Where Does It Come From?
When I grow up, I want to struggle immensely to have children on my own or to adopt. When I do have kids, I want their friends to make fun of them because of their parents. I want to struggle with marriage too. I want to be stared at when I’m in public with my girl/boyfriend and be made so uncomfortable that I’m afraid to even hold their hand or give them a peck on the cheek. I want people to hate me without even getting to know me. I want to be fearful of my safety when walking in certain areas. I want to be disowned by members of my family. A familiar story that we can all relate to….
….except that it’s not something we would ever say or choose for ourselves. Those things are just a handful of potential issues facing any homosexual man or woman and it is one of the reasons I can not accept it when people declare that homosexuality is a choice that people make. No rational person would choose to place so many hardships on themselves and their family. Maintaining a loving relationship and starting a family is hard enough without adding additional issues to the mix, such as finding a sperm donor, undergoing artificial insemination treatments or IVF, finding a surrogate mother, or attempting to adopt. I enjoy being able to kiss my husband at work without drawing judgmental stares from people around us; I don’t believe someone would choose to be gay and deny themselves that freedom, among others.
I’ve had gay friends in my life ever since 6th grade, and although they weren’t out in the open about it then, there were definitely signs that they were not a typical male or female. The guys didn’t go flitting around like fairies and the girls didn’t dress in flannel and construction boots, they were just obviously a little different in their mannerisms and their interactions with either sex. They had been a little different their whole lives and eventually realized it was because they were attracted to the same sex and desired to have a romantic relationship with someone who society doesn’t want them to be with. Every single one of my friends who came out later in life was teased in middle and high school and some forced themselves to date someone of the opposite sex so the name calling would cease. They tried to act straight but it wasn’t who they were. Just as I can’t force myself to become a lesbian, a homosexual person can not force themselves to be straight because nature simply did not make them that way.
I watched a documentary months ago about two people, a male and a female, who were trying to be straight after having dated people of the same sex. The male’s story bothered me the most; he was seeking help through his religion and had a mentor that was part of the church and also a “reformed homosexual.” They treated being gay in the same way as someone would treat alcoholism, as a disease to be cured. In seeking acceptance from their God and their church, those who go this route are burying a part of themselves and living a lie for the rest of their lives.
Being gay isn’t anything to be ashamed of and it sure as hell isn’t an illness that requires treatment so that it can be cured and a person can be straight again. It’s not a condition and it doesn’t make someone less than human. How is it helpful to tell a person that the only way they can be happy and go to heaven is to deny a part of who they are and force themselves to ignore what is in their heart? It’s heartless and irresponsible for groups and churches to actively try and turn people straight, especially when their time could be better spent fixing actual problems facing the members of their community.
It is none of my business who anyone chooses to lay down with at night, just as it’s none of your concern who I share my bed with. It pains me that it’s even an issue because I don’t see how it matters. We’re all born a bit differently; tall or short, big-boned or rail thin, gay or straight. It is not anyone’s responsibility to attempt to “fix”a homosexual person nor is it their right to interfere with someone else’s life in that way. Rather than make pointless efforts to make us all the same, we should embrace the fact that we’re different and unique individuals. I’m not asking anyone to like homosexuality or agree with it, just let it be and leave them alone.