Since the 1990s when the scientific community first suggested that homosexuality might be genetic (after drawing blood from gay men and observing sexuality patterns of these men’s brothers and uncles from the mother’s side), I gotta admit that the struggle to have us breathe easier in the world has received a boost. More people have been forced to reconsider: If it’s natural, then it must be okay; then there’s nothing they (gays) or anyone else can do about it.
I do not subscribe to the born-this-way theory, however. In fact, I dislike it. I have never spoken about my orientation propped against the pillar that phrase is supposed to be.
It smacks of helplessness. Like I’m an embodiment of something beyond my control. Like I’ve been drugged with these genes taking over my life and identity – and in order to stave off the “right-thinking” world stoning me to death, I must plead, “I was born this way! Please, don’t hurt me.” I sometimes think of the words, “born this way” when I hear bigots say homosexuals are possessed by demons. Evil spirits that push us into fires we cannot help falling into. Evil spirits that have blinded us to reason and normality, and presented abomination before us as cute. To say “I was born this way” feels like me trying to absolve myself of all responsibility for an identity I possess (Notice who possessed who, thanks!) This is not only irresponsible, it is cowardly.
I’m a realist. I belong to a sexual minority. As a gay man (still in the closet, in case you were wondering), my life will never be totally easy, compared to a straight man’s. I can live with that (after all, there are other areas of life where I am in the majority and someone else takes the minority seat). However, I can minimise the discomforts. I can give the bigots and privileged sexual majorities the middle finger when I want to and not owe anyone any explanation for liking what I like. I can refuse to be intimidated. I can refuse to have my rights conceded to me, because I will demand them, and I will get them. I can refuse to be treated as a curious species of human. I can refuse to be lab rat.
I’m not ungrateful to science, but I’m not big on the veracity of the genetics of sexual orientation, even though I’ve never wanted a woman the way I want men. But does it fucking matter? What matters is what makes me comfortable.
I like men, period.
I don’t do any other genders, or creatures for that matter. Sexual minorities don’t have to say they were born their way (just as whites don’t have to chant white-and-proud slogans around black people). Has racism ended even with knowledge that skin pigmentation is genetic? So why in fuck’s name should I run to genes for help when my identity is attacked? There isn’t even a “gay gene”! I am not gay and proud. I’m not gay because I was born some way. In fact, I’m not gay at all (Blood term!). I’m a homosexual. A man who likes men. I will not wilt before a soul – and whimper that I was born this way – to spare my life and secure my happiness. It will bruise my ego. My homosexuality comes in a pack branded CHOICE. And if you cannot live with this fact, then that’s your headache, not mine.
Written by Absalom