New here with question on Gay

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Ardha
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New here with question on Gay

Post by Ardha »

Hi there, apologies for the title but I wanted to put in the core parts of this.

New on here but not exactly new to Buddhism. To be honest I don't know too much about it. I began reading it by chance to learn about religions of the world so I could understand people better and the stuff there shocked me, and it was hard to let it go. It felt like everything I was doing in life was wrong.

Over the next 10 years I caught brief stuff about it dealing with ego, death, sex, depression, identity, etc (even one weird person saying Buddhism's teachings of "all is one" align with solipsism, though a user there clarified that all being one is not solipsism and only speaks to the true nature of things). I haven't had any complete training per se, just random readings and no context or knowing how this fits into daily life, which in hindsight I can see being quite damaging after all. All in all it's been a net negative on my life, though that's likely my error. I can't really look at Buddhism these days without fresh trauma bubbling up from all the things I read, guess going it alone does not work at all.

So I wanted to get to the gay part. Needless to say I am gay and struggle with it. The self hatred and internalized homophobia are things I can clearly see right now, but a few years back I was looking for reasons to rationalize it, to justify being gay as being lesser or subhuman. I was wondering what Buddhism said or how it could help and I got a bunch of mixed replies. One called it a disease and others mentioned compassion to yourself so you can heal from all the damage of the homophobia. I'm at a point in my life where I am tired of feeling like this, tired of "apologizing" for being gay and wanting to move past this and heal. Can this help with that?
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Johnny Dangerous
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Re: New here with question on Gay

Post by Johnny Dangerous »

Generally speaking, aside from specific cultural preferences, Buddhism has very little to say on homosexuality. There are places where technically gay sex acts are "sexual misconduct", but if people looked at the same rules, they'd also see plenty of heterosexual sex acts also fall into the same category. It is nothing like the concept of "sin" though.

In it's healthier manifestations Buddhism simply isn't terribly concerned with people's sex lives beyond advocating that they not become a form of unhealthy attachment, abuse etc.

There are of course cultural prejudices from various cultures in which Buddhist forms has developed, and some people will claim that these are very important, I don't buy their arguments. Compared to the abrahamic religions, there is simply much less concern about this kind of thing in terms of writings, commentaries, etc.

So, there you have it. Generally, Buddhism is about as gay-friendly as you can get for a worldwide religion, but people are people, and plenty have narrow minds. Western Buddhists as a whole are quite liberal, and pretty accepting. Buddhists from other cultures vary, usually approaching homosexuality and related issues just based on what their culture teaches.
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Kim O'Hara
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Re: New here with question on Gay

Post by Kim O'Hara »

:good:

:namaste:
Kim
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Dan74
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Re: New here with question on Gay

Post by Dan74 »

Ardha wrote: Wed Jan 06, 2021 5:35 am Hi there, apologies for the title but I wanted to put in the core parts of this.

New on here but not exactly new to Buddhism. To be honest I don't know too much about it. I began reading it by chance to learn about religions of the world so I could understand people better and the stuff there shocked me, and it was hard to let it go. It felt like everything I was doing in life was wrong.

Over the next 10 years I caught brief stuff about it dealing with ego, death, sex, depression, identity, etc (even one weird person saying Buddhism's teachings of "all is one" align with solipsism, though a user there clarified that all being one is not solipsism and only speaks to the true nature of things). I haven't had any complete training per se, just random readings and no context or knowing how this fits into daily life, which in hindsight I can see being quite damaging after all. All in all it's been a net negative on my life, though that's likely my error. I can't really look at Buddhism these days without fresh trauma bubbling up from all the things I read, guess going it alone does not work at all.

So I wanted to get to the gay part. Needless to say I am gay and struggle with it. The self hatred and internalized homophobia are things I can clearly see right now, but a few years back I was looking for reasons to rationalize it, to justify being gay as being lesser or subhuman. I was wondering what Buddhism said or how it could help and I got a bunch of mixed replies. One called it a disease and others mentioned compassion to yourself so you can heal from all the damage of the homophobia. I'm at a point in my life where I am tired of feeling like this, tired of "apologizing" for being gay and wanting to move past this and heal. Can this help with that?
Hi Ardha :hi:

My sense is that people nowadays have a great deal of self-loathing and being gay is just one extra thing to pin it on. Chances are the self-loathing you experience is not radically different to that experienced by many straight people as well, but perhaps it is exacerbated by belong to a minority that has been treated horribly and maligned in all sorts of ways.

