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我是同性恋吗?也许心理测验能告诉我

更新时间:2018-3-7 18:59:39 来源:纽约时报中文网 作者:佚名

Am I Gay or Straight? Maybe This Fun Quiz Will Tell Me
我是同性恋吗?也许心理测验能告诉我

Lydia and I met thanks to a quiz, the multiple-choice OkCupid personality assessment, which asks for your thoughts on matters like “Would a nuclear Holocaust be exciting?” (that’s a “no” from me) and then matches you with those you’re least likely to hate.

莉迪亚和我相遇是因为OkCupid上的多选项性格评测,它会问你对于类似于“核毁灭让你感到兴奋吗?”(我的回答是“不”),然后把你和那些你最不可能讨厌的人配对。

Our first date was for drinks on a Monday night after a workday I had spent trying not to throw up from anxiety. It would be my first-ever date with a woman, made approximately 10 days after I came out to friends as “not straight, but I’ll get back to you on exactly how much” at the age of 28.

我们第一次约会是在周一晚上一起去喝东西,那天工作的时候,我努力让自己不要因为焦虑而吐出来。那是我第一次和女人约会,发生在我28岁对朋友们公布“我不是直的,但到底有多弯以后再说”大概10天之后。

I had sent Lydia the first message, asking to read the gay Harry Potter fanfic she had mentioned in her profile. She asked me out shortly afterward. I was excited to meet her, but it was all happening so fast (if you don’t include the 28 confused years preceding it).

我给莉迪亚发了第一条信息,问她在个人介绍里提到的哈利·波特同人同志小说在哪里可以读到。她后来很快约我出去。我很高兴可以去见她,但一切都发生得太快了(如果不算上在这之前的28年困惑时光的话。)

Until then, I had assumed I was straight; I was just really, really bad at it. I’d never had a boyfriend or even slept with a man, and I didn’t particularly like going on dates with men or hanging out with them, but I thought that was normal — all of my friends constantly complained about the guys they were dating.

直到那时,我一直以为自己是异性恋;我只是非常、非常不擅长恋爱而已。我从未有过男友,也没和男人睡过觉,我不是特别喜欢和男人约会或他们一起出去玩,但我以为那是正常的——我所有的朋友都在不停地抱怨和她们约会的男人。

I knew I was doing something wrong but didn’t know what. Sometimes I asked my friends for help. When they weren’t available or got sick of me, I turned to another lifelong source of support and comfort: the multiple-choice quiz.

我知道我在做一件错误的事情,却不知道具体是什么。有时我会向朋友求助。如果她们没空或者觉得我很烦,我就会转向另一个终身的支持和安慰来源:多选项测验。

My habit started in middle school, in the backs of magazines like CosmoGirl and Seventeen and Teen Vogue, where short quizzes promised girls guidance on issues ranging from “Does he like you?” to “How much does he like you?” Each Valentine’s Day in high school, our first-period teachers would pass out Scantron forms for a service called CompuDate, which promised to match each hormonal teenager with her most compatible classmate of the opposite sex, without regard for the social consequences. I (not popular) was matched with Mike P. (extremely popular) and he was nice about it, but it was humiliating for us both.

我这个习惯是从高中开始的,在CosmoGirl、Seventeen和Teen Vogue这些杂志的后面有很多短测验,向女孩提供从“他喜欢你吗?”到“他有多喜欢你”这些问题的指导。高中的每个情人节,第一堂课的老师会发一张用于电脑约会(CompuDate)服务的答题卡,这种服务承诺给每一个荷尔蒙泛滥的青少年找到和她最匹配的异性同学,而不考虑任何社交后果。我(不太受欢迎)和麦克·P(Mike P.,非常受欢迎)配成了一对,他的态度很友好,但我们两人都觉得很丢脸。

College graduation is the natural end of most people’s association with the multiple-choice quiz, but I couldn’t stop taking them. The older I got, the less confident I felt in how well I knew myself, and the more I looked outward for anything that might provide clues.

大多数人在大学毕业时自然就结束了与多选项测验的关系,但我无法停止做题。随着我年龄变大,我对于自己有多了解自己越来越缺乏信心,也就更加向外界寻找任何能够提供线索的东西。

In retrospect, maybe I should have known who I was the first time I went looking for a quiz called “Am I gay?” But I didn’t.

回想起来,或许我应该在第一次找一个叫做“我是同性恋吗?”的测验,当时就会明白自己是谁。但我没有。

The selection of sexuality quizzes available on today’s internet is vast. But when I first looked, in 2010, desperate for answers to my perpetual singlehood, online quizzes were still surprisingly amateurish, often using irregular font sizes and clip art. I remember politically incorrect and leading questions, such as “When you think about the type of person you want to marry, do they have short hair, like a man, or long hair, like a woman?” One quiz took my lack of interest in driving a pickup truck as definitive evidence that I was not, in fact, a lesbian.

