Please note: A person’s sexual orientation is separate to their gender identity. For example; there are people who are gender diverse who are heterosexual, bisexual, and homosexual. Therefore, Dave Wells views the sexual orientation of a person who is gender diverse as being dependent upon the gender identity of the person in context to the gender/s of whom they are sexually and romantically attracted to.
For example; A trans-man sexually attracted to males only or a trans-female who is attracted to women only = A ‘homosexual’ sexual orientation.
There are a number of labels used to define a person who is sexually attracted to another person, for example; Homosexual, Gay, and Queer. These labels all have their own definitions and yet many in our society use the terms interchangeably.
Homosexuality is romantic attraction, sexual attraction, or sexual behaviour between members of the same sex or gender. As a sexual orientation, homosexuality is defined as “an enduring pattern of emotional, romantic, and/or sexual attractions” to people of the same sex. It “also refers to a person’s sense of identity based on those attractions, related behaviours, and membership in a community of others who share those attractions.
Along with bisexuality and heterosexuality, homosexuality is one of the three main categories of sexual orientation within the heterosexual–homosexual continuum.
Scientists do not know the exact cause of sexual orientation, but they theorize that it is caused by a complex interplay of genetic, hormonal, and environmental influences, and do not view it as a choice. Contrary to many societal myths, there is no substantive evidence which suggests parenting, early childhood or socialisation, experiences play a role with regard to sexual orientation.
Adapted from: Frankowski BL; American Academy of Paediatrics Committee on Adolescence (June 2004).
Dave Wells has only included this paragraph above to inform the people who are exploring the causes of homosexuality, as he personally views this behaviour as being ‘hetero – normative’ because it is uncommon to explore; why people are heterosexual, due to it being viewed as the ‘norm’ in our society.
In reality, people can hold many fears, such as; discrimination, judgement, rejection, and breaches in confidentiality about sharing their personal internal fantasies and desires. This results in limiting a true understanding of same sex attraction. The profession of Sexology and Dave Wells views homosexuality as a diversity of the human sexuality.
In modern Australia, we have learnt through medicine and psychology that there are more than only two genders, for example; non-binary, intersex, and transgender, where the gender-brain and gender-body are not necessarily in congruence with each other. In relation to gender-diversity, the term homosexual may be an inclusive term that compliments how our society has understood gender to be in the past (male/female), however to use this term today is not inclusive of people who are gender-diverse. For example; would there need to be two non-binary people with exactly the same diversities of gender to be regarded as homosexual?
The use of the term homosexual can be regarded as a scientific term, and at the other end of the spectrum to heterosexual. It is often used in situations where the breakdown of sexual diversities that exist within the term ‘homosexuality’, are not required.
‘Gay’ is another label used to describe same sex attracted people, which has its grass-roots origins, and for many it is a polite replacement for the word ‘homosexual’.
The term Gay was originally used to mean “carefree”, “cheerful”, or “bright and showy”, however it is now a term that primarily refers to a homosexual person.
In reality the term gay is used to describe the trait of being homosexual or in other words a man who is gay community attached (e.g. “The Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras”), in comparison to a man who is homosexual and lives and socialises in the broader community.
The original definitions of the term Gay; “carefree”, “cheerful”, or “bright and showy”, are all visual representations of homosexual people and associated to displaying sexual orientation out in the community.
The label; “Queer” is relatively young in its origins, used as a blanket or umbrella term that can be used by anyone under the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Non-binary, Intersex, A-sexual and Pan-sexual spectrum. Queer conveys both an orientation and a sense of community.
You will often hear the term ‘Gay and Lesbian’, which reduces the term ‘gay’ to men. However, the term ‘Gay’ can also be used to describe both; same sex attracted men and women.
The term ‘Queer’ is a relatively modern term that encompasses Homosexual and Gay. Stereo-typically, many view the label ‘Queer’ as a term that the younger generation use, with its origins beginning with University students. Many more mature same sex attracted men and diverse-gendered people still remember the original definition of Queer as a derogatory term, originally meaning “strange” or “peculiar”
Taking all of this information about the different interpretations of the labels used to describe people who are sexually attracted to people, Dave Wells prefers not to pigeonhole the people who he supports under a label, and although he respects personal choice, he works with the aim of creating harmony with who you are as an individual.
Dave Wells views Sexual health as being intertwined with every other area in a person’s life. If the person is not congruent between their sexual behaviour and sexual thoughts, this can become detrimental to their over-all physical and psychological health and life-style.
Dave Wells works with the aim of supporting a person to identify and accept their individual sexual attractions and desires, and live their lives accordingly.