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Fresh point of view on gay gene
#1
I was surfing around the internet and I read this article that caught my attention,

I started reading when I knew it was the gay activist Peter Thatchell (known for his attempt to arrest twice the Zimbabwean President) who wrote and I was really surprised when I read his opinions where he is presenting a refreshing point of view from an "insider" of the movement: "Biology is not destiny", where he does not only manifests that there is no such thing as a "gay gene", but that this idea
attempts in various ways against a positive perception of and from the gay people.

The online magazine Liberate the Mind (liberate the mind dot com) is presenting the article
as a way to promote a deeper inner debate and I´d love to know your thoughts on this one!

I hope it is of your interest because I think it presents an interesting opinion for everyone in the
LGBT...(etc, etc) community.
#2
What Peter Tatchell seems to be saying is hardly groundbreaking. The nature v nurture argument has long supported the notion of a complex interplay of influences. Similarly, the notion of a "gay gene" was discredited fairly quickly. I didn't realise there were still people who looked for causes in such simple terms.

His description of awareness of dormant or repressed sexual desires until into the thirties is something I do understand, though. In my case it felt that mother nature was not going to be ignored.

I wonder whether his utopian vision of a possible future could ever happen.

(link to article)
#3
I agree with Marshy, there's nothing new in Tatchell's article. He seems to have to basic points, first, that biological factors are only part of the story and, second, that claiming that they are does not advance gay rights.

If you use a definition of homosexuality based on observable and measurable behaviours (as all scientists must), rather than some 'psychological' concept a 'true' underlying sexual orientation, then clearly social factors must come into play. As Tatchell points out homosexuality is quite variable across cultures. This is nothing new.

Even the strongest advocates of the existance of a gay gene(s) have never claimed that it negates the existence of free will, i.e. that carriers of this gene do not have the choice not act on the desires this gene gives them. Anti-gay activities have always talked about the wrongness/sinfulness of acts rather than feelings, they have defined homosexuality by behaviour, and by that measure people do choose whether to be gay or straight. It has always been clear that biological explanations do not answer moral questions.

All that said, with the exception of his belief in the flexibility of the sexual orientation of many individuals, I do not disagree with his arguement, he just tries to present it as new thinking, it isn't.
Fred

Life is what happens while you are busy making other plans.


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