Is being gay a choice?

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Is being gay a choice?

Post by Deej on Mon Apr 22, 2013 6:56 pm

I friend posted this on FB, I thought we should share it.


Olivia Moreno


Morning
Ladies. I had a political moment the other day after being asked if
being gay is a choice, and, after my answer's been hanging out there for
a little while and has gotten some really positive comments on twitter
and other places about the internet, I thought I'd share it here.




I have literally written and erased half a dozen answers to your
question which range from quick and honest to sarcastic and everything
in between. But I remind myself that every opportunity is a time for
teaching if the other person really wants to learn, so I’m going to do
my very best to answer this question well. Please forgive me, however,
if I come across as acrid, sarcastic, and/or bitchy. As I get older,
I’ve become less tolerant of having to explain my sexuality when my self
declared heterosexual peers don’t have to do the same.

So, here’s my answer for you. The Cliff notes version is this.

A person’s sexuality is not a choice.

The tl;dr read version is this.

No one chooses to whom they are attracted. The very concept of that
being a possibility is absurd. I assure you that, if I could magically
snap my fingers and be attracted to the opposite sex, I would do so in
an instant.

This may come as a shock to many because I’m very vocal about who I
am, my support of equal rights for everyone, my support of tolerance and
acceptance, and the fact that I tell people to love themselves for who
they are.

But the fact is that being something outside the hetero-normative is
hard. I’ve said many times that this is not an easy road. There are
people out there who want to, literally, kill me because I’m attracted
to the same sex. They don’t care that I’m socially active and encourage
things like supporting your community, voting, donating blood, and
setting positive examples for others. They don’t care that I participate
in charity, support Alzheimer’s research, that I go out of my way to
make sure some of my less stable friends know I’m there if they need me,
or that I am trained as a peer counselor and am willing to lend an ear
or shoulder even to a stranger if they need it.

The only thing these people care about is that I’m not attracted to men or only to men, and, therefore, I need to die.

My government, neither state nor federal, recognizes my nearly 9 year
relationship to the same person. My partner, because she works for the
state, could lose her job if certain people found out she wasn’t
heterosexual. Her family has practically disowned her. When she told her
mother, her mother’s first reply was, “You’re breaking my heart. I
don’t know what happened to you to make you do this to me, but I hope
you one day realize how wrong this is.” It’s only by the grace of the
Universe that mine is as accepting as it is because many families are
much more like my partner’s than mine.

Several different religions teach that, based solely on to whom I am attracted and regardless of anything else I may do in life - good or bad - I will go to hell and burn for eternity if I
give in to the “carnal pleasures” of being in a long term, loving,
committed relationship with another woman. According to these religious
institutions, I could be the most amazing person ever, but, because I’m
not heterosexual, I’m going to hell. I have no redeeming qualities.

When I’m in public with my partner and we’re simply holding hands,
there are families that will cover their children’s eyes or walk across
the street and away from us or blatantly stare at us with disapproving
faces because we’re holding hands.

People - coworkers, bosses, random people - tell my mother how sorry
they are for her that I am a lesbian. One boss told her not only that he
was sorry but that, in his country, they’d kill me to redeem the family
honor.

If you’re a gay man, you can’t give blood because the risk is too
high that you might be HIV positive. People question you if you want to
raise a family because there are people out there who honestly think
being gay is the same thing as being a child molester, which is so
ridiculous I don’t have enough words to describe my disgust at that
ignorance. If you’re a gay man, many people automatically assume that
you’re promiscuous and that you have some kind of disease. As a gay man,
you risk your life everyday that you live out of the closet because
there are enough insecure, self proclaimed heterosexual men out there
who see you as a threat simply because of who you are they will beat you
until they kill you or worse just to prove how much of a real man they
are as opposed to you.

If you’re bisexual, you get it both directions because homosexuals
say you’re playing the field and you need to pick a side while
heterosexuals treat you like you’re a homosexual. You literally can’t
win, but you’re still doing better than transexuals, whom most people
don’t even bother to understand. That’s a whole different post,
honestly.

I’m not joking. I’m not making this up. This is how it is to be
something other than heterosexual. To be something other than the
hetero-normative expectation of the mainstream is to know that everyday
is a fight. It is to know that every single time you step outside there
is a possibility you’re going to get hurt, badgered, attacked, or
accused because you’re with someone of which the mainstream populous
doesn’t approve.

