NOT BORN THIS WAY

NOT BORN THIS WAY

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.

Why?

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

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8 Comments

  1. Clare Flourish
    May 04, 07:35 Reply

    “Born that way” does not work with the Christian homophobes anyway- they say acting on it is still sinful.

  2. Lanre Swagg
    May 04, 10:09 Reply

    But this entirely smacks of ignorance . Has the writer ever studied any science at school perhaps ? Is this the puke of a stray commercial or arts pupil ? The only ‘choice ‘ you can choose sexually is who you sleep with- or befriend. You can not choose the underlying fact that you prefer one gender over another. That is a ‘wiring’ that species are born with . It is not a choice. Unless this stray philosopher has evidence to subvert established science he or she or it had better stick to story telling.

  3. Lucio
    May 04, 16:16 Reply

    I agree with the writer. This is another way of saying, “I’m gay, get over it!” I don’t need to constantly explain myself to you as if without these explanations you might be justified in condemning me. It’s not about discrediting science, it’s about owning who you are and what you stand for, science or no science. There’s no accounting for taste abeg. Thumbs up, Absalom! 🙂

  4. kendigin
    May 05, 04:50 Reply

    The writer smacks of so much inbuilt anger, which most of us can relate to. However, ur entire argument can be confined to the vehicle of wishful thinking.
    The fact is that u live in a society where pple cling to hatred borne out of ignorance, and yes u are in the minority. So unless u love the smell of ur flesh being seared at the stake, u going to have to keep educating and enlightening these ignorant homophobes.

    Yes its unfair. Yes its totally discriminatory. But for now, homosexuals have a huge task ahead and u don’t get anything done by hoping that pple will understand u and live u alone. They won’t. They wld rather throw u in prison, and throw away the keys (that’s if ur lucky o)!

  5. luke
    May 05, 13:18 Reply

    The writer is one of those who have accpected Their whole being,and l say amen to him,we don’t have to agree with his theories of born this way,but I see all the sense in his reasons,no need for excuses,and and he was just being real and true to himself. Good write up

  6. Lanre Swagg
    May 05, 15:20 Reply

    I am a scientist , and this is not a philosophical debate . It is a question about fact- are people born gay or choose to be gay ? But I see how hard it is to have a scientific discussion with non scientific people.

    To make it easy for those who would rather offer opinions in place of empirical research – think this way : are you born black or do you choose to be black ? Are you born female / male or do you select the gender you want ? I think you know the answers.

    Yes, some things you can alter- you can ‘act like a nigga’ though born white, act white though born black, act male though born female and so on. But first of all you can not choose what you are born as. So is sexuality not a choice … Though you can choose how it is expressed !

  7. Samaurai
    August 23, 10:12 Reply

    Absalom, I don’t quite agree with you. There is something I keep telling people on online forums like this one. And that is this: being gay is natural, very very natural. But acting on that gayness is what the society we live in classifies as unnatural.

    Another thing you ought to know:
    Having sex with a man doesn’t make a man gay.
    Having sex with a woman doesn’t make a man straight or even bisexual.

    This is why I have issues with people saying they “convert” straight men to being gay. There is nothing like that. Many men in our society entertain such feelings . But they keep it suppressed or they may not even know they have such feelings. So when they finally find a way to feel a bit freer and express it, they do so. If the conversion thing works, then a gay man can also be converted to being straight. But that is not the case.

    What is my point? Your sexuality is not in your hands. You cannot choose to be straight, gay or bisexual. You cannot choose your sexuality but you can choose who to have sex with.

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