The 2c worth of advice I would give, coming also from my struggles with such issues, is

1. Focus on the positive role models. There's certainly not been a shortage of amazing gay people in whatever field you especially respect.
2. Take care of how you do things and live your life. Buddhism teaches that human life is a precious opportunity. Just this little teaching can effect incredible changes in our life, in we truly take it onboard. Even little things, like how we get up in the morning, make the bed, go for a jog or get some fresh air instead of hopping onto the brain-rotting device. How we prepare our food and eat it. With care and respect. That's what makes it possible to them treat other people and the environment with similar care and respect.
2. Take practical steps to bring more satisfying things into your life. I mean doing stuff which builds a sense of self-worth. Grounding things, from simple stuff like gardening or building something, to volunteering. Reaching out to the world around you and making the best contribution you can.

Good luck with it all!

_/|\_
Ardha
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Re: New here with question on Gay

Post by Ardha »

My brain has a habit of turning such things into the negatives:

Gardening: manipulation of nature
Building: not really making anything new at all
Volunteering: you are part of the problem, a band aid and really only making things worse

You get the idea.

Same with role models, they never worked for me. Each one just made me angry inside every single time. Instead of helping me out I saw it as normalizing something degenerate. "I will never be like them EVER" I would tell myself. The minute someone comes out as gay my opinion of them drops to group zero and they become a lesser creature.

Recognizing such hate does little to solve it though so I've been trying to find a therapist.
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Dan74
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Re: New here with question on Gay

Post by Dan74 »

Ardha wrote: Wed Jan 06, 2021 8:54 am My brain has a habit of turning such things into the negatives:

Gardening: manipulation of nature
Building: not really making anything new at all
Volunteering: you are part of the problem, a band aid and really only making things worse

You get the idea.

Same with role models, they never worked for me. Each one just made me angry inside every single time. Instead of helping me out I saw it as normalizing something degenerate. "I will never be like them EVER" I would tell myself. The minute someone comes out as gay my opinion of them drops to group zero and they become a lesser creature.

Recognizing such hate does little to solve it though so I've been trying to find a therapist.
A good therapist can be really helpful.

Seeing the negative in everything could stems from some very deep disappointment or hurt. Perhaps there is something to address there.

There is an aspect of life that is open and naïve, able to truly take things in and marvel at them. You might be tempted to call that "idiotic" but the cynical mind is a defence, because that part got badly hurt and does not want to be hurt like that again.

In any case, we all need to do some work and it's a blessing to recognise that there is a wound that needs to be tended.
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Re: New here with question on Gay

Post by Könchok Chödrak »

Buddhism can help you grow greatly as a person. I know many, many great Buddhists that are gay and those that respect being gay are all over the Buddhist world. Be gay, it's Wonderful. There is an aspect to some Buddhist life where certain people decide to be celibate, say, to dawn monk's or nun's robes, and in that sense many Buddhists decide to lessen their romantic involvements, sometimes to complete nil in deep meditation on Emptiness and Nibbana. But you can meditate on Emptiness and Nibbana just as much celibate as you can as a householder with a significant other who is gay, Mahayana generally accepts that Laypeople can be just as advanced as monks or nuns can be Spiritually, and that Buddhahood is possible for everyone no matter what, is the consensus of the intelligent Buddhist. Enlightenment is for all.

Love yourself, you are beautiful, worthy of Enlightenment and worthy of the deepest and Highest goals, which you will achieve. Whatever you've wanted to do in life that was of True Love, you will succeed at doing, and I urge you to take up the Vajra of the Dharma, find the things in Buddhism that have interested you, things you have wanted to find the truth about, because Buddhism is a full Way to the top of the Mountain, and once you're there you will meet who you are.

Namo Buddhaya!

Om.

:buddha2:
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Re: New here with question on Gay

Post by Malcolm »

Ardha wrote: Wed Jan 06, 2021 5:35 am. I'm at a point in my life where I am tired of feeling like this, tired of "apologizing" for being gay and wanting to move past this and heal. Can this help with that?
Be happy that you are gay. It’s not a choice. According to Tibetan medicine, it’s just biology.

