Author Topic: Born Gay?  (Read 5397 times)

Offline Kerry

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Born Gay?
« on: September 20, 2008, 11:10:43 pm »
Born Gay
The Brother Factor


Alan, Kerry & Robert
(eldest brother, John, absent)

I came upon this article from a 2006 Time magazine article, whilst recently doing a spring clean at home.

I have three older brothers – John, Robert and Alan (Robert is also gay), so I guess I’m a classic case of the Brother Factor.

Though this is specifically a poll for gay male BetterMostians, I would be interested to hear feedback from anyone else who has personal experience or knowledge of such families where the Brother Factor is evident.

Here’s the Time article:

If you grew up as a younger brother in a houseful of boys, you have probably lost count of the ways your big brothers shaped your life. Now a new study suggests that if you’re also gay, they may have had a role in that too.

Since the 1990s, many social psychologists have concluded that gays represent about 3% of all males – although that’s a much debated figure. Others put it as low as 1% or as high as 10%. Those who subscribe to the 3% figure believe they have documented an interesting wrinkle: among boys with one older brother, the figure goes up to about 4%; two older brother tick it up to 5%; and with three or more, it tops out at about 6%. What nobody could answer is, Why?

Last week psychologist Anthony Bogaert of Brock University in Ontario, Canada, provided some clues from a study of 944 men. Some were raised with biological brothers or stepbrothers; others had biological brothers but were raised apart. In almost no case did homosexuality seem to correlate with stepbrothers living under the same roof. It was only the existence of older biological brothers – whether or not they were raised together – that influenced younger brothers’ sexuality.

Bogaert believes the answer may lie in the mother’s immune system. Mothers’ bodies naturally recognize boy fetuses as slightly more alien than girl fetuses, since all of us carry sex-specific proteins in our bloodstreams. Some mothers may develop antibodies to those male proteins. In subsequent boy pregnancies, Bogaert theorizes, the antibodies may cross the placenta and affect regions of the fetal brain that determine sex orientation.














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Offline Kelda

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Re: Born Gay?
« Reply #1 on: September 21, 2008, 06:32:29 am »
really intersting..

My friend is the youngest of a number of older siblings (both make and female)... the oldest about 20 yrs older... Noen fo the others are gay and he isn;t close ot them but its interstign to think he may have been influenced by them.
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Offline Katie77

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Re: Born Gay?
« Reply #2 on: September 21, 2008, 08:43:22 am »
This is not the "Brother Factor"....but its similar......

I've written here before that my father was gay, and he had  a partner for 14 years. The main reason they split, was due to Allen (Dads partner) meeting up with a penfriend from overseas, and deciding he wanted to marry her. His new wife was aware of  his relationship with Dad.

They married, and had two sons. When the youngest son was 16, he came out and announced he was gay. At that time, there had been no open discussion with him about his father's previous gay life.  Obviously, afer the son came out, his father "confessed" to his own experiences and showed him plenty of understanding and encouragement. It took a short time for his mother to come to terms with it. The older brother, didn't want to talk about it, did not want to know about his father and alienated himself from his brother for some time, but eventually rekindled the relationship, but still prefers not to talk about it  with any of them.The older brother is straight, married with kids. Allen said that he had seen the signs in his young son, and was not surprised when he finally told them he was gay.

I had lost contact with Allen, after my father died, for a period of over 20years. After I saw Brokeback Mountain, I did a search on the Internet, and found him, contacted him, and because he only lives a couple of hours from me, visited him and his wife. He talks to me very openly about his relationship with Dad, about his own family situation and his sons. He is over 60 now, still married (over 30yrs), but told me that he still considers himself as gay, that even though, for the past 30 years on the outside he looks like an average straight husband and father, inside, he is still a gay man and   that his wife understands and accepts that. I do not know how he controls that or manages that, or if he has been "actively" gay.

Complicated......thats for sure......but the family, (once all the dust settled) remain a close family. The boys are in their mid to late twentys now, The gay son is in a permanent relationship, the eldest son is married with two children, but he has battled alcoholism and a few other social problems. The family have helped him deal with his problems and they all visit each other regularly and maintain close committment to one another.


