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Paul had enjoyed strong homosexual feelings ever since he was a teenager, but he learned from the psychiatric literature of the time that these feelings were unworthy of any serious person. And, in fact, he found it very hard in the 1930's and 1940's to find adult homosexuals that he could respect -- at least not in the professional circles he found himself in.

Since his homosexual capacities didn't cancel out his albeit weaker heterosexual ones, he bowed to society's conventions and married a woman. But it took only a few years to realize that this had been a mistake. So he left his wife and his young son, moved to California, and began to rethink everything he had learned in the long journey to become one of Chicago's top psychoanalysts.

He began to understand his homosexuality not as a genetic defect that he was just born with, but as a logical consequence of psychological polarity. The identification of individuals as either being introverts or extroverts readily shows how homosexuals can mate for the same reasons as heterosexuals. It isn't the genitalia that are mating, after all, but the personalities. And if the personalities are polar opposites, well, opposites attract. Seen in this light, the choice to experiment with one's homosexual capacities becomes a rational -- and sometimes necessary -- part of a creative person's ongoing search for mental health and personal growth.

His first two books, Psychoanalysis and Civilization and Love and Power, record his insights into polarity in great detail but mention homosexuality only briefly. It wasn't until 1971 that he felt ready to address the topic overtly and in depth. Homosexuality: The Psychology of the Creative Process was the first book of American social science to see homosexuality not as a disease but as a valid alternate life-style. His Foreword to the 1973 paperback edition makes this radical position crystal clear:

      . . . There is a great deal more in homosexuality than a simple release of new levels of sexual permissiveness. True psychological mating is not only possible between individuals of the same sex, it is actually the rule in human interactions (whether sexual or not). How can two men, biologically alike, find a true difference between them through which mating can occur? The answer is simple but profound in its implications: through character specialization. What this book says in effect is that character specialization is dominant over biological identity, and that therefore two men (or two women) can have a masculine-feminine interaction which can lay the basis for a true romantic union, pregnant with possibilities for creative self-development. The concept of masculinity and femininity, used in this way, has nothing to do with conventional masculine and feminine roles in our society. . . .
See the rest of the 1973 Foreword to Homosexuality
See my 1986 Introduction to Homosexuality
See my 1974 essay, "Homosexuality: Civilization's Secret"


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