Born This Gay

20 Jun

Is there a misunderstanding about what “Born This Way” means? It could mean different things for different people, but for me it is a reply, not a statement that stands alone. Gay people weren’t really defined until recently. History is replete with wishy-washy notions of dudes rubbing their junk together, Greeks getting it on with teens, and all sorts of shenanigans between people who would later be at ease with being typically married with children. To be gay, at least in the West, means to stake a claim to a life on your own terms, to have a partner, a home, and to not be fired from your job.

It’s true that there is a great swathe of queerdom who isn’t gay in that way, there are many straights who are actually bi, queers, punky agender people, sissy boys. There is no one way to be non-straight.

Born This Way was a common cultural reply to the evopsych/conservative belief that it was a human being’s biological duty to multiply, and that any aberrations from that objective were errors in judgement, sort of like an Elder Greek becoming addicted to teen butts, unable to grow out of that rite of passage.

“All you have to do is have a glancing notion of history and know that biological arguments for difference have been used by and large for oppression if not genocide,” she said. “So, the history of the Holocaust, you know, the history of slavery and racism, where we’re measuring people’s heads.”

These biological arguments had their roots in Scientific racism, specifically, in American ideas of racial disparity that inspired Nazi eugenics. “Born This Way” isn’t an extension of eugenics, it is a separation from it; the idea that all humans are breeding machines whose end result is Aryan Godhood. Born This Way is a political idea, but it was never meant as a statement of literal fact.

There is space to discuss the differences in queerdom. It would make a lot of people less lonely, but science researchers also have to be mindful of context. Their research doesn’t take place in a vacuum.

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