I have a heavy question for you on this Friday. How do we defeat the idea that sexuality is not a choice? I feel like most readily accept the idea that it’s okay to be gay. Years go by and people are getting more used to the idea a human being can be something other than straight. Still, I hear echos about a boy ‘becoming’ gay because he likes pink. Or a girl becoming a lesbian by…. wait, is there a stereotype for that? Let’s talk about that.
Many times on this blog, I have mentioned by idea that patriarchy, as it exist today, is more about masculinity than being male. Anything masculine is held on a pedestal why anything feminine is seen as weaker and less important. Maybe that’s why I can’t think of a stereotype for a woman who will grow up to be a lesbian. In my head, all I see is a tom boy, which I rarely see used derogatorily
In the end, the idea that anyone grows up to be gay, lesbian or otherwise in the same way someone might grow up to become a lawyer or teacher is just crazy. When I was in high school, I remember hearing the whispers. It was said that any boy who had mostly girls as friends or who considered a girl his best friend was gay.
Again, I don’t recall an opposite stereotype where a girl who has mostly guys for friends will become lesbian.
Despite the fact society has slowly accepted that there is more than one sexuality, the idea someone’s environment makes that decision still prevails. I don’t get it. Have people come to accept multiple sexualities while still assuming one’s sexuality is a choice?
There was once a show (whose cancellation I am still upset about) called The New Normal. It revolved around the lives of a gay couple hired a surrogate and paid her by allowing her and her daughter to live in their home. One episode revolved around the Boy Scouts, an organization one of the men had fond memories of. He decides to get involved with the local group of a scout leader.
For the whole episode, life was surprisingly good. The other leaders were more than welcoming and enjoyed hanging out. He and the others exchanged stories about their significant others like they were the best of friends. You spent much of the episode thinking it was about how the Boy Scouts could accept a gay person. The twist came when one of those same leaders told him he and the others were kicking him out. “It’s not that we don’t like you or support your lifestyle decision,” he said. “I just don’t want my son to grow up like you.”
Acceptance doesn’t erase this fear one’s child might be something other than straight.
Maybe that’s really the key here. Once, in high school, I discussed the idea of adoption with my dad. I said something about wanting to adopt a child from another country and he warned me against adopting a child whose skin was a different color than mine. His reasoning was that such an arrangement would label the child as different, increasing the chances they will be bullied in school. This is one of the worries I discussed in Monday’s post about male and intersex genital altercation. It’s not that parents are always for or against something, but that they fear what their child’s life will be like without that procedure.
I imagine, when parents think about their child being gay, bisexual or any of the other sexualities out there, they fear the bullies they will face. Plenty of people in the LGBT community end up killing themselves because of how they are made to feel about themselves. The number of LGBT youth who are homeless is increasing. These are hardly struggles a parent wants their child to have.
Yet, the solution to convincing society that sexuality is not a choice involves solving those problems. We have to act, stopping those who bully LGBT youth (and bullies in general). We have to open our hearts, pressure our government and fix the increasing problem of homeless LGBT youth. If we don’t, parents will continue to dread the day their child tells them they are gay. We have to work for a world that is truly accepting, where you can’t be evicted or fired for your sexuality (believe it or not, that’s still legal in most states).
Now, we have reached the opening of this blog. How do we stop those bullies? How do we convince others to accept the LGBT community ]so they are not evicted or fired for being who they are? It’s connected to gender equality. More specifically, it’s related to equality between masculine and feminine qualities. A person who likes pink shouldn’t be treated any differently than boys and girls who prefer green, yellow or blue, regardless of gender. A person who prefers to wear dresses shouldn’t be treated any differently than those who prefer pants, regardless of gender.
I could list on. The more I write on gender equality, the more I realize how connected women’s rights and LGBT rights are. They are really just gender rights. Gender equality includes all genders and all sexualities. It means we should all be able to be who we are and to be valued for the qualities that make us a unique individual, regardless of their masculinity or femininity.
Do you know of a stereotype about a girl growing up to be a lesbian because of what she likes or doesn’t like? What will be needed to erase the idea sexuality is a choice for good? What is the effect on young girls, when they see boys being condemned or made fun of for liking pink or having interests in other ‘girly’ things?