Is being gay a choice? A few words for our society’s leaders.

02/09/2011 at 5:13 pm (Gay)

Okay, let’s do this. Gloves off.

Being gay is NOT a choice.  That’s it.  End of story.

You can discuss it until you’re blue in the face.  You can throw around statistics and research and half-arsed rhetoric over and over.  And that’s what’s happening.  Because for some reason there’s a whole bunch of people that feel threatened by gay men, by lesbians, by bisexuals and by transgender people.

My theory, which is not an original one, is that there’s something within each of these bigots that scares them.  Probably because of how they were raised, and how they think they should be perceived by the public, by congregations and by voters.   Perhaps you’re not addressing any confusion about your sexuality, but aiming it outward, attacking the people that dare to be happy with their life.

I didn’t decide I wanted to be gay.  I grew up with feelings and notions that made me feel like I was a freak, an outsider.  There were films and TV programmes that showed gay people.  I saw them and thought, “that’s not me.”  As I grew up I heard the terms “queer” and “poof” and “bender” and that gay people were a threat.

Again, I thought, “that’s not me.”

I just wanted to be normal, or whatever my teenage brain perceived that to mean.  I hated school, I had experience of bullying – and not for being gay.  I found life at school tough enough as it is, why the hell would I choose a lifestyle that would make me stand out more?  So I buried it down, too scared to open up enough and be comfortable with who I am.  Eventually I did.

If there was any choice involved in my sexuality, it was the choice to accept it and be myself.  I chose to enjoy my life and all that comes with it.  Somehow, I’m not miserable, or a victim.  I feel like I’m always having to say this, but I work and contribute to society.  Being gay is part of who I am, but it does not give anyone the right to assume things about me.

To these bigots I say that you will not denegrate me because of my sexuality.  You will not ever, ever make me believe that you can Pray the Gay away.  I don’t believe these people are necessarily (all) evil, but they’re woefully misguided.

To those teachers, politicians, church leaders and parents, please, stop turning your hate and fear and insecurity into a platform to oppress.  Listen to the words you’re saying; perhaps you will understand yourself better, and maybe understand others.



  1. robbiebonham said,

    You hit the nail on the head with the ‘woefully misguided’ tag. Unfortunately we’re taught from early on that ‘evil is evil’. or ‘wrong is wrong’ BY woefully misguided people, and a lot of people will happily just slide in to that belief system, because they have the authority of ‘accepted norms’ behind them. The more woefully misguided out there seem to think they know God and what his wants are, and unfortunately a lot of people are just not capable of thinking any other way, and it makes it a tougher world for the ‘better guided’ people to ‘work around them’. I think we’re in an age now where the chasm between the two mindsets is becoming bigger and more apparent, and the ignorant seem to be upping their (ignorance) game to match the more evolved amongst us. Worrying times.

    Daring to be different attracts trouble, yet it’s the difference that make us grow as a species. Hence the ever widening chasm. Alas, how do we go from here?

    • peacockpete said,

      I suppose I hope that gradually we do evolve. Hey, why are there so many people against the concept of of evolution? Because it means they have to think. But it might happen. Baby steps.

      • robbiebonham said,

        Evolution, and indeed life itself, is all about change. Unfortunately so many people will latch onto a belief and stick to it. And we now seem to be living in a society where people’s ‘beliefs’ are beyond criticism, which, with a certain type of mindset, is gonna get ’em nowhere!

  2. NCLTony said,

    I love this post and more people need to read it. Well done Pete x

  3. Aubrie Showalter said,

    i agree with you 100% of the way! thank you for this message!! it really opened my eyes about the way i think!

  4. Dragonladych said,

    Even as a child I always wondered how people who pretend they follow a God who says “love is the answer” can actually be so full of hatred.

    Also, have you ever met two people who are exactly the same? Everyone is different, it’s a matter of biology.
    I sure don’t care what my friends do when in bed with their loved ones, so when people do that, I find it pretty creepy.

    Anyway, there’s no way around it, the world has always been full of stupid people, sadly some of them are also very dangerous.

  5. Sean said,

    Hi, I have been friends with several gay men over the course of my 30+ years. I am male but not gay. I’ve had enough time to learn that being gay is not a choice (my best friend discovered he was gay at an early age), and that being gay doesn’t detract from a person in the slightest any more or less than being straight does. I am however a homophobe, in the sense that, the possibility of being propositioned by someone I do not find attractive makes me nervous. I would never commit violence or abuse as a response, but I do have this mild feeling of fear. I was abused by someone at an early age, who was a pedophile, but also happened to be gay. Every gay man I have met since then has been very decent, morally sound and a pleasure to spend time with, proving to me that being gay does not make a person sick or evil. Hopefully the day will come when someone being known as gay is just plain unremarkable.

    • peacockpete said,

      Sunil, Aubrie, Robbie, thanks you so much for your comments. I do believe that a lot of people are very, very confused as to wear homosexuality comes from. I have to believe that we will get better at understanding other perspectives, but there will still be those that hijack a lack of knowledge and experience, and turn it into social or political gain.

      Sean, thank you very much for your honest comment. I was very sorry to read of the abuse you suffered in childhood. What you describe as homophobia I wouldn’t. You appear to interact quite happily with gay people. The nervousness you is true of anyone, gay or straight. It need not be about gender, but also different age groups, or even what they do for a living, all sorts of things.

      Everyone gets that, “I wish that guy/girl would back off” every now and again. I’m not an expert at this stuff, but it doesn’t sound like homophobia, but simply awkwardness arising from finding attraction that you can’t reciprocate. That seems like everyone I’ve ever met.

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