"An explosive new study says some highly motivated gay people can
turn straight."-Associated Press, May 9, 2001
In the parallel universe on the other side of the looking glass,
in the Land of Mirror Images where gays outnumber straights by about ten
to one, Stanley Kowalski awakened one steamy morning in a totally
"Stella?" he said softly to his steamy wife lying beside him in
their steamy bed. "I have news for you, Stella. Just before retiring
last night, I read in the Picayune-Times that an explosive new study says
some highly motivated straight people can turn gay."
"Yeah, right," Stella said.
"I have always thought of myself as a flaming heterosexual,"
Stanley said. "I have lusted after many women, your steamy self not least
"O, Stanley," Stella said, dropping the "h" from her "Oh" to
indicate great passion. "I do so love it when you talk that way."
"Hear me out, Stella," Stanley said. "After reading about the
explosive new study saying that highly motivated straight people can turn
gay, I awoke this morning in a totally different mood. I'm sick and
tired of being in a ten percent minority. So sick and tired that I now
believe I'm highly enough motivated to turn gay and join the virtuous
"O, Stanley," Stella said. "O. O. O. Let me get all freshly
bathed and scented like my sister Blanche, then we can continue this
little game. I do so love it when you, of all people, josh me about
turning gay. And I do so love it when your animal nature lurks in the
shadow behind your witty indirection."
"This is no game, Stella," Stanley said. "I am highly motivated.
It's just a matter of will power. And I am going to begin my journey to
gaydom by taking off this badly torn undershirt you've always found so
"Not that, Stanley," Stella said. "Anything but that. You take
off your badly torn undershirt, Bucko, and that's the end of everything."
"Yes, Stella," Stanley said, his voice a mixture of sadness and
hope as he tossed his badly torn undershirt into the trash can. "That's
the end of everything for us. But it needn't be the end of everything.
Maybe you could get yourself in a totally different mood and become as
highly motivated to turn lesbian as I am to turn gay. Will power, Stella,
will power. There's a brave new world out there, and the homosexual
majority's just waiting for us to become a part of it."
"Well, all right," Stella said. "If you've got the will power to
do it, I suppose I can too. Especially with your badly torn undershirt
And thus, one of the most heterosexually charged couples in the
Land of Mirror Images, through the magic of high motivation, went their
separate ways in search of same-sex partners.
The Truth, Mainly
But it wasn't as easy to become part of the 90 percent majority as
the explosive new study led them to believe it might be.
The study said you'd know your new sexual orientation was taking
hold if your satisfaction with your new partner rated at least a seven on
a ten-point scale.
But both Stanley and Stella rated their satisfaction with their
new partners at 0.001 on a ten-point scale, no matter how hard they tried
to remain highly motivated.
The study also pointed out that reading the Bible can play a large
part in the shift from heterosexuality to homosexuality, the critical
Biblical passage being the story of David and his very best friend
So Stanley and Stella studied I Samuel 20:41 where the two friends
"kissed one another, and wept with one another, until David exceeded," and
II Samuel 1:26 where David tells Jonathan's lifeless body that "thy love
to me was wonderful, passing the love of women."
But neither Stanley nor Stella found great uplift in the story.
So after a week of trying to break free of their heterosexual
chains, they said the hell with joining the majority and arranged to meet
one another on Bourbon Street.
"Stella!" Stanley shouted from half a block away. "Hey,
"O, Stanley," Stella said when they were walking down the street,
shamelessly hand in hand. "No matter how highly motivated we might be to
change, that which we are, we are. And so are all of us. Whether we're
in the 90 percent majority or the 10 percent minority, we've got to go our
own way. Chacun son gout, and all that. How about a coffee and a
She steamed a little when she said it.
"O, Stella," Stanley said, badly tearing his new undershirt while
tourists in the Land of Mirror Images watched. "O, STELL-LAHHHH!"
"Strange folks here," a tourist told his wife. "Not like people
"No more like people back home," she said, "than a mirror image."
Retired English Professor Leon Satterfield writes to salvage clarity
from his confusion. His column appears on alternate Mondays. His e-mail