Is being gay a choice? Is sexual orientation a choice?

Life is full of potential and possibility. If you open yourself up to the things that are open to you, the world can be your oyster. It may not be easy, but you can get to where you want to get based on the choices you make. You make choices on what to eat. You make choices on what you want to wear. You make choices on what you want to take in post secondary school. You make choices on if you even want to attend post secondary.

You do not get to choose your family members. You do not get to choose your handedness (if you are left or right handed). You do not get to choose the colour of your skin. You do not get to choose where you were born or who you were born to. You do not get to choose what colour your eyes are naturally.

You do not get to choose your sexual orientation either. This can be debated of course and I have had many debates with people over this, but they are coming from the fact that heterosexuality is the norm and anything differing from that is abnormal and a choice. My question to them is, did you choose to be heterosexual? Did you realize growing up that you were the same as all the other children in that you liked the opposite sex or did you actually choose to like the opposite sex? Did you get a choice?

I didn’t get a choice to liking the same sex. I made the choice for years to try to force myself to feel sexually attracted to and head over heals for men. I tried for so long to be one of the kids who was deemed “normal”. I dated boys, most of whom were very kind and some who bordered on chivalrous — ie: the perfect gentleman. Something didn’t click like it did with my female friends and their boyfriends. Nothing clicked when I was with the boys I dated. My heart wasn’t a flutter for the boys or men I dated. I didn’t get sexually excited or anticipate meeting up with them. In my eyes, they were like my best friends, but I had little sexual attraction to them while my eyes and heart wandered in the direction of my female friends.

Every person is different of course. Some people may be attracted to the opposite sex, some the same sex, and some may be attracted to either. Some people who do not understand sexual orientations or sexuality keep stating that it is a choice and that gay people do choose their orientation to be attracted to the same sex. My questions for them are as follows:
-When did you choose to be heterosexual?
-Why do you think that someone would choose to be discriminated against?
-Why do you think someone would want to make their life harder if it meant being hated/misunderstood by some people?
-Why does it even matter to you who a stranger dates, loves or sleeps with as long as its between consenting adults?
-Shouldn’t two consenting adults have the right to a life of happiness together?
-What scares or makes you uncomfortable about any sexuality other than heterosexuality?

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This is been my confession. I didn’t get to choose the sex I was attracted to. If you look at your life closely, I don’t think you really get to choose who you’re attracted to either. Sure you can force things with someone but it will likely make you miserable. And that’s no way to live. I didn’t choose to be gay, but I made a choice to be happy.

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4 thoughts on “Is being gay a choice? Is sexual orientation a choice?

  1. I’ve never seen this as being a ‘choice’, such as it is; I’ve felt that if anything, it’s a decision someone makes based on their feelings, how that attraction thing has been working for them, like, not feeling men so much but feeling that strong pull in the opposite direction.

    I think those of us who aren’t straight gets to a decision point: Do I go with how I’m feeling or do I toe the line and behave the way people expect me to behave? Sometimes, something happens that’ll make that decision for someone – an experience that happened for whatever reason that settled the internal argument; for instance, my first experience with a guy pretty much pointed me in the direction I wanted to go in so being bisexual was something that not only made sense to me but resonated deeply within me.

    It’s not about choosing about what you want to be when it comes to this as much as it is deciding what you want to do about how you feel. I’ve felt that without the programming that insists that we all be straight, we all have the innate ‘ability’ to not be straight if we don’t want to be – I’ve never bought into that genetic predisposition thing.

    You say that you didn’t get to choose as if you actually had no say about it; attraction isn’t a predetermined thing although, again, that social programming wants to dictate that you, as a woman, has to be attracted to men but, obviously, it really doesn’t work like that. You find that you’re attracted to women… and then you (and no one else) decide that you’re gonna go where the attraction leads you.

    The human mind just doesn’t work any other way – it’s a very complicated decision tree, chock full of if/then/else; if you’re more attracted to men than you are women, then you find women that make you happy – else only comes up if you know you’re leaning more toward bisexual than gay.

    Just my thoughts on your well-written blog on this subject – thank you for writing it!

  2. That’s a fair point.
    I just feel that I’ve never really been interested in boys or men. While my friends were having crushes on boy bands, I was busy pursuing hobbies. I thought it was just me. Parents tried to get me to be interested in boys by pointing out cute boys. I learned to just go along with it and go to date them even though there was no spark or sexual interest there. Years later I realized why.

    It is complex issue. I hope one day people just accept any sexual orientation and then move onto bigger and better issues that must be dealt with.

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