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Offline Kerry

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Re: Born Gay?
« Reply #3 on: September 21, 2008, 10:40:54 am »

Allen's story reminds me of my George, Sue. I won't bore everyone with it again. Suffice to say George and I were together for 15 years and then, one fine day, he decided he wanted to get married to a woman 15 years his senior. There were no children, because she was 55 when they married. Though George continues to maintain a seemingly straight lifestyle, he tells me he still feels 100% gay deep down. Human nature is a funny old thing.
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Re: Born Gay?
« Reply #4 on: September 21, 2008, 12:02:24 pm »
I have four siblings. Three brothers and a sister. Of the four boys, two of us are gay. My brother had a boyfriend in high school and for a couple years after. He wanted a stable family life, and after trying the gay lifestyle, decided to get married and raise kids. His wife had known him since school, so she was aware what she was getting into. They had the wedding, kids, etc. Things seemed ok early on while raising their kids. Once the kids started getting more independent, they kinda fell apart. They are still together and their 16 year old daughter lives with them (with her child...ugh), but they are miserable. Years of drugs/drinking has played it's toll on both of them, but at this stage and at the end of they day, all they have is each other.

I also got married right outta high school. I always thought my attraction to men was somewhat normal and I would grow out of it once married. That didn't happen. Luckily, before we had kids, I got out. Through a stroke of very good luck, I met a great man, and we have a darn stable and fullfilling 20+ year relationship.

Brad

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Re: Born Gay?
« Reply #5 on: September 21, 2008, 03:26:51 pm »
speaking for D, he is the only son. and the youngest sibling.


Offline Katie77

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Re: Born Gay?
« Reply #6 on: September 21, 2008, 06:01:49 pm »
Allen's story reminds me of my George, Sue. I won't bore everyone with it again. Suffice to say George and I were together for 15 years and then, one fine day, he decided he wanted to get married to a woman 15 years his senior. There were no children, because she was 55 when they married. Though George continues to maintain a seemingly straight lifestyle, he tells me he still feels 100% gay deep down. Human nature is a funny old thing.

Yes, Kerry, I have read about your partnership and eventual break up with George, and was amazed at the similar events of your relationship and that of my Dad and his partner.

Just out of curiosity, I wonder if the circumstances of WHY they wanted to get married were similar.

In Allen's case, in the partnership he had with Dad, he was like the "female" side of the relationship. He did the cooking and the household chores, and Dad was the one who virtually controlled all the major decisions in their lives.  Remembering that this was back in the sixties, when that was the norm for most relationships.  Allen more or less became the "bored housewife" and wanted to make some decisions of his own and get out of the kitchen.

Of course there was more to it than that, but that was the beginning of the breakdown of the relationship.

Talk about "human nature, being a funny old thing", for the past 10 years Allen has once again reverted to the "house husband" role. While his wife continues with her career, he now maintains the house, does the cooking and such, and is quite happy doing so.
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Offline Kerry

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Re: Born Gay?
« Reply #7 on: September 21, 2008, 06:21:24 pm »
I have four siblings. Three brothers and a sister. Of the four boys, two of us are gay. My brother had a boyfriend in high school and for a couple years after. He wanted a stable family life, and after trying the gay lifestyle, decided to get married and raise kids. His wife had known him since school, so she was aware what she was getting into. They had the wedding, kids, etc. Things seemed ok early on while raising their kids. Once the kids started getting more independent, they kinda fell apart. They are still together and their 16 year old daughter lives with them (with her child...ugh), but they are miserable. Years of drugs/drinking has played it's toll on both of them, but at this stage and at the end of they day, all they have is each other.

I also got married right outta high school. I always thought my attraction to men was somewhat normal and I would grow out of it once married. That didn't happen. Luckily, before we had kids, I got out. Through a stroke of very good luck, I met a great man, and we have a darn stable and fullfilling 20+ year relationship.

Brad

Thank you for sharing that, Brad.  :)

What position are you amongst your siblings; i.e., for the benefit of this exercise, are any of your brothers older than you?
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Offline Kerry

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Re: Born Gay?
« Reply #8 on: September 21, 2008, 06:23:03 pm »
speaking for D, he is the only son. and the youngest sibling.

No Brother Factor there then, Jess.
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Offline brokeplex

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Re: Born Gay?
« Reply #9 on: September 21, 2008, 06:32:21 pm »
I have one older sister. I have 3 cousins on one side of the family who are gay, and 2 on the other who are also gay. I had a now deceased uncle who was gay, and I strongly suspect that my paternal grandfather was gay. I inheirited his papers, and there are interesting letters.

Offline Katie77

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Re: Born Gay?
« Reply #10 on: September 21, 2008, 06:41:45 pm »
Is  sexual orientation genetic ?

There must have been discussion on that somewhere in here....and no doubt, studies and theories on that subject.
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Offline brokeplex

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Re: Born Gay?
« Reply #11 on: September 21, 2008, 06:45:28 pm »
Is  sexual orientation genetic ?

There must have been discussion on that somewhere in here....and no doubt, studies and theories on that subject.

yes, I believe there have been several thread discussing this subject.

I am on the side that it is genetic or at least preprogrammed in the womb, therefore an immutable characteristic and not a choice.

Offline Kerry

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Re: Born Gay?
« Reply #12 on: September 21, 2008, 07:00:56 pm »
Yes, Kerry, I have read about your partnership and eventual break up with George, and was amazed at the similar events of your relationship and that of my Dad and his partner.

Just out of curiosity, I wonder if the circumstances of WHY they wanted to get married were similar.

In Allen's case, in the partnership he had with Dad, he was like the "female" side of the relationship. He did the cooking and the household chores, and Dad was the one who virtually controlled all the major decisions in their lives.  Remembering that this was back in the sixties, when that was the norm for most relationships.  Allen more or less became the "bored housewife" and wanted to make some decisions of his own and get out of the kitchen.

Of course there was more to it than that, but that was the beginning of the breakdown of the relationship.

Talk about "human nature, being a funny old thing", for the past 10 years Allen has once again reverted to the "house husband" role. While his wife continues with her career, he now maintains the house, does the cooking and such, and is quite happy doing so.

I've never been one to adhere to the old "butch" and "bitch" stereotypes when it comes to gay relationships. Mainly because I know for a fact, through much experience, that what you see is not necessarily what you get when it comes to gay men - in Australia anyway - I can't speak for the rest of the world. I won't generalise, and this is certainly not so in all cases; however, in my experience, often the most seemingly butch gay men are extremely passive in the bedroom. They love to be made love to. It is my personal belief that they are so very involved in their own body beautiful and the mystique of their masculinity, that all they want to do when having sex is to just lie back and be adored by their partner. And God knows how many times I've noticed the seemingly fem person in a relationship playing the predominantly dominant role in the home; i.e., running the home, giving the orders, etc.

George and I certainly did not act-out any stereotypical roles in our relationship (we were together during the 70s & 80s). We were equals. We shared the chores equally. We both had jobs. We contributed to the running of the home equally. Having said that, however, to the outside observer, George certainly does come across as a very masculine man. It was one of the main things that attracted me to him. He had just left the Royal Australian Navy when we met and was, in fact, actually wearing his "eights" (RAN work uniform) on the day we met. His masculinity was one of the primary aspects of his psyche that drew me to him.

I know exactly what it was that prompted George to marry. It was AIDS. In the early/mid-80s, AIDS really hit the headlines big-time, here in Australia. And there was lots of hysteria involved. I remember one particular state health minister (he was later arrested and jailed for fraud), announcing on nation-wide television, that all AIDS sufferers should be rounded up and quarantined on an island on the Great Barrier Reef. Homophobia was rife and there were hideous witch hunts in the media and community.

