But while exploring this (and, as I mentioned,
helping me master the urge) none of my therapists exposed
to me the simple, blinding underlying truth that in a
-society which condemns homosexuality and hence
.forces it to be secret, the homosexual will wish to break
out of secrecy by telling someone-and hence that what
needed to be explored was not my urge to confide, but
the question why I confided rather than making sexual
advances, or seeking gay society where I could find com–
pany and sex with less risk. That this was the real ques–
tion I had to figure out myself, at 28.
Similarly, my therapists spent much time trying to
discover why my relationships with straight friends
were so passionate-rather than asking me why I
formed these passionate relationships
Similarly, after the homosexual affair which lost me
my teaching job-a very warm relationship which has
continued, intermittently, to this day-1 brought to
my next therapist the datum that while in bed with my
lover, I felt completely harmonious and "natural," not
"sick" at all and not even guilty.
Although this contradicted the very basis of the
feeling which led me to psychotherapy, my therapist
never took the initiative in exploring the contradiction.
It was left to me-because of this and because of other
factors-to begin wondering exactly how sick I would
feel if there were no stigma attached to being gay.
The failure to ask such questions might be thought
to result from the "non-directive" quality which is
supposed to characterize psychotherapy. But elsewhere,
"directive." Very late, actually
while I was "coming out" through Gay Liberation, I had
a sexual affair with a woman (also a warm one, inter–
rupted only by ,circumstances). To this my therapist's
response was positive: with a little smile, "Well-1
has 'come out.' "
The therapist's cues revealed clearly enough the
idea of a repressed heterosexuality which
"brought out," and though Freudian theory assumes
an inborn bisexuality (an assumption I don't share, not
particular form of sexuality as inborn),
this theory assumes that repressed homosexuality
be brought out, but should be sublimated.
Thus psychotherapy, in my case, was directive indeed.
Rather than from "non-direction," the omissions
of my therapists seem to me now, to have resulted from
their own assumption that I was, by definition, sick–
that homosexuality (but not heterosexuality) is a path–
ology . It did not occur to them to question my own
identical Preconception O••estions which might have
been suggested by a skentical view
this point never
occurred to tnen •.
And so the therapists failed to help me understand
my situation-to overcome my own lack of under–
standing. Even from a viewpoint assuming homosexuality
to be a pathology, I would think, it would remain
that my urge to self-revelation was related
isolation as a homosexual, and was self–
preservative, although neurotically so-that what was
self-destructive was my confiding in the wrong people.
But my therapists never helped me to understand
this. To have done so would probably have "directed"
me toward gay life. And, if I hadn't already been
moving away from psychotherapy, after my heterosexual
affair (if it had occurred at all) my therapist
would have encouraged me to mull over that
experience, to try to cultivate my heterosexual
impulse... and to waste another
years on top of
I had wasted already.
The therapists' theory made them incapable of view–
ing my situation as I now would view it. If I understand
it, their view was that the conflicts in mv mind about