So to my title, are we born gay?… I read this article http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2012/nov/20/is-there-a-gay-gene?CMP=twt_gu
Bindel says that this is an “odd” thing to say. I don’t think being born any way should be described as “odd”. She then says “Few of us have any memory before the age of two, and babies are not sexual beings.” This is very true, no child is a sexual being. Gay or straight. But if you are born into one orientation and not the other, then you can be gay or straight. Sexual orientation is not about sex after all is it. It is about us. It is deeper than who we sleep with, which is why I think people would take issue with being told we choose, or have a choice in whether we are gay or not.
The article then goes on to refer to “sexual preference”. I can say hand on heart, it is not a preference(for me at least). Maybe for some it is, and I support that. I do know “lesbians” who have ended up married to men. So they must have had a sexual preference. In my younger days, I dated men. This as not my choice, it was society. I lived in a small town and did what was “normal” to everyone else. I wanted to ask my best mate out, this was what my mind and body was telling me. I can’t say i preferred a female over a male, I was drawn to women. It was more than my mind making a decision. I may be over thinking Julie’s choice of words here and am prepared to be corrected. I like a good debate!
“The more we break down the taboos of same-sex relationships, the more people are opting for it”. Are we really “opting” for it though? Or is the breaking down of taboos just making it easier to come out? Coming out now is much more accepted than when I did it thats for sure. I see gay people openly and rightly, showing affection, this rarely happened outside of gay clubs when I was younger. I am not a dinosaur, but things have changed lots in the last 15 years.
I think Julie has a point, in that there may not be a gay gene. I mean if there is no heterosexual gene, why should there be a gay one? We do not need a gene to “explain” us. We do not need it to be a choice or preference either. Why do we even need a label? Some people sleep with men, some with women, some with both, some with none. Its the ones sleeping with animals we need to watch out for.
We need positive steps to show that whoever we sleep with, there is no “normal” and personally, I think by throwing it out there that it is a choice, will add fuel to the fire of certain groups. Aversion therapy is rife and although Bindel says “We can be against homophobic aversion therapy and STILL argue against a gay gene.” and is right, it still seems like two steps forward and one step back. I don’t think we need a “reason” to be who we are, gay or straight. I don’t want “sympathy” for being gay, as bindel implies hunting a gay gene gives us.
I don’t want or need permission or sympathy or even a gene to be gay. I just am who I am. I am a woman and I want equality. I didn’t chose to be a woman, like I did not chose to be gay. But I am happy with it!
Anyway, thanks to Julie for a very good food for thought article over my morning tea.