This speech was presented as part of the Noted Festival Event on Thursday the 5th of May: ‘AIDS Action Council presents Gay Sex is Fun’.
Thank you to Noted for inviting me to speak and for the AIDS Action Council of the ACT for putting on this excellent event.
Growing up as a man who is attracted to men I very early on became aware that my life was supposedly going to be a lot harder than many others.
When I came out to my mother for example she said her only worry was that my homosexuality would make my life harder. My first relationship with a boy, one that lasted a huge three weeks (that’s a long time for a teenager), ended after he decided that he could not be gay and that he would be straight from now on. Based on his regular appearances on my Grindr feed I assume that has not worked out. But I still remember thinking that that would never occur if I were straight. And even now, when insisting we’re all ‘born this may’ many gays demand that “of course I’m born gay, who would choose this?” It’s like homosexuality is exactly what our protractors say it is; a disease from which we should all wish we were cured.
Now, I do not want to deny that gay lives have been and remain hard. Discrimination, repression and violence towards gay people remains rife.
Yet, at the same time, I feel an intense need to say, fuck that! Fuck this idea that being gay is a thing that’d we’d all want to avoid like the plague. Fuck the idea that it is something no one would choose.
I say this not just because gay sex — that which happens between a monogamous couple with the hope that one day this sex will be legitimised by the state and that next time the wedding rings will have to be taken off before the fingering begins — is fun, although I am sure it is.
I’m saying it because the very nature of being gay has the potential to open up a range of sexual possibilities, ones that I know I likely would never had explored if I were straight.