Is homosexuality a product of nature or nurture? Did I choose to be attracted to men? Is bisexuality the norm? Did my environment condition me to find the male physique a turn-on? Or was I born “that way”?
I don’t fucking know.
Not that I don’t think the questions are important. They are. For that matter, I’m curious why I prefer brunet to blond, tall to short, hairy to smooth, a bit of paunch, albeit firm, to washboard abs. Moreover, I’d like to understand why I can not develop a taste for Brussels sprouts.
I sympathize with many people’s reasoning that if somehow scientists could prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that homosexuality is an acquired genetic trait, society would grow more tolerant of homosexual behavior. Perhaps, but I don’t particularly think so, because biological explanations didn’t do much to win equal rights for women or blacks, now did they? And, in the U.S., a large portion of the population can not digest Darwinism, so forget adding the arithmetic it takes to grasp Mendelian inheritance.
For what it’s worth, my position is that even if I chose to screw men purely on a whim, my right to do so is self-evident in my rights to “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness,” provided I don’t step on other people’s rights to same.
If I can choose between Coke and Pepsi, the path is clear for me to choose between men and women, as well. What’s more, I don’t think I have to sign a binding contract to fuck one sex exclusively.
That said, it’s hard for me to believe that any man doesn’t believe his penis has a mind of its own. Can I remember ever instructing my penis to crave men? No, I do not. Quite the opposite. As a good born-again Christian for years and years I prayed that the stubborn little prick would wise up and accept the majority opinion in such matters. Neither it nor God responded to my attempts to negotiate.
When guys ask me how I decided to be gay, I ask them how they decided to be straight. Several have told me that they do in fact remember making such a decision, but most guys get my point right away.
Do I remember a point in my life when I said, “What the hell I guess I’m gay.” You bet. And what a relief! Since then it’s all been a matter of semantics: do I really think the word “gay” applies to me? hasn’t it come to be basically a marketing term for a target group of consumers? does it imply, as some would argue, a whole set of subcultural affects above and beyond homosexual attraction? Those questions still pop up from time to time.
But did I ever decide not to be ashamed of myself for my sexual inclinations and tastes? Most definitely, yes.
And do I believe that I’m entitled to equal rights with my heterosexual peers? Hell, yes.
But would I feel any better knowing I had no choice whatsoever in whom I’d like to sack? I’d have to say no. It would interest me theoretically, I guess, but it wouldn’t make a whole lot of difference to me.