A photograph of Jamie Nettles

Jamie's Pages

Sexual and Gender Minorities


There are people in this world who prefer the other sex. There are people who prefer the same sex. There are people who feel comfortable with the gender of the body they were born in. There are people who feel they are really a different gender from the one you would think from looking at their body. What's the big deal? I think it's great! It makes life so much more interesting. If everybody was alike it would be so boring. I'm an engineer/scientist so let's start by naming things—

  • Female Homosexual or Lesbian. This is a gal who was born a female and likes to have sex with other females. Forget the stereotypes. Some lesbians are very feminine. Some are very masculine. Some are in between. Some are more dominant and some are less dominant and this does not necessarily line up with whether they are more masculine or more feminine. Every lesbian is a unique individual with her own special characteristics. As far as lesbian couples go, also forget the stereotypes. A lesbian couple might or might not consist of a lesbian with masculine tendancies and a lesbian with female tendancies. Other combinations are possible and likely.
  • Male Homosexual or Gay. This is a guy who was born a male and likes to have sex with other males. Just like with lesbians, you have very macho gays and very feminine gays and everything in between. Gay couples defy stereotypes just as much as lesbian couples.
  • Bisexual. This is someone of either sex who likes to have sex with people of either sex. Some people say we're all bisexual and it's just a matter of percentages—99/1, 90/10, 80/20, 50/50, etc.
  • Transvestite. Someone who like to dress in the clothes usually associated with the opposite sex. Today we generally reserve this term for someone who also prefers sex with someone of the opposite sex.
  • Transgender. Someone who feels they are actually not the gender you would expect from their physical sexual characteristics. MTF transgender would be male-to-female (a biological male feeling they are really a female). FTM would likewise be female-to-male. With transgenders we speak of transitioning—changing from their biological sex to their preferred sex. This may consist simply of dressing and acting like their preferred sex, to taking horomone supplements to take on some of the secondary physical characteristics of their preferred sex, to gender reassignment surgery. Note that transgenders may be hetero, gay, lesbian or bisexual. It's very complex.

I don't know why anyone should feel threatened by any of this.

  • Making Babies. We have plenty of babies. We don't get upset when married heterosexual couples don't have children.
  • Degeneracy. We have plenty of degenerate heterosexuals—murderers, rapists, child molesters, drug pushers. Why do we need to invent categories? There is no evidence that any of the sexual or gender minorities I've talked about are any more likely to commit crimes.
  • Marriage. Why should someone else's getting married threaten my marriage? I would think anyone who's afraid of gay marriage must not have a very strong marriage. Lighten up. If marriage is such a great thing then it seems to me more people, not fewer, should get married.
  • Unnatural. Airplanes, heart-bypass surgery, layer cakes. None of these things are natural, whether defined as existing during biblical times or during our evolutionary past. Actually, gay and lesbian activity is quite common in the animal kingdom. There are fish that change sex. So being a sexual minority as I've defined it is actually more "natural" than many other things in our society.

I think it's wonderful that people with different ways of thinking about themselves are beginning to express those differences openly. Of course in some places in the US being gay, lesbian, bisexual, transvestite or even transgender is no big deal. In other places any one of those would be met with hostility and fear. Especially transgender. Even many gays and lesbians look askance at transgenders. So we have a ways to go as a society.