"It's not their fault. They can't help it."

There's a lot of discussions about "internalized homophobia" going on here. Talk about racism, prejudice, religion, and all that's on your mind. Now you have a new place to gab.

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"It's not their fault. They can't help it."

Postby nimby » Sat Oct 10, 2009 10:39 am

So I was listening to a conversation by the water cooler at work last week. The topic was Homosexuality and why it should be accepted. The general consensus was because, "it's not their fault, they can't help it." I swear I heard that line about five times in ten minutes. And it really irritated me. It sounded like they were talking about Leprosy. And It got me to thinking. If we win, "by default" is is still a win? I mean it kind of devalues our human rights and freedom of choice, doesn't it? Is it really so bad if someone chooses to be with the opposite sex instead of being genetically predisposed to it (if that really is the case)? I don't really know, but just the way they kept saying it really irked me.
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Re: "It's not their fault. They can't help it."

Postby batty » Sat Oct 10, 2009 12:29 pm

To be honest, although it could benefit from being phrased a bit more diplomatically, I think this represents "progress". These people are at least getting the point. Because I remember someone at work not too long ago telling a gay colleague of mine that "it really doesn't matter the way you choose to live your life".

The fact that the whole "homosexual lifestyle" thesis is slowly losing ground is encouraging, as people stop expecting gays to "change". We're slowly moving from tolerance to acceptance...
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Re: "It's not their fault. They can't help it."

Postby Daknee » Sat Oct 10, 2009 12:46 pm

batty wrote:To be honest, although it could benefit from being phrased a bit more diplomatically, I think this represents "progress". These people are at least getting the point. Because I remember someone at work not too long ago telling a gay colleague of mine that "it really doesn't matter the way you choose to live your life".

The fact that the whole "homosexual lifestyle" thesis is slowly losing ground is encouraging, as people stop expecting gays to "change". We're slowly moving from tolerance to acceptance...


I agree with batty. I find it a bit relieving to find more people know and understand homosexuality in not a "lifesyle" choice. I have always loathed the idea it's a lifestyle just as one chooses to life the life of a urbanist or city dweller. I feel this does pave the way for more and better acceptance.
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Re: "It's not their fault. They can't help it."

Postby nimby » Sat Oct 10, 2009 1:37 pm

And yet, in many schools homosexuality has been taught as a positive alternative lifestyle in sex/ed classes in Canada and the US for years now. That's what I don't get. It seens like a mixed message being sent to our youth of today. Is it a positive alternative lifestyle or is it a genetic affliction? Or is it both? Is it better for your right to choose be accepted, or better to be accepted for something you can't help anyway? :?
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Re: "It's not their fault. They can't help it."

Postby batty » Sat Oct 10, 2009 2:40 pm

I think it's best to draw a distinction between homosexual activities and homosexuality proper.

Anyone can choose to perform an homosexual act. Cue the "bicurious", those on the Down Low, the gay for Pay, etc... While I agree that some of these people may be in denial, I stand by the argument that you don't have to be a homosexual to do homosexual things, just like you don't have to be straight to have/get sex with/from a woman.

I personally don't believe someone can chose to be a homosexual however. People can't control their feelings, if they could, there would be no break ups, no love triangles, no Dr. Phil etc...

Is it better for your right to choose be accepted, or better to be accepted for something you can't help anyway?


I would venture to say the latter is better; not only because I really believe that you "can't help it", but also because arguing the former leads us to endless and pointless debates. If it's a choice, some will argue for and against these "options". Also, are people really talked into/out of homosexuality?

Mind you, the courts have already interpreted the right against discrimination to homosexuals as a Charter Right in the context of Marriage and the federal Government already includes homosexuals as a designated group in its employment equity requirement on top of the 4 legally-protected groups.
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Re: "It's not their fault. They can't help it."

Postby nimby » Sat Oct 10, 2009 3:22 pm

batty wrote:
Is it better for your right to choose be accepted, or better to be accepted for something you can't help anyway?


