Which came first? The chicken or the egg? or, is homosexuality a mental illness?

1970 – 1973 was a busy season for the devil and his minions. In 1970, in Texas, the case was filed which would become known as Roe v. Wade, and in San Francisco, the assault on the American Psychiatric Association was begun.  By 1973, Roe v. Wade was established as law by a liberal judiciary, and the APA had caved in and removed homosexuality from its DSM (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders).

I won’t recount the history of that tragic decision, which is available in multiple locations online and in hard print, but I will point out the obvious (after all, my Ex-, the Fairie Prince, used to complain that I have a bad habit of overstating the obvious, so this is in honor of him):  homosexuality was not declassified because of medical investigation and scientific inquiry, but because of political pressure by militant homosexuals –

And because of weakness within the APA, itself. I learned over the weekend that part of the weakness was a large number of closet homosexuals within the APA, including the president-elect.

So. Is homosexuality or is it not a mental illness?

Frankly, given the history of civilizations in which same-sex activity is ubiquitous – and that means every civilization except the Judeo-Christian world – I’m not sure that diagnosis was quite honest. I find it hard to imagine cultural mental illnesses, national mental illnesses.

That does not mean that mental illness is excluded from the reality of homosexuality. Permit me to explain:

Psychiatry must be secularized, and as such it does not recognize the real issue behind homosexuality: that it is a very grave sin. What Catholics call a mortal sin.

Which means – if I may use this analogy – that homosexuality is like a bomb blast in the soul. Once one has yielded to the temptation and engaged in the act (and it is the act, not the temptation, which is a sin), then the damage is immediate and catastrophic, in the same sort of way that a bomb blast decimates a building or causes immediate and visible damage.

I observed in my ex-, and I’ve heard friends speak of their family members who’ve floated in and out of the lifestyle in the same way – that when he entered the lifestyle after we separated, his personality and character changed. He became more bitter, more sarcastic, more supercilious, haughtier. He became more insulting of me, of women in general, of his own mother (whom he’d not been very respectful of, before). An angry and defiant edge seemed to develop in him. He became deceitful, openly dishonest, and paranoid, and he even demonstrated an explosive temper that I’d not seen before.

In fact, I would go so far, based on basic observation, to suggest that in this case the egg (the orientation) definitely came first, and the chicken (the mental illness) followed.

I’ve heard parents, siblings, friends of homosexuals who’ve come out of the lifestyle off and on say that their loved ones underwent profound personality changes upon leaving and upon returning. “When he got out of that mess, he because like the son/brother/friend I’d always known. Then he fell back into it again, and all that ugliness came back, too.”

I believe that there are situations in which mental illness lurks in its potential, and that our life choices can control – to a greater or lesser extent, depending on the actual pathology involved – whether that illness develops or to what extent it does. I have come to the conclusion that choosing to be in the lifestyle opens doors for pathologies to develop and flourish that are suppressed when one is living in a wholesome and chaste environment.

In either case, one thing I think is certain: it is not in our best interests, as the straight ex-wife, to try to justify, excuse, or in any other way be complicit in our ex-spouses’ life choices. We can drown ourselves, that way. And we certainly cannot save them.