It doesn’t matter whether you were “born” gay or not. Don’t get me wrong, the question of how someone’s sexual orientation comes to be is worthy of scientific study. The question, still unanswered by science, is part of a larger quest to understand the human condition. My point here is, this question has nothing to do with GBLT equality.
Why and how any individual comes to their sexuality is their own business. More importantly, it has nothing to do with whether or not anyone’s human rights should be respected. Denying someone human rights because their homosexual activity is wrong, no matter how they arrived at that orientation. This includes the violation of human rights based on identification of an individual as homosexual and/or supporting homosexuality. There is nothing “wrong” with being gay, making the socio-political ramifications of this question irrelevant. Scientifically interesting, but otherwise pointless.
The most difficult forms of oppression to deal with stem from irrational beliefs that have been normalized by the culture around us. Firstly, the dominant heterosexist culture tells us that heterosexuality is the “natural” way of things. Whatever else the dominant culture proscribes regarding coupling (age limits, monogamy, marriage conditions, etc.), it starts with the premise that homosexual activity is a deviation from the “natural’ desires of ALL people. Therefore, homosexuality is a deviation, by “choice”,from the natural state. Secondly, and most damagingly, we are told choosing to deviate in this way is immoral.
These hatefully irrational beliefs, stepped in religious dogma, have no basses in fact. They do, however, form the basis for what I call the “homosexual justification” argument. These ideological artifacts of the dominant culture have been unwittingly adopted by some in the GBLT activist community, leading us away from the truth of the matter. The truth is: choice or not, who we fuck is nobodies business but our own.
“Homosexual justification” postulates that homosexual behaviour is biologically devined, individuals have no “choice” in the matter. Therefore, GBLT people should not be discriminate against. This is an irrational position in so many ways. Not only does current science not tell us this is true, we are clearly not forced to act on all our biological urges.
Even if science uncovers biologically determined sexual orientation preferences (It seems current science is pointing to a number of possible biological factors), when we act on these desires it’s because we choose to. The important socio-political question here is: “why does the dominant heterosexist culture believe it acceptable to pass judgement on this choice?” As with all choices around our sexuality, they belong to us, not society.
The more subtle strategic loss conceded in making this “justification” argument is acknowledging that that societal interference in our sex lives is acceptable. We also, by implication, cede on the ugly assertion that there is something intrinsically wrong with homosexuality. This argument basically says: “We know it’s wrong, but we can’t help it. So please tolerate us”. Or, some will say, that it implies the opposite position: “biologically determined homosexuality proves it’s normal, therefore not wrong, therefore acceptable”. Both interpretations of the the “justification” argument are problematic.
The problem with the first line of reasoning is we already know that biological factors play a large role in the urge toward violence and homicidal behaviour, no one is getting rid of murder laws because of this. A biological urge for same sex contact still requires a choice to act. If we accept the act is wrong, people should be expected to quell their urges.
The second interpretation requires that we have evidence that homosexuality is natural in order for it to be acceptable. We could be waiting a long time for that evidence to emerge, let alone be accepted by the public. Well over a hundred years have come to pass in the evolution debate, we are no where near popular acceptance of that idea.
Arguing the biological imperative of homosexuality is a self harming position, born from a long oppressed community where some have accepted the culturally imperialist world view of their oppressors.
I don’t believe I have ever heard someone argue it’s OK to pass anti semitic laws because Judaism is a choice. No one argues people of colour deserve equal protection under the law because they can’t help being black. The absurdity of these positions is patently obvious. So too is the assertion that the derivation of homosexual desire has ANYTHING to do with human rights for members of the GBLT community. It is an irrational argument that reflects the values of our sex negative culture.
I recently heard seven out seven telephone respondents to a CBC radio show’s question complain that there was too much coverage of GBLT discrimination, and not enough coverage of sports around the Sochi Olympics. This was in response to a clearly leading question: do you think there has been too much coverage of problems in Sochi, and not enough of the games themselves?
I understand this is not a unbiased poll. I understand the question was misleading (It presumes a false dichotomy, you don’t have to chose between coverage of either sports or human rights abuses) I understand CBC has a vested interest in these games (they are the official network of the games in Canada) All that being said, I believe CBC would have included at least one comment supporting the level of coverage given to Russian anti GBLT laws if they had at least one.
My surprise and disappointment are heightened by the fact that the audience here is most likely more progressive than the general population. In response to this Positively Sexy’s first “PSA” goes out to the PS Army asking that you support each other in the face of this sex negative homophobia. We also ask that you let CBC know that you appreciate any coverage of GBLT human rights abuses, particularly around the Russian hate laws. Let’s start raising our voices about who we are, we are all Positively Sexy.
Call for Letters
OK Positively Sexy Army (we have the sexiest uniforms of any army on the planet), it’s time to build our voice. This writers first big ask, please send in your firsts for the launch of the PSA’s firsts. On the first of every month we are talking about firsts in people’s sexual life experience. Your first kiss, your first sexual fantasy, your first sex talk with your mom/dad, your first time being tied up. Your first anything. The most powerful truths flow from the narratives our lives.
Send your experiences to PositivelySexyEV@gmail.com