We are all diverse, it is what makes us beautiful

Michael Adam RealeStarred Page By Michael Adam Reale, 29th Oct 2016 | Follow this author | RSS Feed | Short URL http://nut.bz/1nw7nfgg/
Posted in Wikinut>Health>Recovery & Coping

An article about the diversity that exists within human sexuality.

Self-Help and the insight of anonymity

I worked for a regional hospital where I served as the Information Services Supervisor for Self-Help Services, a department that was part of behavioral health. Part of my responsibilities included vetting support group for inclusion into the database. After inclusion; information was given to callers at the hospital's call center, included in directories as well as sold to an organization that disseminated the information out to other hospitals nationwide.

The Kinsey Report and sexual diversity

One of the support groups that had been added, in 1999, long before I came to serve was the Large Penis Support Group or LPSG. Don't laugh, please. There are some very serious issues that are a result of an abnormally large endowment. Below is the description that I recently found on the University of Michigan Health Center's website as reflected from our work that can be found: http://www.uofmhealth.org/health-library/shc29edi, and reads:
LPSG: Online. Founded 1999. Community support dedicated to relieving as much pain and suffering from those individuals who suffer from a condition called painless priapism or megalophallus. Offers moderated message boards, articles, blogs and more. Talk with others who face the same circumstances of having painless priapis (megalophallus) which can be a very difficult condition with which to live. Site offers opportunities for men to share concerns, embarrassment, to help ease problems of having a megalophallus such as physical discomfort; erectile dysfunctions, intimacy issues that bring pain instead of pleasure; erections leading to lightheadedness or dizziness (which may be the result of medication or a co-existing condition) and other issues. One need not suffer alone; joining with others can help make this problem seem less difficult. Open to spouses and partners. Website: http://www.lpsg.orgVerified: 10/8/2013

Men with a large male endowment is not what this piece is about. This piece is about living proof of the Kinsey Report
and the Kinsey scale and how we are all diverse and that should be celebrated rather than ridiculed. For those who are not familiar with the Kinsey Reports, they “are two books on human sexual behavior: Sexual Behavior in the Human Male (1948) and Sexual Behavior in the Human Female (1953), written by Alfred Kinsey, Wardell Pomeroy and others and published by Saunders. Kinsey was a zoologist at Indiana University and the founder of the Kinsey Institute for Research in Sex, Gender, and Reproduction and (more widely known as the Kinsey Institute).”

The Kinsey scale, also called the Heterosexual–Homosexual Rating Scale, is used in research to describe a person's sexual orientation based on their experience or response at a given time. The scale typically ranges from 0, meaning exclusively heterosexual, to 6, meaning exclusively homosexual.” (Source is from Wikipedia and for further reading: Kinsey Report: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kinsey_Reports and the Kinsey Scale: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kinsey_scale
).

As with most support groups, they tend to be anonymous. With that anonymity comes more freedom of sharing information within the group and without fear of ridicule or embarrassment. Since It was my responsibility to vet and update all groups, I got a unique look inside the LPSG. What I found was living proof of the Kinsey Report. Each member of the group included a percentage of gay and straight. For example, I answered 100% gay. Other members listed themselves as, for example, 70% gay 30% straight. I found virtually every imaginable breakdown of such percentiles. It showed me how greatly sexually diverse humans actually are.

Fear of the unknown

Perhaps that is why conservatives and the religious right feel such antipathy for the LGBTQIA community. Comments from former (D) Gov. Steve Bashear of Kentucky where he defended the notion that same-sex marriage threatens the state's birthrate and economic development. Fortunately his lawsuite was struck down by Senior U.S. District Court Judge John G. Heyburn II and, on June 26, 2015, the “United States Supreme Court ruled in Obergefell v. Hodges that state-level bans on same-sex marriage are unconstitutional. The court ruled that the denial of marriage licenses to same-sex couples and the refusal to recognize those marriages performed in other jurisdictions violates the Due Process and the Equal Protection clauses of the Fourteenth Amendment of the United States Constitution.” (Source Wikipedia and to learn more on Same-Sex Marriage read: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Same-sex_marriage_in_the_United_States)

The argument that attorneys for Gov. Bashear used were ludicrous because I personally know many gay men and lesbian women who have biological children. Again, this makes perfect sense based on the Kinsey scale. If we all have varying degrees of sexuality then naturally there will be children born to those who identify as gay, lesbian or trans. I also learned more about my community, the LGBTQIA community. I learned that they are not just an alphabet soup of letters. Quoting from a previous article that I wrote, LGBTQIA and Mental Health, I stated: “We should not think of this as just an acronym but remember that there are real people behind each of these letters. What does LGBTQIA stand for, one might ask? The L stands for lesbian. The G stands for gay, the B for bisexual. The T stands for transgender. The Q stands for questioning, those who are questioning their sexuality, they may not be sure; they may be bisexual or maybe experimenting. The I stands for intersex. Intersex individuals are those persons with what has been termed ‘ambiguous genitalia.’ Lastly, but certainly not least A, which is for asexual. Asexuals may feel nothing sexual towards either sex. They do however crave closeness, non-sexual intimacy, deep friendship and much more. With each of these labels and each of these letters there are millions of individuals who define themselves by these.” (to read my article in full: http://health.wikinut.com/LGBTQIA-and-Mental-Health/3x_rh866)

The value of diversity

I made many friends along the way such as Dr. Tiger Devore, a clinical psychologist, sex therapist, and spokesperson on intersex issues. He serves a board member, and former president, of the Hypospadias and Epispadias Association, and a member of the Intersex Society of North America both groups were also listed on the database of Self-Help Services. (To learn more about Dr. Tiger Devore, PhD watch this inspiring YouTube video from the Interface Project, Las Vegas, Nevada: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UIi3tZO9InA)

I also got to know Buck Angel, a transgender man and motivational speaker who serves on the Board of Directors of the Woodhull Sexual Freedom Alliance, an organization that works to affirm sexual freedom as a fundamental human right through advocacy and education. (To learn more about Buck Angel watch his video on Trans Male Community Bullying https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RfMf8aX_LJQ)

The point is, from my work in Self-Help Services at the hospital, I learned that sex and sexuality are far more fluid and far more diverse than I had ever previously realized. I learned so much about transgender and intersex issues and I am sincerely grateful for my time there. To quote First Lady Michelle Obama, “Diversity in this country is a good thing whether it's gender or race or socio-economic background or religion. The more views and experiences make for better outcomes.” I have come to realize that through diversity there is great beauty.

moderator Peter B. Giblett moderated this page.
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