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Originally published in Honcho magazine - September, 1996

 

GENETIC OR CHOICE?

 

by Lefty Boylan (aka Michael Kirwan)

 

 

A couple of months ago the media deigned to do one of "our" stories on one of the too-numerous "magazine" shows. Afterwards, they provided an 800 number so that the audience could vote on whether homosexuality was something you're born with or was learned behavior. The viewer could partake in this poll by indicating either a biological explanation for our cock-sucking tendencies or that we choose to be disgusting perverts. Watching this, my roommate pulled out the old homo chestnut: "Of course we're born this way. Who'd choose to be reviled by society, alienate their friends and families? Who'd want to be in a club that features a deadly disease as part of the package?" I'd heard the whole yadda-yadda too many times before, but as he was frothing at the suggestion that there was an option involved, I just let him rant on. I got to hear his whole speech again last week when a talk show guest told his former girlfriend that he had "decided" to be gay.

Then there's these queers who insist that they've been "cured" of their faggoty ways by some religious/psychological brainwashing techniques. All's I can say to that is the women stupid enough to hook up with these clowns deserve them.

But that's a whole kettle of fish to be properly scaled in a future "Rant"; what I want to bitch about now is this whole "Is it genetic or behavioral" question. Why is this even relevant? What difference does it really make? Why do gay men need the "genes made me do it" excuse? Who cares? The real issue here is that as American citizens we have the right to live period. Oh, I'm well aware that our little buggeries are illegal all over the place, but if enough of us are proudly and fruitfully living our own homo lives, those laws will fall through the cracks like so many other "socially beneficial" leftovers.

Fight the churches; don't compromise with them; rail against the government when they start getting too intrusive; look those morons in the eye when they mutter "faggot" under their breath as you pass. We've got nothing to be ashamed of, nothing to apologize for; we don't need to offer an excuse to any straight person in the world. Personally, I dread the day some biologist leaps out from his lab waving the proof that we're queer for chemical/electric/hormonal/genetic reasons, because the next day they'll be hunting up a magical reversal. At the very least they'll start manipulating fetuses to prevent them from growing up homo. Then, they'll offer it to teenagers who suffer from other people's stupidity and fear, slip it to the military and prisons, and eventually it'll end up in our fucking toothpaste.

But I digress. My point is: why can't our lifestyles be honored without the proof that we can't help it? Why should we have to qualify as medical anomalies to be treated with the same respect afforded every other citizen of this country? Why should we be required to bring a fucking doctor's note to gain entry into the human race?

I think that the whole genes versus option question should be dropped from the discussion. I don't need it; I don't want it. I enjoy the company of men. I like the sound of their voices. I delight in their smells. I relish how they taste. I thrill at their assholes and salivate for their cocks. These things are all too wonderful to need genetic compelling. That's what I choose to believe.

 

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