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Interesting article on Autostraddle - Our Willow, Ourselves [Mar. 26th, 2014|09:15 am]
qbcsupporter
Our Willow, Ourselves

Posted by Lindsay King-Miller on March 24, 2014 at 9:00am PDT

Read full article here.

Excerpts:

"At that point, I started to explore what I thought of as my bisexuality in earnest, and I discovered something wild: I really, really liked girls. Like really. Like a lot. Like more than I ever expected I would. And once I’d had a few great times with women, I felt the compass of my libido begin to swing. More and more, I noticed attractive girls on the street. More and more, my celebrity crushes were female instead of male. More and more, when I thought about what kind of person I might like to end up with in some far-off settled-down future, I pictured a woman. It wasn’t until I met the person to whom I am now married that I really became comfortable calling myself a lesbian, but long before then it was clear that, though I’ll never be completely [gay], something had shifted. I wanted to be with women. Women were the San Juan Capistrano toward which the swallow of my vagina must eternally wing."

....

"I know it’s popular to depict sexual orientation as something inherent and immutable – you’re born gay, or straight, or bisexual, and that’s what you’re stuck with forever – but I don’t think it’s that simple, at least not for everyone. Sometimes you meet the right person and suddenly everything is different. Sometimes you have choices, a multitude of paths you might explore, a plethora of relationships you might nurture or neglect. To say [she] must have been bisexual all along is to deny that love can change you, can climb inside your head and heart and rearrange all the furniture, can spin you around and around until you’re pointed in a completely different direction than you ever imagined you would go. I don’t deny that there’s something comforting in the notion that we are born with the person we will become already curled up inside us waiting to burst forth, that we have a constant internal identity that does not alter, but I think for many people it’s not always that simple."
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Why introducing element of choice is important [Mar. 5th, 2014|03:39 pm]
qbcsupporter
In theory one should be able to choose to be straight as well as choose to be gay. There are people who do it more out of fear than out of a sincere want and so that could explain why people fail at it. But I see no reason why someone can't unlearn an attraction whether it's opposite sex or same sex attraction as long as it's their choice and not someone externally pushing them into it. It probably sounds homophobic (or heterophobic) to some people to choose to unlearn an attraction but I don't think it is necessarily. It's just part of making that choice to be attracted to the same sex exclusively or the opposite sex. I realize that for many people that might be hard to understand because it's not their experience. But for some people it is their experience.

As someone else on here argued I think that many people choose to be straight all the time and deny same sex attraction. I'm not saying that it's wrong. It's just a fact that people deny homosexual attractions all the time. One could argue it isn't the best choice, but I don't deny that they're the ones ultimately responsible for making that choice and therefore for deciding the morality behind that choice as well. Where as other might decide to chose to deny heterosexual feelings for moral reasons or as a matter of taste or preference, what have you. A common theme among many lesbians is that they wanted to have deeper bonds with other women and felt it was a more moral choice to have same sex attraction for that reason. In our society women are taught to compete with each other rather than combine their energies. Choosing to be straight might be harder then because it might seem like a betrayal to the conviction you had in the first place, or a betrayal to yourself and your gender.

If homosexuality were the norm, I think someone could choose to be heterosexual as well. It might be more difficult because there is already a divide between men and women that makes relationships harder, and it would probably be even greater if the majority was gay. But some people might feel a moral need to bridge the gap between men and women in such a society where inter-gender love was not the norm, the same way women often feel that they need to bridge the gap between women in a society that places little value on women's relationships. Then choosing to be gay again might happen when they feel like they've accomplished what they set out to accomplish. Or maybe they just realized that they didn't like the differences between men and women and ultimately didn't want to bridge that gap.

I definitely think that choosing heterosexuality is a boring choice for someone who isn't really thinking about things, about what they care about, what turns them on, etc. If all they're doing is letting society dictate to them what they should do. That isn't to say that heterosexuality itself is boring, it's just boring to choose your sexuality for no real reason and without passion or attraction or conviction. I think it's an acceptable choice and many people are happy with that choice, but there are also those people who chose to be straight who deep down probably should be asking if they really want to be. I see the notion of being gay by choice empowering because it says that straight people don't need to be straight if they don't want to be. It isn't saying that being straight is wrong, but it's saying that you don't have to be "born that way" to start exploring same sex feelings and attractions. It's saying that you can be more deterministic about yourself and whom you want to become, and it gives you the authority you need to be attracted to the people whom you choose to be.
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Trans By Choice [Dec. 11th, 2009|03:21 pm]

buttonsnaps
Hi everyone. I'm the same person who made the last post.

