This evening, I received an email from realitypursuit, telling me he'd left a comment on today's post "How to Love Yourself When You're Gay (And When You're Not)." For some reason I don't understand, the comment doesn't appear below the post, so I thought I'd address it here, partly because of that, partly because he asked for my opinion, and partly because what I have to say might be helpful to other people.
Interesting perspective. I guess I've had some self esteem problems myself over the years but I learned some things about that. Life is about choices. You're right when you say it's all up to you. I won't say I understand or agree with the gay thing but it seems obvious that there are choices people make in that regard. I have some gay friends who are really great guys. They know I'm not too keen on talking about their lifestyle so we don't too much. But the one friend opens up once in a while and he said a few times there was a point in his life when he knew he had to make a choice whether or not he was gay. This bugs me because here he made the wrong choice in my opinion. I guess I should be honest and say that I don't think people are born gay. Sorry if that goes against what you think. I would just like to hear your view.
There are two schools of thought with respect to what causes one to be gay: either you're born that way (nature) or something in the way you were raised caused you to become that way (nurture). To my knowledge, no scientific proof exists to say one hundred percent one is born gay, but bits and pieces of the most recent research on the brain, chromosomes, and the like seem to lean in favor of that explanation.
This I know for sure: Personally, I did not choose to be gay. The only choices I made regarding my sexual orientation were 1). to accept that I was gay, and 2). to come out to family and friends so I could get on with living my life as a fully realized human being. And that's all I am able to say on the subject.
Honestly, I'm beyond concerning myself with what causes one to be gay because, in the end, it doesn't matter. What does matter is being gay is a fact of life for millions and millions of people around the world. What does matter is gay people are human beings first and gay second (which I've written here many times before). All of us as human beings are entitled to the same rights, dignity, respect, compassion, and love. We must not make any of those conditional upon sexual orientation, or what caused it.
My advice to you, realitypursuit, is to forget about what you think caused your friends to be gay. It doesn't matter. You stated they are really great guys, and that's good enough. If you're not comfortable hearing them talk about matters related to being gay, so be it. Let them know, which you seem to have already, and they should respect you enough not to talk about it in your presence. Then get on with being great friends.
I think we need to rise above what we don't understand about sexual orientation and stop focusing on the cause, as though being born that way will somehow make being gay more acceptable, or being raised to be that way will make being gay less acceptable. Who cares? Love yourselves and love each other. That's why we were put here. Those are truly our only options.