I would venture to say the latter is better; not only because I really believe that you "can't help it", but also because arguing the former leads us to endless and pointless debates. If it's a choice, some will argue for and against these "options". Also, are people really talked into/out of homosexuality?


You had me right up till this point. Many people believe that "arguing" the right to choose is extremely important and valid in today's society. If the validity of arguement is sufficient for the prolife/choice movement for a fetus at the start of life, and also for the right to die as in the assisted suicide movement for the ill/edlerly, why wouldn't you want the same argumnets in choosing how and with who you life that life with? And For the record, I do believe that one can be talked into/out of homosexuality, just like one can be talked into/out of heterosexuality. Maybe not permanently, but that's ok, cause we now know that sexuality is more fluid than ever, and choice is a wonderful thing. :D
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Re: "It's not their fault. They can't help it."

Postby batty » Sat Oct 10, 2009 9:13 pm

nimby wrote:wouldn't you want the same argumnets in choosing how and with who you life that life with? And For the record, I do believe that one can be talked into/out of homosexuality, just like one can be talked into/out of heterosexuality. Maybe not permanently, but that's ok, cause we now know that sexuality is more fluid than ever, and choice is a wonderful thing. :D


Call me a hardliner :) but I believe the moment I would subscribe to the "choice" thesis, it turns homosexuality into a debatable issue, which to me isn't. You can't argue for/against homosexuality, much like you can't argue for/against left-handed people, redheads,

Social activities/issues revolving around homosexuality (ie. gay marriage, open relationships, "frot", barebacking, adoption, partner roles, nomenclature [spouse/partner/lover/boyfriend/husband], etc...) are always up for a healthy debate because they are behaviour-based.

However, I believe that homosexuality per se is not a social construct, it is an emotionally-based occurrence in the animal species.

Of course I'm fully aware that the two don't operate in isolation. But we ought to recognize that any debate surrounding homosexual behaviour must be based on the premise that it homosexuality is naturally-occuring. To sum it up bluntly, you don't choose to be attracted to a man, but you may choose to give him head.

That being said nimby, I'm curious as to your statement that you can be talked into/out of heterosexuality. Are you referring to those Clockwork-Orangesque "re-programming" camps that Mormons run?
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Re: "It's not their fault. They can't help it."

Postby nimby » Sat Oct 10, 2009 10:35 pm

My point was that the right to choose a homosexual lifestyle is worthy of debate and arguement, such as the right to life and the right to death are, and not nesessarily be the endless and pointless debates you mentioned.

Is homosexuality really an emotionally based occurrence in the animal species? Do these animals concsiously seek out same sex love? I know that same sex relations do occurr in the animal world, but is it an emotionally based occurrence for all animals? I understand your position, as a gay man, that homosexuality is an undebatable issue, but as a bi guy, I choose to see sexuality (not just homosexuality) as a very debatable issue. And so do educators, religious leaders and politicians just to name a few.

Now I'm not understanding your distinction homosexuality and a homosexual act. If a "straight" guy loves to give head? What does that make him? Most here would (and have as it's been covered here lots) say he a gay man but in denial. So please clarify your distinction.

As for being talked into or out of heterosexuality, no I'm not referring to those deprogamming camps (which should be outlawed). I'm talking about educators in out schools, test books, friends, changing social morals and antidiscrimination ads on tv that say it's ok to be gay. When a "straight" person hears this, then eventually they are convinced that maybe it's ok to try it. And I think that is ok too. I really do believe that most humans, just as in the animal world, are bisexual to some degree, seeking out neither male nor female companionship, but just shear animal sex in it's basest form. Funny, when a straight guy sleeps with a guy, he's labeled either gay and in denial, or at least bi. But if a gay man admitted to sleeping with a woman, it's called a slip up or long forgotten history. Why is that?

Anyway,I know we have differing opinions, and I really appreciate yours. That's why I'm here, to learn from others.
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Re: "It's not their fault. They can't help it."

