The View from Here: Never been a choice

Photo credit: William Nacouzi

William Nacouzi

Photo credit: William Nacouzi

It’s unfortunate that there are still so many people who believe that being gay is a choice; a lifestyle.

Let me be perfectly clear, it is certainly not a choice. I didn’t get up one day and think to myself: “Wow, wouldn’t it be grand if I was gay? It’s all the rage with us millennials.”

All sarcasm and jokes aside, why would people choose to be part of a minority where you will be persecuted, shunned, and in extreme cases, killed for being who you are?

That list is only a small portion of what the LGBT community has to deal with, in and out of the closet. So many differing opinions telling you who you ought to be versus who you are is the icing on top of an existential crisis cake.

Your mind becomes a battlefield between strong morals that either society or religion has brought upon you. So, you end up repressing who you are because you don’t want to be labeled something people will ridicule, abhor, or both.

“Coming out of the closet” is not choice. It is a realization in which the individual has, against all resistance, finally accepted who they are. It’s a metaphor for some sort of metamorphosis, the closet being a cocoon where one is simultaneously hiding and morphing into who they are. While some come out of the cocoon ready to take on the world with a renewed self-confidence, others never see the light of day on who they could become because the fear of being ostracized is too strong.

No matter how much the LGBT community will cry out and say “we are born this way,” the opposition will push back harder saying it is a choice, lifestyle or mental disease. Although none of those arguments are substantiated with facts, neither does the argument for the LGBT community.

According to The Atlantic, research was done by the University of California, Los Angeles, to find a “gay gene” in homosexual men. However, their research was quickly criticized because the results were not reliable or reproducible.

Does this spell certain doom for the LGBT community? Of course not. It does give fuel to those who believe that being gay is a choice, lifestyle or mental disease. Even if there was a “gay gene,” there will still be people against homosexuality because it doesn’t align with their religious beliefs.

What the LGBT community can do now is to continue to fight for equality, and clutch onto dear hope that we will one day be accepted by everyone with little to no resistance as to why we are the way we are.

The only choice I see being made is the choice to be ignorant, intolerant and homophobic.