Saturday, April 30, 2011

Why are you gay?

One afternoon I was hanging out at a BBQ with a bunch of friends. Most of them happened to be lesbians. I don't remember how the conversation started, and I don't even remember what I said. What I do remember is at one point of the ladies interjected: "nobody chooses to be gay, you're born that way." I don't think I believed that at that point. The life(style) I was raised within made sexual orientation all about a "choice" and a "lifestyle." So, what else would I have believed about my orientation?

First, some levity on the topic.
See how you do at matching up the terms with the definitions. Pretty funny stuff!  
“In our culture, it used to be that a woman was either gay or she wasn’t. Nowadays we have so many words to describe ourselves; it would take a task force of PhDs in queer vernacular of the day, or a very skilled clairvoyant to decipher them all.”
Match the following concepts with their definitions listed below.
_ born to be a lesbian
_ converted lesbian
_ lesbian by choice
_ bisexual
_ transsexual
_ fluid sexual identity
a) a former heterosexual who finally admitted her disillusionment, dumped her husband & became a lesbian
b) a woman who possesses the yet to be found lesbian gene
c) only her surgeon knows for sure
d) a woman who has experimented with both males & females before deciding on the better sex
e) a free spirit who wants her (beef) cake and Edith, Suzie, Mary and other females too.

Now, secondly... more serious discussion on the topic. 
Why am I gay?
What’s the first answer that comes to your mind?
  • I’m being tested by God to see if I’ll remain obedient and faithful.
  • I’m being tempted by the enemy who wants to destroy me.
  • I was born with a defect in my personality or a genetic flaw.
  • Something happened to me in my childhood.
  • I gave into sin because I was spiritually weak.
  • I was just born gay.
  • I’m not really gay. I only fell in love with a woman.
Depending on where you are in the reconciliation process your answer to the question might be different today than it was last week or last month, and different than it might be a year from now. (cont.)

I have thought about that simple proclamation from that friend at that BBQ off and on through the years. Is she right? I don't know.

A blogger friend over at the Unseen Disciple has written a thorough article on this whole ongoing debate over whether one chooses to be gay or is born gay.
Here is an excerpt, but there is much before and after this excerpt worth soaking in.
[...]“It is true that on some level, there is a choice to be gay. But it isn’t a choice about the state of affairs over which we have no control. We cannot deliberate over ends! A state of being is an end, so I cannot choose that state of being. What I can choose is my behavior. So I can choose to be unacceptable but authentic (or ‘congruent with myself’ as my friend has it), which I chose at 40, or I can choose to be acceptable but inauthentic. Ugly choice! But note I don’t choose the authenticity or the acceptability, but the paths or my actions that will promote one set or the other.
...We do make choices. We can’t escape making choices. To quote Sartre, we are condemned to be free—we cannot but choose. And as gays, we are forced to choose between authenticity and acceptability. But that’s speaking loosely. Being more careful with our terms, we are forced to choose between those actions which will promote authenticity and those which will promote acceptability.” [...]
Why are you gay?