Saturday, June 30, 2012


I often laugh at my adversaries in the anti-gay industry because what they say is so hilariously stupid. It’s also true that everything they say, do and believe is built on certain myths that they constantly preach to their supporters to keep them in line. What they desperately want to avoid is any critical thought or analysis of those myths because they know how flimsy they are. On this last day of Gay and Lesbian Pride month, I’m going to talk about their most cherished myth.

The professional anti-gay industry loves to spread the myth that homosexuality is a “choice”, that otherwise heterosexual people have simply “chosen” to be gay. Our side, of course, can see the absurdity of that and often ask in return, “when did you choose to be straight?” (this retort is also ironic, since so many anti-gay activists turn out to be secretly homosexual).

I don’t think our side understands the anti-gay industry’s underlying assumption, namely, that not only are all people heterosexual, but also that gay and lesbian people have chosen to be gay in the same way disobedient children defy their fathers. Their view of sexuality is childishly simplistic, assuming all people are one thing, and that one thing only, and that only ornery wilfulness accounts for people being gay.

Their myth persists for two reasons. First, they add a layer of non-theological “evidence”, arguing that since scientists haven’t discovered a “gay gene”, homosexuality “must” be a choice. Putting aside the irony of people who angrily reject science using it to “prove” their opinion, the reality is that not finding a gene doesn’t prove it doesn’t exist. In fact, the best scientific evidence to date suggests that there must be a genetic component, at least, to sexual orientation, possibly a “gay gene”, possibly not. But whether or not such a gene exists doesn’t mean that homosexuality isn’t a natural variation of sexuality because all the evidence to date proves it is.

The other reason the myth persists is because heterosexual people who don’t understand gay people are often predisposed to assume it’s a wilful choice, particularly if they’re also religious. That’s mere prejudice and is usually ameliorated when they get to know real gay people.

But what if the radicals were right, all the scientific evidence was wrong, and human sexuality really was nothing but choice. So what? Religion is undeniably 100% choice, and yet we guarantee the right of people to be free from discrimination based on their religion. If they really want to go down the road of not protecting a choice, then surely they’ll also argue we shouldn’t protect religious choice, either, right? Right?!

Human sexuality is a complicated thing, but the only choice involved is whether or not we will be true to ourselves and to our nature. That’s not always an easy choice to make, particularly because some people choose to try and oppress those who don’t believe as they do.

While we don’t choose our sexuality, we can choose whether or not to be good people. Those persecuting gay and lesbian people have obviously made the wrong choice.

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