American actress Cynthia Nixon recently stirred up a storm of opinion as to whether a person is gay by birth or by choice. See the following news reports:
The real issue is why homosexuality is an issue at all, why does it hold our attention enough to make into a controversy; what makes it such a big deal? Nothing would be said if Cynthia Nixon had chosen to train herself to be left-handed, assuming she is right-handed.
The real argument is not how being gay is sourced, not about current day behavior and desire. The much more relevant–and dangerous–issue is the stigma that has been unjustly attached to it by cultures and societies around the world: Homophobia.
Why? Because in the Bible, there is an ambivalent reference to ‘something’ that possibly happened in a mythical city called Sodom, referenced in antique, milennia-old pages written by unknown human male scribes (of what authority?) in primitive desert tribal conditions using quills and parchment and subsequently translated–with inevitable errors–at least four or five times into unrelated languages and collected once-upon-a-time into a single volume called the King James Bible over five hundred years ago. And ‘revised’ countless times since.
The conflict is how we allow a completely unverifiable out-of-date collection of unsubstantiated scriptures and hearsay to govern 21st century thinking. We would think it absurd and criminal to allow current medical practice to be guided by the writings of Alcmaeon, author of the first Greek anatomical work around 700 BC.
Unthinking public speakers and writers use these antique biblical fantasy writings to gauge modern life and declare homosexual feelings as criminal, diseased or sinful. This is not just bizarre, unjust and irrational, worse, it encourages violence against gay (LGBT) people–and suicide among gay teens. (There are also scriptures that declare the charging of interest on loaned money is an “abomination” but these public speakers are selective in their reading of the ‘Word of God’.)
Fear and control of human sexual feelings and behavior are the problem. Layered on this are the political and religious manipulations that government and church/temple/mosque leaders have succeeded in brainwashing their followers that private sexual behavior must be governed, defined and restricted.
The bottom line is that humans have felt a variety of desire for contact with other humans since ‘day one’. If there is anything ‘inherent/inborn’ in this absurd controversy it our innate need for social contact–verbal, sexual, emotional and other ways of giving and getting intimacy and comfort in this fragile state-of-being called life on this fragile planet.