Sexual Orientation: Choice or No Choice?

To choose or not to choose, that is the queer question.  For when it comes to the politics of sexual orientation within the LGBT communities, the concept of choice has long been the foreign invader for the gay group-think agenda.  The terrible taboo of ever classifying anyone’s sexual identity as, god forbid!, an individual choice, appears to be exhibiting some cracks and crevices in that gay Ivory Tower of tow-the-party-line political correctness.  And interestingly enough, the loudest voices of pro-choice dissension aren’t just coming from outside the gilded gay ghetto.

Take the case of Cynthia Nixon.  Ms. Nixon, an actress who co-starred in the Sex in the City TV series, publicly acknowledged her relationship with another woman back in 2004 and hence quickly became a media icon for the gay community.  After spending most of her adult life sexually involved with men, Nixon was classified by the head homos of the queer community as simply a late gay bloomer or perhaps bisexual.  But Nixon’s recent remarks concerning her sexuality given in an interview with the New York Times on Sunday, have caused a comic commotion of hissy fit proportions.  Here is the gist of her comments:

I gave a speech recently, an empowerment speech to a gay audience, and it included the line ‘I’ve been straight and I’ve been gay, and gay is better.’ And they tried to get me to change it, because they said it implies that homosexuality can be a choice. And for me, it is a choice. I understand that for many people it’s not, but for me it’s a choice, and you don’t get to define my gayness for me. A certain section of our community is very concerned that it not be seen as a choice, because if it’s a choice, then we could opt out. I say it doesn’t matter if we flew here or we swam here, it matters that we are here and we are one group and let us stop trying to make a litmus test for who is considered gay and who is not.

Why can’t it be a choice?  Why is that any less legitimate?  It seems we’re just ceding this point to bigots who are demanding it, and I don’t think that they should define the terms of the debate. I also feel like people think I was walking around in a cloud and didn’t realize I was gay, which I find really offensive. I find it offensive to me, but I also find it offensive to all the men I’ve been out with.

Nixon is getting dumped on from the usual corners of the gay ghetto for daring to describe a personal sense of reality that doesn’t fit the political agenda of Gay, Inc.  But despite the nasty flak, she’s also getting a lot of support.

Gee, the good old LGBT community, now isn’t that the groovy group of people who tout the fluidity of gender?  Aren’t these the folks who tell us that despite pesky biological realities to the contrary, that gender is an individual psychological choice?  Yet somehow, these same wily wizards declare that sexual orientation is a biological imperative set at birth for everyone and can never, ever be changed.  Our gay betters insist that those who come out in their older years, are simply late bloomers who never realized nor accepted their true sexual identity.  The reverse, however, is an utter impossibility, according to those gay gods of political science.  Such a dramatic transformation is apparently a one way street.  Us humans, we are told, can live straight for decades and then come out but we can’t live gay for decades and go back in.  Gee, do you think the homo hoods are trying to have it both ways and all ways?

Below are a few links to some of the opinion pieces covering Nixon’s for me it’s a choice story.  Many of the comments are more insightful than the actual articles and they clearly show that the Old Gay Guard is losing its stranglehold on this political narrative.

Huffington Post
AMERICAblog Gay

Eonline

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13 Responses to Sexual Orientation: Choice or No Choice?

  1. J. says:

    There are a whole lot of latent bisexuals masquerading around as gay men because they are ignorant of the fact that bisexual doesn’t only mean an equal attraction to both genders or they’re too scared to admit it because they’ve invested so much of their time and energy cultivating a gay identity, and because let’s face it A LOT of gay men and lesbians can be highly biphobic.

    There are some gay men who are highly bigoted towards bisexual men. Just like there are some lesbians who dislike bisexual women and trans women. These factors are also reasons why men and women who are bisexual yet call themselves gay or lesbian do not want to come out.

    The dirty little secret that never gets addressed in the so called “gay” world is the fact that many gay men do go through a second coming out and re-identify as bisexual. These men may still overwhelmingly prefer men, but their orientation and identity are not exclusively towards men. And how their attraction to both sexes manifests differently as well.

