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#174916 - 08/22/07 12:31 PM Re: Gay or Str8 - Nature vs Nurture [Re: Lazarus]
pain4ever Offline

Registered: 04/05/01
Posts: 1032
Arrgghhh...this discussion again...LOL.

Being gay is not a choice....our attraction and feelings outside of sexual are not a choice. We love who we love and that IMHO is in us from day one. I did not choose to be gay but I did choose to play it straight for 28 years and that choice dang near killed me.


Peace and Tranquility all depends on your frame of reference.

#174955 - 08/22/07 02:40 PM Re: Gay or Str8 - Nature vs Nurture [Re: pain4ever]
roadrunner Offline
Administrator Emeritus

Registered: 05/02/05
Posts: 22045
Loc: Carlisle, PA
Originally Posted By: pain4ever
I did not choose to be gay but I did choose to play it straight for 28 years and that choice dang near killed me.

Well said, Brian. I'm glad you made that point.

Much love,

Nobody living can ever stop me
As I go walking my freedom highway.
Nobody living can make me turn back:
This land was made for you and me.
(Woody Guthrie)

#174968 - 08/22/07 03:15 PM Re: Gay or Str8 - Nature vs Nurture [Re: pain4ever]
Gabbahey Offline

Registered: 03/18/07
Posts: 43

Being gay is not a choice....We love who we love.

I agree. Love is not a choice.

in us from day one.

Something is in us from day one---but not sure what.

Clearly, this discussion does not resonate with you.

You're so lucky.

However---this love and let love ethos only makes sense in this binary gay/str8 discussion. These are two politically correct identities that involve consenting adults.

I know we're not going to invite the man-boy love association to this table, or the Dutch pedo political party. Probably not going invite the organized lovers of animals either.

Our self-help books and gurus are always telling us how to get out of bad relationships, where, presumably, love was involved.

Obsession and danger and self-destruction are the spice of stories of love. Romeo, Streetcar, the Iliad, Bonny and Clyde, and so on.

Check out Katie's excellent post on this issue in Friends and Family. The kicker:

I doubt anyone is simply born hardwired to want relationship with rubber suits.

And yet people "pair bond" with all kinds of stuff. There was a show recently about men who prefer very lifelike manikins to real people.


Edited by Gabbahey (08/22/07 04:02 PM)

#175202 - 08/23/07 01:19 PM Re: Gay or Str8 - Nature vs Nurture [Re: Gabbahey]
Armyguy2007 Offline
New Here

Registered: 08/20/07
Posts: 23
Loc: Upstate NY and Fl

I love the idea that we have a place to talk about this. I have struggled for some time with what I might be. Not if I was gay or straight, but if I was sexual at all. I have been identifying with being Bi if anything. "The problems are if you choose to label yourself bisexual---neither world accepts you or trusts you".
I look at sex as an act not something that really serves a real purpose, but create more mental pain.


The is no such thing as “AN ARMY OF ONE”

Every generation has its heroes. Mine is no different.

#175234 - 08/23/07 02:30 PM Re: Gay or Str8 - Nature vs Nurture [Re: Lazarus]
Jarrad Offline

Registered: 10/27/06
Posts: 1071
Loc: arizona
i think this question is raised because there is still a taboo over being gay. like it is this huge problem and no one wants to admit the cause of it. but if you look through out history, it wasn't always like that. essentially the only thing that is different between the gays and the sraights is how we have sex and who we are attracted to. looking back at art and liturature from the romans, from the greeks, from lots of differnt cultures touch upon homosexuality but it was no big deal. in my opinion, the only reason we are having this conversation because somewhere along the way, the general mass switched and decided it was unnatural and wrong. so that leaves the masses with this notion that it is a problem and everyone is out looking for a cause. you aren't going to find it. everyone is different. no two people are raised the same. (even twins.) no two experiences are the same. everyone's chemical makeup is different. good luck explaining it because i think you wont ever solve anything until the masses reverse the thinking that it is this scary problem that they want to prevent so their kids dont turn out gay.

#175267 - 08/23/07 03:39 PM Re: Gay or Str8 - Nature vs Nurture [Re: Lazarus]
gay30something Offline
New Here

Registered: 08/12/07
Posts: 26
Loc: New England, USA
<<<I did have two questions regarding your post;

First, thank you for pointing out the difference between gender identity and sexual orientation. I touched on it in my original post, but I didn't even try to explain it - you did. You also stated that, "Transgender persons can also happen to be homosexuals, but many are heterosexual." So if a Transgendered person is physically male, but feels like a female inside, which sex is the opposite sex? I've known quite a few tranny's, some pre-op, some post, but I never thought to ask them that question.>>>

Well, I think I would have to consult my Transgender contacts and advisors. No, Seriously. It is hard for plain old gay people to understand everything about Transgenderism.

