Thursday, November 13, 2003 - Apache Junction, Arizona, USA

Choice or Instinct ~ The Gay Gene

This is a controversial topic - whether gays are born that way or choose to be gay or bisexual. I know I chose to be a lesbian after being a bisexual for most of my life. However, was being bi a choice? I’ve liked both sexes as long as I can remember.

I understand that there are way too many people today who take no responsibility for who they are. They blame it on their parents, their teachers, their environment, or the mere fact of their birth. They can't consciously admit that they might have had anything to do with who they are as an adult. That's sad.

But do we truly choose our sexuality any more than we choose our race or our ethnic background? I've met many gay and bi woman who say, "They don't understand. When I was 5, I preferred to look at girls. There was more of an attraction there for me. I didn't choose it. It was just that way."

When I was 5, I would choose to wear shorts over dresses. I liked shorts better. They were more comfortable. If given the choice, I would eat ice cream over spinach. I liked ice cream better. It had an attraction for me. I could list a number of other choices I made based on attraction at that age or before. Why is it a big deal to say, "I feel more comfortable with women. I like the feel of a woman's body more than that of a man. I feel more fulfilled with a woman?"

But are these conscious choices or the unconscious following of an inner sense that stimulates the attraction? Studies from 1993 and 1995 pinpointed a specific genetic marker on the X chromosome linked to homosexuality in men. Yet, there are those who’ve downplayed the idea of a "gay gene." A team of researchers at the University of Western Ontario, say they have found no evidence of the gay gene. Is this just people looking to prove a predetermined conclusion? David Smith of the Human Rights Campaign states, "The vast majority of gays will tell you that same-sex orientation is an innate part of who you are and is not changeable."

The issue is, of course, if I chose to be a lesbian, I could choose not to be one. That doesn't hold up. I'm 28 and diabetic, yet I still won't choose spinach over ice cream. The same is true for me in choosing women over men. I know I couldn’t change it if I wanted to. Calling sexuality a choice is just a way to rob people of their basic human rights. Face it. How many people make the claim, "I choose to be straight?"

©2003 Marcia Ellen "Happy" Beevre
# posted by Marcia Ellen @ 7:10 AM
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