Although we live in a very ethnocentric country, we still find traditional value in the way we are taught to act growing up. Specifically with our sexuality, we are told to keep it very private. Again, this stems from a very traditional mindset. It also may be because of the fact that America is such a melting pot of cultures, who are infamous for tradition and ethical value. This outlook parallels the one highlighted in Middlesex. Throughout just the first quarter of the book, we are constantly reminded about how everyone needs to be socially correct. Of course this book takes place in the earlier 1900’s, so it may be a little more justified. We are introduced to the oldest generation the book mentions in the first quarter of the book, Desdemona and Lefty. The two are third cousins, and at the same time brother and sister. Due to the circumstances of living in a village with such few women for Lefty to mate with, having to mate with the same kind, and his duty to find a god girl, he finds eyes for Desdemona. Desdemona, in the same predicament –having such minimal choices to find someone to be with, having to take care of her brother as she promised her mother, and always being with her brother– Desdemona grows fond of her brother. The two constantly lock eyes and feel heavy near one another, but they must keep it down low because people would not accept it. “At first they just hugged in the standard way, but after ten seconds the hug began to change; certain positions of the hands and strokings of the fingers weren’t the usual displays of sibling affection, and these things constituted a language of their own, announced a whole new message in the silent room.” (Eugenides 39) So many times, we catch Desdemona and Lefty having these encounters where they know they must separate themselves because it “isn’t right”.
Going back to how things parallel, a lot of times we are told to hide our sexuality. This becomes a great problem especially with the rapid growing gay population. A lot of times, people who are gay are told to keep things on the hush, because of the negative effects it can cause them. They can be shunned by family members, religious organizations, employers, etc. Behind closed doors gay people will be who they are, but even sometimes then they find themselves holding back constantly trying to tell themselves their feelings are wrong. In all, we find that a lot of the problems, even though they are not exactly the same, from now and then are very related.