I know a Transexual person, post op, male to female. I'll ask her.

She is in a relationship with another TG/TS person. I think they also identify as lesbian.

<<<Second, I was wondering what the article in "Mother Jones" that you found so annoying, and why? You mentioned it, but then let it drop without further comment.

Thanks for your thoughtful reply. I look forward to hearing from you again.>>>

Well, I want to read the whole article over again first, but essentially there was something in it that was slightly apologist for repairative therapy, saying it shouldn't be totally dismissed....and that gays should find other ways to protect their rights, i.e. not relying on gay as an immutable characteristic.

I should say that it is interesting to read the posts on here. There are a lot of people that see gays as far more marginalized in society than I do.

I think where we live in the USA (or elsewhere) -- what state, our other groupings, i.e. race, religion, socio-economic status, etc do play a big part in it.

I don't feel like all of society in my world sees me as some weird thing. I actually feel that the MAJORITY OF SOCIETY in my area in the northeast USA views gays as just a part of society.

While we do encounter discrimination at times, I wouldn't say it is daily or even weekly.

Yes, some people get funny at times when I refer to him as my spouse (which he is legally!)
On occasion a nasty person tries to abuse their authority and treat us differently or whatnot... but it is not the norm, it is the exception when we are discriminated against.

As for bi people having to S--- or get off the pot, I both agree and disagree. I think it depends on who is in the bi person's life.

If they are in a crowd of rough people all the time, who are uneducated, it may be this way. But not among the majority of society.

I can see however, that there could be problems when dating women. I have heard that from people even in their 20s -- that a significant number of women shy away. But probably because they are afraid to be dumped in favor of a hot guy.

I do think prejudices are far less against gays than they used to be.

Just five years ago, a license from my state for my relationship would have been unheard of.

But those in more conservative, hard right wing rural areas, are probably experiencing most of the same prejudices that have been experienced in decades past.

It is also important to note that in states (most of them) where they do not have gay marriage or civil unions or in other cases domestic partnerships for gay people....and in some cases no anti-discrimination laws, the sociological health of gays as a collective group MUST be more compromised.
In those states, sadly still a large number of them, gays can be fired for their sexual orientation.

This makes people feel like second class citizens.

I should say also, that those who are "in the closet" even here in my area, tend to be less healthy in my opinion. They are critical of us for having a civil union, make comments as if there is something wrong with us for excercising our rights and expecting to be treated as full citizens.
People, gays, who are in the closet are forced to constantly self censor, and hence also censor their acquaintances who are "out".
I'm not saying they are bad people, I'm just saying that by constantly self censoring, it does have a negative effect.

But it is important we remember, we as gays are the victims of a society with a strange way of viewing sex, sexuality, orientation, gender, etc.

It could be worse. In Jamaica, the most homophobic society in the western hemisphere, they routinely bash gays, all the time....far worse than here in the USA

Edited by gay30something (08/23/07 03:46 PM)

#175320 - 08/23/07 06:54 PM Re: Gay or Str8 - Nature vs Nurture [Re: gay30something]
MemoryVault Offline

Registered: 03/02/07
Posts: 693
Loc: NJ
I think one of the things complicating this is that you can be gay/straight/bi/trans/queer in four different categories (at least), and many people kind of mix and match.

1. Basic Orientation
Try the "street test." You're walking down the street, not really paying attention, and someone passes you going the other way. You don't consciously notice them, but a moment later, you realize your heart's beating, you've been holding your breath, and you know that the person who passed you was amazingly attractive. You instinctively turn around to see who that was... Maybe that person will always be a man or a woman. Maybe both genders do that to you. But that's as good a measure of your pure biological orientation as you get.

2. Actions
Who do you sleep with? Who do you go out with? Who do you form a relationship with? What do you do, and not do? Your actions can be at variance with your basic orientation, given enough pressure. Unlike orientation, "nurture" may have a lot to do with your actual sexual expression.

3. Personal Identity
What do you call yourself? Do you think of yourself as "gay," "straight," "heteroflexible," etc.? If you listed the top ten most important things about you, where would this label fall on your list? Do you identify with cultural stereotypes, or reject them?

