I’m starting to think that the lunatic Christians (DISCLAIMER: Yes, there are perfectly nice, sane, good people, some of whom read my LJ, who do their very best to follow the teachings of certain carpenters, they’re not all like that, etc, etc, I’m aware of that, so let’s just get past that bit and accept that we are dealing with the raving batshit lunatic Christians on this one, and that you probably oughta be even more horrified by them than I am, because they do far, far worse to make Christians look bad than my occasional irreligious grumblings.) have never heard of or somehow have such a tenuous grasp of human nature that they do not know about the allure of the forbidden.
Which is sort of ironic given that whole apple thing and the allure of the forbidden being the fundamental tenet of their creation myth.
Take that Greg Allen legislator guy in Alabama, who’s all over this bill to ban buying any books that mention homosexuality in any way for public libraries, presumably because if kids see “The Color Purple” on the shelf, they’ll be struck by a lavender bolt of lightning on the spot and emerge from the smoke dressed as one of the Village People.
Yes, it’s all very twitch and shudder worthy–feel free to twitch and shudder. I’ll wait. Okay, moving on. Now, I have a pretty lousy grasp of human nature myself. Everything I know about people, I learned from the internet and Discworld novels. I spend the vast majority of my time in solitude, art hermiting it up. But my youth, while distant, is not nearly so distant that I don’t keenly recall the allure of the forbidden.
If you want somebody to really WANT to do something, make it Forbidden. Sex. Drugs. Whatever. Hide it. Absolutely hide it. Make it hard to find. Make it Mysterious. Refuse to acknowledge it exists. Freak out if anyone mentions it.
Take a pragmatic approach, suck the mystery out, show ’em what their lungs or their genitals will look like afterwards, and the forbidden will become the ickily commonplace. But put it on a pedestal as The Worst Thing Ever, try to hide it, and it will have glamour. It will be cool. It will be fascinating.
As a kid, I had a house full of National Geographics, and if I ever wanted to see naked people, all I had to do was flip through books on Renaissance art. Did I? No. I went to friends’ houses and we tried to watch the porn channel through the scrambler, because staticky indistinct forbidden boobs is far more exciting than full frontal nudity nobody cares about. (Actually, funny story, my first exposure to porn was in AWANAS….) In my early teens, I read every sex scene in every book I owned. Then I started having sex, and even during a period when my hormones could not have settled noticeably, I stopped reading that, because feh, who cared?
I have a point here, other than a recitation of my latency-period-my-ass exploits. The point is that the forbidden is COOL. And it’s blindingly obvious to ME that if homosexuality WAS a choice (I don’t think it neccessarily is, but we’re complicated little organisms and it’s a rich tapestry, etc) by making it the Forbidden and trying to censor it and whatnot, you’ll do nothing but make people fascinated by the notion. My god! They’re trying to hide it! It must be amazing.
As they said over at “Making Light”: You know what he’s really saying, don’t you? He’s saying that gay sex has straight sex beat all hollow, that’s what. It’s stronger, sharper, more pervasive and overwhelming. Sexier. Instantly attractive. Transcendently hot. All it takes is one hint that homosexuality is survivable, that it’s something engaged in by humans rather than demons, and right away kids are going to be abandoning the straight and missionary for a life as a queer.
Then again, I’m an art hermit, so what the hell do I know?