Ask Angelo - Angelo Pezzote

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Angelo Pezzote
MA

 Get Key Quick Tips On How To Be Happier - Naturally!
 Plus, Can Childhood Sexual Abuse Explain Why Someone Turns Out Gay?

 By Angelo Pezzote, MA


Dear Angelo,

I heard exercise can help depression, but I cannot seem to get to the gym. Any advice? I don't want to use medication or supplements.

Signed, Sloth.

Dear Sloth,

Research has consistently shown that as little as 20 minutes of exercise, as few as three times a week, can be as good as medication for beating depression. When you're depressed, it can be very hard to just get to the gym. Often, we isolate and don't want to do anything when we are down. You really have to just force yourself to move and get physical activity. Trust me. Take the time to make yourself exercise and you will feel better after. Tracking a physical goal can help. How? As you look better, you gain confidence, mood lifts more, and you get more motivation!

Outside of yourself, the best motivator to get to the gym is a work out buddy. Try making one. If you can afford them, joining a health club and hiring a trainer are good too.

You can also fight depression in these other natural ways: limit alcohol, eat well, drink enough water, go to bed and get up at the same times daily, get quality sleep, take in sunlight but use an SPF; Do things you're passionate about, be creative (music, writing, art, dance, etc.), meditate, pray, volunteer, think positively; Have bodywork, energy work and use social support. Consult an MD before making any exercise, diet or health changes.

Dear Angelo,

It seems that many of my gay friends have been molested as children. Are more gay than straight boys abused growing up? And is this why they turn out gay?

Signed, Ally.

Dear Ally,

You ask two intriguing questions. In short, there is no evidence to suggest a positive answer to either of the questions posed. But I have some ideas which may be helpful to you.

There are a number of reasons why it may seem as though more gay men were abused as children. Gay men might report being molested more than straight men report it. Perhaps by having more familiarity with our feelings from confronting our selves by coming out, we are more willing to come forward and share our abuse relative to our straight male allies. So it may seem as though more of us were abused because we talk about it more.

A separate issue raised within the first question is are gay boys actually molested more? Perhaps being gay children, some of us become more vulnerable than straight boys to being preyed upon by molesters. Not fitting in, not belonging, feeling different or being flat out rejected by peers and family, may lead to vulnerabilities like low self-esteem, depression, and isolation. This combination could set some of us up by making us more susceptible to the special attention of some pedophile friend, relative or stranger. Every boy needs to feel that he is OK and loved. It is the attention - the love and connection the child wants - never the abuse. Childhood sexual abuse has devastating consequences. But I know recovery is absolutely possible. I admire the strength, courage and resiliency of survivors.

To answer the second question, no, abuse does not make someone gay. While no one knows the cause of any sexual orientation, it is believed that sexuality is already hardwired by an early age. One's natural sexuality therefore can get tainted by abuse to make for confusion. Mike Lew, author of Victims No Longer (Second Edition): The Classic Guide for Men Recovering from Sexual Child Abuse, states, "An incident of sexual abuse could activate awareness of a sexual orientation that might otherwise have manifested itself later on in a less traumatic fashion...Survivors who were sexually abused by other men question what this experience means about their sexuality... For gay men, it more often takes the form, 'Is this why I'm gay?' or 'Did this happen to me because I'm gay?' ..." (Gayness is also not a flight from women if you were abused by a woman.) "Since the abuse was committed sexually, it is often mistakenly seen as an act of sexual passion instead of what it really is - an aggressive, destructive violation of another human being."

Power, violence and control are what the abuse is about for the perpetrator not gay sex. Pedophiles self identify in large as straight. This remains true even though many sexualize same sex children. It's children in general that they are attracted to, but they may prefer a particular gender. Some may be developmentally stuck as children themselves, so they think they are appropriately relating to children as children. Alternatively, they may mistakenly see children as other adults. They could also hold a distorted view of a child as evil or bad. Most often they know the child they abuse.

In any case, abuse is not about sex and it is never the child's fault. Even if an adorable, mature, gay, nine year old boy says "I want you to have sex with me," it is up to the caretaker to say "no" and to get that child the professional help they may need.

 

Angelo

Angelo Pezzote, MA, "The Gay Man's Therapist."
Psychotherapy for today's gay man who faces challenging concerns.

"My clients like being able to talk about sensitive issues in an open, relaxed and non-judgmental space with a caring therapist who understands their unique life experience." Visit www.askangelo.com.

 

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