If I had a nickel for every time I heard some indignant homophobe say that being gay is a choice, I would have enough money to undergo surgery that would make my ears automatically close before hearing prejudiced comments.
If time machines existed, I would introduce you to a four-year-old Heather who had a strong and inexplicable attraction to Murphy Brown (Did I want her, or want to be her?) and a twenty-year-old Heather who didn’t have any interest in dating, men or women. Am I supposed to believe that a preschooler can CHOOSE who she feels drawn to?
I didn’t have set ideas for who I liked—it was just an “I’ll know it when I feel it” sort of deal. Lucy Lawless was the source of serious ladywood during my entire adolescence, but so was Jonathan Taylor Thomas—my hormones weren’t choosing anything other than what inspired *the tingle*! I knew what was attractive, and it wasn’t determined by what someone had in their “bathing suit area.”
I have never chosen who I was attracted to—it always just happened.
When I met my partner, I didn’t have to choose whether or not I loved her—it was as if we picked up right where we had left off in another lifetime.
But during the beginning stages of our relationship, I noticed something startling: those “it’s a choice” people were onto something.
I had finally found my “person” and I had to make the choice to go against my family’s beliefs and pursue a relationship with her or stay inside the box I knew they wanted me in (and a box they had no idea I had already climbed out of). The time had finally come that I actually had to make a choice in my romantic affairs. I made the choice to endure awkward conversations with my mother and feeling abysmal or unwelcome at family functions. I made a choice: Love.
And now my beloved and I make the choice every day to build our relationship. We have chosen to be together, just like boyfriends and girlfriends and husbands and wives do. She and I make the choice to be open and dedicated to each other, even in a state that makes it so we can’t choose to express it like heterosexual couples can. But we choose to be gay because we choose each other.
Being gay IS a choice.
It’s the choice to be true to ourselves—it isn’t easy to depart from the norm, but it is a relief to live authentically. It’s the choice to reject prescribed roles and the idea that we should force ourselves into boxes just to maintain a status quo. It’s the choice we make to love another person unconditionally. It’s the choice to make a genuine choice, rather than choosing to keep others comfortable.