“I don’t support your lifestyle but it’s your choice, so I can’t judge you.” Let’s deal with these words, shall we?
We face a plethora of diverse criticism based on our sexual orientations. But I’d guess that each one of us has, at some stage, heard the above words from people who think they’re liberal when it comes to issues of human sexuality.
To correct the statement before we go further: it’s not a lifestyle, it’s not a choice but it’s definitely a judgement.
Let’s get to the basics. I’ll start by defining ‘lifestyle’. Lifestyle is a way of life established by a society, culture, group or individual. Sexual orientation – heterosexuality, bisexuality, homosexuality, pansexuality, asexuality et cetera – falls nowhere in the category of ‘lifestyle’ because it’s not a “way of life” and it’s definitely not an “established” phenomenon.
In addition to sexuality being called a “lifestyle”, there’s the issue of it being called a “choice”. I’ve heard this argument a number of times from heterosexuals who claim: “you wouldn’t be struggling like this if it weren’t for your choice to be gay.” I’ve also heard “it’s a choice; you weren’t born ‘that way’.” From this hogwash, it goes without saying that one also needs to define “choice” and maybe, just maybe – they might grasp this. Choice refers to the act of choosing between things. For a minute, let’s assume any other sexual orientation was a choice and heterosexuality was the only natural sexual orientation as many erroneously believe. Why on Earth would anyone choose to be anything other than heterosexual? I mean they never get discriminated against, for it! Wouldn’t the non-heterosexuals just choose to stick to the real “nature” instead of hardening things for themselves?
I’ve asked these questions to a couple of apologists who claim sexual orientation is a choice and none of them has offered a clear answer except to waffle the whole time. To make matters simpler for them and myself, I’ve challenged them to switch to a different sexual orientation by changing their heterosexuality for at least a week, to prove that sexuality was a choice – none of them was able to do so. This didn’t come as a surprise because sexual orientation is, indeed, not something any person can choose or change.
I’ve pointed out, though, that even if it was a choice, it still wouldn’t be anyone’s choice to make for someone else. We would still be within our rights to be whatever we want to be.
Now that the ‘lifestyle’ and ‘choice’ issues are out of the way, let’s look at the first and last part of the above quotation: “I don’t support…” and “… I can’t judge you”. Sexual orientations are not sentiments or political parties – they don’t need people to support them! What they rather need is acceptance. People must accept that there are diverse sexual orientations in biology. Saying you don’t support a sexual orientation, alludes to the fact that you reckon it’s bad! And by virtue of voicing THAT opinion – wait for it – you’ve already judged someone.