Many people think of sexuality as a binary system; people think you can either be gay or straight. Sexuality is about who you are physically, romantically or emotionally attracted to. People express their sexual orientation through their behaviors with others. When we are born we are right away given a gender and a sexuality. The truth is though, that sexuality is much more complex and multifaceted. We cannot simply divide people into gay and straight and someone’s gender does not tell us their sexual preference.
This duality of just gay and straight overlooks people that are transgender and transsexual, and that some people are asexual (little or no urge to have sex), or bisexual. Of course, there are people who deny that people are bisexual, or asexual–they’re just confused, or prudish (if they’re asexual), or perverted (if they’re bisexual). Contrary to these skeptics though, these sexual preferences most definitely exist, so as Chris Zook asks, “why confine individuals to the vague prisons of ‘gay’ and ‘straight’?” The existence of those that are intersex force us to expand the limits of human sexuality. They make painfully obvious that our binary system of sexuality is obsolete. The limits of sexuality must be expanded not only so that sexuality that deviates from the status quo isn’t considered inferior, but also so that the relationship and love that stems from that sexuality isn’t deemed inferior also.
People don’t choose their sexuality
I definitely didn’t choose to like guys. I just do. I don’t feel that I really had a choice in the matter. I like what I like. While there are women I find absolutely beautiful, I don’t feel an urge to have sex with them. I hear a lot of straight people say that homosexuality isn’t natural and that they could choose to be heterosexuals. Shut. Up. No they can’t—and those therapies that supposedly “turn you” straight don’t work. People don’t choose their sexuality, neither do they choose what turns them on sexually. Given that, nobody should be discriminated against, considered immoral or treated as subhuman because of what they sexually prefer or whom they happen to fall in love with. Love that isn’t heterosexual shouldn’t be made inferior or wrong. According to the American Psychological Association, research shows that many lesbians and gay men want and have committed relationships. Between 40%-60% of gay men and between 45%-80% of lesbians are involved in a romantic relationship. There are hundreds of thousands of same-sex households in the US. Research shows that many lesbians and gay men form enduring relationships; they too care about commitment, stability and raising families. This goes for those that are transgender and transsexual also.
There are many who believe that heterosexual and monogamous love is superior to love between homosexuals, polygamists, or those that are in an open relationship. For some it’s because of religion or because heterosexual love is “natural” and they can have kids. I’m sorry though, your love shouldn’t be more highly esteemed just because of how nicely the penis goes into the vagina or because you have a preference for monogamy. Love is more than that, and I support it wherever and between whomever it exists. I support any relationship where people love each other or care about each other, are loyal and committed.
There is a need for people to not only become more aware of how many different sexualities there are, but also that it is none of their business who other people fall in love with and want to have sex with. Realize that no two (or more) consenting adults should be told how to live. Unless they’re having sex with you, don’t worry about it. I can’t imagine somebody judging me by who I have sex with. I have many friends and close family members that are gay and they are ABSOLUTELY WONDERFUL and it is so sad to think their character takes a backseat to their sexual preference. It is sad and disrespectful that their relationships are not treated with the same respect heterosexual relationships are. Especially when they too have such beautiful relationships that I can only hope to be so lucky as to have a relationship as devoted as theirs some day.
Time to expand our concept of sexuality
It is regrettable to think that those who deviate from the status quo of sexuality are judged immoral, “wrong” or second-rate when they are human beings just like everyone else. For those of you who are heterosexual can you imagine someone telling you that your love is wrong, and that to really know happiness you should be gay? Can you imagine someone wanting to kill you or hurt you over your sexuality? How crazy would that be? Imagine that you had to come out to people that you were straight? Wouldn’t that be ridiculous? And all over something that not only do you have little or no control over, but over something that does not affect anyone else.
For the sake of others that are not heterosexuals and for those who do not conform to the sexuality status quo let’s change our concept of sexuality so that it is more tolerant and true to life. As Chris points out, by acknowledging the fluidity of human sexuality and getting past this binary system we can not only make strides toward equal rights, but we can also have a more inclusive concept of sexuality. Not to mention that it will allow us to recognize and respect love and relationships no matter who is in them. Realize that prejudice and discrimination make it hard for others to accept their sexualities and to be comfortable with themselves. Let us become more aware because one’s sexual preference shouldn’t ever cause shame.