Siggy of “Asexual Agenda” made a post about the debate surrounding the hostile reaction toward the link between asexuality and celibacy and how it effects asexuals negatively. Siggy also talked about another term, that, to be honest, many LGBT+ people, including myself, are often hostile about… the idea of “queer by choice”.
A number of LGBTQ+ people vehemently argue that they don’t choose their sexuality or gender identity. Suggestions of sexuality being a choice is often met with anger. The backlash against “Sex and the City” star Cynthia Nixon back in 2012, is a a case in point. However, after reading Siggy’s post, I did a quick Google, and found something fairly interesting. . Blogger known as “Nerdanel”, argued that there was ALWAYS a choice when talking about identifying as queer. However, his approach to his argument wasn’t what I expected:
(2) There is ALWAYS a choice. Always. If you are queer in a sense, and you acknowledge this, even if it’s only to yourself – then you have made a choice to do this. If you have a queer partner, if you go out to queer events, if you are active in your community, then you have chosen to do these things.
Interesting, don’t you think? “Nerdanel” explained the “lifestyle” aspects if you will, of a queer identity; the partner, advocacy work, associations, etc. This blogger goes beyond attraction. In this instance, yes, this person has a point. Of course, you choose whether you want to pursue a relationship with someone or not. You choose who you associate with. You choose where you stand when it comes to the politics of the LGBTQ movement. Here being “queer” goes far beyond biology – which often fuels the “born this way” argument both in the LGBTQ+ community and major medical bodies.
There is also another question that have been sparked in my mind as I was researching this post… what exactly does it mean to be queer? How far can the definition expand? For exqample there are people who:
- Consider themselves to be straight and cis – gender, but like to cross – dress
- Men who identify as straight, but admit to having sex with other men
- Women who claim they identify as straight, but admit to having sexual relations with other women
- People (including a number of asexuals), involved in kink and BDSM
Going back to the “born this way” versus “queer by choice” argument, there are some people who identify as queer (including the one I cited and linked to above that think the “born this way” argument – contrary to popular belief, actually harms the LGBTQ+ community, rather than helps it. One of the arguments is that it actually reinforces the idea that LGBTQ+ people are essentially victimised by their orientation. It’s like “well, we’ll be nice to you because we know you can’t help it”. I can see where the problem is here. Especially in the wake of same – sex marriage being legalised in different places around the world, there are many LGBTQ+ people who don’t want to be treated differently and want to go about their day. In fact, that’s, from what I can gather, one of the strongest arguments for same – sex marriage being legalised. Ironically, some gays argue against same – sex marriage because they don’t want to be seen as “common” or “normal”. They don’t want to be put in the same constraints that many straight people adhere to when they are married.
My take? I’ll always argue that my orientation was something that I didn’t choose, frankly. Seriously, I spent years hitting my head against a brick wall, metaphorically speaking, to try and not be asexual. Like Australian comedian Magda Szubanski, in the past, yes, I probably would take a pill to make myself straight, I admit it. However, aside from all that, yes, choices can be made. I choose to vocal about asexuality and the LGBTQ+ more generally. I choose to be informative, without getting overly personal. Most importantly, I choose to take steps so I can accept myself, including my asexuality, not in spite of it.
What are your thoughts about “Queer By Choice”?