Being Straight is a Choice

There’s a lot of talk about sexual identity and gender and gayness going around this week, and there’s one particular aspect of this that I would, in fact like to weigh in on. That’s the notion that any of this stuff, be it exotic, highly of-the-moment issues like gender dysphoria or just regular, boring old gayness is something that people choose. I KNOW I’m preaching to the choir here, but it’s INSANE to think that someone would choose to willingly forego basic human rights or undergo risky procedures because ‘fuck it. that sounds like a cool thing to do.’ I’ve struggled my entire adult life to understand this point of view, but recently I read or heard something and it all clicked for me and I’d like to share my insights with y’all.

Okay, firstly, we’ve all seen the studies that correlate homophobia and gayness, right? For those of you who haven’t, it’s essentially scientific evidence that the ol’ “methinks the lady doth protest too much” maxim is true when it comes to people who are really outspoken about hating gays. Why are they so angry? Because they’re gayer than Christmas themselves.  You hardly need a study for this though. It’s behavior that we see all the time. Ted Haggard, Larry Craig, Marcus Bachman, the list goes on and on and on. There’s very little question in my mind that Rick Santorum is going to find himself using a “those three dicks were wrestling in my mouth without my knowledge or consent” argument before too long (which is gonna be awesome, by the way).

These people, the people I mentioned above, they’re all of the opinion that being gay is a choice. Despite science (which some of them admittedly dismiss as snobbish bullshit [which is a whole other topic that’s so mind bogglingly infuriating that I can’t even think about it right now]), despite the fact that it makes no logical sense, despite the fact that NO ONE would ever choose to exist as a marginalized and maligned member of society if they didn’t have to, they stand by this notion. “Being gay is a choice.” Do you know why they think/say/believe this? The answer is strangely obvious: Because for them, for your Haggards, your Craigs, your Bachmans and Santorums, it IS a choice…it’s a choice they struggle not to make each and every day.

See, to someone who’s born gay, but too much of a coward to face their own biological desires head on, there’s a choice, and there’s only one choice. That’s to batten down and repress those desires, find one woman you can bear, pump kids into her until she never wants to see your penis again (contrary to what logic may seem to dictate, people with lots of kids have WAY less sex than people with just a couple, or no kids), and think of baseball statistics every time wrestling or competitive diving comes on television. Do you see what I’m saying? It’s a choice. The choice being made is to repress your desires, become spiteful and shitty and lash out at the gay people who were braver than you and who made the choice to live with the biological imperatives that they were born with and not be subject to the jealous hateful bullshit rules of a vocal minority of closeted, self loathing queers who can’t stand that they have to fuck people like Michelle Bachman while there are real live dens of depraved awesomeness right there in the city operating as though SOME OF US hadn’t made the hard, soul crushing choice to not be gay.

I mean, they’re kind of right, in a way. In a society where being straight is the celebrated and rewarded norm, being gay may not be a choice, but being straight sure as hell is, and if you’re too much of a chickenshit to listen to your body and id, well, you can make the choice to be very, very unfulfilled and bitter and ‘straight.’ Because let me tell you something: if I lived in a world where gayness was the norm, and it would disappoint my parents and my social circles if I came out as a straight guy, I could probably choke down a dick or two for the cameras just to take the pressure off, but there’s no way I could reasonably keep that up for very long. I could ‘choose’ the easy path for a while, in hopes that I’d learn to like it or come around, but it would never be something that would excite or fulfill me in any way whatsoever. I just know my own body well enough to know that. I think anyone that’s truly comfortable with their orientation can say the same thing: ‘the way I’m wired is the way I’m wired and there’s no changing it, no matter what.’ It’s only the people who are still (figuratively) choking down vaginas to keep the cameras off of them that seem to think there’s any kind of choice in the matter. And I guess there is. It’s like when you really, really, really want to eat, but you don’t, despite what your body is telling you and despite the huge amount of damage you’re doing to yourself. That’s a choice. It’s a choice to be fucking miserable, and transparently making a choice that goes against your own fundamentally hardwired desires.

Uh, yeah. That’s all I got. As you were.