Have some compassion for yourself, and how you’ve been conditioned to regard yourself with disregard and hatred.

Therapy might help, but extending love to yourself will work wonders.
"Nonduality is merely a name;
that name does not exist."
—Kotalipa
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Könchok Thrinley
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Re: New here with question on Gay

Post by Könchok Thrinley »

Hey Ardha!

I am so sorry to hear about your struggle. As a "gay buddhist" I have the following things to say on the topic. Johnny really made a great overall overview of how Buddhism works in this aspect. You will meet homophobes, homophobic stances everywhere. They are present even in LGBTQ+ community, so ofc some buddhists will say a lot of stuff. The main thing is that Buddhism by itself, does not really care. Yes, sometimes anal sex is seen as "harmful" but so is oral sex, masturbation and it is never specified that it is "bad" just for gays. Nope, everybody should stay away from it. But those are some comentaries that came about in a specific point in time and at certain place. So I do not take them too seriously. The main point is to not hurt others and YOURSELF.

I think, that maybe working with a therapist could be a good idea. However, as a buddhist "tool" I would suggest is a simple metta meditation. Start with yourself, develop loving kindness to yourself, change the pattern in which you think. In reality there is nothing bad about being gay. Yes, some people have "problem" with it, but some people also have problem with what team others are fans of, or what music they listen to. People are mostly silly. Important is to realize that you deserve happiness and its causes just how you are.

So here are my 2cents, hope it makes you feel a little bit better. It takes courage to come out, even to yourself, so please do not lose the courage and apply it to be loving towards yourself and everybody else.
“Observing samaya involves to remain inseparable from the union of wisdom and compassion at all times, to sustain mindfulness, and to put into practice the guru’s instructions”. Garchen Rinpoche

Formerly known as Miroku.
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PadmaVonSamba
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Re: New here with question on Gay

Post by PadmaVonSamba »

Drop the Labels,
Drop the expectations,
You are you, not a category.
Are you gay when you bump your knee?
or when you order a pizza?
Being attracted to others, male or female,
is all the same in Buddhism.
Just be gay or not as the moment dictates.
EMPTIFUL.
An inward outlook develops outward insight.
Ardha
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Re: New here with question on Gay

Post by Ardha »

Könchok Thrinley wrote: Wed Jan 06, 2021 12:05 pm Hey Ardha!

I am so sorry to hear about your struggle. As a "gay buddhist" I have the following things to say on the topic. Johnny really made a great overall overview of how Buddhism works in this aspect. You will meet homophobes, homophobic stances everywhere. They are present even in LGBTQ+ community, so ofc some buddhists will say a lot of stuff. The main thing is that Buddhism by itself, does not really care. Yes, sometimes anal sex is seen as "harmful" but so is oral sex, masturbation and it is never specified that it is "bad" just for gays. Nope, everybody should stay away from it. But those are some comentaries that came about in a specific point in time and at certain place. So I do not take them too seriously. The main point is to not hurt others and YOURSELF.

I think, that maybe working with a therapist could be a good idea. However, as a buddhist "tool" I would suggest is a simple metta meditation. Start with yourself, develop loving kindness to yourself, change the pattern in which you think. In reality there is nothing bad about being gay. Yes, some people have "problem" with it, but some people also have problem with what team others are fans of, or what music they listen to. People are mostly silly. Important is to realize that you deserve happiness and its causes just how you are.

So here are my 2cents, hope it makes you feel a little bit better. It takes courage to come out, even to yourself, so please do not lose the courage and apply it to be loving towards yourself and everybody else.
I grasp all of this on a mental level as being the "right answers" for the topic.

The problem I have is that the hatred feels right. That gay being bad and degenerate and lesser is just a fact of life and these people deserve what they get. It's honestly a little bit shocking to see that and I know I "should" feel bad. But such thoughts feel more right than anything else.

