January 16

Letter to the editor: Being gay isn’t learned, but intolerance probably is

I read Dr. Frederick H. Giese’s reply to an earlier letter written by Derek Viger (“Bible reader disputes claim that people can be born gay”, Jan. 9). And, like Giese, I felt compelled to reply.

Giese claims that homosexuality is learned behavior, taught by someone else. I think this comment is ridiculous.

Both of my parents are heterosexual, thus my existence. In fact, growing up, I was not aware of anyone else in my life who was gay.

I did not learn my sexual orientation from anyone else – it simply is who I am. It is simply how I was created, as much as I sometimes despised myself for it.

He claims that saying people are born gay is “like saying someone is born a racist or a bigot or a thief or a murderer.” I say it is like someone being born blond, brunette or red-haired, with blue, brown, green or hazel eyes.

I did not chose to be gay. I would not have chosen to be teased, ridiculed and bullied as a child. I would not have chosen to be discriminated against my entire life, simply because of whom I am.

I defy anyone to tell me the exact moment when they chose to be heterosexual, because I can guarantee that there was no such moment in their life, any more than there was a such a moment in the life of someone who is gay, lesbian or bisexual.

So now I will repeat myself: Sexual orientation is not a choice; nor is it a learned behavior. It is the way each person was created.

However, ignorance, hatred and intolerance of others are learned behaviors. They are choices, made by people for “whatever reason they want to.”

R.M. Beaudoin

Portland

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