These blind people describe how they knew they were gay

Mayer Nissim May 25, 2017
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A couple kissing

A couple kissing

So much of sexual attraction is bound up with the visual and aesthetic in our culture that some people struggle to comprehend how blind people know they are gay.

A thread on Reddit invited blind, gay users to share how they discovered their sexuality.

It offered up a fascinating mix of stories from Redditors who were blind from birth or became blind later in life – as well as input from sighted gay and straight users.

Canes ready for use in the 'Dialog in the Dark' exhibit
Canes ready for use (Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

The most straightforward response laid it all out very simply.

“I’ve been blind since birth and extremely gay,” said hank_scorpio_123.

“You know when you see someone and are attracted to them? It’s kind of like that but I can’t see.”

Which makes sense.

RedzandBluez said: “When I was 11 or 12, I didn’t really understand the difference between boys and girls. To me, they were the same except that men turned me on and women didn’t.

“I did not know about body parts (breasts, vagina, penis, etc.) and yet, I was attracted to my same sex. Because of my unique situation, I can tell you that being gay is not a choice.”

He added: “When I meet someone, what I go by is their voice, their smell, their kindness, and their willingness to help me when needed.”

Sight is, after all, only one of the five senses, and taste, touch, smell and hearing all play a role in attraction, for sighted people as well as blind.

Same-sex marriage

You may as well ask how a deaf person or someone with no sense of taste knows that they’re straight or gay.

“I hear the voices of guys and it just sounds attractive to me,” said commanderzilyana.

“Even though I can’t ‘see’ them physically mentally I can picture how they look. I wasn’t blind until I was age 14, but I realized I was gay when I was 18.”

easwaran added: “I’m pretty sure it’s a cultural trope that most people (men and women, gay and straight) prefer to close their eyes while kissing and turn the lights down (or even off) during sex.

“We might think we’re all about visuals, but actually when it comes down to it, there’s a lot more going on that we often don’t think about.”

AllHarlowsEve said: “I’m actually pansexual, but I am equally sexually attracted to the bodies of both men and women, and the voices.

Lesbian couple

“Honestly, it’s not all that different from how sighted people know they’re gay. When they think about kissing someone, say around second grade or so, they know if they want to kiss boys or girls.”

rkingett said: “For all of the questions about attractions, I encourage all of you to read the good dates on my blog and that will answer a lot of your questions.

“In all other aspects, this question is stupid to be honest. It’s almost like people have never masturbated or had sexual daydreams before.

“That’s how I knew what sex I was attracted to because I found the idea of a male body, male voice, male hair, sexually arousing.”

He added: “I can’t tell you anything other than, well, when I hear a man’s voice I like, I get an erection. I don’t know how else to explain it other than that.

“I just knew I never found women sexually attractive, like at all. When listening to porn, watching porn when I was legally blind, or the like.”

More: attraction, blind, coming out, Gay, lesbian, reddit, Sexuality

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