I came across this Ted Talk video; and while it’s a little long, I feel it’s worth the watch. iO Tillett Wright discusses what I’ve been considering, and the thought that I’ve been developing within myself for a long time. I have grown to a state of mind where I do not believe in sexual orientation. Now, that is not the main point of her talk; she discusses human rights. But, she points out how lucky she is to have parents she never had to ‘come out’ to, and how they didn’t bat an eye when she loved both men and women.
One of the first things I considered when looking into sexual orientation is this quote:
“I do not have a soul. I am a soul; I have a body” – unknown
I believe that statement to be true. I believe that who I am is not dependent on the body I am in. I believe there was/is/will be more than the short life I live on this Earth. What more there is, I have no idea; I just believe it’s arrogant to think that this is all that exists. A person’s personality is dependent on many things. Environment and experiences are huge factors. Genetics is a factor. But, I believe, my soul is the most important part of my personality. How else can you explain how and why people think and act the way they do? Look at identical twins. Exact same DNA. Basically same environment and experiences. Same household. But how many identical twins have you met, that have the same personalities, and interests, and passions? I feel I’m safe to assume few to none. So, what makes these two people that have the same influences in developing their mentality and personality so different? Their souls. My soul chooses my preferences, my style, my way of thinking, whatever makes me, me.
One of the next things I considered is physical attraction. Obviously, physical attraction is important. How someone looks is often the first thing to pull our attention. We wear certain clothes, and cut our hair certain ways, to try and express how we think and feel in the attempts that someone else will see that, connect to it and be attracted to us, and reach out. But haven’t you ever met someone, thought they were gorgeous, and then gotten to know them – and you find out that they’re annoying, or arrogant, or just not compatible with you at all… and they no longer are so gorgeous to you? Or, there’s the opposite also. I met a guy, and wasn’t very physically attracted to him. Then, I got to know him, and I fell in love with him, and then found him to be one of the sexiest men I knew. How we rank someone’s beauty is often dependent of our connection to them on a personal level. My best friend is a beautiful woman.. anyone can see that… But because I know her soul, she is more than beautiful to me, she’s radiant. Physical attraction does not define sexual orientation. It’s fluid and ever changing. People go through ‘phases’ where they are attracted to people that look one way or another, or have those ‘exceptions’ where they are attracted to someone that’s not their ‘type’. And I’ve never met a woman that cannot appreciate the beauty or sexiness of another woman. I don’t care if they identify and gay, straight, bi, trans, whatever. Every woman in the world has been caught up in another woman’s beauty at some point. I’ve found that it’s much more difficult to find men that identify as straight to admit experiencing the same phenomenon. A lot of guys feel too uncomfortable or judged to talk about another man’s attractiveness. Society has taught them that it makes them less of a man to be gay. It’s sexy for a woman to kiss another woman, but it’s typically comical or disgusting for a man to kiss another man. I can’t count the number of times I have asked a guy if his friend or someone he is talking about is cute, and they are immediately uncomfortable. I get the ‘I don’t know if he’s cute, I’m a guy’. You’ll never hear that same response from a woman…
social construct – noun – a social mechanism, phenomenon, or category created and developed by society; a perception of an individual, group, or idea that is ‘constructed’ through cultural or social practice
Sexual orientation is a socially constructed idea used to categorize people. Society tells my guy friends that if they appreciate their buddy’s looks, it makes them gay, and that make them less masculine and, in turn, less of a person. Society tells people that the genitals of the person you like, defines who you are. It tells people that you are valued and categorized by the body parts someone else was born with if you’re attracted to them. It says that your partner’s reproductive organs matters more than their character does. It says that what my partner was born with and has no control over, is more important than how they treat people, how they live their life, their beliefs, their career, their contributions to the world, their personality, their love, who they really are. I am not in a relationship only to procreate; therefore my ability to procreate with my partner is not a deciding factor.
Another thing that must obviously be considered is religion. Because truly, the debate about right and wrong when it comes to sexuality boils down to just that.
Recently, during a discussion with some LDS elders, I brought up the topic of homosexuality. Their church preaches that it’s wrong. That God made man and woman, and that is how it should be. To me, this seems outdated. It’s said in the Old Testament not to eat pork. Now, that is not an issue anymore. The response I received to that was, people didn’t know how to properly cook it back then, it was for their safety, but we’ve learned and it’s okay now. So, who’s to say that sexuality is not the same thing? God made man and woman to procreate. There were only 2 people in the entire world (Adam and Eve). If they couldn’t have kids, the human race would die out as quickly as it came. Man and woman had to be together to have children, to populate the world. Now, if we fast-forward to the 1830’s when Josiah Smith allowed his followers multiple wives, we see a different necessity. It wasn’t enough for one man-one woman to keep their population up, so polygamy allowed them to survive. Multiple-wives is no longer taught in the LDS church. It was a temporary necessity. So, who’s to say that now, homosexuality isn’t part of God’s plan for population control? The earth seems pretty well populated to me. Maybe God wants the gays to take in the orphans and foster kids and keep the population from getting too bad. Who knows? Until someone, from any religion, sits down with god and hears him/her/it say outright that in this time the only types of people that are allowed to be attracted to each other are men and woman, no one can tell me that god says it’s wrong.
To say that sexual orientation is real, says that one of a relationship’s founding attributes is gender. Consider every adult person in the world as a potential mate. Now, according to society’s standards, we should eliminate every person that is the same gender as us right off the bat. It’s odd that the first thing we are told to consider when choosing a mate is gender, not honesty, not empathy, not independence, intelligence, sense of humor, motivation, goals, morals, kindness, values, compatibility, or even if they are single or not. If I were narrowing down every person in the world, to find someone to be with, his or her gender would be the last thing on my mind. I would want a person that’s learned happiness is something you decide, not something you find; a person that finds beauty in the serenity of nature, as well as in the energy of the city; a person that creates goals and works towards them; a person that is kind to everyone, not just those that can give them something in return; a person that connects with me and grows with me. I could name a million things that are more important about a person than their genitalia. I believe that my soul is attracted to another person’s soul; that the person’s gender has as much importance as the color of their skin (meaning none). I believe that there is no way love is unnatural, or immoral, or wrong.