I think I am trans by choice, but I feel guilt around my decision. My guilt comes from the fact that by being trans I am forcing those around me to change the way they treat me and talk about me. This is often difficult and challenging for them. They do it under the assumption that I don't have a choice in being trans. Also, my family is not happy about the fact that I am trans, which causes me to feel guilty if about choosing to be trans.

Then there are some barriers and challenges that I as a trans person. It feels very stupid to be facing these if I could choose not to, although the truth is I don't mind and I even enjoy the struggle and challenge, because it makes me a stronger person.

I think because I'm white, and live in a city, and am privileged in other ways, there is much less barriers than there is for others, and I've received much more support than if I had been situated differently. So I feel guilty that I am in the position to choose this while others are not.

Lastly, I will never know for sure if I am trans-by-choice unless I try to go back and live as my assigned-at-birth-gender. Until I do this I will never really know the true nature of my gender identity (and how much choice I have in the matter). I am intensely curious about whether I could do it, but also have little desire to try it because I'm enjoying how I live now.

PS - everyone should go to my last entry and answer the question: do you feel you chose your gender? Did you ever question or experiment with it?
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What Do You Mean By "Queer"? [Dec. 7th, 2009|01:44 pm]

lala_annie
Is there inconsistency with how this community uses the word 'queer'? It seems some people use it to mean they chose to be gay, some bisexual, some pansexual. There's definitely a connection with sexual and romantic preference.

---

I think of "queer" as an umbrella term, including trangender identities. Transgender, also being an umbrella term, includes those who have not-the-norm gender identities and gender expressions.

Using this definition, if you chose to be queer, wouldn't that mean you chose to have a gender identity and/or expression different from the one expected of you by society?

Or does choosing to be queer mean you chose at least one aspect - sexual preference, gender identity, or gender expression.

---
If you feel you chose your sexual orientation, to what extent do you feel you chose your gender identity? your gender expression?
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I hope you all are still reading this [Oct. 10th, 2009|10:23 pm]

marijaprincip
Didn't see anything in the userinfo about surveys... this is for science! :)

I'm applying for a scholarship from an LGBTQ foundation that does an annual scholarship essay contest, has for awhile now. One of their prompts for possible essays they'd like to see involved interviews. So, in addition to interviewing some of my friends, I made a neato internet survey with a service called FormSpring (ominous name, right?) and I'm posting it to a few select queer LJ communities in hopes that cool people will pick it up and fill it out and give me quotes and food for thought to work (attributed duly) into my essay.

In conclusion, click here http://www.formspring.com/forms/?724968-iChDIbHALm
 New Window
and thanks for supporting me!
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Intro [Jul. 28th, 2009|11:30 pm]

blindcreator
Hi my name is Eric and I'm new to this LJ community. I've been really pissed off by my assimilationist LGB peers and I am sick of them using the idea of the gay 'gene' as an excuse and justification to assimilate into mainstream culture. I feel like they're victimizing themselves and giving away their power. They're also telling the rest of the world that they cannot be LGB or queer without a scientific explanation.

I'm majoring in Languages & Cultures and minoring in Queer Studies at California State University Northridge. We just started this minor last Fall and I am having trouble getting my peers interested. Any tips on recruiting?
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(no subject) [Jun. 24th, 2009|12:02 pm]

queerbychoice
[mood |amusedamused]

Homophobic religious nut David Klinghoffer quotes homophobic religious nut Joshua Berman in a recent column on BeliefNet, arguing against legal recognition of same-sex marriage. Berman accurately cites evidence to show that sexual preferences are socially constructed. Since this evidence does nothing to suggest that exclusive heterosexuality is a superior social construction to any others, his bizarre effort to force his evidence to lead in that direction results in much hilarity:
Homoeroticism is, to a large degree, socially constructed. It turns out that where homoeroticism is granted full social sanction, as it was in Rome, it flourishes -- so much so, that one writer noted that the emperor Claudius exhibited an unusual trait: he was sexually interested in women alone!