  2. very opinionated says:

    You know, sometimes i wish it was the 90’s because i believe coming out has lost it’s meaningful purpose. Even though i was a kid, i knew that you couldn’t even come out and that being homosexual was a big no no. Teenagers are coming out at 12 or 13 years of age..wow..that’s way too young! Of course mainstream gays think that it’s ok for them to come out at that age. Well let me tell you something… i believe when you struggle for years with your sexuality (that is if you don’t kill youself in the process) you get more out of it, you have more understanding of your sexuality and yourself as a whole in general.
    I know as for me, i am soo glad that i didn’t come out when i was 15 or 16 years old, i would have made a big mistake. I wouldn’t have the understanding of myself as i do know. I wouldn’t have “tough skin”! I can’t stand whinners that complain about being called a “dyke” or a “Fag” in high school.. STOP complainning and deal with it, you chose to come out.. that’s life!

    • I agree that kids are way too sexually aware than is good for them. And I don’t support the push by gay groups to corral kids who are unsure of or exploring their sexuality. Gee, how about giving kids time to emotionally mature before rushing them off to the gay baths.

      And I think there are many people, like yourself, who have struggled with their sexual orientation. And that struggle should be respected within our community instead of being sneered at by gay ghetto types.

  3. Lori Heine says:

    As long as we tell the truth about the matter, and keep in boldface the crux of the matter, which is government control. The only reason any issue becomes a political issue is because there are people who want the government to interfere in it.

    The Left is largely an overreaction to the social Right. Which is, just as largely, an overreaction to the Left. The rest of us are standing in the battlefield in between them, ducking and dodging as the bullets whiz past.

    The busy-bodies have only as much muscle as we allow them. They must sucker large numbers of people into buying into their fraud — otherwise they’d have no clout at all.

    I have no particular interest in putting anyone else’s sexuality in a box. Their sexuality is their concern, not mine. As for placing people in boxes — again — how is that done? By exerting government control over them. I agree that the boxes never really fit, because human beings are pieces of God and cannot fit into neat little boxes. But as long as many people in our society are content to worship the idol of government power, this will keep on happening.

    I’m as angry at the Left as you are. They’ve been mean to me, too. But that doesn’t change the fact that it took both “sides” of this conflict to make it a war — and that we are stuck in the middle of it.

    • Once the gay and lesbian community morphed into the LGBT, and now Q, communities, it lost any semblance of a well-defined group of sexual minorities, not that it was such a clear cohesive group beforehand. So I think it’s ludicrous for self-proclaimed leaders of the ‘gay’ community to continue to dictate all the hows, whys, and wherefores of alternative sexuality to a constituency that comes under such a broad umbrella. I know they’re shoving this stuff at everyone for the sake of political solidarity but I think it’s a bogus and demeaning strategy.

      The genetic no-choice approach to gay political struggles is crumbling from within (Ex. Cynthia Nixon and the reaction to her statement). So instead of ranting at the Right over the ‘choice’ issue and instead of attacking lesbians and gays who don’t or won’t play ball, why don’t they simply shift gears and move on. The political landscape is very different today than it was back in the 90s when the no-choice strategy became the centerpiece of the gay rights movement. Time for new approaches.

  4. Lori Heine says:

    As a libertarian, I wish to introduce a radical concept to the discussion. Why is it anybody else’s damn business why someone falls in love with someone else — or if they do so at all?

    That attitude does not treat love, marriage or sex as “sacred.” It pounds any respect for sacredness smack out of the picture. It is based upon busy-bodyism and a desire to force others to do what certain people want them to do.

    The only reason to have this discussion is that some people — probably many — still want the government to make people do some things and keep them from doing others. The statist Left is in one of these corners, and the social Right in the other.

