The Republican Senator Larry Craig insisting that he is “not gay” reminds me of some of the flawed thinking about these things that seems to be out there.
The polarization into either gay or heterosexual seems, even on the surface of it, pretty suspicious. Why should it be either/or? In most of these type of cases, it is more often both/and.
This polarization and either/or thinking seems to be a product of taking on an exclusive identity as one or the other. I see myself as either heterosexual or gay, so then filter myself, and my impulses and attractions and even my behavior, through that identity.
If there is an attraction or action that doesn’t quite fit with my conscious identity, I can always dismiss it as something else.
These attractions are not really what they seem to be, or they are, but I can’t be the one experiencing it, so it must be somebody else. My actions are not really an indication of my conscious identity being too narrow. And, to prove it to myself and others, I may reinforce my identity as “not gay” even more.
And finally, these identities in general do not take circumstances into account. They assume that there is something inherent in our personality that is always that way, independent of circumstances, which again is a dubious assumption. In the right situation, I would guess that any one of us can experience and act either way, even if it doesn’t match our conscious identity.
It seems that it makes more practical sense to see all of us as bisexual, and what comes up for us, and is lived in our lives, depends more on circumstances than anything else… such as culture, subculture, who is around, and more.