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KOK Edit: your favorite copyeditor since 1984(SM) KOK Edit: your favorite copyeditor since 1984(SM) Katharine O'Moore Klopf

Thursday, July 20, 2006

It Just Is

So when did you decide to be straight?

Did you wake up one day and decide that because your parents always put dresses on you when you were a girl, that meant you had to grow up to be a women who is attracted to men? Or was your decision to become a man who is attracted to women based on your enjoyment of all those neighborhood football games you played as a boy?

Sounds pretty silly, doesn’t it? Who decides to be straight? You just are who you are, right?

But those gay people—they decided to be gay, didn’t they?

Of course my brother Wally decided to be gay. Who wouldn’t want to grow up gay in the Bible Belt in southeast Texas and be told he was an evil sinner? Who wouldn’t want to fall in love, as a teenage boy, with another teenage boy, when all the adults are wondering out loud when he’ll ever get around to dating girls? What adult wouldn’t want to ache to touch his lover but yet be made to feel that he shouldn’t ever kiss him or hold hands with him in public? Who wouldn’t want to be asked to leave the hospital room of his dying soul mate and be told by nurses and doctors, “Only family members, please—you’re not family”?

Sexual orientation isn’t a choice. It isn't caused by your race or ethnic group. It isn't caused by your politics. It isn't caused by your economic status. It isn't caused by coming into contact with people of any specific sexual orientation. It just is. Don’t believe it? Watch this video, and then read what scientists have to say.


Anonymous said...

Thanks for this post, Katharine. My lesbianism feels so much a part of me that I have trouble understanding why some people don't understand that. I'm one who "tried" to be heterosexual because -- unlike young lesbians today -- I had no role models as I grew up in the 40s and 50s, so I tried to be what I thought I should be. It didn't work; it wasn't me. But even now, I can't completely be me, although my partner and I never try to hide who we are. Your sentence about touching in public is so true. As women, we can touch each other more freely than two men, but I envy the natural, gentle ways heterosexual couples touch. And I get angry when I see couples being so sexual in public that people around them are embarrassed, yet I'm "not supposed" to kiss Janice.

Katharine O'Moore-Klopf said...

Malinda, I think those who make gay and lesbian couples feel they must not touch their partners in public are doing much more than discriminating—they're being cruel. I would just die inside not being able to touch the person I love whenever I wanted to.

Kathy said...

Wonderful post!

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