Whereas my reaction to all this hysteria was to keep my head down and take comfort from the security of a stable relationship with George, George alas did not share my perspective. George was terrified of getting AIDS (we didn't know a lot about AIDS back then, or how it was contracted). To cut a long story short, George thought the best way to avoid AIDS, and therefore remain alive, was to "become" straight. He had apparently always been bisexual; something I was not aware of during our partnership. Suffice to say George and I continue in good health and never did get AIDS.

So why does George remain with Margaret? Only George can answer that question. George was always one for routine. Just a habit, perhaps? He always did and still does like everything to be ship shape and Bristol fashion! I have no doubt George loves Margaret in his own way.
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Offline Kerry

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Re: Born Gay?
« Reply #13 on: September 21, 2008, 07:04:29 pm »
I have one older sister. I have 3 cousins on one side of the family who are gay, and 2 on the other who are also gay. I had a now deceased uncle who was gay, and I strongly suspect that my paternal grandfather was gay. I inheirited his papers, and there are interesting letters.

I've often suspect some genetic aspect to the gay equation. Certainly, I have a gay brother, gay nephew and  gay uncle that I know of.
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Offline Katie77

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Re: Born Gay?
« Reply #14 on: September 21, 2008, 07:27:37 pm »
Yes Kerry, I remember the uproar about AIDS, and the hysteria that we witnessed here in Australia as they obviously did too all over the world. The grim reaper commercials, OMG, so many conflicting theories on the subject. No doubt would have been a very scarey time in the gay community.

Reflecting now, back on my Dad and Allens situation, the fact that they never "came out" to society, may have had a lot to do with Allen's decision as well. Of course they had their gay friends and were out to them, but to the rest of society, they pretended to be brothers, Allen changing his name by deed poll, to make it even more authentic.  That in itself must have been hard enough to live with day in, day out.

I guess by marrying, Allen foresaw a "normal" lifestyle. I have no doubt that he loves his wife, and they seem extremely comfortable with each other.

Oh just on another coincidence, my husband also paid off from the navy in 1973, after serving 9 years. As much as there are numerous jokes about the navy and gayness, neither my hubby nor I (once I married him) knew, or knew of, any sailor who was homosexual.  ....thats not to say that they were not there. Back then, before I or hubby ever had any gaydar, I doubt we would have noticed if it was displayed right in front of us, although I do remember one crew mate of my hubbys, who was probably bi-sexual. His girlfriend was a go go dancer at Whisky A Go Go but he was also "very friendly" with an entrepreneur from America, who we read somewhere later, was gay. Of course, our reflections on the navy mates were from a straight perspective, Im sure your George, may have seen some of the crew in a different light all together.

Its all very interesting, isn't it.
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Offline Kerry

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Re: Born Gay?
« Reply #15 on: September 21, 2008, 07:48:18 pm »
George joined the RAN at age 15 as a Naval Rating in 1965. He served 6 years, leaving in 1971. So George and your husband were in the RAN at the same time. Small world.

George traveled extensively during his time in the RAN, including service in Vietnam. His  ship came under fire whilst patrolling the Vietnam coast. He's very proud of his medals.

Maybe it's more open now, but George tells me the gay thing was very understated in the RAN in his day.
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Offline Katie77

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Re: Born Gay?
« Reply #16 on: September 21, 2008, 07:56:03 pm »
George joined the RAN at age 15 as a Naval Rating in 1965. He served 6 years, leaving in 1971. So George and your husband were in the RAN at the same time. Small world.

George traveled extensively during his time in the RAN, including service in Vietnam. His  ship came under fire whilst patrolling the Vietnam coast. He's very proud of his medals.

Maybe it's more open now, but George tells me the gay thing was very understated in the RAN in his day.


Yep, Kerry.....same time.......same war........hubby seved 1964-1973....served in the Borneo/Indonesian infiiltration (HMAS Yarra) and Vietnam (on troup carrier HMAS Sydney).

Small world.
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Re: Born Gay?
« Reply #17 on: September 22, 2008, 02:25:44 am »
I've never been one to adhere to the old "butch" and "bitch" stereotypes when it comes to gay relationships.

