Tuesday, September 03, 2002

Born gay?

As I mentioned below, we managed to get some of the family together for Labor Day weekend.

If you're a relative, you'd better show up to these things or else we'll talk about you. This time it was mostly about a relative I haven't seen in years. I don't know how to contact him even if I had a mind to, and likewise he hasn't really stayed in touch with anybody to my knowledge. The last I heard was from his mother, and she's dead.

If I had been told that one of us was gay and I had to pick the one, he would have been it, and in fact he is. Apparently he's in Key West with the same partner he's had for a long time, running a tourism-based firm.

That he's gay is his business. It wasn't what his parents had in mind, but I don't know that anybody else in the family has ever given him any flak about it. But it led to a conversation in which one relative claimed that you're born gay.

Hmm. This seems to be almost totally behavioral to me. AFAIK there's no controlling what turns you on, but you can control what you do about it.

Thought experiment time. You're blindfolded and subjected to, uh, mechanical stimulation. Nature takes its course. Then the blindfold is taken off and you see that the agent was of a sex other than your preference. Do you suddenly switch teams or turn bi?

Or maybe it's something visual. Eros raises his ugly head, then you realize it's someone who's off limits like a relative or someone underaged (and I'll bet you 20 years you can't always tell). Can you keep playing by society's rules, or must we change the rules for you?

I find it interesting that many societies have such strictures regarding gays. Is it reasonable to ask people to abstain from exercising certain practices or to keep their hands off certain people? Can such rules be so integral to the success of a society that failure to enforce them will lead to that society's destruction?

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