Men, we learn from ancient Rome, will enjoy sex with other men, if there is no social censure. Now, all of this should be fine for us as well -- after all, we should let free choice and tolerance reign.

The real problems begin, however, when we read what these writers had to say about marriage. Consider this piece from the first century BCE poet Catullus (Carmen 61:134-141), in which the poet addresses himself to a bridegroom on the eve of his nuptials:

"You are said to find it hard, Perfumed bridegroom, to give up Smooth-skinned boys, but give them up... We realize you've only known Permitted pleasures: husbands, though, have no right to the same pleasures."

The social history behind this piece is clear: once they've experienced sex with other men, Catullus tells us, men are unsatisfied with what their new wives provide them. Notice that the poet is unconcerned about the husband's dallying with other women -- it's the other men around that threaten the marital union.

If Catullus addressed the bridegroom on the eve of his wedding, the satirist Martial (Book 11, Epigram 43) depicts the reality of married life itself. As satire, the section is too bawdy to be reprinted here, but the sanitized version goes like this: A woman chastises her husband for continuing to dally with male acquaintances. He counters that many other married men are doing it as well. Desperate, she offers to service him in the same way that his male suitor does. He rebuffs, concluding that she just can't satisfy him the way his suitor can.

And so now we come back to the idyllic day of free choice and tolerance envisioned by the gay and lesbian movement. It turns out that that day has winners and losers. The winners -- big time -- are homosexual men, because the historical record shows that they can expect their potential pool of partners to expand exponentially. Of note here is that this expanded pool of partners accrues to gay men, but not to homosexual women. At the risk of getting too explicit, I leave it the reader's basic grasp of anatomy to figure out why in ancient Rome a man who found pleasure in a woman, could also find pleasure in a man, while the record shows that a heterosexual woman rarely found sexual satisfaction in the company of another woman.
"Basic grasp of anatomy"? Yes, that's right, because women's anatomy just doesn't allow us to feel any pleasure at all without a penis inside us - never mind the fact that actually, the location of the clitoris prevents many women from having orgasms from coitus alone, while I've never seen a shred of evidence suggesting that any women are anatomically incapable of having orgasms without a penis involved.

I've lost count of how many women I know who have at some point or another had sex with a self-identified heterosexual woman, but from what I hear, queer women don't seem to have any difficulty at all in pleasing those women in bed. If more ancient Greek women had learned to write and more of their writing had survived to the present day, I expect the historical record would bear this out. As it is, I certainly don't recall anything in Sappho's writing that suggested she had any trouble pleasing anybody in bed, so I'd like to know where Berman got the idea that the historical record shows anything about any women's supposed lack of sexual satisfaction with other women in ancient Greece. Not that there couldn't possibly have been an occasional woman or two who was sexually unsatisfied by another woman, just as much in ancient Greece as anywhere else - but I've never heard of an instance of surviving writing by an ancient Greek woman that documents another woman's inability to please her in bed.
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Going straight? [May. 12th, 2009|12:46 am]

emmasj
Hey guys, me again--I got great answers for my last question, but now I have another one. Some people say that it isn't possible to choose to go straight again: Why not? What makes that different?

And for fun, a hypothetical situation that goes with my question: Let's say there's a community where homosexuality is the norm. Would it be possible for some people to chose to be heterosexual, then? And if so, would they be able to go back to being gay?

And how many of you think that choosing heterosexuality is a boring choice? If so, is that compared to homosexuality, or just queerness in general?

Just wondering! Thanks so much for your time and patience. =D
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Others [May. 10th, 2009|12:54 pm]

emmasj
Hey, guys, it seems like there hasn't been activity here in about a year . . . but I have a question! I hope someone can answer. =D

Anyway, I'm new to this theory, and I was wondering if you believe ALL queers chose to be queer? For those who believe that they chose to be queer, do you believe that everyone who is queer chose to be queer, or can some people be born that way, or whatever?

