Friday, November 22, 2013

Jonathan Rauch’s Denial

Last spring, Jonathan Rauch, Senior Fellow at the Brookings Institute and long-time same-sex marriage advocate, published Denial: My 25 Years Without a Soul. In this brief autobiography, Rauch describes the tortured first decades of his life as a same-sex attracted male.

He calls himself “numb,” and writes that he felt he had “no soul.” He recounts his experiences as “a gulag of the heart,” “eunuchhood,” and “the absence of a proper self,” and he describes himself as “a nonman” or “a self-less man.”

These heart-wrenching terms resonate with many LGBT readers. They also resonate with many of the 96.5 percent of the population who do not experience same-sex attraction, but who also may recall being stalled or buffeted in their adolescent quests to find themselves. Rauch's experience is not unique: it is the most common and ordinary of experiences.

But Rauch’s recounting of his story has a purpose beyond self-revelation. The reader is meant to accept his ultimate conclusion: that the only possible healthy and happy outcome for his situation (and for all who identify as gay or lesbian) is to be allowed to marry someone of the same sex.  (more...)

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