Lesbian By the Grace of the Goddess, Queer By Choice
I've never been comfortable basing our rights on a 'we can't help it' rationale. It suggests that we're somehow pitiful things -- that non-exclusively heterosexual sexual orientation is a defect, not the 'every other point on the infinite-points line segment that is normal human sexual orientation' that they are.
It also begs the denial of rights to those who do exercise any level of control over their attractions (the stuff of sexual orientation at the combined sexual, affectional, and emotional levels) if such a thing is possible or to make conditional of those rights the exercising of abstinence or other-directional control of behavior related to those attractions a la the pre-Dos-Equis Exodus zombies.
Rights are rights. They are not meant to be conditional on accidents of birth or behavior one wouldn't expect of others. They are meant to just be -- as we are meant to just be.
I'm always suspicious when someone even wants to know why we're other than exclusively heterosexual without wanting to equally understand why people are exclusively heterosexual. I mean, when was the last time you heard such a balanced inquiry outside of a university sexology department anyway?
Worse, this be-nice-to-the-queers-'cause-they-can't-help-it strategy sends a message of brokenness to our people when we should be instilling pride and strength in who we are.
The Kinsey researchers, as if they were precursors to The Matrix's Morpheus, used to ask a question of their gay-identified subjects, "If you could take a pill that would make you heterosexual, would you?" Most in those dark days near the dawn of our fight answered that they would.
How often today do we hear the question, "Who in their right mind would choose to be gay?" Can you imagine anyone asking who in their right mind would choose to be black or Jewish or any number of other non-majority members of protected classes just because they're oppressed?
'Neo'-queer that I am, I would not take that pill. I prefer to live an authentic life, unplugged from the matrix of het convention, demanding in body, soul, word, and deed to be exactly the queer I am blessed to be. If truth be known, I'm a gay supremacist, firm in the knowledge that we're better than hets in many ways that matter to me (and were proven superior by researchers acting on behalf of the U.S. Army, no less, trying to figure out if they could more easily tell who the queers were so they could more efficiently keep us out of the service). Even if I wasn't a queer supremacist and despite having suffered loss of family, jobs, and other opportunities, as well as having been subjected to antigay violence, including rape, due to my sexual orientation -- enough of the standard reasons given for why people in their right minds wouldn't choose to be queer to count and then some, I'd still choose to be a lesbian -- and it doesn't define me as crazy.
How else, after all, would I have the spousal love of my wife that grows fuller and deeper with every day of our lives? Where would I find such a delightful subculture so rich with beauty and humor and the sort of strength forged in adversity that so fits my soul?
I love how big our hearts are that we care not only for each other as if we're all each other's family -- which we are having defined family beyond mere blood to encompass all those who act like it -- but also care for those who've been our oppressors and their unwanted offspring when their own have discarded them as if the Sisters of Perpetual Annoyance were the inspiration of Mother Teresa (which, in an odd way in HIV-driven urban need, they were.) The highest per capita queer occupations are not hairdressers or actors, they're allied health professionals.
I love our freedom to define ourselves as we see fit and the creative diversity with which we've done so. And hets are now benefitting from the heightened ability we've achieved to cry that the Emperor has no clothes evidenced in drug access programs for those who cannot afford pricey prescriptions and in the end of certain cruel and time-wasting drug testing and approval practices, for example, as well as in deflation of the doctor-as-unquestionable-god nonsense in favor of healthier doctor-patient communication. (Not to mention that they're alive and free because queers did things like whip the Revolutionary troops into shape for Washington and saved their little behinds with that Enigma machine thing in World War II.)
I love that we bring color and delight to the world, that we reproduce more deliberately and at levels not leading to overpopulation, that we do brunch, that we have roots as sexual outlaws that give us vitality and chutzpah as a people and that the disconnect between sex and reproduction we're blessed with left us emotionally and in practical ways free to explore sex for its own sake in all its happy variety of possibilities.
I love our ethic that jealousy is not a thing to be cherished or valued (hat-tip and a hug to George Michael) but that the people we have loved before are (absent abuse, of course) -- that we are an army less of lovers than of ex-lovers made cherished friends anew. I love that our relationship ethics are founded not on ownership but on honesty and the deeper love it takes to really want for the object(s) of our affection what they want for themselves.
I love our camp and our comraderie, our arts and talents, our ability to survive. I love that we are finally as a people learning to throw off the shackles of het-imposed shame.
If I were exclusively heterosexual, I'd be denied the depth of intimacy that comes from sharing love with someone whose body and mind responds so like mine and I would be relegated to the state of never really fully grasping what the object of my affection really felt -- that always-reaching-never-quite-there-no-matter-how-hard-they-try existence that hets suffer. They may say vive l'difference. Although I'll admit to feeling compassion for their loss, I say horsepucky-- vive l'homogeneite!!
Now, don't get me wrong, I don't support any sort of anti-het oppression. After all, some or all of them might not be able to help it.