Being out is knowing that you will forever have to explain why you’re
not heterosexual because, once you come out, you will have to
continuously come out for the rest of your life. Unlike the heterosexual
population, you will always have to defend yourself, and you will
always be considered a representative of the non hetero-normative
population to those in the hetero-normative population even when you
don’t want to be, even when you shouldn’t be.

No one would willing choose to be attracted to someone other than the opposite sex. This. Life. Is. Hard.

Plenty of people, mostly because they’re scared of one thing or
another, choose not to live the life they feel. They know they’re not
heterosexual, but, because of the consequences of coming out, they
choose not to live outside of being heterosexual.

The choice is not whether or not a person is going to be something
other than heterosexual. The choice is whether or not that person has
the courage and stamina to live as they are despite the consequences
that the mainstream society will enact once that person decides to step
up and live as they feel.

That’s the choice, and that is why I say those who choose to come out are brave.



















http://admhawthorne.tumblr.com/post/48535249803/i-have-literally-written-and-erased-half-a-dozen

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Re: Is being gay a choice?

Post by BassGuitarGirl on Mon Apr 22, 2013 10:51 pm

Okay, that was looooooooooong, but on point and nicely written. When will we ever truly celebrate our differences along with our sameness?
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Re: Is being gay a choice?

Post by Lilien on Thu May 09, 2013 8:38 pm

Is being a gay choice???
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Re: Is being gay a choice?

Post by Deej on Fri May 10, 2013 7:12 am

Love it. OK

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Re: Is being gay a choice?

Post by ElaineB on Fri May 10, 2013 8:58 am

Fascinating!

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Re: Is being gay a choice?

Post by BassGuitarGirl on Sun May 12, 2013 10:48 am

When did you choose to be straight?
pardon
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Re: Is being gay a choice?

Post by Deej on Sun May 12, 2013 12:41 pm

I love how some actually stammered. Great stuff.

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Re: Is being gay a choice?

Post by ElaineB on Sun May 12, 2013 5:37 pm

Thing is, I'm surprised no one answered with, "Well, no, I didn't choose. I was born straight, as is everyone. They choose to be gay."

Thankfully, no one seems to have said that. I do like how it takes them by surprise. Really, it never occurred to them that the choice argument is baloney.

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Re: Is being gay a choice?

Post by Daydreamer on Fri May 31, 2013 3:44 pm

This is actually a tougher question than meets the eye. I was told once by a straight person that they believe that it's both, which is the answer that a couple ppl gave in the video. I can see this as relevant because, as my straight friend put it, there is a movement towards embracing the gay culture going on right now, and young ppl will often make a "choice" to be something they are not because they long to be noticed. I'm not saying they are truly gay, as much as they are trying to be gay. many gays say, "who in their right mind would ever choose to be gay when it's so much harder? that's ridiculous." But honestly it is not so much when you get into the mind of a teen who longs to be noticed and longs for attention, any kind of attention at all, even negative attention. If this were so absurd then why do I have several friends who at one time said they were bi sexual, even had a few 'experiences" in HS and college, but now are straight...again...?

I know a friend who is uber spiritual, and she has hopped from one belief system to another, each time claiming the one she has now embraced is the "true and right path." The irony is that in each successive leap she has taken, it has coincided with what was popular at the time among her peers. She has yet to actually see this pattern, even when pointed out to her. I suspect eventually she will realized that rather than seeking truth in a non-biased, truly seeking way, she actually just went with the flow happening around her.

We can train ourselves to think and believe almost anything. Like the person who begins to believe their own lies when they say it enough times, I think it is possible for some "faux" homosexuality to exist in a culture that is all about acceptance and coming out. For the true homosexual though, I do not think it's a choice. The trouble is, telling the difference between what is and is not genuine is only done with the passage of time.

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Re: Is being gay a choice?

Post by ElaineB on Sat Jun 01, 2013 8:21 am

All good points, which just shows that the question, is it a choice, is ridiculous. Why not let people be whatever they want to be (as long as no on is hurt, and it's between consenting adults, etc.)? We're obsessed with putting people into buckets--gay, straight, male, female. Live and let live.

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Re: Is being gay a choice?

Post by Daydreamer on Sat Jun 01, 2013 3:37 pm

well it was just a long winded way of saying I have no idea what the hell I think of it. lol

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Re: Is being gay a choice?

Post by Lilien on Sat Jun 01, 2013 4:43 pm

ElaineB wrote:We're obsessed with putting people into buckets--gay, straight, male, female. Live and let live.

