I Questioned Questioning Homosexuality

Imagine an aspect of your personality being considered a disease. People get to know you, and once you mention an insignificant detail (in the scheme of things) of your life, suddenly you're sick. Perverted. You need help. They shy away from you for fear of "catching it," and you almost expect them to show up the next day with a wreath of garlic around their neck and holy water in their pocket. This is the way many people feel about homosexuals: they're perverted, sick, and you shouldn't be around them. And those that don't shy away from you think they can "cure" you.

Driving through metropolitan Atlanta, you would think that such a diverse area would accept diversity. But right as you enter the city on I-75, you are bombarded by a huge billboard that states in big, red letters "I Questioned Homosexuality," and includes a phone number to a church-
based help program. It's as if the author of the billboard thinks that they can ward off the "homosexual disease" from entering their city by a mixture of pressure and Jesus. I'm not saying that all Christians are homophobes or that all Christians hate gays, because I know that isn't true. I have devout Christian friends who accept me for who I am. However, I do have a bone to pick with the author of this billboard. First of all, this promotes the idea that homosexuality is a disease or a disorder, and in this day and age it should be a goal to teach at least tolerance, if not acceptance, of all ways of life. Second, if you are going to state that accepting this cure of homosexuality will easily make your life a lot better, you need to get your facts straight, no pun intended.

First of all, being gay is not a disease, mental illness, and people are only negatively affected because of how society perceives being gay. If homosexuality were a mental illness, then being gay would have to impair mental function in some way. Since I, along with all of my gay friends, seem to be getting along just fine and since we live the same way you do with the one exception that our lover is the same gender, I conclude that we are not mentally ill. There is also evidence, though it is still being researched, that being gay may be genetically controlled. Essentially, no real homosexual or bisexual just woke up one morning and thought, "I think I'll be gay today." Not many would consciously choose to become what society views as weird or abominable. (Being gay can be viewed as a curse, a blessing, or both. It is up to the individual to decide this. Unfortunately, much of society views it as a curse.) Fortunately, there are tolerant people out there who may not agree with our "alternate lifestyle," but are accepting and choose not to preach bigotry from their pulpit. The others view it as a disease or "just wrong," so they choose to alienate, make fun, or turn to violence. I know plenty of gay people who are proud of who they are but are terrified to come out for fear of intolerant people like those who killed Matthew Shepard. For those of you who do not know, Matthew Shepard was a teenager who was brutally beaten to death after coming out in his community. His name is among many, many others that have been tortured mentally and/or physically because of who they are, myself included. The point is, we're not going to leave, so if you can't accept gay people, you might as well get over yourself and understand that we're not diseased animals but human beings just like you. Oh, and here's a news flash: you can't catch it.

If you cannot accept that there are gay people in your world, turn to the cold hard facts. This "gay therapy" as it's called is destructive and ineffective. In a study of 202 people who received the therapy, 90 found it to be ineffective, and went back to the way they were, but not without battle scars. The same 90 had adverse effects, including severe depression and/or suicide attempts. It is easy to see that the overwhelming majority not only could not change who they are, but experienced vast emotional pain. This, in my opinion, is the greatest proof that homosexuality and bisexuality are NOT a choice. These are human beings the same as you and me who have gone through great emotional pain because of how society wants them to be. They have been tortured by their own minds and convinced that they are a diseased sub-race of humanity. With the overwhelming knowledge of how much this type of questioning homosexuality hurts people, it is immoral that "gay therapy" continues, and much less that it is glorified on billboards.

If you cannot tolerate homosexuals breathing the same air you breathe, you need to remember that they are people too. Casting them out is a form of psychological abuse, which is not only immoral, but is something NO ONE deserves. Their only "crime" is being different from you. So the next time you question whether homosexuality is moral, question how moral you are for treating them any different from the rest of society.

A/N: If you are going to flame me, STOP RIGHT THERE. Thank you. You may disagree, but be nice about it. This is an argumentative essay, which means that it has an ARGUMENT (deep, I know). My point in writing this is to, if not help intolerant people tolerate, help people understand why gay therapy is harmful. I've done my research, and if you want a bibliography, I'll post one. Oh, and all flames will result in me blocking you as a user and not making good on my normal policy of reviewing you back (simply because I will be too pissed to do so).