Recently I got back in touch with a cousin of mine who I did not grow up with. We traded e-mails, and phone calls and I attended her performances (she's a singer) to show support and love. Last week, we went to the Alicia Keys concert and I had a blast with her. She's so outgoing and fun to be around. We chatted about Jordin Sparks and Jermaine Paul and traded musical critiques on everything. But then Ne-Yo emerged and I inadvertently mentioned that I thought he was so hot! I then froze. I had indirectly revealed my orientation and while I was wearing my pride bracelet, I wasn't sure how she'd react. I had no idea what she thought about SGL (same-gender loving) people. Nothing more was said and then on the drive back to the house, I learned why.
I asked her, "you don't seem to be bothered by this" [held up my bracelet].
There was a little silence and then jokingly replied that "well Cuz, you're a little obvious! ... I'm kidding!"
She continued, "I understand because I've been there myself, I've dated a few women."
I kept driving while putting all the signs together. When I had last attended her concert, there were a group of her girlfriends in the club, some of them were fem and others butch-looking and a few were getting "cozy." I wasn't bothered obviously but it started making me wonder. I guess I was stupid for thinking that because she has a son that she wasn't one of the "fam." I guess I'm a bit slow on the uptake! lol
So she proceeded to tell me that the friend I had seen her with before was someone she had been seeing but was now taking time for herself. I supported her and asked if her family knew. She assured me it was okay, that everyone knows but I know better.
This whole incident has me wondering now ... is there a SGL gene in my family? The reason I wonder this is because my mom's sister is a lesbian and has a partner of over 25 years and an adopted son. I also have a cousin on my mom's side who is SGL and HIV positive. Furthermore, I discovered that my biological maternal grandmother was reputed to have been bisexual. And now my cousin (also on my mom's side). You see where I'm going with this?
I've long held the belief that being SGL was determined by your environment. Many of the guys I have dated had absent fathers or crummy relationships with their fathers. Moreover, I noted that my relationship with my father is strained at times. It's mostly due to him being old and stubborn and not necessarily because of my sexual orientation. Additionally, my family is extremely loving toward me, they really hover around the guys I've brought home so I don't think it was lack of support that made me this way. I've never been abused and I had a happy, well-adjusted childhood.
I'm beginning to re-think my theory and after this recent revelation, I believe that one's sexual orientation is genetically determined. It can't be a coincidence that so many people in my family are not straight.
However, this leads me to further questions. Is my family the only one out there like that? And what do you think: nature or nurture?