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51 Responses to Being Straight is a Choice

  1. thats soooo craven!! says:

    no one would exist as a marginalized member of society if they didn’t have to?thats fucking retarded.people choose to get facial/body modifications,tattoos with titties,cartoonish boob jobs,muscles deformed by synthol etc all the time to adhere to some aesthetic that they believe despite limiting their employment options and making their folks think they’re idiots will gain them acceptance into some niche group.#gotranssoulrebels.whole thing is so art projecty.address how you would go about explaining to your kids you were now laura dern kelly or whatev.”yes lil bee,It’s veeerry important i have new ladys middle name also”

    • beck says:

      I normally don’t feed the trolls but how about you go suck a rubber dick ‘thats soooo craven!!’, if that is your real name.

      • uncledenim says:

        though craven is a troll and total asshole, and this is going even more off-topic, he has a point. i get annoyed when i see posts about equal rights for people into body modification. i support tom for his decision, but that’s a totally different situation.

        let’s use beex for an example. he’s a heavily tattooed dude. i doubt that he always considered himself a guy with tattoos, on the inside, who just hasn’t had any work done.

        or wannabe memes like http://chzmemebase.files.wordpress.com/2011/12/internet-memes-i-dont-want-to-live-on-this-planet-anymore-i-really-dont.jpg , that concentrate on problems that don’t truly exist.

        it just gets under my skin when people choose focus on dick-piercing rights over lgbt equality.

    • Anonymous says:

      “mommy, why is jim always with bill?”
      “uh well, they love each other… like me and daddy do.”
      “oh, okay”
      HOLY SHIT THAT WAS HARD

      -louis c.k.

  2. keith says:

    You hit the nail right on the head. Santorum is gayer than an 80 guy pile-up. The way he insists that sex should only be for procreation is because the idea of fucking his wife is so grosse to him that he only does it to make a kid. He is so ashamed and disgusted with his own sexual desires that he buries them in this hateful bullshit that he then unleashes on gays, women and anybody fucking for fun, love, etc.

    Nobody would choose to be a homosexual if they are living in a born again christian or muslim family, surrounded by bigots who might beat the shit out of them or worse.

  3. thats soooo craven!! says:

    no,no midnight vulture,it’s a fine lil point.people marginalize themselves all the time in myriad ways to gain acceptance from a minority.bee said they dont and its curazzeee to assume anyone ever would.thats dumb.he said alot of great stuff too.should have pointed that out.craven, like cowardly.the name implies im going to be a lil wimpy,nasty turd.its an absolutely hilarious play on the smash hit disney show thats so raven.isnt that just great,u big dummy?!

  4. thats soooo craven!! says:

    im sorry beck but it’s just eating at me……why rubber?

  5. This reminded me a lot of Orwell’s 1984 (Sorry, aspiring English teacher here). In the society in 1984, the common people are brainwashed to think that sex is wrong and gross, but they’re reluctantly forced to do it for procreation. But deep down, everyone has this pent-up sexual frustration which keeps them constantly on edge, which makes them work faster and get extra pissed off during the rallies against Emmanuel Goldstein, the probably-made-up enemy of the state.

    • So in conclusion… Someone like Rick Santorum is a constant uptight cocksucker to everyone around him because he’s not getting the cock he secretly craves. He’s like a big gay pressure cooker.

      • Heathbar says:

        I think he would’ve had a better shot at the Presidency if he would’ve gone with that slogan. “Big Gay Pressure Cooker for President.” Not necessarily on the GOP ticket, but the non-affiliated votes would have been through the roof.

  6. “to someone who’s born gay, but too much of a coward to face their own biological desires head on”

    Whether intended or not, this was the funniest thing in the post.

