Health

We Asked a Celebrity Shrink: 'Does This Make Me Gay?'

March 18th 2016

By:
Danielle DeCourcey

The internet is full of questions about sexual orientation.

. "Does this make me gay?

Yahoo Answers, Quora, and Reddit all have discussion threads where a user has asked the complicated question “Does this make me Gay?” Many of them feature long testimonials of personal experiences followed by a multitude of comments and reactions. User comments might not be the best place for advice so ATTN: asked an expert. Dr. Greg Cason is a clinical psychologist in Los Angeles and a former star of the Bravo show “LA Shrinks."

You can watch the clip of his wedding to his partner Kevin below:


He explained that society wants to put clear labels on people but human beings don’t really work that way.

“Sexuality is so much more complicated then we want to make it,” Cason said. “In our world we want boy, girl and straight."

Cason said that many of his patients want some sort of confirmation of their sexuality. “They’re trying to match their feelings with their outside reality,” he said. Here are three common questions a psychologist hears about sexuality:

1. If I’m attracted to a person of the same sex occasionally am I gay?

Does this make me gay?

There are different degrees of heterosexuality and homosexuality. “Just because they have same-sex attraction does not mean they’re gay,” said Cason.

Alfred Kinsey, the namesake of the Kinsey Institute at Indiana University, and his colleagues created a scale in 1948 based on interviews with men and women about their sexual behavior. They asserted that no one is 100 percent gay or straight.

Kinsey Scale

The Kinsey team also found that sexual feelings toward the opposite sex or the same sex were not always the same over time. “People do have varying degrees of same-sex attraction,” said Cason. “We see that more in women than men. Men tend to have a more fixed attraction.”

2. If I’m attracted to a transgender person does that make me gay?

 My boyfriend used to be a girl. Does that make me gay?

The short answer is no. To explain this concept Cason gave a personal example. He attended an event in Houston to support the transgender community. The event had both transgender people and allies, friends and family who support the community. During the event he saw a man and said, “Oh my God. That’s the hottest guy I’ve ever seen.”

He found out later that the man identified as transgender and had transition from female to male.

“I don’t consider myself attracted to women, but in fact, that was genetically a woman,” he said. That incident did not make him straight.

Also Cason said that there are straight men who are attracted to transgender women specifically. “They are often guys who are very hyper-masculine, who identify strongly as ‘men’ and are not a part of the gay community at all,” he said.

3. If I’ve been sexually abused or assaulted by a person of the same sex does that make me gay?

Is it normal to feel gay tendencies after being raped (I am male)

No. Cason said that this is a question he hears often. “A lot of people will wonder that if they have been sexually abused would that ‘cause’ your sexuality,” he said. “Being sexually abused or raped does not equate to a change in sexuality.” Cason said that often a traumatic sexual assault can make victims confused about their identity but that doesn’t mean they are gay.

Although none of these things make you gay, they also doesn’t necessarily mean that you are not. Cason said the only person who can tell you whether you’re gay is you. “Look deep down inside and ask yourself who you are attracted to: men women or both?” he said.

Correction: A previous version of this article stated that the Kinsey Institute was located at the University of Indiana. This is incorrect and the Kinsey Institute is affiliated with Indiana University.

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