Better late than never! A couple of weeks ago Kenny Brain came out to his fellow housemates on Big Brother 2 Canada. As a result, some of the houseguests had a debate on whether or not they believe that being gay is a choice. I tweeted the following in response to that debate. Adel was the lone dissenting voice among Neda, Allison, Jon, Arlie, and Heather (as I recall, not sure if anyone else was in the room). Adel, who is a practicing Muslim, has the belief that gay is a choice. He feels that there is no scientific proof otherwise, therefore no one can say that they were born gay. What I tweeted reflects the way that my debating style has evolved over the years, particularly when it comes to debating those who are religious.
Original tweet (yes, it was a twitlonger lol):
From my experience with debating people who say that being gay is a choice, I’ve learned that my word will never trump the word of their god. If you have grown up, your entire life, with the anti-gay beliefs that religion generally teaches, it is difficult for people to break from it. It’s like trying to explain to them that water isn’t wet, when we all know water is wet. For them the word of their god is as much of a fact as water being wet is a fact. How do I counter that? How do you? Well… Eventually, I just got to the point where I stopped making my points on why I strongly believe that being gay is not a choice, and moved on to, “So what if it is?”
That may feel like giving in to people’s closed-minded beliefs, and that you are giving leeway to their intolerance and ignorance, but Born Gay vs. Choice Gay tends to lead to the conversation we saw on live feeds. This roundabout circle jerk where Adel says, “There is no scientific fact that you are born gay, therefore I must be right!” And, everyone else says, “They are looking for it!” and ask “When did you decide you were straight?” (I wish someone would have said that people once thought the world was flat, too, that doesn’t mean that they were right. Just ignorant to the facts! But, I digress…)
Adel SAYS that he wants to be shown the science that says that being gay is a choice, and then he will accept that it is. But, right now, his god trumps the word of the people, around him, who stated otherwise. He trumps my words and yours too, if you agree with me. That’s why I let go of The Debate. Letting go allows me to move on to the issues that I think matter most in gay people living a happy/fulfilled life – Gay rights. I can accept that people will have their religious beliefs, but I can’t accept them taking those beliefs and ruining other people’s lives, so I like for my the debate to center on that. In the end, the real question, for me, is whether or not Adel believes in gay rights and/or if he votes against gay rights policies, etc.
Personally, I don’t automatically label people, who believe that gay is a choice, as homophobic. It is definitely a belief of homophobes, but there is a gray area where I think that people like Adel fall. (Until I hear him say that he opposes gay rights, then it’s over for him and he’s dead to me! lol) That gray area is that inner conflict that people, who are devoutly religious, have when they are told, “Gay is a sin,” but they know gay people, or have seen positive depictions of gay people, and realize that they are human just like they are. Especially when they encounter a gay person and they are the antithesis of what they feel gay is. ie, Kenny the Lumberjack.
I appreciated the HGs calm, levelheaded and respectful debate on the subject and just hope that we on the social media can do the same. I won’t be calling Adel a homophobe, because by definition he doesn’t fit the criteria. I don’t believe that he hates nor fears Kenny, or any other gay person. I have heard about him using the ‘F’ word (no, the other one), but I will also have to go by how I see him actually treat Kenny. Sadly, there are people who do think it’s OK to use the F word and that’s something that he’s going to have to learn, the hard way, that it isn’t. I didn’t get mad at Heather for the N bomb, when she accidentally dropped it, and I will also let Adel slide on this one for now, because ignorance IS real and I have literally witnessed people with gay friends, who they claim to LOVE, use that word in a derogatory sense. Some people are just stupid and clueless.
Thank you Adel and Kenny because this is the first one of these I’ve typed up for #BBCAN2. I had like 100 of these for #bb15 though. Lmao!
In addition, I want to add this. This is a personal story that has little to do with Big Brother, but just is a little food for thought in regards to Adel’s confusion about Kenny not saying that he always knew he was gay, like it is for many gay people. So, you can stop reading here if you want. :p
My closest friend is a gay male. I met him gaming online and have now known him for 15 years. He did not tell me right away he was gay, but for some reason I felt it the first time we talked on the phone. He is not effeminate and most people peg him as straight, so I just accepted he was straight after knowing him for a few years because he never told me he was gay. (I have grown to learn that I am just a perceptive person, and I just had no clue at the time. lol)
Anyway, the point I am driving at is that part of Adel’s confusion stemmed from the fact that Kenny said that he didn’t always know he was gay. So, to him, that makes it a choice. My friends experience was similar to Kenny’s. With my friend, he grew up with an “interest” in girls because he thought he HAD to have that interest. He knew something was missing from his connections with them, but because we grow up in a society that tells us that heterosexual is just the way it is, he could not understand why he didn’t feel right with the opposite sex. It was not until he was in his early 20’s that he really found out and accepted that he was gay.
In my opinion, and from my experience/observation, not every gay person has the same path. There are many reasons why some may know it all along, and others do not fully realize it until later. Either way, I learned from my mother how I should treat people. She did not discriminate against, make rude/nasty remarks about, gay people and neither do I and I am grateful that she taught me that because I would have missed out on a great friendship otherwise.
OK, this post is about a mile long now, so I think it is a good time to cut it off. 😀 Thanks for reading and follow me on the twitter: