Gay "Lifestyle"?    rev. 07.09.2009

07.09.2009 "Gay Lifestyle?"

I got to thinking about this phrase last night. It's been nagging me since a visit to an old friend and his wife back in 2004 or so. During some conversations, the topic of homosexuality came up in passing and his wife used the phrase, "the choice of a gay lifestyle," and my wife and I nearly choked on our response.

Having known many gay/homosexual/lesbian friends for decades, the phrase was never part of our vocabulary, but here it was, rolling so easily off the tongue of an old acquaintance. Where did she learn that concept, I wondered.

The cynical side of me immediately assumed, "someone at her church." She did refer to her Bible Study Group at another time, but I'm not sure she made any connection of that being the source of her "conclusion."

But this morning, the term "lifestyle choice" was bouncing around my head. What, exactly IS a "lifestyle choice" I wondered.

I started to think of what "lifestyle choices" might be in my world... Here's part of the list of choices I came up with...

It occurred to me that a "lifestyle choice" was one in which an individual has freedom and opportunity to choose among many alternatives and consciously chooses one or more to be their "way of living."

What's missing from the "lifestyle choice" labels from most religious communities seems to be any possibility that it's not a choice at all to "be" homosexual or not, any more than it's a "lifestyle choice" to be the member of one race or another. Even religion could be considered a "lifestyle choice" much more easily than considering homosexuality as such.

In the end, I concluded that calling homosexuality a "lifestyle choice" is a decision made out of a scarcity of thought and experience. Unless you can come to such a "conclusion" by talking with many, many homosexuals and asking them if they ever thought it was a "lifestyle choice" and weighing the number of different answers in order to draw a conclusion, the label is, essentially, worthless to the point of ignorance and to the degree of bigotry it can obviously and easily engender.

But nowhere in my list was there a space for a "lifestyle choice" of heterosexual versus homosexual.

From my personal conversations and observations of gays of all flavors, virtually none seemed to make their "decision" out of a "lifestyle choice."

If anything, it seems to be patently stupid for anyone to choose such a "lifestyle" fraught with prejudice and animosity from so many factions around them. Why the hell would anyone choose a lifestyle that can get you taunted, beaten up or killed, just for being identified as part of a group with that "lifestyle." That would border on insanity!

So my "conclusion" was that to call homosexuality a "lifestyle choice" was a label chosen deliberately by some other groups or organizations in order to denigrate homosexuals and make them an easy target for ridicule, criticism and antagonism.

If homosexuality were not considered a "lifestyle choice" the "Christian" thing to do would be "love your neighbor" and "live and let live," but there's something driving the antagonistic groups to not choose THAT "lifestyle direction," and I'm very saddened and disappointed by the choices they've made in that direction.

First Rev. 07.09.2009