Postby ispeaktexan » Sat Oct 10, 2009 11:54 pm

Well actually i never learned that it was 'okay to be gay'. From the health classes i have taken they have not mentioned it as an okay thing, usually its refrenced to bad things within the gay community. I guess were a little behind.
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Re: "It's not their fault. They can't help it."

Postby crankycurmudgeon » Sun Oct 11, 2009 1:57 pm

Nimby wrote "...Is homosexuality really an emotionally based occurrence in the animal species?"

I think that you are beginning to see documentation in other species (penguins at the Berlin(?) Zoo etc) as well as physiological differentiation in humans (sorry I don't have the stats.

I'm with Batty on this. I think that there is a distinction between one's sexuality and one's behavior. Sexuality, or the context of what one is attracted to and the ability to develop emotional bonds is different from sexual activity (ie it is not just sexual gymnastics). Nimby brings up a good point about the fluidity of sexuality. I wonder whether this should be looked at as a trend line for an individual over a lifetime. I'd like to think that the fluidity or fixed nature on that range varies with the individual. Anecdotally, I seem to know many long time partnered middle-aged gay folks with adult children from a previous heterosexual marraige. It may have been a combination of conforming to the norms of the times, or it may have been every bit as committed as they are now.

I'm wary of the arguments that suggest a choice of a "homosexual lifestyle." I think an effective counter question is "When did you decide to become heterosexual?" I'd venture a guess that a lot of folks would be unable to answer the question.
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Re: "It's not their fault. They can't help it."

Postby nimby » Sun Oct 11, 2009 6:18 pm

Um, those gay penguins split up because of an affair with a female. :lol:

http://10000birds.com/famous-gay-penguins-split-up.htm

Sorry.
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Re: "It's not their fault. They can't help it."

Postby crankycurmudgeon » Sun Oct 11, 2009 7:34 pm

nimby wrote:Um, those gay penguins split up because of an affair with a female. :lol:

http://10000birds.com/famous-gay-penguins-split-up.htm

Sorry.


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Re: "It's not their fault. They can't help it."

Postby nimby » Mon Oct 12, 2009 7:29 pm

And here's another bi curious story from another board. But this is with a twist:

"I started having sex with boys, when I was 11 years old, and I continued to have sex with males only until I was around 40. I really didn't have any desire to have sex with females...although I was a little curious as to what it might be like.

When I was around 40, I started getting more curious about females, and started looking for opportunities. I was seeing a young guy at the time, who was 20, and he had a girlfriend who was 19. The girlfriend and I had talked on various occasions when her boyfriend wasn't around, and she was fully aware, that her boyfriend and I were having sex....and didn't have a problem with that.

One day I mentioned that I had never had sex with a girl, and was curious to try it. She said that she never had sex with a gay guy..and she was curious about that. One thing led to another, and finally one day we both wanted to satisfiy our urges, so we had sex. It was exciting for me...but more because it was new and different....almost seemed kind of "kinky"...rather then really being turned on by the female body. After that, for almost a year, she would call me about every 2 weeks, and invite me to come over and "get naked" The boyfriend never did know we were having sex together, and of course...I was still having sex with him......:-) LOL"

And now this guy considers himself bi sexual. :lol:
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Re: "It's not their fault. They can't help it."

Postby crankycurmudgeon » Mon Oct 12, 2009 9:06 pm

^ Actually, sounds like "Try-sexual."
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Re: "It's not their fault. They can't help it."

Postby batty » Mon Oct 19, 2009 5:14 pm

ispeaktexan wrote:Well actually i never learned that it was 'okay to be gay'. From the health classes i have taken they have not mentioned it as an okay thing, usually its refrenced to bad things within the gay community. I guess were a little behind.