But I guess that I am sharing this must mean I do want help though.
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Brunelleschi
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Re: New here with question on Gay

Post by Brunelleschi »

Könchok Thrinley wrote: Wed Jan 06, 2021 12:05 pm But those are some comentaries that came about in a specific point in time and at certain place. So I do not take them too seriously.
I'm not really a fan of these types of argument. This is true for basically every single commentary? :juggling:

Other that, no problem with your post. Sounds like good advice.
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Könchok Thrinley
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Re: New here with question on Gay

Post by Könchok Thrinley »

Brunelleschi wrote: Wed Jan 06, 2021 9:45 pm
Könchok Thrinley wrote: Wed Jan 06, 2021 12:05 pm But those are some comentaries that came about in a specific point in time and at certain place. So I do not take them too seriously.
I'm not really a fan of these types of argument. This is true for basically every single commentary? :juggling:

Other that, no problem with your post. Sounds like good advice.
Understandable, but I mean I do not hear many modern lamas (at least not the ones I follow) to really care about what we do with our genitalia. I remember Malcolm even saying he heard HH Dudjom Rinpoche say that "hole is a hole".

I personally do not see any sort of logical reason why such deeds would be worse than sexual activity to procreate.
“Observing samaya involves to remain inseparable from the union of wisdom and compassion at all times, to sustain mindfulness, and to put into practice the guru’s instructions”. Garchen Rinpoche

Formerly known as Miroku.
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Könchok Thrinley
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Re: New here with question on Gay

Post by Könchok Thrinley »

Ardha wrote: Wed Jan 06, 2021 9:37 pm I grasp all of this on a mental level as being the "right answers" for the topic.

The problem I have is that the hatred feels right. That gay being bad and degenerate and lesser is just a fact of life and these people deserve what they get. It's honestly a little bit shocking to see that and I know I "should" feel bad. But such thoughts feel more right than anything else.

But I guess that I am sharing this must mean I do want help though.
Yes, ofc, you are used to seeing things this way that is normal. I was there too, but I am bit more spineless and once I found out I am like this I quickly changed my opinions to suit my situation. :lol: But do they really "deserve" it? Don't they just want happiness in the same way straight people want it? You might enjoy a book called "Velvet Rage". I saw an interesting review on youtube about the book. You might find it useful.

But like with everything, I am afraid there are no quick fixes. As my friend once told me "there is no shortcut be it dharma or worldly life" and you might have a long way to go. Maybe posting here about it is the first right step. I am sure you can do it and find peace with yourself and with quite a significant portion of humanity.

Now that you "grasp it", you might want to try and apply it. One small step every day. And if it is hard, then get a therapist to lead you and help you. Sometimes, it is needed.
“Observing samaya involves to remain inseparable from the union of wisdom and compassion at all times, to sustain mindfulness, and to put into practice the guru’s instructions”. Garchen Rinpoche

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Brunelleschi
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Re: New here with question on Gay

Post by Brunelleschi »

Könchok Thrinley wrote: Wed Jan 06, 2021 9:53 pmUnderstandable, but I mean I do not hear many modern lamas (at least not the ones I follow) to really care about what we do with our genitalia. I remember Malcolm even saying he heard HH Dudjom Rinpoche say that "hole is a hole".

I personally do not see any sort of logical reason why such deeds would be worse than sexual activity to procreate.
Personally, I don't really care what someone else is doing. I abstain from oral and anal sex - everyone else is free to do as they choose. As far as homosexuality goes - if you're gay you're gay. Whatever. Love yourself.

As far as logic goes - you can't really prove any of this stuff right? There's not a single mainstream scientific journal that accepts the notion of rebirth, karma or "mind". So, ultimately I feel you just have to trust the Buddhas and your teacher.
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Re: New here with question on Gay

Post by Johnny Dangerous »

Könchok Thrinley wrote: Wed Jan 06, 2021 9:53 pm
Brunelleschi wrote: Wed Jan 06, 2021 9:45 pm
Könchok Thrinley wrote: Wed Jan 06, 2021 12:05 pm But those are some comentaries that came about in a specific point in time and at certain place. So I do not take them too seriously.
I'm not really a fan of these types of argument. This is true for basically every single commentary? :juggling:

Other that, no problem with your post. Sounds like good advice.
Understandable, but I mean I do not hear many modern lamas (at least not the ones I follow) to really care about what we do with our genitalia. I remember Malcolm even saying he heard HH Dudjom Rinpoche say that "hole is a hole".

I personally do not see any sort of logical reason why such deeds would be worse than sexual activity to procreate.
The first time I read about Drombos it kind of sewed up what I needed to know about Tibetan monastic culture and sex, lol. Namely, that I am just not sure they are the authorities on "sexual misconduct" when such workarounds exist...so to speak.
"...if you think about how many hours, months and years of your life you've spent looking at things, being fascinated by things that have now passed away, then how wonderful to spend even five minutes looking into the nature of your own mind."