4. Public Identity
How do you allow people to identify you? Do you proclaim your gayness/bi-ness/straightness? Wedding ring? Commitment Ceremony? March in parades? Do you hang out with people who aren't like you? Closeted gay? Closeted straight? (It happens in the theater world!) Closeted bi, facing crushing pressure from both sides? Straddling lines--telling different people different truths?

The point is, these four dimensions may not be aligned with each other. I'd think it's easier when they are. And "nurture" plays more of a role in some of them than others.

Edited by MemoryVault (08/23/07 06:57 PM)

#175394 - 08/24/07 01:06 AM Re: Gay or Str8 - Nature vs Nurture [Re: MemoryVault]
WalkingSouth Offline

Registered: 08/30/05
Posts: 16270
Loc: Waldport, Oregon
Originally Posted By: Jarrad
i think this question is raised because there is still a taboo over being gay. like it is this huge problem and no one wants to admit the cause of it.

Yup, absolutely, and to take it a step further, does the cause matter? Does it really? Seems to me that argument about cause just perpetuates the misunderstanding and bigotry. Not that we'll EVER be able to get folk to quit arguing about it. (sigh)

"Life's journey is not to arrive at the grave safely in a well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, totally worn out, shouting 'Holy Shit! What a ride!'" ~Hunter S. Thompson

#175462 - 08/24/07 03:38 AM Re: Gay or Str8 - Nature vs Nurture [Re: WalkingSouth]
Lazarus Offline

Registered: 07/01/07
Posts: 851
Loc: Below the radar, USA
Well yes, in a way the cause does matter. Don't get me wrong, I LIKE being gay. But when simple minded people chastize me for my lifestyle 'choice' and say that I should live by their rules, I have to take exception.

Really, to me it doesn't make any difference. Whether I chose to be gay or was born that way is irrelevant. That's just the way I am, and you better get over it. As long as society doesn't make a big issue over it, I won't either... But when the self-righteous pundits claim that I am not normal, not moral, and therefore not entitled to equal treatment, I will object by whatever means are available.

I have two kids and a house and all the problems that everyone else has. I also have a husband, a co-parent to my kids, and a partner in all regards; EXCEPT that is this society's view I am a single parent and we are two guys who just hang out together. Nothing more... But as far as we are concerned, we are married till death do us part.

I know this is not the topic of this thread, but the reason we debate whether being gay is a choice is that we have to sacrifice our civil rights to be gay. That is not by choice yet we still do it, no matter the consequences. The debate will go on, and eventually we will win the rights and freedoms that are granted to our heterosexual brothers and sisters. As long as there is a dividing line between us, we must argue every nuance of our difference.



"That which does not kill us, surely makes us stonger." - Neitsche

#175469 - 08/24/07 03:59 AM Re: Gay or Str8 - Nature vs Nurture [Re: Lazarus]
gay30something Offline
New Here

Registered: 08/12/07
Posts: 26
Loc: New England, USA
Well, what some heterosexual people fail to realize is that the bigotry and 2nd class citizenship in society is what makes us have a need to speak out, be counted, be visible.

If people all left gays alone, and respected our rights, allowed us to marry, stopped people from firing us because of our orientation...... there wouldn't be any need to discuss it any more than heterosexuals discuss their marriages...

But wait, uh, yeah, they show everyone that they are heterosexual and married to someone of the opposite sex, don't they?
Photos, rings, etc.

As to second class citizenship, Lazarus, I am very sorry to hear that society in your area views you as just two single guys living together.

When you live in a state (which is a very new thing) that has gay marriage, or civil unions, it makes a difference. Now, you have a significant amount of legal protection, rights and responsibilities, at least in regards to state and local laws.

I would predict that in the next two years, we will see several other states gain civil unions.

Certainly, viewing you as "just two single guys living together" is wrong, and sad.

There have always been homosexuals, bisexual, heterosexuals and probably Asexuals too(not interested in sex with anyone)
It is just how society reacts to this at any given time that makes life easier or harder for us.

It is a shame right wing conservatives seem to still dictate a lot in our society.

And the hipocracy, with ministers all over the place, taking advantage of young people in their ministries/care -- raping them -- all the while criticizing CONSENTING ADULTS in relationships they don't approve of (whether gay and married, or straight and "fornicating") is just plain ridiculous.

No one is telling them what to do in their churches (well, aside from expecting that they not allow rapist ministers to run wild and prey on their flocks). They shouldn't tell greater society what to do in their bedrooms.

Edited by gay30something (08/24/07 04:03 AM)

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