Drawing the Line

Recently I was involved with a conversation that, at least initially, encouraged me.  Then it took a turn and it made me think about a few things.  So much so, I knew I had to blog.  So here I am.

Before I start, I do have to add for those who perhaps don’t know……I am a lesbian.  As such, I am not unbiased in this topic and fully disclose that I have a vested interest in it.  I have tried to be objective, but obviously (and realistically), that is not completely possible.  Now, onto the conversation.

Recently over lunch, a topic came up.  The person starting it began by saying he believed, without reservation, that people are born gay and they don’t choose to be that way.  He added something like he wasn’t sure if it was genetics or a varying hormone level of the mother during gestation, but the bottom line was clear to him; it was not a choice of the person and they can’t be changed.  That homosexuality was something that occurred, for whatever reason, and people need to stop treating it like a choice.  I have to admit that, given the recent conversations I’ve had with friends who do NOT hold this view, it was very refreshing to hear this and not have to try to fight the urge to say……well, wow, I can affirm that it was not a choice, etc.  So it was nice to sit and pretty much not have to fight the urge and just think, “wow, cool.”

It was surprising, then, that the person turned a corner and began to add to the conversation.  He went on to say that, just like those in the LGBT community, pedophiles and serial murderers are born with a genetic or physical proclivity for their “situation” and could not help being what they were.  And at that point, he asked, “So where do you draw the line?”

So let me recap the premise raised by my lunch associate; homosexuals, pedophiles, and serial murderers are born that way, they can’t control their urges or desires, so where do you draw the line when dealing with them?

I try hard not to get pulled into debates about homosexuality – I’ve been there and done that – and made a decision about three years ago that I have not been called to convince others about my life.  That is USUALLY in the realm of Christianity, though I do make some exceptions to those who sincerely come to me to understand how I reconciled my faith and my sexuality.  But overall, it is not my job to defend myself to others.  It is not something I choose to do, to convince others that I am who I am or that I am not broken or abhorrent or whatever.  But in this case, I did speak up.  I basically said that homosexuality was most often involving adults who both consent to a relationship, often want monogamy and commitment, and that is very different from forcing children to have sex or killing people.  As such, homosexuality is not a threat to society as is pedophilia and murder, so that is where you draw the line.

Perhaps for the sake of argument, the man who started the conversation again insisted or implied; it wasn’t fair to accept homosexuals lack of choice while limiting other groups with no real choice in their behaviors.  As this person was not a friend per se and one that wasn’t aware I am gay……and since this was a larger group, I chose to leave it at that and let him proceed with his mini dissertation.  I will add, as an encouragement to me, several of those in attendance began to text me their support, which was kind and appreciated.  For my part, I worked very hard to not take it personally, and tried to consider his thought process in the matter.

So, I will admit that it does make sense that pedophiles and serial murderers may be compelled by their genetics or whatever to “be what they are”.  They may not have a choice to overcome their urges, because something in their creation made those urges a part of them.  Perhaps, even, they want to change and can’t.  I can say that I tried to be straight for a very long time, I wanted to be like the majority of Americans……fitting in and being accepted and all that.  I did absolutely live in that fronted existence, but it was a lie and hard for me.  I have blogged about that before, and I assume you get the drift.  But to suggest, basically, that we as a society are being unfair to allow homosexuals to be who they are, while NOT allow pedophiles and serial murderers be who they are, is illogical and TO ME, a manifestation of some crazy thinking.  Perhaps even a more subtle fight against homosexuality.

While I fully get that many in this country truly believe that homosexuals are damaging our country, Christianity, marriage, and probably a thousand other things; I cannot say that the vast majority of us are ending lives, physically forcing ourselves on others, or breaking laws that are accepted by most (if not all) countries.  To suggest that being in a committed, loving relationship with someone of the same sex…..who also happens to want to be in the relationship, who is also an adult and can legally consent to the relationship…….is somehow anything like an adult forcing a minor to have sex is illogical to me.  To compare a murderer to a homosexual, serial or otherwise, offends me.  My life is not forcing children to have sex.  My life is not ending the life of others, especially not in a violent way.

And that made me think…….I had forgotten that many people associate my life with these subjects.  Admittedly, maybe not in the way this conversation did.  But even two weeks later, I find myself pondering this idea.  Why do so many go here?  I don’t know the answer to that, but it does sadden me.  Not enough to become an activist, but obviously enough to write a blog.  And to maybe ask…….if you’re reading this, please consider that – if you do think this way, that they are the same things – to reconsider.  And maybe “draw a line” and admit that homosexuality is not something that damages people as does pedophilia and murder.  No gay person I know is trying to convert others, at all or by force.  No one is trying to end lives so that they can fulfill their attraction to the opposite sex.  My marriage (even my very life) does not sexually attack children or kill people.  Maybe consider that it is not unfair to limit pedophiles and serial murderers in this society while also supporting and accepting homosexuals.

That is all.

5 thoughts on “Drawing the Line

  1. Thank you for this. Some people latch onto a ridiculous piece of logic, precious to them because they thought it up, and they’re not willing to explore further.

    I appreciate that you spoke up at the time, but didn’t angrily dismiss the guy. Instead, you walked through the pain and turned it over in your heart and head, and created this mature and helpful piece. That is a good example to all of us.

    • Thank you for your encouragement. My reactions have evolved; in the past it would have escalated quickly and probably gotten ugly. I am glad that maturity is possible, even more me. 🙂

  2. You draw the line where people get hurt. This is nothing new. Most straight men are attracted to young women, younger than it is now socially acceptable for them to be involved with. People don’t talk much about this reality, because it isn’t socially acceptable, but most men are just born that way. What we do is expect them to control themselves. You don’t give in to every urge, for sex or cheeseburgers or driving 100mph on a country road. We have evaluated consensual homosexuality as, in today’s culture, bringing a net benefit due to the the happiness of those involved and lack of harm to others. Not everything works out that way. This is about welfare as much as rights, and you have to consider the benefits and harms in each case. Whether or not “born that way” has little to do with things.

    • I think we are stating the same thing. But in general, consensual, loving relationships (regardless of the “born this way” aspect) are not the same thing as forced rape (especially on children) and murder. There are thousands of examples of controlling urges, but my focus was drawing the line on specific topics as raised during a specific conversation.

  3. I agree with you and appreciate your very well written post. My high school civics teacher drummed it into our heads that my rights end where your rights begin. Your lesbian relationship doesn’t impinge on my rights in any way – but a pedophile and murderer do. I haven’t heard any logical evidence for the far-right Christian argument that homosexual marriage destroys the institution of marriage. Congratulations on learning how to deal with people with idiotic, distorted thinking. I heard that people who are ultra conservative have an overactive fear center which makes their conspiracy theories and fears that GLBT are going to ruin children and marriages a genetic/biological condition. Thus they can also be combined with pedophiles and mass murders – do we protect their right to be ultra-conservative or do we need to be protected from them. Sorry – I think I went too far with my snarkiness. 🙂

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