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Being Gay is AND isn't a choice

Sep 21, 2004

Hi Dr Bob, how are you?

I read a post on your forum where you gave the opinion that being gay is not a choice, claiming it to be scientific fact.

I don't believe this to be true, there is no firm scientific evidence to prove this theory beyond doubt, so I'm not sure why you're saying it is. It seems that most gay men always tend to use this theory as some sort of defence mechanism for being gay. Why? If you want to be gay through choice, so what?

It's funny that nearly all the gay people I have ever met have always had an abusive, or missing father. Therefore, in my opinion, they tend to, through choice, seek the company of men to make up for that lack of fatherly love. I have a friend who came out as being gay and lived with a man (his father also deserted him from childhood), 5 years later and now he's getting married (to a woman). Is he gay or bisexual? Are you born bisexual or is it a choice?

Having said that, I happen to believe that you can also be BORN gay, genetically.

The trouble with human's is, everything has to be in black and white. It would be so much simpler if they accepted that there is more than one route towards homosexuality. Choice or genetic, why should it make any difference and why shouldn't people accept that truth, it seems by far the most logical.

Response from Dr. Frascino

Dear Gay, Straight, or Bi-curious-questioning Friend,

What you do or don't "believe to be true" doesn't really change scientific evidence or common sense. Do you really believe people choose to be gay??? When did you choose to be "not-gay?" Gays really wouldn't (and shouldn't) need a defense (not "defence", by the way) mechanism if we weren't constantly being attacked: you know, things like gay bashing (remember Matthew Shepherd?); sexual orientation discrimination in the form of opposition to rights to marriage, adoption, and sexual activity between consenting adults in the privacy of their own bedrooms (remember the Texas sodomy laws that were finally overturned just last year?); folks wanting to amend the constitution in order to deny gays equal rights; religious leaders claiming we are responsible for everything from 9/11 to Tinky Winky's purple color (thank you, Reverend Falwell); and other stuff like that.

Is it any wonder that we would need to be defensive about our sexual orientation, the very core of our existence

I, too, find it "funny" (your word) that "nearly all the gay people you have ever met have always had an abusive or missing father." Have you ever met a lesbian? I really don't think lesbians are "seeking out the company of men to make up for that lack of fatherly love." Perhaps you'll grant me the fact that I know a hell of a lot more gay people than you do and the abusive or missing father figure is no more common among gays than it is among straights. In fact, that argument has been effectively proven false in large epidemiological studies. I might also mention I have a wonderfully loving dad who has always been a strong father figure.

As to whether your soon-to-be-married friend is straight or bisexual, I wouldn't hazard a guess. Why don't you ask him? By the way, I have had sex with a number of women. Does that make me bisexual? Nope! As Ellen said on national TV, "I'm gay."

Next, your belief that folks are born gay "genetically" might someday prove to be true. But as of now, science has not found the gay gene.

One last point, do you realize that there is irrefutable scientific evidence of homosexual behavior in virtually all mammalian species and that human gay activity has been with us since the dawn of antiquity? These facts make arguments like yours irrelevant as well as illogical. I agree that gay, straight, or whatever should not make any difference and hope that someday everyone will "accept the truth."

In the final analysis, sexual orientation is not a choice. Even common sense would dictate that. However, what one does or doesn't do with his true sexual orientation is indeed a choice, a choice that can have great consequences. (James McGreevey, governor of New Jersey, is a current example.) But this whole topic is a discussion for another day.

My sexual orientation is what it is and I am who I am. If anyone thinks less of me because of that, I'd say the problem (and shame) rests with them. I hope that my life's work, my actions, my words, my deeds, and the strength and quality of my loving relationship with my partner Steve (Dr. Steve, The Body's Tratamientos Forum) will hopefully be judged on their merit and not my sexual orientation. Is that being defensive? No, to me it's just "logical."

Thanks for your comment, but I must remind everyone that this forum is dedicated to issues about HIV/AIDS, not the nature versus nurture controversy over sexual orientation. So this discussion must stop here.

Dr. Bob

AIDS walk Sept 26, 2004
Bangkok Ladyboys

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