-James Low
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Könchok Thrinley
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Re: New here with question on Gay

Post by Könchok Thrinley »

Brunelleschi wrote: Wed Jan 06, 2021 10:43 pm
Könchok Thrinley wrote: Wed Jan 06, 2021 9:53 pmUnderstandable, but I mean I do not hear many modern lamas (at least not the ones I follow) to really care about what we do with our genitalia. I remember Malcolm even saying he heard HH Dudjom Rinpoche say that "hole is a hole".

I personally do not see any sort of logical reason why such deeds would be worse than sexual activity to procreate.
Personally, I don't really care what someone else is doing. I abstain from oral and anal sex - everyone else is free to do as they choose. As far as homosexuality goes - if you're gay you're gay. Whatever. Love yourself.

As far as logic goes - you can't really prove any of this stuff right? There's not a single mainstream scientific journal that accepts the notion of rebirth, karma or "mind". So, ultimately I feel you just have to trust the Buddhas and your teacher.
Yes, definitely. This is for a bigger discussion, really. But you are definitely having a point. My counter argument would be that really unlike karma and rebirth these details do not go to back Buddha himself and are found within rules where some certain level of logic and general understanding of cultural norms can be applied.
“Observing samaya involves to remain inseparable from the union of wisdom and compassion at all times, to sustain mindfulness, and to put into practice the guru’s instructions”. Garchen Rinpoche

Formerly known as Miroku.
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Könchok Thrinley
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Re: New here with question on Gay

Post by Könchok Thrinley »

Johnny Dangerous wrote: Wed Jan 06, 2021 11:04 pm
Könchok Thrinley wrote: Wed Jan 06, 2021 9:53 pm
Brunelleschi wrote: Wed Jan 06, 2021 9:45 pm
I'm not really a fan of these types of argument. This is true for basically every single commentary? :juggling:

Other that, no problem with your post. Sounds like good advice.
Understandable, but I mean I do not hear many modern lamas (at least not the ones I follow) to really care about what we do with our genitalia. I remember Malcolm even saying he heard HH Dudjom Rinpoche say that "hole is a hole".

I personally do not see any sort of logical reason why such deeds would be worse than sexual activity to procreate.
The first time I read about Drombos it kind of sewed up what I needed to know about Tibetan monastic culture and sex, lol. Namely, that I am just not sure they are the authorities on "sexual misconduct" when such workarounds exist...so to speak.
Yeah, kind of the same for me.
“Observing samaya involves to remain inseparable from the union of wisdom and compassion at all times, to sustain mindfulness, and to put into practice the guru’s instructions”. Garchen Rinpoche

Formerly known as Miroku.
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Re: New here with question on Gay

Post by Caoimhghín »

Ardha wrote: Wed Jan 06, 2021 9:37 pmThe problem I have is that the hatred feels right.
Why, especially as a Buddhist? There are despicable people in society that the Buddha does not say it is "right" to hate.

Low self-esteem and/or self-hate always wants to justify itself. I grew up with an abusive alcoholic father and a very nice but do-nothing-about-it mother. My sister messed herself up with drug-induced psychosis in her teens. I did a lot of extremely risky sexual behavior in my teens, figuring it was inevitable that I would end up a dirty gross homeless dick-sucking addict anyways. But this is actually your abuser talking. Maybe your abuser was not a person, maybe your abuser is yourself, but either way don't take abusers' advice concerning you, what you deserve, and what you are capable of. The metaphorical little voice that says "You creep" is an abuser who lives in your head. You can evict him.
Then, the monks sang this gāthā:

These bodies are like foam.
Them being frail, who can rejoice in them?
The Buddha attained the vajra-body.
Still, it becomes inconstant and rots.
The many Buddhas are vajra-entities.
All are also subject to inconstancy.
Quickly ended, like melting snow --
how could things be different?

The Buddha passed into parinirvāṇa afterward.
(T1.27b10 Mahāparinirvāṇasūtra DĀ 2)
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Re: New here with question on Gay

Post by Könchok Thrinley »

:good: :hug:
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Formerly known as Miroku.
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