National Commentary

Nick Benton’s Gay Science No. 33, This Week: Toward a Genuine Gay Morality, Part 2

The death at age 100 last week of renowned atomic physicist Maurice Goldhaber has helped to bring to light, through lengthy obituaries, his work in the discovery of a fundamental “left-handed” component to the elemental, sub-atomic structure of physical reality.

The death at age 100 last week of renowned atomic physicist Maurice Goldhaber has helped to bring to light, through lengthy obituaries, his work in the discovery of a fundamental “left-handed” component to the elemental, sub-atomic structure of physical reality.

This discovery about particles known as “neutrinos,” which according to the obituary by the New York Times’ Kenneth Chang, “violate mirror symmetry” of the universe, brought to light something “odd and unexpected” about physical space, contradicting Newton’s law of motion. An critical experiment by Goldhaber showed that, unlike the illustrative case of arrows whose rotation one way is, if reflected in a mirror, seen moving in an opposite rotation, neutrinos always rotate in one direction (counterclockwise) and never the other.

Already in over my head on this subject, I raise it claiming nothing other than to show there is evidence in physics of what I’ve contended about a lawful “dissymmetry” built into the fabric of a universe that, among other things, accounts for homosexuality.

“Dissymmetry” propels the universe’s motion away from a static equilibrium to “negentropic” development, and manifests itself in the human social sciences in lawfully “off beat” epiphenomena such as left-handedness, right-brain domination and homosexuality, among other things.

These are essential core components of the universe, not accidents, random deviations, corruptions or perversions. They are by-products of the universe’s essential drive to self-develop, the drive from which the human mind has evolved.

By a preponderant natural affinity towards more global perspectives and of artistic, poetic and other forms of the idealization of beauty and knowledge, those of us with an erotic passion that extends outside the process of species reproduction are essential to help drive the development of the individual, civilization, and therefore the universe, forward.

This is not to say these affinities are exclusive to homosexuals, but that such qualities can be found more naturally and acutely among those who find themselves not driven to species reproduction but instead to prefer love of the species, itself. Thus, homosexuals.

Granted, the leap from “lefthanded” neutrinos in sub-atomic physics to homosexuals in social science may seem great, wild and preposterous. But there is definitely something to it.

As such, in the discussion of a new “genuine morality” for homosexuals, I contend that it has been there all along, and remnants of recorded history show it has always been contained in the Platonic concept of focusing passionate and erotic same-sex attraction toward the elevation of the character, soul and talents of the beloved.

There has been a tension existing all along between the impulse to short-circuit erotic love in the pursuit of instant sexual gratification and the passionately-driven cultivation of love for the beloved.

After Plato, after the myth of Ganymede, that tension appears in the Old and New Testaments, and in St. Augustine’s Confessions, in Dante’s Divine Comedy, in Shakespeare’s plays and sonnets. In more modern times, it is seen in the struggles over relationships, including those of Oscar Wilde with Bosie in his The Picture of Dorian Gray and De Profundis, of Tennessee Williams in his striving to maintain his creative sensibilities, in the 1968 play/movie The Boys in the Band and in the diaries of writer Christopher Isherwood that informed the 2007 film documentary, Chris and Don, a Love Story, chronicling the decades-long relationship between Isherwood and his young companion, my friend Don Bachardy, among many more.

Indeed, wrestling with that tension all throughout history has been at the core of a homosexual “genuine morality” experienced in ways more acute and painful than for those of the dominant heterosexual culture: It occurred, almost exclusively, in isolation and dread, and without solid social guidelines and reinforcements, burdening the homosexual with an overwhelming level of personal responsibility for his or her behaviors.

Perceived shortcomings under such conditions accounted for a lot of self-loathing among homosexuals, more than the orientation, itself. No wonder so many sought closeted refuge in institutions like the church, in heterosexual marriage, and eventually for a tiny few, in small urban gay communities. There, such struggles could be shared with other gays with a modicum of empathy, companionship and courageous humor.

With the Stonewall revolution, the opportunity arose for homosexuals for the first time ever to experience the salutary effects of a personal self-integration, an end to double lives and lonely struggles with uncontrollable obsessions. However, it did not end the challenge of a genuine homosexual morality. Instead, it opened it up to infinite new possibilities for self and social fulfillment.

But the revolution was quickly hijacked by radical hedonists, crawling out of the dregs of a reactionary, socially-engineered “counterculture,” who insisted the enemy of the revolution was morality, itself. Restraint was condemned, as was anything but a relentless extraction of pleasure from as many anonymous sexual objects as stamina permitted.

They won the day. Thus, they won us the sexual excesses of the 1970s and AIDS. Their worldview still dominates the gay community.

To be continued.