Letter: From gay to straight

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The Independent Online
Letter: From gay to straight

VANESSA THORPE mistakes the reaction from gay men and lesbians towards individuals who come out backwards ("Glad not to be gay", 3 March). Our feelings are usually of despair, not with the person but with what will be made of it by bigots. It is another weapon in their arsenal and they use it to try and prove that sexual orientation can be changed, that homosexuality is an illness, or a sin or a choice.

What usually happens is that individuals find themselves able to respond differently to people of the opposite sex - sometimes overnight. This may be because they have been through a personal crisis such as coming to terms with grief and loss. Another section of their sexuality has been revealed, not created!

Having already accepted a labelling system they then find it impossible to manage anything other than a gay/straight dichotomy and immediately re-label themselves as straight. It's very hard to manage ambivalent feelings and easier to accept one of them and go with it. The strength of denial about their homosexuality becomes just as strong as their previous denial about their heterosexual feelings.

TONY KONRATH

London EC1

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