  7. malort guy says:

    I’m 100% in favor of gay rights, but I always have concerns when I hear gay rights supporters making BK’s argument. Like many human traits, sexuality it’s probably a combination of nature AND nurture. I can say from at least one friend’s experience that her sexuality changed dramatically after situational/environmental changes in her life, and she suddenly felt homosexual urges that she had never experienced before.
    My concern with the “born that way” argument is that it assumes that “homosexuality by choice” is something inherently inferior. Is that really the argument pro-gay people want to be making? One type of gay is better than the other? If, down the road, a study significantly undermines the theory that sexuality is determined at birth, will the anti-gay movement be vindicated?
    I think this whole argument is flawed (and very dangerous) from the pro-gay perspective. Every time this question comes up, the answer should be “it doesn’t matter.” Being “born” gay versus “choosing” to be gay should be as irrelevant as being “born” as a given race versus adopting (if not choosing) the set of behaviors that are typically associated with a given “race.” If you judge someone because of their race, you’re an ignorant asshole, regardless. The same should go for sexuality.
    I’ve yet to find a hole (huh huh) in this argument, but I’d be interested to see if anyone thinks I’m missing something.

    • car painter says:

      Good point man.

      • jamie says:

        yes! good point. and maybe instead of “it doesn’t matter”-“it’s personal”…because it really is. and it differs by situation and person and etc.

    • Zack says:

      I absolutely agree. I was going to type this all out, but it looks like it’s already been done.

      There was a study recently that talked about the inaccuracy of memory and how people will alter their memories so as to align perfectly with their current self-defined identity. Though some people may have truly known that they were gay from birth, not all people do (but this does not mean they aren’t legitimately gay). And some will talk about how they “always knew they were gay” and this isn’t true: once they have defined themselves as gay however, they will subconsciously alter memories to appear as if they had always been gay.

    • That's kinda Leguizamo says:

      Excellent and well-articulated points Molort – many of which I tend to agree with. But oOop–careful! Lil’ pea-brained Beck or another of that ilk (they are legion) may swoop in to dismiss your input in laughably reductive fashion on account you had the audacity to express a viewpoint that doesn’t correlate to tossing Beex’s proverbial salad with great fervor

  8. keith says:

    Sure, but “it doesn’t matter” doesn’t really jive with the suicides from bullying and people who come out in the face of a bigoted religious family that shuns them for it. Saying “it doesn’t matter” can be confusing and potentially devastating to the young people struggling with their sexuality and identity. These same people, by the way, are determined to be “born that way” by most scientists studying this sort of thing.

    • malort guy says:

      I guess what I was saying was it doesn’t matter if you’re “born” gay or “become” gay – they should be equally legitimate. And yes, they’ll get equal amounts of shit from bigots and bullies, regardless of whether the situation is a product of genetics or environment (or both).

  9. CJ says:

    I couldn’t agree with this more. I don’t believe nurture plays much of a roll in genuine homosexuality. If that was the case, I wouldn’t be a lesbian. It took my family YEARS to get to the point where they weren’t trying to convince me I was just confused. The only choice I made was to be happy, while risking losing my family and friends at the same time.

    As long as you’re not hurting anyone else, you should be able to do what makes you happy, wether it be dating the same sex, taking the steps to see the person you are on the inside (you’re a beautiful soul, Laura Jane Grace), or whatever, everyone deserves the right to be happy.

  10. thats soooo craven!! says:

    do you think this will be harmful to his young child,who i’m assuming knows him as a man and a father and will spend the years where you become truly cognizant of shit trying to make heads or tails of the transformation?it’s the elephant imo

    • jamie says:

      Laura’s family, or any situation like this, won’t be harmful as long as-as with any situation in which children are involved-the children are supported, loved, respected and part of a family system. like duh!

    • jake says:

      I don’t really see how it will be that harmful. I’m sure Laura will be the same parent now as she was before. And, wikipedia says their kid is only two, so having parents of the same gender will be the norm she grows up with. I think compared to potentially traumatic situations, like say, having an abusive alcoholic, or a molester as a parent, having two parents of the same gender is pretty small potatoes.

