If there was an anthem for the last ten years of gender minimization, it would be the sentence, “I was born this way.” The proclamation would stop conversations, halt dialogues, silence critics.
After all, if someone was genetically homosexual, then how could such a one ever expect to be different?
Condemning people born-this-way to a sexless existence was cruel and barbaric. So from pop-song to kitchen table, this anthem would silence all those questioning whether leaning into same-sex attractions was really the best thing to do for those who had them.
Gayness had to be understood as inherently who someone was. Any encouragement to those who wanted to determine themselves differently than certain desires they had had to be outlawed. After New York City banned any such effort, defining it as broad as the Adriatic Sea, the New York Times bemoaned how similar outlawing failed in New Hampshire (and Colorado and Maryland and Virginia), though it would only be a matter of time.
Except that “being born this way” was never really determined to be true. There were points all along the way that something was amiss about that statement. There was always history, if anyone would care to read it, which made abundantly clear that “homosexual orientation” was a recent innovation. Even though people have been having sex for thousands of years, somehow a homosexual orientation lay undiscovered beneath the bedsheets. Then, of course, decades of searching for a smoking gene met with failure. (Think of where all those research dollars could have gone). These rather glaring sign posts passed along the way didn’t matter.
Now the chorus is dying away and, like most pop songs, “I was born this way” will soon be forgotten, only to be recalled on documentaries as a curiosity of history. This will happen, despite the passion with which we have even recently heard it expressed.
We already see signs of it. For, just as conversion therapy or any measure to help people who want to determine themselves differently is being banned, there comes research that guys can be “somewhat gay”, or “mostly straight.” Watch for more “sexual fluidity” studies. Such an idea would have been unheard of just a few years ago.
More telling is the new TV show, “Instinct,” starring Alan Cumming, making its debut on CBS on March 18. Cumming, a very talented, charismatic actor, who commanded the screen in The Good Wife, plays the lead, network TV’s first-ever gay lead character in a drama. Gayness has reached mainstream.
But just as significant is the story arc that CBS and Cummings intends for this gay character. They anticipate moments when this character also has relationships with women. As Cumming put it in the New York Times article, he hopes to present to America the idea that “our sexuality is not black and white.”
Note that well. This thought would not have been allowed even a few years ago.
What has changed, you ask, to allow the Born-This-Way idea to be contradicted? Well, now that the primary political goals of LGBT activists have been achieved, the idea is no longer needed. Watch it fade.
In the coming few years, many people who remember the passion of Born-This-Way cries will be left with the question, why could that passionate song be so quickly, easily, erased from the cultural memory? The answer is simple. Because it was never really true. Birth is not where our sexuality is primarily shaped. That will eventually be clear.
Do you think this will help some to stop following the pop songs and seek the truth about sexuality?
Sam: I don’t think the move toward sexual fluidity vs. hard-wired orientation will lead people to question the narratives and move toward truth. I see the born-this-way narrative fading, not just because it did its job convincing people (you’re right on that), but because a newer narrative has taken its place. If my feelings and desires are me, the core of who I am, then it’s right to follow them wherever they lead. I think the trans narrative is now ascendant: gender fluidity and sexual fluidity are cut from the same cloth—and this narrative is being aggressively pushed. More children are growing up confused, conflicted, and this narrative points them in a fatal direction: follow your desires. It’s tragic!
Nicholas, thank you for your thoughts on this. It is interesting how the trans-narrative contradicts the gay-narrative.
Talking about ‘narrative’…. my jaw dropped. What about (hormonal) feelings? Hearing people say, “You made a choice” is so utterly destructive! This trans-narrative stands for attention drawing, affectation, itranssexuality. It invites remarks as “We’ll cure you”, and “Stop thinking about other men, don’t let the Lord condemn you.” Decades of activism for same-sex ‘sodomy’ down the drain. Is that your “Truth”? You really think it will “fade away”?
Dedeurs-Thank you for contributing your thoughts here. You raise a good point–In saying to a person with same-sex attraction (SSA), “you weren’t born that way” does not mean that I am saying, “you made a choice to have SSA.” Our sexuality is so complex–we don’t choose our desires. But I hold the position I do because science does not support the “born this way” narrative, because I have seen how people do in fact change in their paths to arousal, and because there are a wide array of paths in the way that God says is best for us. The good news for Christians is that our desires do not have to define us.
Take someone with an overwhelming desire to steal. You could find many hormonal distinctives in her that correlate with stealing (especially if you have heaps of institutional research dollars). So we could interpret the hormones as the cause and say, “You will forever be a cleptomaniac–you will never be able to stop stealing.” Or we could show her how she can determine herself differently. Which is less condemning? Consider the testimonies here.