* How do I know if I'm straight? *
I, of course, ask this rhetorical question in a somewhat tongue-in-cheek fashion, but somehow, no one ever seems to question themselves if they are straight. It's just like breathing or farting or walking or something -- we all do it and so apparently there's nothing to question.
But let someone ask "How do I know if I'm gay?" and Christ! -- WW III ensues! and some damn Christians swoop down from on high, ready to save our souls from something which could *only* be a result of the abuse we've experienced, and not part of "God's True Plan" (whatever the hell that is).
Meanwhile, the "Other Contingent" (and we all know who *they* are) puffs up its chest and dons its armor, ready to do battle with many of the Born-Again guys with their blown-dry hair-do's held in place by tons of hair spray lacquered on their helmets of perfect hair guaranteed not to move even during the sweatiest of tent revivals.
Then of course you have those from the gay camp who insist that people are simply born gay and that child sexual abuse could have nothing whatsoever to do with the developing sexual orientation of the boy/man. Hellooo??
If all we were was little genetic robots playing out the genetic instructions of our DNA, then I find it hard to believe that humankind would have evolved as far and as quickly as it did (grotesque aberrations such as Nazi Germany notwithstanding). Let's face it, folks, human beings are phenomenally plastic creatures in everything from our religions, our music, our societies, our cultures, our economies, our technologies, etc. -- yet somehow, some folks want to draw a circle around *sexual orientation* and say that this is one area in which we are who we are and we are fundamentally immutable.
Speaking as a gay man, I find both of these lines of thought highly reductive and simplistic.
Just my 2¢ (ka-ching!)
P.S. I have a 14 y/o son with whom I've always been candid and positive about being gay. Someone once asked me whether I hoped he'd be straight or gay. My response: "I hope he'll be happy."