No matter if you are gay, straight or just damn curious about the whole thing, you will likely have heard the phrase “gay lifestyle”. I have heard it many times and I’ve reached the conclusion it could possibly have two meanings.
The first is that being gay is a choice. I have heard this multiples times with regards to myself personally and having been accused of persuading others to become gay and bisexual, I am aware it is an idea that still seems rather prevalent. In fact, according to a recent survey, a third of Britons believe being gay is a choice.
Obviously in the breakdown of the stat, the older person who was surveyed the more likely they are to believe it is a choice. 40% of 50-64-year-olds believe it is a choice as do 34% of 65+-year-olds. Only 16% of 18-24-year-olds believe it is a choice. Those percentages show that with the up and coming generations, this idea about choice is diminishing.
That is a good thing because I can tell you that I know no person who is LGBT who says that they chose to be so. The truth is that the spectrum is long and filled with possibilities. Some are like me where we are literally just attracted to the one sex. You have the middle guys who are attracted to both. Then you have those who are attracted to both sexes and transsexuals. And you have people who are curious because they may not understand what they are yet. And then you have the ones who are nothing. They have no sexual or romantic attractions to either sex or no sex. But none of them chose it. They just were.
It isn’t a choice to be LGBT
No one chooses the life of a potential outcast. No one chooses to have abuse like “faggot!” hurled their way. No one chooses to be in fear of holding hands with their partner in the street or chooses to be beaten for kissing their partner in public. Being LGBT comes with certain risks and in some parts of the World, those risks are fatal. Why would anyone choose that life? We don’t choose it. We just are and I for one have never been happier since I accepted that fact.
The life path
Now this is where the second meaning comes in. One of the times I came out, I was asked if I was doing it to be fashionable. That’s the choice question. After I answer that no I wasn’t doing it to be fashionable, the next few statements came along. I wouldn’t be able to get married or have kids and so on.
The other aspect of the meaning behind “gay lifestyle” is living as an LGBT person. Let me put it to you this way. In the Catholic church, they are meant to teach that being gay itself is not sinful, but it is the homosexual act that is sinful. The same goes for some aspects of the Anglican church and so on. In basic terms, I can accept I have same-sex attractions but I must not act upon them. This I think is what I think people mean when they say that being gay is a choice because I could easily decide never to date another guy or kiss another guy or have sex with a guy or marry another guy. That is where the confusion comes in I feel.
Why shouldn’t I act upon my feelings? Straight people can get married and kiss and go on dates and have children without cause for concern or debate. But as soon as I do it, then it is a lifestyle or it is sinful. These people who spout the ‘gay lifestyle” idea believe that they at some point in their life chose to be straight and would never choose to be a degenerate homo like me.
Except they have unlikely or never even thought about it. They just assume at some very young age they said to themselves “oh hey I know I’ll fancy the opposite sex” instead of them just being attracted to the opposite sex and that attraction being out of their control. So they then take that assumption that they chose and combined that with their believe in the non-existent creature in the sky that claims that gays are abominations (Leviticus! No matter how many times you deny it, it is in your damn book!) and suddenly I made a choice to receive all the abuse, the beating, the death threats and the shame and close to suicidal thoughts that come with being LGBT.
The “Gay Lifestyle” narrative is a dangerous one and thankfully the more people come out and tell their stories and talk to their friends and families, the more this idea disintegrates. Hopefully, in the end, only the most devout, fundamental conservative religious groups will believe that being gay is a choice. That you accept that what you feel is natural and is equal to that of a straight person and that no one can ever tell you different.
Being LGBT is exactly the same as being cisgender and straight. Neither is better or worse than the other. They are simply sexualities that all should accept as natural and the sooner that is completely accepted the better.