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Arcel Lenge
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Being Gay: Is It Just Being or Is It Choosing to Be?

06 April 2014, 22:15

Being Gay: Is It Just Being or Is It Choosing to Be?

A few days ago, I wrote an article about what I considered to be an unfair treatment towards some wedding venue business owners who applied their rights to freedom of religion and freedom of association and turned away a lesbian couple willing to use their venue for a wedding.

I argued that the venue owners made a choice of specific religious beliefs that clearly forbid them to associate with same sex unions, while the prospective couple also made their free choice of living a same sex lifestyle; thus the wedding venue owners had the right to exercise their freedom of choice not to associate in anyway with the lesbian couple.

The many reactions that negated my thinking outlined in the article were mostly around the fact that being gay is not a choice.

Some comments were quite emotional, and I presumed, they all emanated from members of the gay community who did not ‘choose’ to be gay. I feel for all those who feel insulted when assertions are being made that one chooses to live the gay lifestyle.

Here, I would best already state that gays choosing to be gay or not does not matter in the way I would personally treat them: they are human beings just like me, although with not so regular sexual lifestyle.

Obviously the bible does not approve of the gay lifestyle, at least from the way I understand it. But I do not expect everybody to be Christian, nor do I expect every Christian to understand the bible the way I do (since there are some Christians churches which, based on some understanding of the bible, do accept the gay lifestyle).

I do genuinely respect gays, the same way as I respect straight people…

Still, I believe the gay and lesbian community reacted unfairly, ostracizing the Kilcairn farm wedding venue owners because they exercised their constitutionally recognised freedom of choice and freedom of association and refused to associate with the lesbian couple.

This is the reason why I believe I have to prove that being gay, or straight for that matter, is more of a choice than an uncontrolled happening.

To start with, we should agree on the meaning of being gay. Being gay, is it just merely about feeling attracted to people of one’s sex, or is it more about a lifestyle, more about living the gay life, more about getting and being in a relationship with people of one’s sex?

I understand when some people quite emotionally put forward the fact that one cannot choose to be gay or straight. What I take from there is that one can really not choose who they are attracted to.

I have never felt attracted towards people of my sex, but when I hear gay people and when I read gay stories saying they could not feel any attraction towards the opposite sex, I am sure I have to believe them.

Notwithstanding, do feelings for someone make one gay (or straight for that matter)? I am positive, NO. One has to do more than just feel. They have to act on those feelings, they have to get into a same sex relationship or even just be living the gay lifestyle.

Examples are legions of people who until later in their lives, did not act on their feelings.

Were they gays all along? No, certainly not. Some chose not to act on their feelings for different reasons spanning from their religious beliefs (some even approach their religious leaders for ‘deliverance’ prayers believing this attraction they are feeling for their same sex mates is against nature and a sin…).

Is anyone ready to call gays such persons who refuse, genuinely refuse to live the gay lifestyle because of their beliefs? I do not think so. Some would brand them denialists. But the fact of the matter is they do not live a gay lifestyle, and as such are not gays…

Does this mean society should encourage people to resist embracing the gay lifestyle even though they feel attracted to their same sex mates?

Choosing to act on one’s feelings and start living the gay lifestyle may be dangerous in some parts of the world, and is certainly a very difficult life to live in many parts worldwide. So may be living in denial.

Thus, seeing all the difficulties here, becoming gay (going from mere feelings to full blown gay lifestyle) is one’s own decision to make… Yet, everyone has the freedom of choice to become gay or not, basing on their spiritual beliefs or other sets of values they define for themselves…

Being straight does not come automatically either… one has to act on their feelings to be straight.

But since being straight is the ‘normal’ way of being, people that do not live any lifestyle (sexual wise at least – like nuns or priests for example, the ones that really live the single life) are still assumed to be straight…

Yes, feeling is not a choice. Feeling attracted to someone of one’s owns sex may be uncontrollable. Nonetheless, acting on those feelings (becoming gay or straight) is a choice.

To repeat what I said earlier, if I choose to be gay, I have the obligation to accept (as much as I except others to accept my choice of being gay) others to be straight. And if some of those who chose to be Christians or Muslims believe they should not associate with gay people, who am to try and force them otherwise?


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