Our sex-ed classes were taught with a great amount neutrality. I remember our sex-ed teacher teacher was this stern middle-aged woman with a fuzzy beard growth and she would go into very graphic details of how fellatio was performed, and then with the straightest of face, she would explain that the girl would swallow the "prize" (not her words of course), and the whole class would squirm in unison :twisted:

Overall it was all about the nuts and bolts though, no position was taken for/against homosexuality. The funniest part is that sex-ed would alternate every other week with bible class (this was in Quebec, where religious education is part of the normal public school curriculum). So one week she would teach about the pros and cons of the types of contraception... the next week she would read us Matthew 21:17 (sorry, had to add this Simpsons reference in there :) )


nimby wrote:And here's another bi curious story from another board. But this is with a twist:

"One day I mentioned that I had never had sex with a girl, and was curious to try it. She said that she never had sex with a gay guy..and she was curious about that. One thing led to another, and finally one day we both wanted to satisfiy our urges, so we had sex. It was exciting for me...but more because it was new and different....almost seemed kind of "kinky"...rather then really being turned on by the female body. After that, for almost a year, she would call me about every 2 weeks, and invite me to come over and "get naked" The boyfriend never did know we were having sex together, and of course...I was still having sex with him......:-) LOL"

And now this guy considers himself bi sexual. :lol:


Nimby, I don't mean to keep stirring the pot, but to me this guy's actions don't support the thesis that one can eventually turn into a: heterosexual/homosexual, especially considering the part I highlighted.

I would venture to say his feelings were always there, they were just being repressed until an opportunity came up. He may very well be bisexual, but I am not one to determine, only he can. There is no litmus test because I'm sure you know very well that when talking about sexual identity, we are not dealing with binaries.

Now I think this guy's more pressing concern should not be so much on pondering about his sexual identity, but more on the ethical implications in being a party to this triangle of betrayal with young adults half his age. That may sound a bit harsh and holier-than-thou, but really, it's one thing to play behind someone's back, it's another to brag and "LOL" about it.
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Re: "It's not their fault. They can't help it."

Postby nimby » Tue Oct 20, 2009 11:17 am

batty wrote:Nimby, I don't mean to keep stirring the pot, but to me this guy's actions don't support the thesis that one can eventually turn into a: heterosexual/homosexual, especially considering the part I highlighted.

I would venture to say his feelings were always there, they were just being repressed until an opportunity came up. He may very well be bisexual, but I am not one to determine, only he can. There is no litmus test because I'm sure you know very well that when talking about sexual identity, we are not dealing with binaries.


No worries Batty. That's why we're here, to have open, frank and intelligent discussions. :D

But I do find it interesting that the old line, "repressing his true feelings" always happend to rear it head when examples like this are put forth. He was, by his own admission, 100% gay well into mid life, and then changed his sexual identity from gay to bi. What would happen if he met a woman he fell in love with and chose to marry? Which feelings would he be repressing, his straightness or gayness? I don't believe that anything in this world is carved in stone, especially when dealing with one's own identity. Fluidity is present in many aspects of our personality, and our tastes in many areas change over time. And to not respect one's freedom of choice, but instead label it genetic and carved in stone, is, in my humble opinion, putting them in a box impossible of escaping from, taking away their free will so to speak.

But no one has really answered this, and leaving all PERSONAL beliefs aside, what would be so detremental to society if (notice I say IF) sexual identity was a choice?
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Re: "It's not their fault. They can't help it."

Postby batty » Tue Oct 20, 2009 11:50 am

To be honest, I never really gave it much thought. However I think those who would "choose" to be gay would have it even worse, as I don't think there would be the public support/acceptance/tolerance as we currently "benefit" (using the term loosely) from. I also doubt gays would ever become a designated group with regards to anti-discrimination legislation. Gay re-programming camps would also be more widespread, as it would be seen as a credible option to wean them away from that "unnatural lifestyle".