What I've read so far seems to avoid saying either way, though, admittedly, I haven't looked very hard to find the answer just yet. I know the question is awkwardly worded, sorry. ^.^
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Free Speech Where do We Draw the Line? [May. 13th, 2008|10:41 am]

queerunity
A few interesting and controversial headlines have popped up in the news and the gay blogosphere that raise some important questions. At what point is gay activism intruding upon free speech and freedom of expression rights? Freedom of speech and expression must be protected even for anti-gay forces, because if we don't have these basic freedoms it becomes a slippery slope and eventually we will not have the right to express our opinions.

I write this in light of some stories recently, such as a student who wore a t-shirt to school saying "Be Happy - Not Gay!" at a diversity event, who got in trouble. The courts have since ruled she is entitled to wear the shirt.

What about Crystal Dixon's case with the University of Toledo V.P. of Human Resources who outside the university wrote an opinion column denouncing homosexuality, claiming it is a choice. She has been fired under grounds that she mentioned she was a worker at the school and is now suing the school.

Finally there was the case at Smith College, where the College Republicans brought in Ryan Sorba who created a book called "The Born Gay Hoax" who spoke about bogus research regarding LGBT people. Students interrupted his anti-gay speech by screaming "We're Here, We're Queer, get used to it" the student protesters overwhelmed the room forcing Mr. Sorba to leave the campus and cancel his speech.

Youtube clip of the Smith protest:


What do you think about GLBT activism and where do we draw the line to ensure free speech rights, or is it okay to intrude upon the free speech of others when they seek to intrude on our civil liberties and spread falsehoods about our community?

http://queersunited.blogspot.com/2008/05/open-forum-free-speech-where-do-we-draw.html
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New Queer Theory Discussion Blog [Mar. 6th, 2008|03:43 pm]

cinnazimt
[Current Location |Berkeley, CA]

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ignorant question? [Aug. 3rd, 2007|01:47 pm]

fourwordsapart
hello. not sure whether this community is highly active but i thought i'd try asking anyway.

i'm a person who is historically heterosexual in practice but upon maturation and consideration have become very open to the idea of queer experiences and/or relationships. that's not really related to my question, but it is why i've become interested lately in queer theory and politics. (of course, even if i wasn't personally inclined to tentatively identify as bisexual or something other than strictly hetero, i'd hope i'd be interested anyway!)

anyhow i just came across the idea of "queer by choice" and i find it very intriguing. i suppose i understand the belief that sexual orientation is fluid rather than dictated by genetics or atmosphere (though i'm not informed enough to have an opinion either way), but i don't understand exactly the motivation to choose a preference. is it an exercise in will? i suppose what i mean to ask is whether it's a political action meant to display the autonomy of the individual or perhaps to condemn the mindless standardization that is manifest in the majority of people identifying as straight--a protest against the conventional heteronormative assumption that "straight" is normal.

i don't know if that made sense. i hope it wasn't offensively ignorant--trust me i mean well! ok well hopefully someone can shed some light on this topic for me.
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queer [May. 27th, 2007|10:14 pm]

ophe1ia_in_red
[music |Rock The House - Gorillaz]

I started a Facebook thread about queer choice which has got rather heated.  Some of the stuff people have said has really made me worry - do I have any right to call myself bisexual at all?  If I do, do I have to agree that it was not a conscious choice for me?  I don't want to do either of those things.

I'm not proud of having chosen to be bisexual, but I'm also not willing to give up being bisexual because it was a choice.

Ah, thank you, QueerByChoice.com, for existing.

Ophelia Xx

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strategies and activism (mmmmmm) [May. 3rd, 2007|12:03 am]

broken_jezebel
was actually wondering if ya'll might be able to give me some advice. I created a queer art display at the University of Florida, and the entire thing was censored (mother fucking queerphobes)...so my latest efforts have been to tie together the community, and see what can be done. At this point, it seems my efforts might need to take some concrete construction (I'm even thinking of starting a "gay shame organization" ... modelling after gayshamesf.org...there's already a Queer Activist Group, but I think this may need a specific structure at this point.

the thing is the wanna-be mainstream LGBT group has resisted supporting this issue as it wants to remain apolitical. So any advice as to what might be done would be lovely. I've thought of flyering, failed at contacting newspapers but tried, a kiss-in right in front of the University space . . . i want to get as much attention and in as uneuphemized manners as possible.

