In their prolonged search for new labels to describe themselves — and others — U.S. ex-gay activist leader Randy Thomas and British ex-gay activist Peter Ould have recently tested the term “post-gay.”
Post-gay is widely accepted as a description of a social context in which sexual orientation is sufficiently accepted that it is no longer seen as important to psychological self-definition. But ex-gays have no intention of using the phrase in that fashion.
All too often, ex-gay political activists such as Exodus International President Alan Chambers pray that an age of ordinary acceptance will never arrive — for themselves or anyone else. But as Glen Retief and Peterson Toscano explain to Peter Ould:
…However hard you may try to not notice sexual orientation, the reality of diverse patterns of sexual desire in the world–patterns noticed as far back as Plato in his Symposium–will pull your attention back to it. Sorry, but you are not “post-gay” in the slightest. To the extent it’ important to you to react differently to same-sex and opposite-sex attractions, you are in fact deeply, fundamentally, unavoidably focused on gayness vs. straightness. You are right in the middle of the thing you want to move beyond!
In other words, as some ex-gay activists become increasingly obsessed with not being gay, sexual orientation becomes ever-more central to their self-definition.
Unless one is actually bisexual, the only way to authentically become post-gay may be to accept one’s homosexuality — and then move on to more important concerns in life.