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Straightening Them Out: Why I Don't Believe Being Gay Is Wrong or Unnatural
I'll start by saying that I am a straight teenage girl, and that all of my close friends and family members are straight. Just in case that little fact affects anyone's view of this piece.
What many people fail to understand is that sexual orientation is not necessarily a choice (not to talk about an "abomination" or a crime), but something at least mostly biological. You can say that PDA (involving hetero or homosexuals) is a choice; that marriage is a choice; that being openly gay or dating a person of the same gender is a choice. But you can't say that actually being gay is a choice. Do you remember waking up one morning and deciding that, from now on, you're straight? No? I didn't think so.
A recurring example on the internet that makes me absolutely furious is people who say things like "straighten them out", like you can just decide to be attracted to a certain gender, or any gender at all (hello, asexuals). No amount of talking, bullying, terrorizing, debating or explaining can do that – imagine trying to talk a heterosexual guy into becoming gay. Sounds ridiculous, right? That's because it is – just like trying to convince someone to naturally choose a different skin color or biological parent.
One of the main arguments "against" homosexuality (like you can actually argue with something like that) is that it's simply unnatural. I suppose that's warranted. I mean, why would nature have intended people who can't (or, in this case, don't choose or have the biological urge to) expand the race to exist, right? It's going against logic.
Wait, actually, why not include anyone infertile or asexual in that statement? I think I'll add anyone born paralyzed or with a serious physical disability, too. After all, what use are they to the human race?
I'm sorry to say that anyone thinking like that is thinking about humanity like a scientist would about a bunch of fish. I'm sure many of the people who think being gay is wrong don't believe in evolution, either; so if we're so special as human beings, if we're so unique as to have received intelligence and emotion from God, why are you thinking like you would if we didn't? As if the main purpose of the human race is to pass on the genes and procreate? If that's true, then sure, go on and eliminate anything "impure" from the gene pool: go on and eliminate people with mental and physical disorders, with a family history of cancer, Alzheimer's, or sickle cell disease; and lastly, go on and eliminate anyone gay or bisexual.
Whether being gay is a choice or not doesn't affect the fact that that's the way some people just are. It's the way they were born, whether they realized and/or accepted it around puberty or in old age. It's just like being a good writer or musician – or not - or loving your family, or having blond hair; it's a part of who you are, whether you like and accept it or not. Being gay makes you different, sure; but so does my being Jewish, Israeli and French. Are you going to say I'm unnatural and an abomination because of those things?
I, personally, am not religious – I'm a Jewish Atheist, meaning a spiritual atheist who is culturally Jewish. I don't believe in God, and I don't believe that the Bible is a holy book of some kind (although I do believe you can learn a lot from reading and understanding it). But I live surrounded by people who do (including a large portion of religious family) and many of my friends are Christian, Jewish, or Muslim; it's not like I haven't been exposed to religion in real life.
I understand that the Bible says being gay is wrong. But I'm pretty sure the bible says many, many things that ardently religious people do all the time are wrong, as well. Even if you believe God himself wrote it (although I most definitely don't), he had to write it in a way that would be understandable and relevant to people of that time period, right? Unless you're a fundamentalist, try to take it with a grain of salt – I'm sure the God you believe in would agree that humanity should be able to evolve socially, philosophically and scientifically. Evolution of thought and of science is what made you who you are today, what allows you to live a full, healthy life instead of being mandatorily disease-ridden; we would never have gotten to that point without people accepting that sometimes things, and ideas, need to change (does the name "Galileo" ring a bell?).
So I understand why some people might feel uncomfortable around other people who are gay. I can even understand how it can feel unnatural and even threatening. But I do think that all of you reading this, as well everyone who isn't, should try to think a little bit outside of the ideological box – have you ever even met someone gay?