      • wing-dang-ding-a-ling-down-ya-throat says:

        Jaime, Jake, Brian Fallon (hoo-wee cause he seems like a brain surgeon!), Brendan and the myriad of lock step pc shock troop dingle berries at punknews.org have convinced me! Boy Howdy! What a great, outstanding, stand up, selfless thing to do for a man that’s been married for years and has a three year old! (Oh and coincidentally decides to air this “news” in the world’s largest music publication shortly before the release of a new record, and after being dropped from their major label after the last record they released bombed [but he was being genuine, this wasn’t a publicity stunt or anything!]) It’s good he didn’t bring these feelings up, I don’t know before he got married? Before he had a kid? I’m sure that the kid will be stoked. I’m sure that the kid won’t have any single bit of a hard time in, say, HIGH SCHOOL, explaining to all of the other kids, “oh, that’s my mommy/ daddy, he decided to chop his dick off because he couldn’t stand who he is/ is attention depraved. Just don’t call it a mental disorder!” I’m so glad all of these progressive, tolerant folks (that tell other people that they hope they die in a house fire for having different opinions than them [now that’s tolerance!] ) have set me straight! JERRY! JERRY! JERRY!

  11. thats soooo craven!! says:

    hes being brave for two.my hewoah!

  12. Richard Down says:

    I thought we was talking about Johnny T? I got scratches on my back.

  13. Oh' it's is craven. That, makes sense, then. says:

    If we’re really angered then I’m not acting.- Paul McNupted BBC Radio. Hi guys the names Down, Richard Down. I’m a Viking by marriage and also have a bit of Indian in me, also. My Father and Mother met in Egypt, under a Tuskan summer night. The stars were out and my Dad (or Dada as me and my bros call him) was wearing his silk turtle neck sweater (what a douche ah?). Anyway, he fondled my Mother in their twin turbo ford focus, and, stetched her vagina two inches wide (meh) and then I came out 9 months or something later 🙂 and Im a cunt WHO hates most things except gettting shit faced and washing my black corvette with a non used tampon. What my argument is is that if you have to accept ppl for theer choice or lack of choice when theyre born or whatever. ISsnt deciding been gay is shit a choice? or not a choice? if i was born into fuck gay ppl are shit attitude. Theres no difference dick lips.

  14. car painter says:

    I remeber when people showed a little respect for eaer on this site.

  15. ristoph says:

    Laura is a he. He has an X and a Y chromosome in his genetic determination system. He does not have ovaries, or fallopian tubes or any of the other things all the women of the world have tucked away inside their bodies. His name is Tom Gabel, I appreciate his music. I respect the gay and lesbian community, however the majority of the trans gender community and supporters annoy the crap out of me. It’s your body, do what you want with it, but don’t expect myself or the greater majority of society to call you a zebra because you painted black and white stripes on your body. You are always going to be what was originally created in your creators image. (whether it be god, or a big giant explosion, i don’t really care). I wish Tom Gabel the best with the path he has chosen to go down, and I hope he decides to keep his penis, because I’m sure he won’t get a whole lot of satisfaction out of strapping on a big rubber dildo. Feel free to flame away, but try to keep it somewhat educated, and keep out the unoriginal “you’re a homophobe” banter. I let a gay man massage my scalp twice a month, and it feels great in a totally non sexual way. Feel free to call me out on protecting my stance on homosexuality as well, nothing would excite me more.

    • jake says:

      sexual orientation, gender identity and biological sex are three different things, my friend. And should the legitimacy of a cause really be determined by how you personally feel about its supporters. I’m sorry people asking for rights annoys you.

      • Freddy P says:

        what annoys me is this stupid shit. I could fart way louder than any of you who will be a voice other than poo coming in and out of your offices.

        • Freddy P says:

          Also, I’m chasing some advice. I currently drive a SUV and wear silk dresses. Am I a) A retard or b) Retarded? in case you didnt realize thats me not giving a fuck what you do but im really sure on the fact we all enjoy music and we eat to food been said open or closed mouths. and NOFX can you guys name your new record “work day drinks”. DO IT FOR ME, DUDES!!! I’M YOUR SECOND BIGGEST FAN!

  16. Liam Housing says:

    Um.. F.P. You Suck Ass Hairs Clean and you’re mean.

