I got into a heated debate with a straight guy the other night. He claimed that homosexuality was a choice.
It wasn’t the first time I’d heard that, obviously. But it still shocks me that some heterosexual people pretend to understand what it is like to be gay. It annoys me that some of them think homosexuality is a choice, the wrong one, and that their heterosexuality is the normal, correct way to be.
And to that, I reply with the same response any other member of the LGBTQ community would:
When did you choose to be straight?
The topic of homosexuality being a choice rather than a predetermined genetic trait is something that has been researched with no clear answers being discovered.
Homosexuality has been found in nearly every species on the planet. We’ve all heard of the gay penguin couple in the Central Park Zoo that successfully hatched a chick and continued to be mates for the rest of their lives.
However, this research was still inconclusive when theories were divided on the line of social functions of sexual intercourse and species that are monogamous, such as the penguins.
I have yet to come across a member of the LGBTQ community who feels that their sexuality was a choice. And we all say the same thing, more or less. Being gay is as natural to us as being straight is for our heterosexual peers.
Homosexuality is also sometimes pinned on upbringing. My brother and I are both gay, our parents getting divorced when I was six and he was seven. Some would say that we are both gay because we lacked a dominant male figure in our childhoods.
But then how do you explain the rest of my family? On my mother’s side, my grandmother has a gay brother who died of AIDS before I was born. On my father’s side, he is one of six children, three of which are gay. And that isn’t even covering the countless cousins.
I do believe that the environment in which they were raised influences a person’s views of sex. It probably also involves their sexual experiences, good or bad. But that, I think, determines the person’s acceptance or rejection of their sexuality rather than the sexual attractions that they experience naturally.
So people retort to the common “gay is a choice” claim by saying:
“Why would anyone choose to be gay? We don’t have the same rights as straight people. Coming out is rarely an easy thing to do. We are a people discriminated against, we cannot get married to the ones we love. No one would choose that.”
Personally, I’m glad I am gay. And if I were given the choice to choose my sexuality, I still would have chosen to be gay. The struggles we face come along with a pretty amazing culture. It’s comes with a sense of family, and in the hopefully not so distant future, LGBTQ teens and young adults can look back and say with pride that they were part of the struggle for the right to love and marry whomever we want.
Besides, if I were straight, I don’t even know what I would have written about for these weekly columns. Plus, the cutest guys really are gay.
The way I see it, I didn’t choose to be gay, I was just lucky.Contact Eric Ramirez.