A syndicated radio personality recently said “I don’t believe that you can be gay. I believe that people engage in homosexual behavior, and
I have to say that it warms my heart to have intelligent and insightful answers to very complex questions.
Mr. Schamenek feels that whether one is born gay is open to debate and discussion, and doesn’t seem to be convinced either way. The radio host says being gay is a learned behavior, and that no one is really gay.
According to the Council for Responsible Genetics, the only reason people discuss the biological and genetic factors that determine one’s sexuality, is entirely caused by homophobia.
But we need to recognize that this focus on what causes individuals to be lesbian or gay arises from homophobia. Theories focusing on the origin of homosexuality, rather than of heterosexuality, imply that because the latter predominates, it is more “natural” or “normal”.” Such a homophobic bias perpetuates the assumption that homosexuality represents a “problem” in need of a “solution”.
The scientific magazine Discover published a story about the research surounding a “gay gene.”
Whether or not a gay gene, a set of gay genes, or some other biological mechanism is ever found, one thing is clear: The environment a child grows up in has nothing to do with what makes most gay men gay. Two of the most convincing studies have proved conclusively that sexual orientation in men has a genetic cause.
According to the CDC, the top 10 leading causes of death in 2010 was:
1 Diseases of heart
2 Malignant neoplasms
3 Chronic lower respiratory diseases
4 Cerebrovascular diseases
5 Accidents (unintentional injuries)
6 Alzheimer’s disease
7 Diabetes mellitus
8 Nephritis, nephrotic syndrome and nephrosis
9 Influenza and pneumonia
10 Intentional self-harm (suicide)
If we use Mr. Radio Host’s reasoning, I’d say that there are a hell of a lot of grossly obese straight men who die of heart disease, respiratory disease, diabetes mellitus, and the like every year. The percentage is far higher than gay men who have been infected with the HIV virus. If you’re a fat or overweight straight man, you will probably die of one of those illnesses above.Gays don’t have the obesity and corresponding health problems that straight men do.
Following Mr. Radio Host’s logic, one can only conclude that being a straight man can kill you.
It’s easy to say “homosexual behavior” can kill you, and point to HIV infections. There are people who point to motorcycle enthusiasts, who say they are more likely to have a fatal crash than someone driving a car. I believe if you drive a motorcycle that it can end up killing you. In either case there is very little empirical evidence that you are more likely to die an early death because you are LGBT or a motorcycle enthusiast. The statements come from a lack of knowledge, and a strong prejudice or bias, against a group of people. It’s called homophobia.
Next the erudite radio personality says “homosexual behaviors when acted upon in the teenage years greatly increases the likelihood if you’re male that you will try to commit suicide.”
Firstly - most teenagers do not “act” upon their orientation. Going through puberty is a rite of passage entirely focused on discovery, and the vast majority of kids who are finding themselves, whether gay or straight - aren’t out trying to sew their oats. We know that they think about it 24/7, but it doesn’t happen.
Kids who commit suicide or harm themselves often have an untreated or undiagnosed major depressive disorder, that has nothing to do with their sexuality. To suggest that if you’re a gay male adolescent, you’re going to commit suicide is irresponsible, ignorant, a lie, and bullying of the worst order. There is no empirical evidence in any medical journal to support that statement.
There is no anecdotal or empirical evidence Mr. Schamenek, that supports your statements either.
The only thing we know for sure, is that you and the radio host lack the knowledge and foresight, to make definitive statements about sexuality. Relying on biased and prejudiced nonsense is unacceptable.
We should make every home, every workplace, every public square, every social network, a place where there is NO tolerance for lies and hyperbole. Period.
I feel strongly that we all must have zero tolerance for hyperbole, unsuppported facts, outright lies, and overt homophobia. It’s important that we disallow the made up stuff that anti-gay individuals trot out to justify their hate speech and discrimination.
Straight talk in a queer world indeed.