Friday, May 27, 2005

Afternoon Edition - 5/27/05

On Blast
Today we’re putting Lala On Blast with: Do you think a person is born gay or is it a choice?
Before getting into a detailed response to Lala’s question, I want each straight person on this blog to perform the following three experiments. Please be honest in your responses.

1st Experiment
You wake up tomorrow and find that the entire world (and therefore, the societal norm) is that everyone is gay. You still have the feelings you have today – that is, you are straight. Everyone asks you to change your life; they call your desires unnatural and ask you to negate all that you are to conform to the norm. Can you, or more important will you, do it?

2nd Experiment
Think back to your earliest recollections – when did you CHOOSE to be straight? When was the first time you DECIDED that being attracted to the opposite sex and engaging in relations with the opposite sex would fulfill you? Was your desire/CHOICE to engage the opposite sex something you would say you were born with?

3rd Experiment
You have an unsightly, but benign tumor on your face. Doctors have informed you that the tumor cannot be removed or you will die. Although you may have a wonderful personality, you are consistently judged and sometimes ridiculed for having this tumor. Some folks are mature enough and see that the tumor is merely a small part of who you are and engage you as a “whole” person. One day you are suddenly told that there is an opportunity to remove the tumor. Would you remove it?

The reason for the aforementioned experiments is to give you a clear picture of what most gay individuals experience on a daily basis. In experiment number one the object is to show you that gay, bisexual and transgender individuals (SGL – Same Gender Loving) folks endure a world “norm” that is different from their own. The feeling of helplessness and inability to conform to the “norm” are initially frustrating to the SGL community.

In experiment number two, the object is to show you that just as straight individuals do not CHOOSE to be straight (you just are) SGL folks do not CHOOSE to be SGL. Although the SGL community can completely abstain from any sexual interaction, it stands to reason that this option is difficult. Imagine being asked to abstain from all sexual activity because being straight is wrong. …uh, exactly!

In experiment three, I’m not comparing being SGL to a tumor, I’m simply equating being SGL with a facet of our lives that we would change if we could. Yes, many SGL individuals will tell you that they would stay SGL, even if given the choice, but the reality is that the majority of SGL folks would prefer to be straight and avoid the challenges and scrutiny that come with the orientation. Although many SGL individuals are respected and loved and many will attest to living full lives, it is a challenge and many SGL folks would choose to be straight to avoid that challenge. SGL individuals must fight to succeed despite being looked at differently by many in society.

Long story short (yeah, I know… too late) the answer is that being SGL is NOT a choice. The only choice is in whether we will live full lives and seek to love and be respected or if we will shrink within ourselves or mutate to accommodate society. Behavior choices and orientation choices are two different things and we don't have control over the latter. Whether SGL folks are born this way is yet another discussion – one that has been debated and substantiated by both sides of the argument.

Keep passin’ the open windows…


Tammy said...

Hmmm...I see know one has commented. Why? cause aint nuffin else to say. Like you said Hector, I can not imagine someone choosing a life style where folks look down on you because of who you love. And I can not imagine a black individual (like myself) judging SGL's. How dare you alienate someone because they are different from you. We (the black race) have been living with this all our existence practically. We know how this feels, cant imagine wanting to make someone else feel that.

Melissa said...

As a woman living with a gay man, I don't give a rats ass about his sexual preference or how it came about. That's not my concern nor is it important to me. There are important things for me to think about such as how I treat people in general, regardless of their sexual orientation. And being there for those who I consider my friend; be they gay or straight. Final word, I live in a glass house...can't throw stones.

Anonymous said...

A choice? Maybe in some cases, but I witnessed first hand that my relative did not choose to be happy. His mother, a minister, believes he's gay due to the abscense of his father as a child. Ok, I really don't want to go into her "grasping for anything out there to make herself feel better, but I knew he was gay when he was 4 years old. At the time I was 17 years old then and had already lost 2 gay friends, one due to a bastard's insecurities and the other committed suicide. As time when on, he got older and dated females. All along, I knew better. When he left culinary school at 21, I asked him was he gay. He denied it at first, but came back and admitted it 2 months later. The conversation went on for hours with me preaching that he must be happy and true to himself. He aksed how I knew, but I really don't know. Having said all of that, in his case, he didn't make the choice to be gay and since then he's come out to everyone. My nephew is now 28, happy, phoine and successful.