May I ask a few questions and add a few comments. . . .all prompted by comments written about "being gay" and "not identifying or taking refuge or hiding behind any group[s]".
How did our personalities develop and grow? Where did they come from? There is an olde New England saying "The apple doesn't fall too far from the tree." It is commonly and widely accepted that our sense of self and thus our persona and personality is affected and largely shaped by the people with whom we live, especially in our early years, before the age of 3. So our parents, or those who may have taken their place, the physical, emotional, social and spiritual environment into which we are born and grow up, the other people in our "hemisphere" or world - friends, teachers, school, church, era and tume all work to help us shape our personalities. . . . because we grow with and from the persons, environment, society with which we identify. In other words we we are "made the same as" those/that in which we live and move and have our being.
The word IDENTITY comes from two Latin words: idem [the same as] + facere [to make] .
So I think it is safe to say we all have been part of / identified with groups of one sort of another all of our lives. We can not and do not grow in a vacuum.. Remember the scary experiment made with babies? One group received all the "nescessities" of life plus lots of affection, attention, touch, hlding, cuddling etc. The other group had the food and shelter, with only minimal human contact and interaction. These babies died.
Sad way to learn human needs, facts, right? Yepper.
Now I am going to speak out of my personal religious belief system. It's what I know. OK? The writers of the Book of Genesis, first in the Bible order, try to explain human origin, needs and results. So the writer after "having God create the various strata of the universe, portrays God as creating THE MAN, the crown of God's creative work. Then the writer shows G-D observing all he had made. . . and realizes all the animals have partners. So G-D says "Ahaaaa. . .it is not good for The Man to be alone. . .therefore I shall make for him a partner like unto himself. . ." So God puts 'Adam to sleep and from a place just under his heart he takes a rib and makes from that The Woman "taken from her man". . .
So en ho geneto. . in the beginning God created them male and female, gay and straight He created them. . . .I believe I /we are created in the image and the likeness of GOD. . . .and that my sexuality and sexual orientation is God's gift to me. This is part of my way of being to the world. Hmmmm. . "...it is not good for Justin to be alone, therefore I shall make for him a helpmate like unto himself. . "
Just as the hetero man finds fulfillment and completion with the hetero woman, so the gay man finds fulfillment and completion with a gay man, his partner and "the light which lights up his life", to add to the poesy.
The Genesis writer shows God placing The Man " h'Adam - taken from the earth" and The Women ' " h'Eva- the mother of all the living" in a garden of delights so they may be happy and enjoy their lives together. . . . So ALL of us are made for happiness.
We all naturally try to be happy and find those persons and places and things which will make/contribute to our fulfillment and happiness. When these are lacking, the restless HUNT begins. .loking for that mate, partner, one who will complete and make us happy.
Look at our life experiences. . . .all the way. . .we've all done this. . .we've found and hungout with people like us, people with whom we can belong. . . .not to hide out in and lose our individualities. . but those companions --- look at the word from Latin cum pane. . .with bread, the staff of life. . --- companions with whom we can share our lives, learn from one another, grow up with, be happy with. . . .
We all need a balance of aloneness and companionship in order to survive and live. . . and grow. . . so we do identify with various people, or groups if you need that word. . . otherwise we wouldn't be the wonderful lively loving and lovable people we are. . . etc etc.
I /We are able to have empathy/compassion for people like us, people we know and can understand. . ."we know what they are feeling because we do or have felt the same ways in similar circumstances. That is the human condition.
I am a gay man and I do identify with others like unto myself. . . .I am part of them, of this minority in our society. . . .I do not isolate. .. because if I do, like the babies in the experiment, I too shall die.
Obviously none of this is carved in rock. . . .I use similarities and analogies and some poetic license to try to explain my understanding of the things we've been discussing these couple days. Basically what I express here comes from my working all this stuff out into a communicable expression. . .by which I live and also part of the approach I take in my classes in Intro Psych when I talk about persons, personality, human development, etc.
There! I've got to run. I have a class in one hour and I cannot go dressed like this. . .hahahahaaaa