Bisexuals and the issue of choice

25 January 2008

As a man with a gay lifestyle that occasionally finds himself attracted to women, the elimination of the concept of choice in sexuality is not something I can support. I, and others I know, have by turns been asexual, bisexual, and ‘anybody’s guess’. I consider the entrenchment of the gay position in biological determinism to be unscientific, and unethical.

The thinking behind the science is firmly within the heterosexist tradition: obsessed with male homosexuality (frequently ignoring lesbianism ), with eliminating ambiguity, and with queers being the result of something normal people have but was put in queers backwards. It also sometimes ignores the ubiquity of homosexual behaviours, without a definite gay persona, in multiple cultures in world history.

If ‘gay’ were controlled by one gene (unlikely), there would be those with one copy of the gene and those with two. The former would be bisexuals with a choice of which ‘side’ to choose, and the latter would be downright gay. Bisexuals would outnumber gays two to one. If ‘gay’ were to be controlled by multiple genes, this would add variables to sexuality, resulting in even more individuals of ambiguous sexuality. Yet, the studies of heavily genetic psychopathologies indicate that even with conditions that might be easier to pin down (such as schizophrenia), there is in most cases a fifty-percent input from the environment. The whole concept of gay genes may, if misunderstood, also reaffirm the image of the unhealthy gay community, and the bisexuals as straight people ‘slumming’.

The retreat into nature dodges the issue of heterosexist control. A choice (though not an appealing one) could be celibacy. If we have no choice as to whom we desire, we retain our ability to refuse our desires. What I do with another consenting adult in a private room needs no justification, nor explanation. This was the argument that originally legalised male homosexual acts, and it still stands.

I acknowledge that there are many who have never had a choice as to whom they desire. But I would also like to reaffirm that regardless of what some people have to say, it is my choice who I wish to lie with, not religions’, nor government’s, nor anyone else’s.