Sounds like a grim assessment, but to be honest the only thing I have to by is the past, say gays circa 1950 or earlier... where it was widely believed that homosexuality was a lifestyle chosen of one's own free will. It's an understatement so say that this period wasn't really the Golden Age for gays and bisexuals. Mind you, it's not really fair to extrapolate that to the reality of today considering the overall social climate of the times regarding education/knowledge, the level of religious indoctrination, people's conservative views on sex (even straight sex) and social issues (eg. no interracial marriage).
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Re: "It's not their fault. They can't help it."

Postby nimby » Tue Oct 20, 2009 12:06 pm

You brought up another very good point, Religious indoctrination.

The vast majority of religious people hold strong that their religious beliefs are at the core of their existence, and a major part of who they are, and their personal identity. Yet THEY have the right to choose what and who to believe in. Their freedom to choose is practically guaranteed in America. Yet I feel that they are refusing our right to choose who we spend our lives with. And when we agree that we don't have a choice because, "we're born that way", in some small way we're helping them win. Helping them control our choices in life.

To me it all boils down to religious control. Sexual deviance from the norm, interratial marriages, gender equality, and most strife in society can be traced back to religious control.
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Re: "It's not their fault. They can't help it."

Postby batty » Tue Oct 20, 2009 12:27 pm

I wouldn't fret too much about religion controlling our choices in Canada. In the circles I'm in, it really is a non-issue, I really am not around religious people at all. Granted, I don't live in Utah, or Jeddah...

I wouldn't necessarily argue that religions are disappearing, but I read a very interesting article in the Globe and Mail recently about how people in Canada are moving away from weekly attending religious services, whether it be on Fridays or Sundays and are deal with their own spirituality. This makes for people "customizing" their religious beliefs and they are no longer the recipients of some doctrine dispensed by the priest/pastor/imam etc... Some may despair at the disintegration of the Church, but I think the encouraging consequence of this is that less people are being fed propaganda/dogma from the altar, and more people are adopting the "live and let live" outlook.
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Re: "It's not their fault. They can't help it."

Postby butch » Tue Oct 20, 2009 1:51 pm

When you are young (a child) you assume the "grownups" know what's what.

That's the way it is with religion. The child is brainwashed into the parent's superstitions. I was brought up in a church-going family and went through the "hippie" search for myself. I found it disturbing the first time I heard John Lennon's IMAGINE line... "and no relgion, too".

I tended to abandon religion when I began to realize I was gay and knowing how the church felt about all that. In my later years, as I began to study sub-atomic physics, and sub-sub atomic physics... string theory, particle physics, astro physics etc and began to actually think about the concepts of a "god"... like "how did GOD get to be in charge, in the first place?" as well as the improbable reality of "extra dimensions" (which are necessary for many theories in physics to actually work)... i.e. imaginary dimensional realities are just that... IMAGINARY, and the fact that the universe is billions of light years across. Well, religion became quite the joke. And a very mean, cruel joke at that.

Teaching religion to a child is, in my mind, serious child abuse. But people are brainwashed into their particular belief (security blanket) and it truly is "not their fault".

What will change this? As Richard Dawkins says, we need militant atheists. I am now a militant atheist. I am, personally, at war with religion. The Pope should be tried for war crimes against humanity. Priests of all sorts should be arrested and locked up. Churches should be seized and turned over to community groups. People who preach religion should be arrested and jailed, or even executed. That is my view.

I consider religion extraordinarily evil, the very, very worst trait of humanity. There is nothing more horrific than the teaching of religion.

I finally understand what John Lennon was on about.

Religion is ignorance and superstition taken to its extreme. Extraordinary ignorance and superstition. Nothing generates more hatred than religion.

Religion is evil... EVIL. I can't say it enough. I rejoice in people leaving their church.

I shudder upon even seeing a church and, were it not for the beauty of some old cathedrals, don't like to even enter a church I consider them so extraordinarily evil. One baits a trap with enticing things... churches are traps to control human minds. Wolves in sheep's clothing.

Happy will be the day when there is no religion on Earth... if we survive as a race.

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