Thursday, December 15, 2011

There Are No Homosexuals

We often identify ourselves and others by the things we do or like doing. "He's a golfer." "She's a bowler." "I'm a truck driver." "She's an accountant." Children are often asked what they want to be when they grow up. Some may say, "I want to be a fireman". Others say, "I want to be a movie star". In ages gone by, a child might say, "I want to be president."

Forever ago, an episode of The Partridge Family consisted of the eldest child, David, being left in charge while the mother was away. The other children resented his authority and tried to make his job miserable. In an effort to frustrate him, his siblings hatched a plan. The two youngest children asked him for advice about what to be when they grow up. David encouraged them saying, "you can be anything you want to be." They responded, "we want to be Black." Hilarity ensued.

Of course, we understand the difference between being a particular vocation or having a particular hobby on the one hand and being a particular race on the other. The former has its basis in what we like and what we do. The latter is irrevocably rooted in our biological nature.

But we still talk about them both in the same way. "I am White." "I am an artist." It's no wonder we do the same thing when discussing homosexuality. We identify people according to their sexual behavior and desires by calling them homosexuals and heterosexuals. We then proceed in our discussion as if we have identified them by their biological nature, forgetting even to consider whether we are talking about growing up to be a fireman or growing up to be Black.

The heterosexuality of human beings is intrinsic to our nature. It is an obvious, irrefutable, biological fact of our species. One aspect of the definition of being human is heterosexuality. Each of our bodies is designed to fit together and to function in union with a body of the opposite sex.

Now, this fact does not prevent us from trying to find sexual satisfaction from all other things in the world, whether living or inanimate. But human desire is not always in sync with reality. Sex with a four-legged animal or a motorized device, or desire for it, does not change one into a four-legged animal or a motorized device. A human remains human regardless of his behavior. Human beings are heterosexual.

However, it is not technically incorrect to say that someone 'is gay'. But it's important to understand the only thing this can mean is that he has chosen to identify with homosexual activity in the same way a golfer identifies himself as one who is active in that sport.

But, if I were willing to risk validating the concept of 'hate speech', I might accuse of 'hate speech' those who say a person is 'born gay'. Essentially, such an assertion denies the humanity of those who engage in homosexual acts. One would be labeling another as inhuman because of their sexual behavior. I, on the other hand, insist that those who identify themselves as homosexuals are, in fact, human beings. By virtue of their humanity, and in spite of their behavior, it is impossible for them to have been 'born gay'.

Some who have correctly asserted that "homosexuality is a choice" have been asked, "when did you chose to be heterosexual?" This question intentionally confuses the two different ways in which we understand 'being'. But identity as homosexual has desire and behavior as its only basis. In contrast, identity as heterosexual has physical reality as its basis, which is then reinforced by desire and behavior. The answer to the question is, "I didn't need to choose to be heterosexual because I am comfortable with my sexuality. I accept who I really am."