Saturday, October 10, 2009

Is Being Gay a Choice

Via Truth Wins Out:

From big93scott: Is Being Gay a Choice:


Today we’re going to talk about a notion that’s the backbone for a lot of the arguments against homosexuality. The argument that being gay is a choice.

I’ve answered this question before in a video, but I felt my answer was not personable enough. I thought this question could be better answered if I shared with a you part of my life that I don’t like reliving---to an extent that I have never before made public---before this video. I thought the question could be better answered if I took you back to the end of the summer between grade 6 and grade 7, and the beginning of grade 7. And it was in and around that time that I first realized that, well, I had very strong feelings for guys, and none for girls.

It was at that time that first realized that I might be gay. I never told myself that I was gay definitively. I felt that I couldn’t be. Not that it was impossible, but that I just…I couldn’t be. I never had anything against gay people, it’s just, I knew other people did.

I told myself that it was just a phase. I told myself that it was just a phase, and if it wasn’t a phase, that I’d change. Because growing up, I’d always believed that being gay was a choice. You hear so many people say it is, on TV, on the radio, on the internet. You hear so many people saying it’s a choice, that you believe them. Why wouldn’t you? It’s only those who go through it that really know the answer.

And so from about half way through grade 7 to half way through grade 8, I tried my hardest to not be gay. I tried my hardest to make the feeling go away. It was when I came to the realization that these feeling wouldn’t go away. It was when I came to the realization that the only choice I had about being gay, was acting on my feelings. It was when I came to that realization, that I lay before me two options. Option A) I could suppress my feelings, never tell a soul that I was gay, could marry a girl and have kids like a normal person and live a normal life, while secretly suppressing my feelings. I didn’t want that. I didn’t want to suppress anything about me, and so that lead me to option two, I could kill myself.

There was no option three. There was no, I could be true to myself but I could be gay, I never, I never wanted that. And so one day, in the dead of winter in grade 8, I came home from school, was home alone, and I took a knife from the kitchen, and I went upstairs, and I sat on the toilet across from my bathtub. I set the knife down on the counter beside me. And I cried for what must have been an about an hour.

I was so close to getting into the bathtub and cutting my wrists that day. I was so close that it scares me even today, but I realized something when I was sitting there contemplating my own death. I realized that I hadn’t given my family a chance.

I knew that the only way that I could ever accept myself, would be to tell my family and see if they accepted me. And so about a couple months later, I told my sister, and if you’ve seen my coming out story, you know that from there, I told my brother, and from there I told my parents, and they were all as accepting as you can possibly imagine. And that’s why I can tell you, without a doubt, that without my family’s acceptance, I wouldn’t be making this video today. Without my family’s acceptance, I would be dead.

You see, it was the notion that being gay was a choice, that almost killed me. ‘cause I believed it. And I put so much hope, I put so much hope in one day being straight, and one day not having to fear the things I feared. That when I came to the realization that I would never be straight, I was thrown off the deep end. I never accepted the fact that I was gay, until I knew that all of my family accepted me.

And so for those of you who say that being gay is a choice, I ask you this; if you approached me in my state of desperation as a thirteen year old contemplating suicide--if you told me that I didn’t have to fear getting kicked out of my house by my parents. If you told me that it is an act of fear, people who I used to call my friends, looking at me with disgust. If you told my I didn’t have to fear being physically assaulted or even looking at a country’s laws before traveling there with my future spouse. I you told me that I could be straight, do you not think that I would have said yes. Do you not think I didn’t try?

You see, it’s the notion that being gay is a choice that almost killed me. It’s the notion that being gay is a choice that kills thousands of gay teenagers, gay young adults. It leads them all to suicide. It almost lead me to suicide.

When someone stands on a podium, stands in front of a microphone, sends it out over the airwaves of the radio into peoples homes. When someone says that being gay is a choice, it’s nothing but another nail in a desperate teenagers coffin.

Exodus International on the suicide of gay youth:


libhom said...

A point that gets lost in all of this is that if being gay were a choice, it would be a perfectly valid choice. When we construct these arguments, it's important not to accidentally fall into the notion of giving into the notion that being lgbt is inferior.

Emproph said...

Thanks libhom, excellent reminder!