Kerry, I don't buy this either, and I don't think most gay/homo's do. It seems to me only straight people try to categorize in this fashion. Had this discussion with one of my cousin's wife a few weeks ago (while at Elk camp during the first week of archery season). She had a little too much booze in her, and while her hubby was tucked in with the chillins', she started to go on about how she thought her husband was bi. I politely cut her off and moved on. I didn't think her husband would appreciate her going on about something so intimate--no, I know for a fact he would have been worse then mortified, and I'm not sure why she felt compelled to share. Perhaps she thought I would partake in girl chatter/talk with her, which I wouldn't cause' I don't.

Brad


Offline ZK

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Re: Born Gay?
« Reply #18 on: September 24, 2008, 07:26:55 am »
Hi for the record I have two elder brothers by 10 and 8 years respectively both straight. I have a second cousin who is gay and he has an elder brother who is straight.


Offline milomorris

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Re: Born Gay?
« Reply #19 on: September 24, 2008, 07:49:33 am »
Interesting angle of study. I have heard other theories that suggest in utero hormones might have an affect on a fetus. But this is the first study I've heard of that links "anti-male" anti-bodies to homosexuality. But that certainly doesn't explain lesbians.

FWIW, I have 2 younger brothers: one gay, one straight. I also have a male cousin on my mom's side who is gay.
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Offline Kerry

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Re: Born Gay?
« Reply #20 on: September 24, 2008, 08:09:05 am »
Hi for the record I have two elder brothers by 10 and 8 years respectively both straight. I have a second cousin who is gay and he has an elder brother who is straight.

Hi Matt! Good to see you here tonight. Like you, all my brothers are a good deal older than me. The brother nearest in age to me is 10 years older than me. My eldest brother, John, is 17 years older than me. Looks like we're both classic Brother Factor statistics - haha!  :)
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Offline Kerry

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Re: Born Gay?
« Reply #21 on: September 24, 2008, 08:13:21 am »
Interesting angle of study. I have heard other theories that suggest in utero hormones might have an affect on a fetus. But this is the first study I've heard of that links "anti-male" anti-bodies to homosexuality. But that certainly doesn't explain lesbians.

FWIW, I have 2 younger brothers: one gay, one straight. I also have a male cousin on my mom's side who is gay.

The Canadian study was of men only - 944 of them. I've not heard of any related female studies. Has anyone!  ???
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Offline CellarDweller

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Re: Born Gay?
« Reply #22 on: September 24, 2008, 09:52:38 am »
I am gay, and the oldest in my family.  I have two younger brothers.

I also have a few gay cousins.


Tell him when l come up to him and ask to play the record, l'm gonna say: ''Voulez-vous jouer ce disque?''
'Voulez-vous, will you kiss my dick?'
Will you play my record? One-track mind!

Offline Kerry

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Re: Born Gay?
« Reply #23 on: September 26, 2008, 09:16:31 am »
I am gay, and the oldest in my family.  I have two younger brothers.

I also have a few gay cousins.

No Brother Factor for you then, Chuck.
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Offline CellarDweller

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Re: Born Gay?
« Reply #24 on: September 30, 2008, 09:59:31 pm »
No Brother Factor for you then, Chuck.


Oh well.....guess I wasn't good at following the rules.....


Tell him when l come up to him and ask to play the record, l'm gonna say: ''Voulez-vous jouer ce disque?''
'Voulez-vous, will you kiss my dick?'
Will you play my record? One-track mind!

Offline Artiste

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Re: Born Gay?
« Reply #25 on: November 04, 2008, 07:12:17 pm »
Interesting posts and thread ! !

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Re: Born Gay?
« Reply #26 on: December 18, 2008, 09:21:29 pm »
I am gay but I have no brothers. I have one younger sister and she is straight. But I do have a gay uncle and had a grandma who dabbed in bisexuality.
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Offline Artiste

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Re: Born Gay?
« Reply #27 on: December 18, 2008, 09:29:56 pm »
Merci KristinDaBomb !

That is very interesting your post!

May I add this as something to think about:
Why would Raymond and his brother
not go to Hawaii - in the series Everybody Loves Raymond! - do you know?

Au revoir,
hugs!