今天网络上可以找到大量与性取向相关的测验。但当我在2010年第一次为自己无止境的单身状况寻找解答时,网络测验还让人意外地很业余,通常使用大小不一的字体和剪贴图。我记得一些最要紧的、政治不正确的问题,比如“当你想象你理想的结婚对象,他们是和男人一样留着短发,还是和女人一样留着长发?”一个测验把我对驾驶皮卡不感兴趣这一点,当作我事实上不是女同性恋的确凿证据。

I remember knowing what the answer would be before finishing every quiz; it was always exactly what I wanted it to be. If I took a quiz seeking reassurance I was straight, I would get it. If I took a quiz wanting to be told I was gay or bisexual, that would be the conclusion. But no result ever felt true enough for me to stop taking quizzes.

我记得自己在答完每道题之前就已经知道了结果会是什么;完全就是我希望的那个样子。如果我想通过做一个测验来被告知,我是同性恋或双性恋,那就会得出这个结论。但没有哪个测验结果让我感到足够准确,然后停止再答题。

Eventually, I gave up. And I figured that if I were anything but straight — anything but “normal” — I would have known when I was much younger.

最终,我放弃了。我想,如果我根本不是异性恋——如果我根本不“正常”——那我应该用不着等到这个年纪才知道了。

I moved to New York, where I dated one man for a few weeks before he dumped me, and then repeated that scenario with another man. I attributed my dating failures to generic incompatibility and the inestimable shortcomings of the male sex. I vented to my therapist, and dumped my therapist, and then got my new therapist all caught up.

我搬到了纽约,和一个男人约会了几个星期,然后他甩了我;之后我又和另一个男人重复了这一幕。我把约会失败归咎于属性不兼容以及男性存在难以估量的缺点。我向心理治疗师发泄,然后甩掉了那个治疗师,再然后又对新的心理治疗师说了这一切。

Throughout, I worked at BuzzFeed, making quizzes. Quiz making was a relatively tedious process, especially then, when the content management system was buggy and public interest modest. But quiz making was also empowering, meaning it made me feel like God.

这期间我在BuzzFeed工作,负责制作测验。测验制作是一个相对单调乏味的过程,尤其是当我们的内容管理系统毛病多多,公众兴趣也不高时。但测验制作也能为人赋予力量,它让我感觉自己像上帝一样。

Finally, I had the answers I wanted because I wrote them myself. In designing quizzes, I could elect myself the most well liked, brilliant, hilarious, hottest and most likely to succeed. My quizzes might ask, “Which One Direction member is your soul mate?” or “What type of ghost would you be?” But I already knew what I wanted those answers to be, and my quizzes simply bore them out.

最后,我得到了我想要的答案,因为这些答案都是我自己写的。在设计测验时,我可以把自己树立为最讨人喜欢、最优秀、最快活、最性感、最有可能成功的人。我的测验可能会问,“One Direction乐队的哪个成员是你的灵魂伴侣?”或者“你会成为什么样的鬼魂?”但是我已经知道自己想要什么样的答案了,做测验只是为了证实它们。

Soon the power made me cynical. In the comments of my quizzes people would affirm their results as if they were scientifically proven: “Omg this is so me!”

很快,这种力量使我怀疑一切。在我的测验下面的评论中,人们会肯定他们的结果,仿佛这是被科学证明的一样:“天哪,这就是我!”

“You fool,” I’d think. “It’s all made up.”

“你这个笨蛋,”我会想。“这些全是瞎编的。”

For years I had convinced myself that my failure to obtain a boyfriend was mathematical — too few parties attended, too few men befriended, too little time dedicated to Tinder. I assumed there was a right way to do things and I had yet to master it.

多年来,我一直坚信自己找不到男朋友是一个数学问题——参加的派对太少、没什么男性朋友、没花时间上Tinder。我认为有找男朋友要有正确的方式,我还没有掌握它。

It was my good, second therapist who helped me realize that my nonexistent love life was not a quantitative issue but a qualitative one.

我的第二位心理治疗师很棒,她帮助我意识到,我不存在的爱情生活不是一个定量问题,而是一个定性问题。

“What do you feel when you imagine going on a first date with a man?” she said.

“当你想象自己要和一个男人第一次约会时,你感觉如何?”她说。

“Dread, mostly,” I said. “But that’s normal, right?”

“主要是恐惧,”我说。“但这很正常,对吧?”

As it turns out, it really isn’t. Nervousness, yes, but not dread.

事实证明,这并不正常。紧张是正常的,但恐惧不是。

I didn’t know. I didn’t know I could try something new before knowing I wanted it.

