship with the mother, over-attachment with the mother (as though the son is a replacement boyfriend in cases where the mother has a difficult relationship with the father), or alienation from both parents.

What does this mean for the person with a homosexual problem? This only means deep insecurity resulting in an insecure identity and, by extension, insecure gender identity due to the failure to bond with the father figure. This profound insecurity with the self bears equally profound complications: the person fails to grasp the basic fact that anyone born in this world is whole and complete and has the right to live. Failure to understand this basic concept of self results in the inability to understand that one is loved as he is. And this is where that drive, that compulsion, to succeed and prove oneself comes from.

The insecure homosexual person, having grown up with what he perceived as “unmet needs” of affirmation, will try to live the rest of his life trying to compensate for that perceived lack. He will not only hate himself if he perceives failure, he will hate or despise others who equally don't measure up to the high standards he has set; he will also envy others he perceives to be superior to him. A history of sex abuse compounds the problem as the homosexual person ends up eroticizing his "unmet need" particularly for male affirmation. This wrong understanding born of wrong presumptions leads to this catastrophe: He will live perpetually trying to complete himself, compensating for the perceived incompleteness in various ways, and constantly hunting for other men he is “magnetically attracted” to (to quote a psychologist) as though they were missing parts of himself. His life will be a life of trying to buy love, having mistaken love as something that should be bought or earned. His life will be a life of constantly trying to prove oneself, and his conception of love is one of quid pro quo (“give me this, I’ll buy you that”).

Everything he does, therefore, is tainted by this drive to prove oneself because his one great fear is the loss or death of self: the feeling that he is a failure, that he is worthless if he is unable to prove his worth.

The apparent result of this drive can only be excellence and consequently public adulation, affirmation of excellence in the form of awards, medals, achievement, success, recognition. The paradox, however, is that the person, whose identity by now he may have erroneously accepted fully as being a “gay guy,” will never be happy, satisfied, or fulfilled because, at the end of the day, he is still merely trying to buy love.

The ensuing tragedy is absurd because:

1) The assumption that he must DO something in order to be loved is, after all, false; he is unable to see that all he needs to do to be loved or to earn the right to live and be loved is just BE who he is;
2) His basic assumptions about his mother and father are more often than not mere distortions, in the form of exaggerations, omissions of crucial details, colored interpretations of the past, biased views;
3) He does not realize that, in the end, he had a direct hand in creating the problem, starting with his self-identity; he is unaware that, at the end of the day, he is the one who has set the bar so high, not his parents or anyone else; he is unaware that, after all is said and done, his problem is self-inflicted. The homosexual is almost always bound to experience depression because of this self-imposed standard. When he fails, he is bound to perceive himself as a failure instead of differentiating it from the distinction of a whole and complete person who merely happened to have failed in something. But even when he gets the job done with flying colors, he is still bound to get depressed, for the simple reason that he will not feel loved for who he is but for what he has done; he will always feel more like a “human doing instead of a human being,” to quote a brilliant quip.
4) He may have been a victim of trauma and “abuse” as a child, but the “homosexual person” is unable to get over it because he fails to see that he is no longer that boy – he is all grown up and changed.
5) The person who has identified himself as a homosexual or a gay man is neither that at his core; he is in fact still biologically, physiologically male and will remain so as long as he possesses the X and Y chromosomes; only his emotions have been fouled up, thanks to a harmful family dynamics and his own confused reactions to it.

This complicated life is even made more complex by the fact that the so-called “homosexual person” is bound to extend this view of parents, family, life, society/the world to his spirituality, particularly his relationship with God as Father. He will, again wrongly, make the most tragic equation of God = my father, mother, the world. In case the boy grows up in a Christian household, this can only result in the inability to understand the basic concept of unconditional love. Living his life all along as a series of conditions, a series of impossible standards that he aims to reach, he will be unable to grasp the idea that he is loved for who he is, that like a newborn child, he is loved first, that he is already lovable even when he has not done anything yet to prove his worth.

Only when he can figure out these distinctions for himself will the “gay guy” be able to liberate himself from the prison of gay/homosexual thinking, a large part of which is self-imposed and yet he doesn’t even know it.

So why are gays raising their eyebrows sky-high? It appears that it is because they have such a very high standard they are trying to reach, even when they know that perfection in this fallen world is an utter impossibility. Worse, they hold everyone accountable to such a high standard they have imposed on themselves, wrongly thinking that’s how the cookie crumbles, that’s how the world is made round. Little do they know that they have been victimized as children, but the rest of it was their own doing all along. They don't know that they are no longer the children they once were because the past is long gone.

The key to healing “homosexual brokenness” therefore lies in four crucial steps:

a) Being made aware of the wrong interpretations of the past,
b) Forgiving one’s parents -- and by extension, others -- by recognizing the logic of their behavior,
c) Letting go of the high standards one has unknowingly set for oneself (it is one thing to want to excel because one wants to excel versus to want to excel in order to beg for love), and making peace with other people’s giftedness (after all, one has no right to question God’s plan for people; besides, everyone is wanted by God and is unique and irreplaceable to Him)
d) Forgiving oneself for committing the terrible mistakes of childhood and embracing oneself wholly, including all the strengths and weaknesses, recognizing that it is okay to be imperfect; after all, everyone is and nobody cares if one is not perfect.


  1. this post is a bit problematic, and is off theologically, especially the last point. perfect people have existed and we should seek perfection. Christ Himself exhorted us to be perfect as our heavenly Father is perfect. i completely agree that we need to be able to forgive ourselves, but that does not mean that we embrace our weaknesses. instead, we let the Lord be our strength during moments of weakness and, if we do fall into sin, we seek the Lord's mercy. just like the woman caught in adultery, the Lord will not condemn us for the sins we've committed. instead, He's like the father of the prodigal son, watching and waiting for us to return home. yet, after every person Jesus healed and forgave, He exhorted to go and sin no more. as we pray the act of contrition in the sacrament of reconciliation, we too pray for the grace necessary to sin no more.

  2. Hi tmddstett,

    Thanks for your comment. Maybe the author of that post wants to convey the message that we should acknowledge where we are weak and move forward from there with God's help.

  3. I can relate to most of the points raised here...including the healing process...I agree with this mostly...and I thank God for the healing I've experienced thus far in my SSA condition...and yes, I am still a work in progress...but, having given myself fully to Christ in a committed relationship with Him alone...thanks to my recent understanding of the truth about authentic love in The Theology of the Body...has really helped me in my pursuit of interior chastity. Praise be to God Almighty! :)

  4. this is bad theology: "perfect people have existed and we should seek perfection." and this is exactly the kind of thinking that results in homosexuality -- the drive (impossible, it should be emphasized) -- to unattainable perfection. it is one thing to work towards perfection; it is quite another to assume that man can be perfect. reread that passage again in the bible. perfection there refers to the ability to forgive our enemies, not to never making an error in life ever.

  5. clarification to tmddstett: man's fallen state of imperfection doesn't mean man should not strive for perfection. it's just that man should be aware that perfection, especially perfect healing, only exists in heaven, after death. man must strive for perfection only with a keen awareness of his own imperfection (especially when the striving is based on man's own strength) and willful cooperation with the grace of God. that's how God created us and the world, "so that no one may boast." after all, everything we have is God's except sin. if we must boast, we must boast in the Lord, we must boast of our shame and weakness, i.e., as having redeemed by God. -- Bro. A

  6. More completely, the Christian theology is: God created the world out of His love for man, but man is not the center; God is.