It is troubling that in the year 2019, people still need to be reminded that sexual orientation is not a choice.
Yet despite this well-established fact, the misguided notion that people choose their sexual orientation is still prevalent, begging the question: Why would non-cisgendered individuals CHOOSE to alienate themselves from their families and make themselves targets of hate crimes and discrimination?
Simon H recently posed this very question to his Twitter, before supplying his own cheeky response: “For me it was a beautiful spring day and I just thought, ‘You know what, I really want to disappoint my parents, offend my church, limit my options, lose my rights, live in fear of homophobic abuse, be afraid to hold my partner’s hand…”
So. Gays. When Y'all choose to be gay?— Simon H (@FreelanceCynic) March 22, 2019
For me it was a beautiful spring day and I just thought, "You know what, I really want to disappoint my parents, offend my church, limit my options, lose my rights, live in fear of homophobic abuse, be afraid to hold my partner's hand...
Simon’s tweet began to go viral as responses poured in from those in similar situations. Equally sardonic and sentimental, many shared stories of cultural, familial, and religious stigma, while others recalled their experiences with bullying and harassment.
Every single story shone a light on the ridiculousness of the notion that being gay is a choice. Who would choose to live in constant fear? Who would choose to open themselves up to constant physical and sexual harassment?
Though the reasons behind why people are gay, straight or bisexual have long been a topic of discussion, no one factor can be pinpointed as the cause. A recent study conducted at the University of Lethbridge in Alberta, offers cross-cultural evidence that homosexuality can be explained by genetic factors.
But a growing body of research shows there is no single cause for sexual orientation. According to University of Utah professor Lisa Diamond, “There are definitely genetic influences, but they are not deterministic.”
“There is a lot of evidence for fluidity and change in people’s experiences of same-sex attraction,” she adds.