Yesterday, over at the American Family Association’s hilarious “news” website, OneNewsNow, Peter LaBarbera said the following regarding openly gay megachurch pastor Jim Swilley:

“There’s no doubt in the Bible about whether homosexual practice is a sin,” the conservative advocate points out. “He says he knew he was — quote — ‘gay’ since he was a boy. Most boys don’t think about sex, much less homosexuality, so we’re wondering what happened in his early life. Obviously, he’s a confused man.”

Commenters here and elsewhere made fun of that statement, and quite rightly, because it’s self-evident to most of us what Swilley was talking about there. But when Peter reposted his comments at his own site, he expounded further:

In the One News Now article below, when I made the comment, “Most boys don’t think about sex,” I was referring to very young boys. I am always perplexed to hear adult homosexual men talk about how they “knew they were gay” from a very young age, say, five years old. Normally, boys don’t even know what sex is, much less homosexuality, in their early years, so such comments in an of themselves seem to indicate dysfunction, at best, or victimhood at the hands of a predator, at worst, in the young lives of these homosexually identified men.

This leads me to believe that what is self-evident to us actually needs to be explained, so I will do so. Because the Religious Right has lied so long about the nature of homosexuality, and indeed, sexuality itself, that they actually believe their own lies, they have reduced homosexuality to a “temptation” or an “affliction,” and moreover, they have convinced themselves that being gay is All About Sex. It’s an asinine belief, but it is what they believe.

Peter: Sexuality is not all about sex, thoughts of sex, or having sex. Sexuality, whether hetero, homo, or somewhere in between, is about which gender/s a person is geared to connect with on ALL levels. This starts to manifest in childhood. Think about kids on the playground. Little boys pushing girls down in the sandbox. Little girls harassing the crap out of the boys around them. A friend of mine was telling me the other day about how his four year old son is COMPLETELY the Don Juan of his preschool daycare. When he gets there, four or five girls glomp all over him, and he stands there with his arms around them like “Lookuh me. These my girls!” Are ANY of these kids thinking about sex?  No.  But I’ll bet money that most of the kids I just described will end up being heterosexual as adults.

LIKEWISE, kids who grow up to be gay have those same feelings about kids of the same gender.  Again, they are not sexual feelings, by any stretch, but they’re just the completely normal first pangs of what will, one day, be their full adult sexuality.  And yes, many gay men can look way back, in hindsight, and say “Yeah, I knew I was drawn to the boys.”  Likewise for lesbians.  Even at age five.

Personally, I can’t look that far back, but I can go back to age eleven, a good two years before I hit puberty and started thinking about sex.  That was the first time I had a crush on a boy.  So, at the time, I didn’t have any concept of “gay” or sexual desires of any sort, but when I look back now, I realize that that was the first indication that I would several years later realize that I was gay.  And I can’t emphasize enough that there was no “turning point” or anything where my thoughts went from girls to boys or anything.  From the start, if I was going to have a crush, or think somebody was cute, regardless of how deep my thoughts about it were, if it was genuine, it was about a boy.  I point that out because I went through times when I dated girls, had crushes on girls, etc., but that was mostly a manifestation of Trying To Fit In.

So that is what it’s about, Peter.  You can continue oversexualizing it, painting gay people as predators and victims, as if it hasn’t been explained to you, but that would be just another permutation of your pathological, loathsome dishonesty, because it has now been explained to you.