I've written more about this in my LJ if you care to browse it around for more details.

 Curious, what are the thoughts of starting a gay shame group considering there already is a similar group on this campus? So yea, annnnyyyyy ideas for activism would be lovely.
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A link to another post about a news article [Apr. 11th, 2007|03:43 pm]

asrai_d
This is a link to another post in bipolypagangeek about a new article in the NY Times which states:
    "Desire between the sexes is not a matter of choice. Straight men, it seems, have neural circuits that prompt them to seek out women; gay         men have those prompting them to seek other men. Women’s brains may be organized to select men who seem likely to provide for them         and their children. The deal is sealed with other neural programs that induce a burst of romantic love, followed by long-term attachment."

Any way read it here
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Kathleen Bryson [Oct. 29th, 2006|10:48 am]

queerbychoice
[mood |excitedexcited]
[music |kitten mewing]

Okay, who knew about Kathleen Bryson? I didn't. So I'm glad I have Google set up to regularly email me search results containing the phrase "choose to be queer." It found this in the Wikipedia entry about her:
Controversially, Bryson, who has always described herself as bisexual since these Seattle years (except for what she jokingly referred to as her "3-month lesbian separatist period" in the fall of 1994), has been clear in several interviews that she does not consider either heterosexuality or homosexuality to have a genetic basis, but rather considers them to be the result of many social and environmental factors. From a 2002 interview with Rainbow Network: "People often forget that 'gayness' and 'heterosexuality' are new concepts, less than a hundred and fifty years old... 'Straight' and 'gay' and 'bisexual' are all social constructions anyway, but until the world is more comfortable with same-sex desire I'll be calling myself bisexual, as that word comes the closest to describing my own personal make-up."

In another interview from the same time, she said, "I choose to be queer, and I'm proud of my choice. I'm sick of gay people saying 'it's not my fault', like being queer is something to be ashamed of." More radically, she suggested the following: "I truly believe that all people are born with bisexual potential, and I feel strongly that the onus should now be on 'heterosexuals' to come out, as queer people have already done enough hard work questioning sexual mores."
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(no subject) [Aug. 9th, 2006|06:45 pm]

queerbychoice
I'm always writing LiveJournal comments about choosing to be queer and then wanting to say exactly the same thing in ten other people's journals a few months later, but I can never find my old comments anymore to copy and paste them, so I rewrite the same things endlessly. This time I'm going to copy and paste them here as an entry in their own right, so maybe I'll manage to find them again later. I wrote this in foucaultonacid's journal, and I apologize for possibly boring you if you've heard it all from me before.
I would say that we can create an attraction or an orientation that is not just temporary - but that in order to do so, we also need to have created an entire system of other beliefs/desires within which the new attraction makes sense. A meaningful, long-term change of orientation can't just be tacked onto the top of a personality without other changes that give the person a reason to desire to be with members of a different gender or other category of people than the person previously desired to be with.

I think that feeling more attracted to a particular gender arises from believing that members of that gender are more likely (at least in our society) to do/feel/be something or other, and that the something or other they are more likely to do/feel/be is important to one's happiness. A person can be either right or wrong about what members of each gender are more likely to do/feel/be, and a person can also be either right or wrong about whether the something or other is really important to their happiness. For a person to choose to change their orientation in a meaningful way, the person would start by questioning these beliefs and looking for reasons to change their mind about these beliefs. If they succeed in finding a good reason to change their beliefs, then they successfully choose to change their orientation.

If they don't succeed in finding a good reason to change their beliefs, then they don't succeed in changing their orientation. However, in a way, this means that they actually choose to keep their existing orientation - because they evaluated the reasons for having each preference, and they made a decision that the reasons for having their existing preference were better reasons.

