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 Topic: Thought provoking.

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Joined: 15 Jul 2010
Posts: 4
Interests: Literature & the arts
Physical Location: Carrboro, NC

Posted: 3 Aug 2010, 11:29 pm    Post subject: Thought provoking. Reply with quote

I've been reading the first volume of Susan Sontag's journals (titled Reborn) and came across this open-ended question which she asked herself in the early 1950s:

"How much of homosexuality is narcissism?"

Any reactions?

Oh and let me just say for those reading this that may not know about Ms. Sontag, she was a life long lesbian (although she was briefly married to a man & had heterosexual flings), a writer and a political activist.
Eron Tomas
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Joined: 15 Sep 2005
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Interests: reading, writing, poetry, transgender issues, gospel, veteran's issues,jazz,education,religion,literature,Native-American and African culture,lighthouses,trails,castles,tractor trailers, playwriting, biograhies, electronics, bass guitar
Physical Location: new york

Posted: 4 Aug 2010, 8:58 am    Post subject: Still On a Journey Reply with quote

I can honestly say that I've never been narcissistic. I knew that I was different all my life and needed to know why. When I discovered that I was a cross dresser it opened up a new world for me. As I continued on my journey I realized that my feelings ran much deeper than clothing and entertainment.

Last year I declared myself a transgenderist, feeling equally comfortable as masculine and feminine. Lately, I have had feeling that maybe I'm transsexual. I'm not going to have the surgery or take hormones because it isn't what I want or desire. I'm let all the emotions settle before I take the next step.

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Joined: 27 Sep 2006
Posts: 79
Interests: gay history

Posted: 4 Aug 2010, 11:31 am    Post subject: Re: Thought provoking. Reply with quote

There is an interesting entry on Sontag here in the literature department.

I am very suspicious of any particular psychological diagnoses or generalizations about homosexuality, including those by Freud and others.

One of the great breakthroughs in the struggle against labeling gay men and lesbians as mentally ill was an experiment by Dr. Evelyn Hooker in the 1960s. She assembled Rohrshach tests and other material by both gay men and heterosexual men. Supposedly, psychologists would have been able easily to distinguish the two simply by studying this material. As it turned out, however, they were not able to do so.

On the basis of tests like this and other work, Dr. Hooker concluded that homosexuals in the general population (as opposed to those in mental asylums, which previously had been used to make generalizations about gay people) were as varied psychologically as heterosexual people. These findings contributed greatly to professional groups like the American Psychological Association deciding that homosexuality could not be considered a mental illness.
"How much of homosexuality is narcissism?"

So, no, I don't think homosexuality has anything to do with narcissism, though, of course, many gay men and lesbians, like many heterosexual men and women, are narcissists.
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Joined: 11 Oct 2009
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Interests: Anything and everything an average young adult enjoys. =D
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Posted: 5 Aug 2010, 12:34 am    Post subject: Susan Sontag Reply with quote

The idea that homosexuality is based, or even partly based, on narcissism is intriguing. It is true that in order to love another you must first love yourself. If one were to love one's self to the fullest, they would love not only their personality but their body. In loving that body, they would admire others with bodies like their own. This admiration drawing them to the same sex. Much like homosexuality.

This idea is very intriguing indeed.

Though you must ask yourself, what about the bisexuals and transgenders. This is, after all, glBTq. The idea of narcissism being a cause for homosexuality is neat but it only holds weight for the GLQ part of the sight, and most people lump the whole lot of us in with homosexuality.
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