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A Response to Those Who Call Being Gay a "Lifestyle"

Updated on January 15, 2017
social thoughts profile image

I have a B.A. in English with a minor in Gender and Sexuality Studies. I have been a goth since I was fourteen, and pagan since fifteen.

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I received a comment on one of my recent articles and deleted it. The reason? Even though it was partially a compliment for what I had written, it included the oh-so-homophobic phrase, "I don't agree with the gay lifestyle."

My question is, do these people truly not comprehend what they are saying? What is a gay lifestyle? If a gay person is living any kind of lifestyle, it's the closeted gays living a heterosexual lifestyle because they don't feel it is safe enough to be themselves. I can't think of too many heterosexual people who would willingly subject themselves to discrimination just for going out in public with the person they're dating because...they're of the same sex!

If you, the reader, are confused how calling homosexuality a "lifestyle" is offensive, let me break it down for you. I know it's a super complex concept—seeing different people as humans just living their lives—instead of harming you because they date the same sex. Perhaps, one of you could politely give me a logical explanation for how same-sex couples have any personal negative impact on your life.

By your definition, every sociological category is a lifestyle:

  • The "white" lifestyle vs. the "black" lifestyle
  • The "male" lifestyle vs. the "female" lifestyle
  • The "rich" lifestyle vs. the "poor" lifestyle

Are you understanding, yet, why this lacks sense?

Daniel-Ryan Spaulding made a video titled "If Gay Guys Said the Shit Straight People Say." Personally, I love videos like these because they get to the heart of the problem in just a few minutes. It seems more likely that the lgbt community would find these to be humorous and intelligent, and less likely that the homophobic community would expand their minds by recognizing what they believe is nonsense, but these videos are no less significant.

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Have you ever opened up to someone, and been told "I'll pray for you?"

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I'm going to use an example of the time I "came out" of the broom closet to someone who is religious. Ordinarily, I wouldn't tell someone who is religious the truth that I am no longer Christian, but considering it'd make it easier not to pretend anymore, I took the opportunity. First, I was pleasantly surprised to find she knows of my Goddess Isis, obviously from mythology and/or history, but then she said, "But I'll still pray for you."

The majority of people I tell this story to attempt to comfort me with the point of view that it is "not meant to be offensive," but that's what it is. It's sugar-coated discrimination. It's a polite way of saying, "You're wrong, so I am going to try to help you become who I think you should be." Religious people who say things like this are probably unaware that they're doing it; otherwise, maybe, just maybe, they'd abandon church so they could think for themselves—which each person is fully capable of doing. Going to church and gobbling up everything a leader says is a choice; being homosexual is not.

Why do I bring this up? It's the same thing as, "You're gay? Well, good for you, but I don't support the homosexual lifestyle."

You know what I don't support? The lifestyle according to a book that contradicts itself because it's full of warped versions of ancient pagan mythology while claiming to be against paganism—and by the way, paganism is in favor of same-sex relationships. So, Happy Yule!...I mean, Christmas; even though Jesus wasn't born in the winter; meanwhile, there is nothing in the bible about Jesus' opinion of homosexuals, but he thought prostitutes and other types of diverse groups were fine people to hang out with; therefore, I guess it makes sense he'd be against consensual love between two people who happen to be the same sex.

In case you missed it, that was sarcasm.

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Since most people who use the term "gay lifestyle" are religious, and usually Christian, I would like to provide an informative video which debunks the claim that the bible is anti-homosexuality. If you want to see a video on how the bible supports same-sex relationships, check out Arielle's video on Girlfriends TV with Matthew Vines analyzing some bible passages:

  1. Good trees with good fruit: Being respectful of others brings respect back to you; therefore, homophobia is bad.
  2. Sexual orientation did not exist during biblical times. So, how could they be against it?
  3. Celibacy is only relevant to those who feel drawn to living that way; therefore, making someone choose that path against their will defeats the entire purpose.
  4. Of course, they bring up Sodom and Gomorrah—the two cities—in which Sodom was not "bad" because of "homosexual sex" taking place, but because of "attempted rape."
  5. The argument about Leviticus is irrelevant because Christians do not value Leviticus in the majority of the other laws such as pork; therefore, why cling to that one? If that isn't clear enough, Jesus' job was to fulfill those laws; therefore, Christians do not have to.
  6. Paul condemned same-sex lust, not same-sex love. He was talking about rampant sexuality, not committed relationships between two people of the same sex.
  7. The concept of homosexuality and the term "homosexual" did not exist until much later in history (1892).

Now, I have examined the reasons behind not using the term "lifestyle" to refer to one's sexual orientation. Either it will change the ignorant minds of those who use it or I have accomplished little more than getting frustration out of my system. If nothing more, I hope it makes some gays feel relieved, too!

© 2015 social thoughts

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  • social thoughts profile image
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    social thoughts 24 months ago from New Jersey

    Bill, thank you. I wonder if that's the case, also. Why spend so much time trying to prevent people from living their lives? I'd understand if they were doing something that hurt others, but these groups aren't. I wish other faiths lived by the "an it harm none, do as ye wilt" Wiccan law. Why can't that be a universal perspective?

  • social thoughts profile image
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    social thoughts 24 months ago from New Jersey

    Kylyssa, you make some valid points. They probably do think those things are "choices." Thank you for your thoughts.

  • billybuc profile image

    Bill Holland 24 months ago from Olympia, WA

    Your point was so valid in the opening two paragraphs that you had me nodding my head like some bobblehead doll. :) I have a pet peeve. Would you like to hear it? Actually I have probably hundreds, but let's concentrate on this one: why can't people just allow others to live life without judgment? Do they have nothing better to do with their own myopic existence that they have to go looking for someone to pass judgment on?

    People, at times, piss me off. Not often any longer because I don't want to give them that power over me, but still, it happens enough to leave me livid and seeing red.

  • Kylyssa profile image

    Kylyssa Shay 24 months ago from Overlooking a meadow near Grand Rapids, Michigan, USA

    Many of the people who believe being gay is a lifestyle choice also believe being poor is a lifestyle choice. Some of them even believe being observably ill is a lifestyle choice and that being mentally ill or being learning disabled is a lifestyle choice that includes not being close enough to Jesus. Just because those things are obviously not lifestyle choices to anyone capable of logical thought, it doesn't mean people with addresses in Purposeful-lack-of-empathyville will see them as not being lifestyle choices.

    Anyway, you've got some great thoughts here and I hope they help change a few minds. Maybe one day, Purposeful-lack-of-empathyville will be just a historical place in human mental space rather than an overpopulated area of our zeitgeist.

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