Born Fabulous, Lesbian By Choice

I just scored my first Facebook hate post.

By commenting on a photographer’s post I seem to have provoked some ire (and some support).

Brandon Stanton is a New York photographer who posts daily street portraits on his blog Humans of New York.   They are reposted on his Facebook page, open for comments.

This week this was one:

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HONY has got a lot more readers lately and this post produced loads of comments, mostly of the Aaah Sweet variety but some very anti. As often happens, there were replies like this:

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This absolutism has been pissing me off for years,so when I see it I try to chip in. I wrote:

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and it took seconds for five people to tell me I don’t know my own mind, and dozens to agree with them. Par for the course. Pricking that bubble is too much for the apologists.

They were trumped by one Chad Weeks

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I’ve not bothered replying though if I had been following I would have told Chad Weeks that he doesn’t have to be quite so afraid. Sad man.  Still only two Likes for him.

Despite the constantly-heard claim that sexuality, in any version, is something you’re born with, like many women I know my choices are and have been socially constructed.  We seem to be able to accept that ‘femininity’ and ‘masculinity’ are, so why not go all the way?  I also believe this applies to everyone, but obviously I can only speak for myself.

This is the opposite of the constant claim by LGBT campaigners that they were born that way and therefore prejudice is unjustified as we ‘can’t help it’ and need acceptance. I prefer the more dynamic explanation, which gives agency back to the individual.  ‘Surveys’ show more women than men agree with me, I could speculate why but wanted to just post this exchange as it demonstrates so clearly what I and others who do think the same, are up against.

It was 1980 when Adrienne Rich published Compulsory Heterosexuality and Lesbian Existence. And people are still surprised that thoughtful women agree?

[I hope Brandon Stanton doesn’t mind me using his image but it matters for making sense of the text. I will ask, but he’s busy.] [Update – he says No Problem. Good man.]

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5 Responses to “Born Fabulous, Lesbian By Choice”

  1. Liza Says:

    I chose too. I remember the exact moment I did so. The whole born that way idea is ridiculous.

  2. Alex Spear Says:

    From the age of six or seven I was attracted to other girls but when I tried to explain how I felt as a teenager, I was met with such anger I pretended to be straight til I was nineteen. I’m still furious that so much of my childhood was wasted in shame and repression. I think other people who experienced similiar are dealing with their own stuff when they hear someone who feels they chose their sexuality. I’m not brave and if I could possibly choose to be straight I know I would, but for me it’s impossible to choose who it is who makes my heart beat faster, who I want to make a home with and raise children with. I find it interesting how many women I know who only had the confidence to live as gay when they are older.

  3. Gayle Madwin Says:

    I’m with you! And with you, Liza. I also remember the day I chose to be queer. Please check out my website at http://www.queerbychoice.com and consider joining the mailing list at http://groups.yahoo.com/group/queerbychoice/ – it hasn’t been especially active in recent years, but it’s a great place to turn anytime you want to communicate with more than two hundred other queer people who see their queerness as a choice. (So really, how could you not want that? We can be so much stronger when we stick together and support each other.)

  4. ami Says:

    “This absolutism has been pissing me off for years”

    And how claiming that no one is born this way any less absolutist?
    Let’s agree that some people are born gay, some chose it.
    Actually, Lisa Diamond’s (known for “sexual fluidity” theory) studies provide argument for this opinion, since she found that women who think that choice had something to do with their sexuality experience significantly lesser increase in motivation for having sex with women during their fertile days (which are connected with increased sex drive) than women who feel they were born this way.

    Abstract here:
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20464467

  5. evachoco Says:

    I think if you have better romantic connections or experiences with the same gender, you ARE gay, regardless of how or why you came to be that way. Sex is only one part of relationships, and one we tend to emphasize too much. At the end of the day, we all choose the people we have relationships with, and it’s a private experience between you and that other person.

    But people will always complain and shut out what they have not experienced for themselves, all we can do is what makes us happy. Let the babies have their bottles.

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