  17. The Ancient Greeks thought that the mind ought to control the spirit which ought to control the appetites (which is where sexual desire rested) — within the tripartite soul. It’s probably because of this sort of inception point for Western thought thT we didn’t see formal sexual identities until we saw the rise of post-Puritanical American Protestant Thought (modern stupidity). There was lots of cross-over prior to said formats, with most still adhering to child-producing habits — at least at some point in life — and then exploring whatever pleasures suited them outside the marriage. Now we see group-politics par excellence… the whole debate is tiresome, honestly. As far as I’m concerned, do what you like in the private sphere but don’t be so solipsistic to think that I give a shit and, therefore, to politicize it. I don’t think anyone cares about my bedroom, either.

    • Sleeper Service says:

      “I don’t think anyone cares about my bedroom, either.”

      If you’re a straight male fucking without a condom, you’re right, nobody cares about what you do with the curtains closed. If you’re a woman who would like to use birth control as part of an active sex life, a homosexual, or just about anything other than a straight male, there’s a huge segment of American society that is all up in your bedroom business. They’re called “social conservatives”, and they have a disconcerting amount of influence in American politics.

      • That’s a good point — and it’s a shame that assholes like that (the social conservatives) drive us to the brink of group-politics-armeggedon. It’s a petty way to go through life, it’s incredibly divisive, and it takes our eyes off of meaningful class issues.

      • a hot dog is not a hamburger says:

        You are stupid. Nobody gives a damn about you using birth control. It is pathetic how you are trying to play this “poor ol me the conservatives are coming after my rights too” bull shit. Nobody cares if you use birth control as part of your active (slutty) sex life.

        • asdlifj says:

          wah someone is getting more than me and doesn’t feel completely terrible about it this is a situation that must be rectified at the earliest possible opportunity also durka dur

          • cunt-a-curr says:

            Waah someone called out someone else’s intellectual dishonesty in a decidedly brash manner, and though I understand this, I’ll toss out a lazy insinuation re: sexx lifez like i’m back in the trenches on youtube ’05 and pretend that in doing so I’ve somehow effectively undermined them

  18. keith says:

    It is as simple (or complicated) as this: Tom Gabel has what the medical and psychology communities call a disorder. It is a mental health issue (but not like a pedophile or serial killer, Transgender people are usually harmless). He has always felt like a she. It is similar to feeling like you’re driving someone else’s body, while never occupying your own true body. Many times these people have serious trauma in their childhood and additional issues such as drug abuse are factors. The danger is suicide. A lot of times a person who feels like this is never able to get happy in their own skin and can wind up doing something to harm themselves. Science has not found any treatment or therapy for this and Doctors are likely to treat it with gender transition methods such as hormone therapy and surgery. Because of this, it is far far better to just be accepting, respectful and kind to these folks. It is not too likely that they come about this decision lightly or easily.

  19. dustyfloors says:

    Ever since anon posting started here I fear clicking on the comments link when something serious is touched on…

  20. Wussy says:

    though this is totally off subject of the post, and probably a bad opinion. i think that all this plastic surgery and cosmetics needs to stop. people go to school to be doctors to become plastic surgons because some rich asshole wants to either look better or feels like they cant live with themselves. while the doctors that are out there really trying to cure the worlds diseases are dwindling away. millions die every day from disease that could be cured if money wasnt an issue. but instead our younger generation wants to give boob jobs and face lifts, is that what bieng a doctor is all about? i guess cause its seems like you hear more about who does what with their bodys more than you hear about how we are trying to cure shit like cancer,aids, hepititas,diabetis the list goes on and on, hmm which is more important? if you have been burned to the point you cant reconize your own face, you need plastic surgery. if you have breast cancer and lose your breast id say get a boob job things like these are real reasons to change yer apperace. i hate my brain, i am never going to get a transplant though.

  21. Brian says:

    I support, to the fullest extent, the choices one makes to feel happy and content. I hope Tom and any other person of similar internal conflict the best. Now with that said, I only have one question that has been bugging me…. If Tom is now Laura, does that mean the Tom Gabel identity is abandoned and up for grabs? Because if it is, I call dibs, for monetary and social purposes. It is my wish to carry on that identity and I would appreciate the support of the punk community. Thanks!

  22. Mike says:

    does he pee sitting down? that would be the first step!

  23. Yet another fantastic post that makes me wonder how the religious right can rationally argue against this point.

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