Being Gay IS A Choice


Recently I got a letter from someone I’ve known since childhood, who read my blog and felt compelled to write, “It disgusts me that you’ve made the choice to be Gay and go to Hell, especially with all your theological training.”

There was more, but that was the money quote. Of course, I felt compelled to respond.

“You are exactly right. Being Gay is a choice. It is a choice to respond with honesty, integrity and humility to thoughts and feelings that are not a choice. It is a choice to move away from the dark feelings of fear, self-loathing and dishonesty into the light of understanding, honesty, self-acceptance and respect. I have absolutely no choice about whether or not I am gay- I do have to make choices every day about faithfully following the heart that God gave me, as do you. Sometimes I fail. Sometimes I am not as kind or understanding or honest with myself or others about my thoughts and feelings. Sometimes I have thoughts of anger, as I have now, wondering why you feel it necessary to denounce me, someone you “fooled around” with in such an “unholy” manner years ago.

I don’t ask you to understand me, just to accept my experience. Maybe it’s like you never understanding how I could love broccoli when we were kids. Unexplainable, but you never questioned my sanity or the state of my soul because of it. I’m going to say that this is exactly the same thing. Broccoli lovers all over the world can’t explain why they enjoy eating broccoli, they just know they do. And so it is with my heart.

After years of struggling with guilt, shame and fear, I finally came to the simple conclusion that being gay is my honest reality. This was an understanding arrived at through years of self examination, pain and soul searching- it was not the product of indoctrination or brainwashing.

We all make choices. We can choose to feel better by making someone else feel bad, to condemn rather than try to understand, to be right or be happy. I’m sure you have made some choices I will never understand, but I hope I can, at least, give you the benefit of an attempt at explanation. That’s what I hope. That’s my goal. Because living my life in a way that’s faithful to my heart- well, that is the choice I want to make every day.”

7 comments on “Being Gay IS A Choice

  1. Marisol Thomer says:

    Wow, truly powerful. Thanks for your honesty and bravery and willingness to answer such a painful comment.

  2. jedediah Redman says:

    Yes, I agree.
    I remember very well–back in 1943–when I first encountered a larger than ordinarily group of homo sapiens; and immediately chose the group with long ringlets over the far less attractive (to me) short-haired group.
    This was clearly a bias influenced by earlier experiences which have often been characterized as “playing doctor.”
    Contrarily, my brother–who came out at age forty–has more recently admitted that it was the unattractive exterior plumbing–along with the shorter hair–which convinced him otherwise during those same experiences.
    These biases have persevered in both of us for over seventy years.

  3. evil is evil says:

    Now, let me see. When I hit puberty, we all conformed. Everyone wore the same thing mouthed the same choices and held the same views.

    Of course, there were those evil people who chose to alienate their friends, their parents, their siblings and everyone else they knew by choosing to be gay, just to piss everyone off.

    Uh, stupid, try, and I know it is hard, to think. Do you think that anyone at puberty decided to totally f___ up their lives just to offend you?

    Deal with reality, dumb as a coconut, you are not on the line to reality.

  4. Well said. I am a “homosexual” but I do choose to be gay. For me it has been a long road to figure out where it was God and my heart were calling me.

    A difficult but life giving decision.

  5. ismiselisa says:

    I agree! Being gay is not a choice – although I do love your wording in the second paragraph! I’m straight but I’m a gay rights’ activist!

    Oh, and broccoli sucks! :)

  6. Jake Gethin says:

    So very very true, you phrased this beautifully. Any gay person will undoubtedly come across situations like you did (I know from experience), I think you responded with incredible dignity. Wonderful piece of writing highlighting a very important topic :-)

  7. Dace says:

    I have to say a few things – broccoli rocks and eating it is a choice. However, if me being gay is a choice, then when the rest of the straight world around me made a choice to be straight? at which point, did they say – yeah, you know, being gay might be fun and awesome but I am making a choice to be straight?
    Awesome reply to your admirer as it is more than obvious that your “friend” envies your life and hates himself for not being able to live his life according to what his heart tells him, regardless what it is.

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