Can You Turn Gay?

From left to right, RJ and Will.

From left to right, RJ and Will.

I found this adorable video on YouTube earlier today and I had to share it. Will and RJ are a couple. RJ considered himself heterosexual before meeting and falling in love with Will.

This will be the first in a series of posts where I share stories of gay and lesbian couples in which one member did not identify as gay or lesbian before the relationship. This is important, because most people don’t understand how this works. They assume that if two men or two women are in a relationship, that both are gay and always have been.

This is also a difficult topic to broach for the gay rights movement, because activists are working hard to convince everyone that sexual orientation is a born trait and not a virus that anyone can just catch from shaking hands or being friends. For all intents and purposes, this is true. Especially since “gay” usually means you are attracted to the same sex in general. If this is the case, it probably is true for your whole life—though that’s not to mention the process of coming out to oneself and the various stages at which people realize their sexual orientation. The thing is, attraction is not always so cut and dry. Though orientation typically doesn’t change throughout life, love and attraction are more malleable. That is why some people refuse to identify as a specific orientation, choosing instead to say that they love people, as opposed to men or women.

RJ is not necessarily attracted to men in general, but he is attracted to one specific man—Will. As he says in the video, “I’m bisexual, I guess, though technically I’m Willsexual.” People like RJ may or may not consider themselves to be gay simply because they are in a gay relationship.

This is a tricky ground among both gay and straight communities. Nobody wants to hear that something like attraction is so wishy-washy. Everyone wants to know your label so they can know if you are part of their group or not. It’s a natural part of group psychology and the way civilizations function. Unfortunately, this makes answering questions about sexual orientation tricky for people like RJ, and can make fitting in especially difficult.

Watch the video below to hear the story of their meeting and their thoughts on this interesting and taboo phenomenon!

Click here to read an interview of Will and RJ by!


9 responses to “Can You Turn Gay?

  1. This is so true. I particularly like your comment, “Everyone wants to know your label so they can know if you are part of their group or not” Growing up, I never really noticed I was attracted to men. I had liked girls until I once watched gay pornography and realized I was attracted to the guys I was seeing. From then on, I struggled with my sexuality because I started to notice boys a lot more, but once in a blue moon, a girl would come along that I was attracted to and had feelings for. This was confusing, to say the least. I couldn’t identify as straight because I was much more attracted to men than women. And I didn’t feel I could identify as bisexual because it was rare for me to be sexually and emotionally attracted to women. So what was left, to identify as gay. It seemed the simplest route. But as I’ve been coming out to my friends as gay, I realize that I may be digging my own grave. I say this because I’ve essentially restricted myself to men. I know that my gay friends will automatically feel betrayed and say I’m in denial, if some girl comes along and woos me. So now I feel trapped by my own professed sexuality. If only more people could realize that attraction changes throughout one’s lifetime…

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  3. I absolutely believe that people are attracted to people. I think that some people have and always WILL be attracted to the same sex or the opposite sex, but there are some people who just don’t care. Who cares? Whether you have anatomy of a man or a woman who really cares? Some people just don’t. When I was a kid I kissed little boys and girls. I’m secure in myself and confident in myself to feel open to absolutely any sexual orientation. It truly is all about the PERSON. Society has told us what is normal and we believe them. “Bromance” and “Girl time” are around for a reason. Yes, because we all need to be around friends, but I honestly know quite a few people (very male hetero guys) who get very sexual with each other, verbally or physically and laugh it off as a joke. They do it for a reason, and I sometimes feel bad they will never have the open mind to explore their true feelings. The same goes with some girls who identify as very straight but cuddle up and hold and want to be close to a bestie. They’ll never explore that because it’s “just a girl thing” What if you COULD marry your best friend? Regardless of sexual orientation. That’d be awesome, right? To be honest, I don’t feel that attracted to many people in a visceral all encompassing way. So when I DO feel it, I take it seriously. Regardless of what they have between their legs.

    • Exactly. Thank you! As Alice says on The L Word, “I follow the heart, not the anatomy.” (thanks to Caitlin for sharing that with me:)

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  5. well there are certainly much more lesbians nowadays making it much more difficult for us straight guys looking to meet a good woman now.

  6. RJ said in his coming out video his brother did not think it was such a big deal that he is gay amd knew he was looing at gay porn when he was younger. So its not like he was attracted to the same gender until will comes along.

  7. Thanks for sharing this lovely video. You mentioned you would be doing more posts on this couples in this situation but I haven’t been able to find any more. Could you help please? I am writing a novel with a similar(ish) situation and I’m researching to try to make it as authentic as possible.

    • Hi Kat! So sorry for the confusion. I actually haven’t written any more posts on this topic! You can subscribe to my blog so you will be notified as soon as I do (although, tbh, it might not be for a long time, as I’ve moved away from this blog, but your reminder has inspired me!). Thanks! 🙂

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