    Poor Cynthia Nixon has blundered into the middle of a political minefield. I don’t care who she falls in love with. I hope she’s happy, and it really isn’t any of our business one way or the other whether she “chose” it or not. Better to choose love than hate, or fear, in any case.

    Some people are essentially bisexual, and they are the ones who seem to be able to “choose” their orientation. If we made the discussion about love instead of sex, it wouldn’t matter two hoots in hell which choice they made.

    • It’s natural to want clear labels and nice little boxes in which to place people and their sexuality. But sometimes they just won’t go where we try to put them. And as sex is very much a political issue at this point in our history, the busy-bodies, both within and without the gay community, will continue to use their political and social muscle to try to force the rest of us to experience our sexual lives under their terms and definitions.

  5. Lori Heine says:

    I don’ think this is just a matter of “The Old Guard” bullying people around, or the Left’s gay agenda or whatever. Many people were forced into boot camps, when they were kids, forced to go through abusive “exorcisms,” you name it. There are still people — and plenty of them — who want to criminalize our relationships. They hear stuff like this, and of course it’s more nuanced — Nixon admits that she can do something others can’t necessary do — but they don’t hear the nuance. They just hear “it’s a choice” and because they want to believe it, because it suits THEIR agenda, that’s what they run with.

    As long as such morons aren’t able to force people into boot camps or whatever, I suppose it’s easy to say it’s no big deal. But we were all kids once, and stuff like this just makes me shudder.

    It’s a little more complicated than just bad old Gay Left, Inc at it again. They aren’t totally wrong about everything.

    • “It’s a little more complicated than just bad old Gay Left, Inc at it again. They aren’t totally wrong about everything”

      Oh, I think they are. I believe sexual orientation is a choice for some and not a choice for others. And I think that drawing the battle lines around this concept of “no choice for anyone, period” in order to win the war against discrimination will prove over time to be bogus. The “no choice” concept is already being challenged–the gay honchos have created just another closet for those who don’t fit the mold.

      • very opinionated says:

        I agree with you Lesbianoutsider.. I think that sexual Orientation can be a choice for some, but not a choice for others. I feel that poeple who choose to be gay are just lying to themseves and i thing it’s wrong to be something that you’re not reguardless if you are trying to be straight when in reality you are gay or if you are trying to be gay when in reality you are straight! Also, i can’t stand it when some people choose to be gay because thay have had bad relationships with the opposite sex, i also think that’s wrong.

        • Since the so-called science that is currently out there is telling us that sexual identification spans a spectrum of behaviors, then it certainly makes sense for those at either end of the sexual spectrum to have the element of ‘choice’ play little to no role in their sexual orientation. But for those who fall somewhere between those two extremes, then the element of ‘choice’ may play more of a role.

          The sexual orientation issue has been dominated by those at either end of the spectrum. And I think that homo hegemony in this debate is as hateful and disingenuous as anything coming from the Right. This whole question has been enveloped in political motivations, and when I last checked, politics and sexuality were somewhat distinct.

  6. Betty Butter says:

    I am a heterosexual, and had early indicators of my preference for the opposite sex at an early age, so, for me, it wasn’t a choice. My mother, on the other hand was bisexual, who had a four year relationship with a lesbian, and then, later married a man, and yet, I don’t believe she “chose” to be how she was. She simply had an attraction for both sexes. It was her particular make-up, which makes me believe that people can be at different points of the spectrum, ranging from extremely heterosexual to bi-sexual, to gay, and none of them really choose. In other words, if you are extremely gay, your chances of “choosing” to enter a heterosexual relationship are slim to none. If the attraction isn’t there, it isn’t there, and there’s nothing you can do about it.

    • “If the attraction isn’t there, it isn’t there, and there’s nothing you can do about it.”

      Exactly. And it’s also the depth and strength of any attraction that serve as drivers for peoples’ sexuality. If one’s major orientation is toward men, then the element of choice in becoming involved with a woman can play more of a role. I just don’t believe that ‘no choice’ is the one and only sexual theme for every single lesbian and gay man.

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