Friday, 15 June 2012 00:00

Gay Pride, Self-Esteem & Jealousy

Written by 

Dear Sappho,

I always look forward to Gay Pride Month because of all the parades, parties and gay events that promote pride and acceptance. However, my girlfriend seems to dread them and says it’s because she is jealous of all the beautiful lesbians who make her feel less than beautiful. I am a quasi-gay activist and find it difficult to understand why she fails to get the celebration.

Proud to Be Out

Dear Out & Proud,

Self-esteem is the way we think, feel and consequentially see our selves. It may be no accident that you or your girlfriend has low gay self esteem as the Media, religion, cultural and social mores have done everything they could to squash homosexuality. The hate attack on homosexuals has been ugly, vicious, and deadly. It’s difficult for some oppressed peoples to come out in public venues and act festive when they have been going under cover, or sadly without a big, happy, proud, gay love life. How can you help your girlfriend develop her self-esteem and transcend her jealousy?

Women have stated in studies that they find emotional aspects of betrayal characterize jealousy. When asked to describe jealousy, women mentioned emotional aspects of infidelity – examples; partner spending time, giving attention, and sharing confidences or intimacy with others. Jealousy includes thoughts and feelings of insecurity, fear, and anxiety over an anticipated loss of something valuable, particularly losing a partner you already have. Jealousy includes emotions of anger, sadness, resentment, and disgust. It’s counter productive to celebrating gay pride.

Your girlfriend may also be an introvert who fears large festive crowds. She has nothing to fear or be jealous about. Right? Let her know you want to celebrate your love as well as your right to love. Laugh and share the gaiety. Besides being fun, you illustrate that you have the right to love who ever you want to love. It’s a form of self-acceptance.

Self-esteem is closely equated with self-love, self-worth, self-integrity, and the overall instinct to perceive and promote self-realization. Gay pride festivities grew out of over throwing oppression and harassment of GLTBQ people.  “On June 28, 1969, people in the homosexual community fought back against the police system that persecuted sexual minorities at the Stonewall Inn, in Greenwich Village in NYC. This protest began the official start of the gay rights movement in the United States and around the world.”

When gay people party during gay festivities they often dress, look, and act happier and gayer than they do in normal life. After all, it’s a festival. It’s fun to compete with the brightest, most beautiful GLTBQ people in sight - but competition is not the goal. Lesbians rarely judge other lesbians on their looks, race, gender variations, etc, more likely on their personal power, magnetism, political and social consciousness.

Sexual and emotional infidelity upsets both men and women; 63% of men and 13% of women found sexual infidelity upsetting and 87% of women and 37% of men found emotional infidelity upsetting.  Jealousy in heterosexual males is usually triggered by sexual infidelity and often includes sexual jealousy that is provoked without any interest or intention on behalf of the woman being sought after. Women reported that their sexual past provoked their current partner’s jealousy far more than any other combined factors.

Are gay men less sexually jealous? Results from a study done at Purdue University found that gay men reported less jealousy than did heterosexual men in response to events such as witnessing a partner kissing someone else at a party or discovering a partner is having an affair. Gay men were less likely to disclose jealous feelings to their partner.

Lesbian women appear more sexually jealous than heterosexual women do. Sex differences found among heterosexuals appear to be reversed among homosexuals. Rivals become threatening when they display an equivalent or higher level of desirability. There is much we do not know about emotions and gender. The chromosomal variations, cross-cultural, and social influences have yet to be differentiated scientifically.

Jealousy and low self esteem are just a few of the personal battles we all fight as homo-sapiens. Accept your girlfriend’s phobias but don’t allow them to become your own. Go to couple related venues in the festivities and get to know other GLTBQ couples. Celebrate your culture and your diversity. Don't let the homophobic ideologies and conditioning rain on your parade. We are here, we’re queer, get used to it.