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Monthly Archives: April 2014

“Young, gay, and trying too hard”

As mentioned in my article “The psychology behind overachieving gays” – I was asked to do a follow-up article and elaborate more on some lines in the article.

So here it goes …

Research proposes not only do gay men tend to be more likely to be overachievers in school, but that there was a positive connection between how much they felt like they had to hide their sexuality and how well they did in school and extramural activities, and how much they based their self-worth on things like “academics,” “appearance” and “competition.”

Does this sound familiar?

In addition, young men who have been hiding their sexual identity for longer tend to be more invested in these ‘material’ things, as do those who live in areas where the stigma is more extreme.

Moreover, seeking self-actualization through measurable accomplishments rather than through interpersonal relationships is very segregating, and it can lead to bad behaviors — consequently found that over-investment in personal appearance led to problematic eating and too intense of a focus on academics and competition.

By typing this article I feel more closer to discovering my ‘workaholic’ tendencies. Am I the only one that feels by telling homophobes: ‘By judging me makes me work harder’.

And here is another thought-provoking question for you: are you just looking for validation?

My reason for asking this question is that gay men often suffer from a shortage in the validation department. When you don’t get enough of something as a kid you can be hungry for it for a very long time. Meaning, you seek validation in ‘material’ things like “academics, appearance and competition”.

Healing comes from building the muscle of self-validation. Trust in yourself alone and embrace the flaws and faults of the past. So stop pleasing your family and friends; start pleasing yourself with self-validation.

Hence by overachieving you might lose yourself in the rut of owning the moment and pushing people away is not beneficial to your goals in any case. Who is going to praise you for achieving success if you push people away?

I know being gay is hard, the lifestyle is superficial at times and not everyone around you wants the see you happy, but just know that healing comes with time; and that you are fabulous.

And that’s all from the overachieving gay.

Article published in The Pink Tongue August 2014

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“I thought gay people were all successful overachievers.” – Glee (Season 4)

Hi my name is Kenji, 27, and I am an overachiever. I think I have always been.

As I sit down to write this article I look back at my achievements over the years. Bought property at age 24, have a career and working towards my dream … and yet I am alone.

For me I believe it stems from something else.  Like many gay men, I seem to have an inherent need to really achieve. I’m sure that a psychiatrist would trace it to a subconscious yearning to feel a level of self-worth or something. I believed the only thing I had going for me was what I did.  I thought if I pushed myself hard enough, if I produced — and, not only if I produced, but if I produced perfection–people would notice me and my accomplishments. Thus, I believe that my self-esteem is low.

Being judged based on my sexuality made me ambitious but it’s also a positive desire not to allow such prejudice to affect me, to break through certain obstacles, to push myself to be a living impediment to homophobic prejudice.

Is there something about the psychology of being gay that makes people overachievers?

I’ve been hiding behind the career and the achievements. It finally caught up to me. Eventually, I understood what I’m doing.

At the end of the day, I saw that by pushing myself [and pushing people away from me] to achieve even more and even better — because I can’t face the truth of who I am, because the need to run away from myself is endless — won’t help me deal with the pain inside, the pain of being something I hate, the pain of being something I believe everyone else hates, too.

John Pachankis, a Professor of Psychology at Yeshiva University did a case study that found gay men were more prone to be overachievers than their straight counterparts.

“Several well executed studies show that gay men’s self-esteem actually isn’t any lower than straight men’s self esteem,” Pachankis said. “Although that was puzzling, we suspected that it may be a clue that gay men are engaging in an adaptive strategy to protect their self-worth.”

So the reason for this article is to set myself free from striving for perfection because nothing and no one is perfect.

Article published in The Pink Tongue August 2014

Everyone has a sexual orientation and a gender identity.

When someone’s sexual orientation or gender identity does not conform to the majority, they are often seen as a valid target for discernment or abuse.

Sexual orientation covers sexual desires, feelings, practices and identification. Sexual orientation can be towards people of the same or different sexes.

Gender identity refers to the compound relationship between sex and gender referring to a person’s experience of self-expression in relation to social categories of masculinity or femininity (gender). A person’s subjectively felt gender identity may be at variance with their sex or physiological characteristics.

Each of us has a biological sex — whether we are female or male [or intersex].

Our gender is our social and legal status as men or women. And sexual orientation is the term used to label whether a person feels sexual desire for people of the other gender, same gender, or both genders.

I am homosexual and I don’t identify myself as female. Whereas, I know of people whom identify themselves as female, cross dress and is living that life (not to be mistaken for drag queens).

Coming to terms with your sexual orientation or/ and gender identity is hard [I know] but with support from your loved ones and educating them about what you’re going through will be beneficial in the long run.

So there’s a difference between Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity.

How do you identify yourself despite your sexual orientation?

Article published in The Pink Tongue October 2014

If you saw a black/coloured or black/white couple in public or at the club or any where what would you think?

I have asked a lot of homosexuals if they support gay interracial couples and most of them said “yes but, wouldn’t date a black guy because of the negative stereotypes that are held against them”.

For me it’s just racist in some way. I know we all have preferences but just because dating a guy based on skin colour makes me confused.

It’s seldom that you see a happy gay interracial couple without the judgment of “he is just there because of the money” etc. which in some cases are NOT true.

I know of only a few interracial couples and from what I see they are happy despite what the ‘world’ has to say.

In today’s society, being gay is frowned upon already, and yet there’s prejudice within the small gay community (I hate that phrase). So why don’t we support each other?

The gay world is no different from the straight world in certain regards.

By dating based solely on something as illogical as race, I think we shoot ourselves in the foot.

Researchers have found that interracial couples report lower levels of relationship support from their social networks (family, friends) than same-race couples. Similarly, same-sex couples report lower levels of relationship support than heterosexual couples.

Being South African, a lot will say something about “cultural” differences. Is that the only reason? Or are you just narrow-minded?

Nonetheless, homosexual interracial/ inter-cultural relationships will always be prejudiced unless we change the race games that has been played for years.

What’s the point of writing this article if I only include what I want to say? My response is: I won’t go into detail on some racial remarks because I’m not racist. And for narrow-minded comments made when I asked advice on this touchy issue.

I was told ‘reviewing something said doesn’t make you the people who said it’. So let me be frank, there isn’t exposure of what is actually said but rather a coat of what is being said. I understand maybe certain comments might hurt you that you wouldn’t want to relive again.

So if you are in an interracial/ inter-cultural relationship, good for you; but don’t let any negative remarks drain what you feel is right.