And not only that, there is so many labels between lesbians that I most of the times have to google up what is what. Butch, Femme, Stemme, Stud, Lipstick, Bois and the list goes on??? What the fu*k.

Edit to add this interesting list?

http://mayahuskee.deviantart.com/journal/Label-Me-Lesbian-A-Guide-to-Types-of-Lesbians-214218387
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Re: Is being gay a choice?

Post by ElaineB on Sat Jun 01, 2013 6:32 pm

Stem was a new one for me.

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Re: Is being gay a choice?

Post by Athena on Sun Jun 02, 2013 10:49 am

I didn't know a lot of these definitions. It's interesting.
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Re: Is being gay a choice?

Post by Daydreamer on Fri Jun 21, 2013 9:02 pm

There were several in there I wasn't aware of. I guess I struggle quite a lot with this sort of labeling. I feel that it makes lesbians out to be of a different gender than female. The irony is thick in the definition of a pansexual (a term I actually used to identify with) in how they hate labels so they respond by labeling themselves, lol. The bottom line is that all females present themselves very differently both in mindset and physically. Some wear makeup, some do not, so never wear it, some wear it occasionally, some wear it all the time even while exercising or swimming. Some women wear dresses and skirts and heels, some wear t-shirts and jeans, some wear a combination of both depending on the mood and occasion. Some wear jewelry, some do not, some wear it when they go out, some wear it while rock climbing and probably should not, lol. Some have short hair some long...as I see the world and men and women, I see all types and it has most often nothing to do with their sexual orientation at all. I have friends who love tough men, the construction worker type, or jocks and athletes. Some like farmers, rednecks and the like, while others love metrosexuals and guys who paint their nails. Most like a man who is just comfortable in his own shoes and has some semblance of self confidence. I think guys choose their girls in a similar fashion. In a nutshell I think these labels are a detriment to lesbians, making them out to be something other than what they are...WOMEN.

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Re: Is being gay a choice?

Post by Sacchi on Sat Jun 22, 2013 2:23 pm

Very useful! I've been wrangling for a while on terminology with my publisher, and the publisher, of course, has won, which is why I'll soon be posting a Call for Submissions for Me and My Boi. My original proposal was about butches, but the feeling of the publisher's staff in San Francisco (Berkeley, actually,) who are clearly too young and foolish, is that titles with "butch" in them don't sell. I'd say to boycott them, except that then I wouldn't have an anthology to edit, and there are all too few of them coming out these days anyway.

(I'll still want stories about more mature butches.)
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Re: Is being gay a choice?

Post by ElaineB on Sat Jun 22, 2013 6:06 pm

Good point, Daydreamer. Straight people come in just as many flavors but they don't apply labels to them (well, maybe metrosexual).

Sacchi, I like the title Me and My Boi! Cute. Really, what is a boi, but just a butch in another generation. I can see where the young ones might feel that butch is old fashioned. Someday boi will be too. Who wants to be what their grandmother was?

Actually, I would hope that in another generation we'd lose the need for labels.

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Re: Is being gay a choice?

Post by Sacchi on Sat Jun 22, 2013 6:53 pm

I just can't see anyone over 60...or 50...or 40...or maybe even 30, referring  to themselves as "boi." Well, except in certain age-play circles, but let's not confuse the issue.

I know my publisher wants to attract younger (but still adult) readers, but from what I've seen the youngsters are not all that likely to but books, and the lesbians who do buys lots of books don't want erotica. Or at least they don't want what they think erotica books are like.
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Re: Is being gay a choice?

Post by Deej on Sat Jun 22, 2013 8:09 pm

I couldnt agree more about hat adults THINK erotica is? I get a lot of comments about that all the time.

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Re: Is being gay a choice?

Post by Daydreamer on Sun Jun 23, 2013 4:51 pm

ElaineB wrote:Good point, Daydreamer. Straight people come in just as many flavors but they don't apply labels to them (well, maybe metrosexual).

Well intentionally or not you just proved how often straight ppl are labeled. I used several in my post. "Rednecks," "Jocks," etc. I suppose there are many others, "whitetrash," "tomboy," "geek," "nerd," hipster," dirtbag," "preppie," "yuppie," "emo," and the list goes on and on. So we do, as a human race, love labels. I feel my entire argument has been rendered null and void..still, I see a difference in the reasons why gays are labeled as apposed to the reasons why we "as people" are labeled. The labeling of variations in gay preferences or appearances seems to indicate to me a significant ignorance about sexual orientation. As much as I dislike labels in general, I suppose I would feel better about being labeled based on the same criteria that anyone gets labeled and not a label based solely as an extension of my sexual orientation. ie: if I were to happen to be a girlie girl, I'd prefer that over a "femme" or "lipstick lesbian." Perhaps I am over thinking all of it.