我不知道。如果我不知道我自己想要尝试新东西,那就无法去尝试。

On and off throughout my 20s I had wished I were gay because then I would have an explanation for why men and me didn’t mix romantically. I took all those quizzes hoping to be told I was gay and feeling let down whenever the answer came back that I wasn’t. Why didn’t I ever think wanting it to be true was answer enough? Why did I imbue an amateurish, made-up, misspelled four-question quiz with more authority than I granted myself?

在我20多岁的时候,我不时希望自己是同性恋,那样就能解释为什么我和男人之间没有浪漫的融合。我做了所有测验,希望得到我是同性恋的答案,如果结果说我不是同性恋,我就会感到失望。为什么我从来没有想过,我希望自己真的是同性恋,这就足以说明问题了?为什么我觉得一个业余的、瞎编的、有拼写错误、总共才四道题的测验,会比我自己对自己的看法更权威?

Lost in the many hundreds of quizzes I had taken was the power of making my own choice. Finally, at 28, I realized I could, if I wanted, be different from the person I had been told I was.

在我做过的这几百次测验中,我失去的是自己做出选择的力量。到了28岁这年,我终于意识到,只要我愿意,我用不着成为别人所说的那种人。

So I came out, tentatively. I joined OkCupid and answered the personality questions to the best of my ability. Finally in the right dating pool, I used my old friend, the quiz, as a life vest.

所以我试探性地出柜了。我加入了OkCupid网站,并尽我所能回答了个性问题。终于,在正确的对象选择群体里,我又用上了测验这个老朋友,把它当救生衣。

When I saw someone I was drawn to, I did not study our compatibility, seeking out our mismatched traits. I just sent her a message. And when, after a back-and-forth, she asked me out, I said yes — not because I thought I should, or because doing so was the first step on the correct path forward. I said yes because I wanted to.

当我发现吸引我的人时,我没有研究我们的兼容性,寻找我们不匹配的特征。我只是给她发了一条消息。互发几条信息之后,她邀请我出来约会,我答应了——不是因为觉得应该答应,或者因为这样做是迈向正确道路的第一步。我答应是因为我想和她约会。

My first date with Lydia lasted four hours. It was not my longest first date ever but by far my best. And when we said goodbye, tipsy and starving, both of us having been too nervous to acknowledge the human need for nourishment, I didn’t consult the internet about what the next move should be or who should make it. I texted her as soon as I was in my apartment.

我和莉迪亚的第一次约会持续了四个小时。这不是我有史以来最长的第一次约会,但却是迄今为止最好的。当我们带着微醺,饿着肚子说再见时,我们俩都紧张到忘记了人类还需要营养,但我没有上网咨询下一步应该做什么,或者应该由谁先采取行动。我一进公寓就给她发短信。

Six excruciating minutes later, she texted me back. We went out again a few days after that, and the next day, and soon more days than not.

煎熬的六分钟后,她回复了我的短信。几天之后,我们又出去约会了,第二天又接着约会,很快,我们在一起的日子就比不在一起的日子要多了。

A few months into our relationship, Lydia suggested we look up our compatibility on a website that gives you a relationship prognosis based on you and your partner’s birthdays.

确立关系几个月后,莉迪亚建议我们上一个根据伴侣二人的生日提供关系预测的网站,查看我们的兼容性。

“Sure!” I said, like an idiot.

“当然!”我像个白痴一样说道。

Unsurprisingly, I was let down by the results, which stated that while my girlfriend and I were romantically compatible and complementary in nearly every category, we weren’t especially well suited to marriage.

不出所料,我对结果感到沮丧,原来虽然我和我的女朋友在几乎每个类别中都是浪漫、兼容和互补的,但我们并不特别适合结婚。

To recap: This assessment was based on nothing more than our two birthdays. And yet it briefly derailed my life.

总结一下:这个评估仅仅是基于我们两人的生日。然而它却短暂地让我的生活脱离了轨道。

Lydia patted my shoulder. She had learned a lesson, too; never again would she send me a link to a so-called fun love-forecasting quiz. We both now know better.

莉迪亚拍拍我的肩膀。她也吸取了教训;她再也不会给我发送什么所谓有趣的爱情预测的测验链接。我们现在都更明智了。

At every stage of our relationship, Lydia and I have moved forward, and said yes, because we wanted to. There is no objective, all-knowing source of guidance on the internet that can tell you who you are and what you want.

莉迪亚和我走过了恋爱关系的每一个阶段,而且结了婚,这是因为我们想结婚。在网络上,没有任何客观、全知的指导来源,可以告诉你,你是谁,你想要什么。

I can tell you this: If you have a question, and especially if you find yourself asking the same question for five years or more, chances are good you already know the answer.

我可以告诉你:如果你有一个问题,特别是如果你发现这个问题你已经问了自己五年乃至更长的时间,那么你很可能已经知道它的答案了。

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