I was asked a few good questions recently and thought those questions with my replies might make an enlightening post for HQ. The questions have been posted without editing or correction.
Preamble: I wanted first off to say that I do respect your positions. I think you are one of the most open-minded people I’ve met (on the internet or other wise).
I want to ask you a few personal questions and if you do not want to answer I understand. These are just some things I cannot experience but want to understand.
Question: I gather from you posts that you are homosexual/gay (I’m not sure what word is politically correct I’ll use gay because to me it sounds cool). Ok enough tip toeing around. There are a few issues that I really want to understand: 1) choice vs. nature; 2) how important gay issues are to you; 3) how hurtful to you is it that certain words like “gay” are used as analogies to “bad”; and 4) does your perspective as a gay man allow you to be more open-minded.
I don’t concern myself too much with political correctness.
“Gay” is just fine.
I don’t believe there’s any choice involved in sexual orientation. In the nature vs. nurture debate, some presume nurture to involve a choice. But if it does, it’s a choice by someone else (i.e. parents), not the choice of the individual. Another thing that might qualify as a choice is whether or not to explore aspects of your personality which are present but unexpressed. In other words, I don’t believe anyone could choose to be gay, but they might choose to explore the gay feelings they have that they’ve been repressing.
That’s what happened to me when I was 22. I knew I was “gay curious” and had noticed gay feelings since I was very young. I just never had the nerve to explore them until I met a very kind and gentle gay man who was willing to answer my questions and let me realize a few of my fantasies. I should add that to be clinically correct, I should call myself bisexual. I’ve had relationships with both men and women. On a scale with heterosexuality as #1 and homosexuality as #10, I’m a #7.
Gay issues are important to me as a liberal humanist. Just like racial and gender issues, gay issues are important to me because they involve human repression and persecution.
“Gay” as a synonym for bad is of little importance. English is a dynamic language, it’s irrational to take offense at the reapplication of a word. Words are tools we use to express thoughts. Sometimes we have to overlook the words used and focus on the thoughts behind the words. That reveals the character of the speaker even more than their choice of words.
No doubt all the aspects of my person have added something to my open-mindedness. My gay attitudes keep me from being blasé about sexual matters. Being left-handed has made me aware of what a right-handed world I live in. It is hard for me to find a conventional belief to hold onto when so much of my being is unconventional.