Homosexuals possess same natural feelings, desires as heterosexuals

by Kevyn Jacobs
April 1996

Did I choose to be gay?

This seems like such a silly question to me.

Do you REALLY think I CHOSE to be part of a persecuted minority?

Do you think I LIKE being threatened, assaulted, taunted, beaten and fired from my job?

Why on earth would someone choose to go through what I go through as a gay man?

Most gay men, myself included, would say that we did not choose to be as we are -- that we were "born this way."

Those who insist that I chose to be gay usually are the ones who believe homosexual acts are themselves sinful or immoral. And since one must have a choice to commit a sin, then I must choose to be homosexual.

These people usually (but not always) fail to see a distinction between homosexual orientation and homosexual acts -- they believe that homosexuality is a behavior, not a state of being.

They are so focused on the sex, they ignore the love. They are so worried about what I and my boyfriend do in the privacy of our bedroom, that they forget about what we do in our everyday lives.

As for homosexual acts, I can say with 100-percent certainty that I do choose to participate in homosexual acts. There is no doubt about this in my mind -- I choose to kiss my boyfriend good night, I choose to put my arm around him when we sit together in the movie theater. And yes, I will not lie to you, I am not a virgin with men. I have, on occasion, had sex with men. And I did choose to do that.

It's clear that I do have choices when it comes to sex. I can choose to be promiscuous, or I can choose to be monogamous with one man, or I can choose not to have sex with my boyfriend until we get married. Or I can choose to be celibate, as many gay people do. Or I could have chosen to remain a homosexual who is a virgin.

Or I could have chosen to have sex with women.

But do I choose to be attracted to men? Do I choose to fall in love with men?

This is the question of sexual orientation.

Homosexual orientation is defined as a predominant attraction -- physical, emotional, spiritual -- to a member of the same gender.

And an orientation cannot be chosen. My orientation goes to the very core of my being. I am attracted to males. I always have been. I never chose to be attracted this way, but I am nonetheless.

In fact, I was a homosexual virgin for most of my teen years. I was physically and emotionally attracted to men, and very aware that I was homosexual, but never acted on it. I was homosexual in orientation only.

It wasn't until my early twenties that I came to realize that homosexual behavior wasn't immoral. That was when I finally did choose to allow myself to be intimate with another man.

As I stated earlier, I don't believe homosexual acts are immoral -- especially if there is a homosexual orientation behind them. This is in conflict with some schools of thought, I know, but the evidence seems to suggest that homosexual feelings are a natural part of the makeup of some individuals.

Homosexual feelings or a homosexual orientation cannot be immoral, because you cannot control your feelings or orientation. And while I can choose to be sexually active or not with men, I do not think we should declare homosexual acts to be immoral when they are an integral, natural and non-destructive part of a loving relationship.

A woman once asked me what it is like to be gay. I asked her if she had ever fallen love with a man, to which she replied, "yes."

I told her that is what it is like to be gay. You get that giddy, heart-thumping feeling when you see him. Your knees go weak, and you get butterflies in your stomach. It's part of the pair-bonding tendency that we humans have.

And what about sex? Well, sex is just an extension of that pair-bonding. There is a natural human tendency to want to be physically intimate with a person you are in love with.

Frankly, I think it is rather silly to assume that I choose to have those kinds of feelings about men. Love doesn't allow you to 'choose' who you are going to fall in love with.

It just happens.

Kevyn Jacobs is a sophomore in art at Kansas State University. From January to December 1995, Jacobs wrote a queer-themed column in the Kansas State Collegian. The columns are being reprinted in Oasis in chronological order with permission of the author. This article was first published on Monday, February 20, 1995.
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