COMMENT | Are We Born Gay Or Is it A Choice?
Are We Born Gay Or Is It A Choice? If It Is A Choice, Isn’t That Ok?
It’s an age-old question that has been asked time and time again; is being gay a case of nature of nurture? Are we really born this way or do we choose to be gay? My personal belief is that we were born this way, baby, but I’ll accept people’s right to hold a different view.
Drawing on my own personal experience, I knew from around five years old that I was different to other boys. I didn’t know what gay was at that age, but I did know that I wanted to marry a man when I grew up.
On that basis, I would say that for me it has definitely been a case of nature rather than nurture. I didn’t choose to be gay; it has always felt like a natural part of who I am. Anyway, if I had a choice about my sexuality I probably would have chosen to be heterosexual as life would have been a lot easier!
Something I’ve always found fascinating is when someone asks me when I became gay as if I simply woke up one day and thought ‘yeah I feel a bit poofy today so I’m going to be gay’. Perhaps they really mean to ask about when I came out rather than when I became gay, or maybe the question should be about when I realised I am gay, but I tend to answer by asking them when they became straight.
In the past I have met men who say they are straight but choose to have sex with men. On one particular occasion, I had a sexual encounter with one such man, who I didn’t know was married. As he was getting ready to leave he took his wedding ring out of his pocket, put it on his finger and bluntly told me that he “wasn’t like” me. It was around that time I started to think more about the question of whether sexuality is a choice.
I don’t think we choose our sexuality. It’s a part of who we are as human beings. Some people are gay, some are straight, and some are bi. I also believe sexuality can be a spectrum rather than people fitting into set boxes, but I don’t believe sexuality to be a choice. I do however believe that we can choose whether to embrace our sexuality or not, and whether to live the lifestyle. For example, the married man I once had an encounter with was probably gay or bisexual but was choosing to live a closeted life and have sexual encounters with men on the side.
I am gay but the only choice I have made regarding my sexuality is to embrace it and allow myself to be who I am. I know it’s not easy for everyone to do that and I’m all too aware of how difficult and confusing it can be when realising you are gay and deciding whether to tell people. I will also accept people’s right to believe that their sexuality is a choice. Just because I hold the view that I do, it doesn’t mean that I am right. Whatever your view is, the most important thing is that you feel able to embrace who you are and live happily as a gay person. That’s a choice we can all make.
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Opinions expressed in this article may not reflect those of THEGAYUK, its management or editorial teams. If you'd like to comment or write a comment, opinion or blog piece, please click here.