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Re: Is being gay a choice?

Post by ElaineB on Mon Jun 24, 2013 5:12 pm

I think that, for right or for wrong, labels help people organize their world. Male, female. Liberal, conservative. Gay, straight. In my local elections, I don't know the party of the candidates and that's always bothered me for reasons I'm not sure I understand. On a practical level, I say it's because local offices are steps to higher office and as you go up, political affiliation matters--who has the majority in Congress gets to set the agenda. But why can't I judge a candidate on where they stand on an issue, not how they fit into a box?

Why, once we've established the gay category, do we need further delineation? I'm a lesbian. Beyond that, I'm neither butch nor femme, so I it feels like a way to make me feel left out within my larger group. I have enough insecurities as it is.

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Re: Is being gay a choice?

Post by Lilien on Mon Jun 24, 2013 8:04 pm

This is what I think:

1. People have this need to identify themselves with something. I guess they need a feeling of belonging  to some group or cause or just simple feeling of not being One and Only. So when they can not find themselves in some particular group, they create their own group, but shortly that group gets populated with others and than that leads to sub categories and that leads to another sub-sub group... and so own.

2. People who belong to a certain group or circle may feel that a certain individual or a group of individuals even though similar to them still sticks out so they create a label which puts them into a sub group so they don't have to be compared with them or just simply so they don't have to be in the same group.

Either way, people tend to belong to something. They or more accurately would be WE need to have some meaning in life and to belong to  a culture, group or particular label which represent who we are. In some way that define us.

In my dictionary there exists:

Femme: To which I refer as Girly Girls. I never (or in extremely rare occasions) use word Femme.

Butch: Which is a dyke who is easily recognized by her attitude and outside style (clothing, hair, walk and dominant tendencies).

Dyke: Which is far from the Girly Girl, has certain similarities with butch but it's not one. And this is actually something I would define myself with.

The New Ones: Are all this Boi (which I refer to as a baby butches (you know out of chicken there will be hen one day)),  for me the new discovered  word: androgynous lesbians (?) (to which I refer to as a thin emo butches) and to be honest I am not even sure if I can distinguish these two.

Or in that mater any other sub label other than first three in my list. And even there, how can you be sure that a Girly Girl is actually a  lesbian? She could be a republican silicon wife or just a straight girl who loves fashion. With Dyke you have 50-50 chances, since in past years women went far from once consider standard clothes as dress and skirts. With Butch you have fair chances not to be wrong about her sexuality. 

I don't think, or to be more accurate I actually disagree that these labels ... I gonna quote DayDreamer  here..."...making them out to be something other than what they are...WOMEN." People just use these labels to better fit themselves into a certain group, culture or surrounding. Maybe bad, but I will still use this example: You have a shoe, where there is a subcategory > male or female model> running or walking> black or white, etc. But on the end of the day they are  all still shoes.

If anyone finds my post insulting or in any way derogatory, I deeply apologize, it was not my intention to insult or humiliate anyone. It is simply my opinion. I am not much into labels, but I do respect anyone who wants to define themselves with what ever they feel comfortable with. It doesn't hurt anyone and if it makes you happy, it makes me happy, just don't make me learn heavy new words and even less don't make me pronounce them.
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Re: Is being gay a choice?

Post by ElaineB on Tue Jun 25, 2013 4:00 pm

"thin emo butches"? That's a new one for me.

"republican silicon wife" laugh

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Re: Is being gay a choice?

Post by Daydreamer on Wed Jun 26, 2013 10:06 pm

*cheers to all republican silicon wives* lol.

Thin emo butches are very cute...umm..I think, based on your terminology I'm femme, but I'm also far from girly girl. That's the thing, I doubt anyone really fits completely into any one category. Anyway, I respect everyone's opinions and am very hard to offend. Especially when it comes to a topic that I do not take all that seriously tbh. I do understand that some find this stuff very important, and I do respect that. Elaine you make very good points on the need for humans to categorize everything in order to better understand what is perhaps not easy to understand for some.

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Re: Is being gay a choice?

Post by Athena on Sat Dec 14, 2013 6:45 pm

I really like that one.  Very Happy 
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