Sunday, September 18, 2011

Lesbian Asserts That Being Gay Is A Choice

In a very badly worded article published by The Atlantic this past Monday, writer Lindsay Miller describes her experiences as a "lesbian" and then goes on to describe her feelings about being "born gay".  Though the entire article is an interesting read - it seems to be based upon anecdotal stories - one specific paragraph should give readers pause.
In direct opposition to both the mainstream gay movement and Lady Gaga, I would like to state for the record that I was not born this way. I have dated both men and women in the past, and when I've been with men, I never had to lie back and think of Megan Fox. I still notice attractive men on the street and on television. If I were terrified of the stigma associated with homosexuality, it would have been easy enough to date men exclusively and stay in the closet my whole life.
Though Ms. Miller attempts to provide cover for her argument by stating that "not all of us" were "born this way", her argument - being from a self-identified lesbian perspective, rather than what is more clearly a bisexual one - gives credence to our oppositions argument that ones sexual orientation is easily altered.

Later in the the article, we can see Ms. Miller's point regarding the "born gay" controversy. Instead of arguing, as we are so prone to hear, that LGBT people should not have rights because they have chosen to be that way, Ms. Miller argues that all choices - no matter how society views them - should be valid under the law.

This may be Ms. Millers point, but our political opponents have glossed over this point in favor of the more controversial, are you "born gay".   For example, the National Organization for Marriage has picked up on the article and has posted it proudly on its website, goading its readers to "weigh in" on the "born gay" issue. Naturally,as it normally is with NOM, the "weighing in" on this issue is blatantly one sided, with commentators comparing LGBT people with alcoholics and thieves.

Though I am sure it is unintentional, not only has Ms. Miller given cover for the opponents of LGBT equality (in that we can always "choose" to marry a member of the opposite sex); she has also given cover to the concept of "reparative therapy". If sexual orientation is a choice, individuals can change to become "normal" members of their faith and social communities. Individuals who experience "same-sex attraction" do not have to struggle with such a deviant malady; for people have the ability to switch their sexual orientation at a whim. 

Ms. Miller also fails to realize that when our community says that we are "born this way", it is not a form of derision and condensation. It does not mean that straight people can feel bad for us and that we are "apologizing for who we are". Instead, it is the reality that a very large percentage of LGBT people live with; we did not "choose" to be gay, and we have an unchangeable and God-given sexual orientation, thus we deserve all of the rights given to our heterosexual counterparts. 

Though Ms. Miller may be comfortable in her chosen "sexual orientation", her word choice, and her lack of scientific understanding regarding the science of sexual orientation, shows not only an immature writer, but one who does not understand that words do have consequences, and when you are perceived to speak for a group - that group will come under fire for your actions. 

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