I think that one of the problems with modern westernized societies is we have set up this false "either/or" dichotomy when it comes to our sexual identities. People are regarded as either completely heterosexual or completely homosexual with very little wiggle room in between (perhaps a few bisexuals who can't make up their minds). Rather, I think that each of us falls somewhere along a sexual continuum - a bell curve somewhat skewed towards the heterosexual side of the equation.
In ancient societies, as well as in many current ones outside of the western world, this concept was well understood. The ancient Greeks are perhaps the most famous example. Although the literature is full of examples of rampant homosexual behaviour, very few would have identified themselves as gay. They were merely sexual beings doing what they felt like without regard to labels. Over the past few millenia, western society somehow lost that connection and has thus suffered under a strict, sexually repressive moral code.
In a way it has only been the freedom of the Internet that has once again revealed the full depth of human sexual desire and the diverse ways in which those urges can be expressed. It has shown that there is so much out there that can't be easily pigeonholed into neat little categories.
So where do we go from here? The gay rights movement has served an important role in liberating all of our sexualities, but I think it is now time to move past such labels and embrace a true sexual continuum for all people. At least I think that has to be the ultimate goal.
Posted by Brian at 20:32 Wednesday, 9 April 2008