Of course, the common notion of "free will" demands that there must also a third possibility, which is that theoretically they could choose to change their orientation to one that the preponderance of evidence available to them suggests they should not choose. But I think if we're talking about sane people, this option is going to be so automatically ruled out that it doesn't much count as a choice at all. I think sanity is inherently defined as basing one's choices on evidence whenever evidence is available. If all available evidence suggests to you that being hit by a car would really hurt, and that if you run right in front of the one currently coming at you it will it you, yet you choose to run right in front of it anyway, we call that insane. In exactly the same way, if you see that being in sexual situations with certain people is likely to make you happier than being in sexual situations with certain other people, yet you choose to avoid sexual situations with the first group of people and seek them out with the second group of people anyway, that also would have to mean you're insane.
Also, I wrote this next bit in response to a comment on a different entry in foucaultonacid's journal, in which the commenter said he wishes he were heterosexual because "reproducing is the main thing that makes the earth go around, our main purpose. so not naturally liking what I'm supposed to, what I'm MADE to do, is kind of disappointing."
This is exactly why I think the whole idea that sexual orientations are biological (as opposed to being developed in various other ways that you aren't necessarily able to change) increases homophobia. If you accept the idea gayness is biological, then it can be very, very difficult to avoid judging its value in terms of its evolutionary viability, and by that measure, concluding that it probably deserves to be called a "birth defect."

But why should you accept the idea that gayness is biological, just because you haven't been able to change yours? If you see gayness as something that evolved through your interaction with the world, it becomes much easier to say, for example, maybe your gayness is a sign of your greater than average ability to think for yourself, to gravitate toward relationships with people who share more of your experience of life and who can therefore understand you more fully and deeply. It becomes much easier to judge the value of gayness in terms of its social purposes, in terms of furthering the purposes of our lives that we can choose for ourselves, such as making the people we love feel loved and making the world a better place for people of future generations who share that goal, instead of just worrying about making more copies of little bits of DNA.
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Advice from Sasha: The Right to Choose to Be Queer [Jul. 18th, 2006|09:44 pm]

queerbychoice
I really liked this advice columnist's answer (in the second letter on that page) to someone who wanted to know if her lesbian sister could be turned hetero through psychiatric treatment. The advice columnist, Sasha, encouraged her to stop focusing on the question of whether her sister could be turned hetero or not, and instead realize that whether or not it's possible, it's not the right thing to do:
I am a devoted female reader of your column. It has always provided me with lots of useful information. I need you to help me with my sister, who is 17. Two days ago a very good friend of hers sent me an email explaining why she (my sister) has been very depressed lately. The cause, according to the friend, is that my sister is lesbian and has broken up with her girlfriend. I was totally shocked to learn this. My sister has always been tomboyish but I didn't imagine she was lesbian. What can I do to help her? Is there no way for her to be straight? Can psychiatric therapy help? Thank you. SHOCKED SISTER

There is a way you can help her, yes, but let's first look at some of the theories and ideas surrounding orientation conversion. A popular pro-gay argument is biology, mostly because it's the most incontestable way of explaining to nosy people with double standards that "it's not our fault, we were born this way." But why shouldn't choice also be a legitimate reason, especially given our obsession with it in so many other circumstances? I feel like I would choose to be queer too, because it works so well for me. I think it's imperative that we start respecting people's choices along with their biology, but also their right to change if they want to try. My guess is that some people can probably change their sexual orientation through willpower or religious conviction, but by that rationale, it would go both ways. In other words, there are probably straight people who could live gay if they really believed it would enhance their lives.

The problem as I see it is, most sexual-orientation conversion methods -- and I've only ever seen ones trying to make gays go straight, no matter what zealots call Pride Day -- are based in fear, particularly of hell, and in self-hate. If I really, really believed in hell and I hated myself for being queer, I'd be working my ass off to dump my girlfriend and find a nice Calvinist boy to settle down with and start using my breasts for something more businesslike than twirling pasties. The real questions become, how much do you hate yourself, and how much would this impact your desire to live a different life? Would you be willing to change your orientation because it was considered by your family and religion to be wrong?

If helping your sister is truly your intent, then how about an open-ended conversation rather than one with such a complicated goal in mind? Your sister's heart is broken not because she's queer, but because she lost a lover.
By the way, what kind of a "friend" responds to a friend's depression over breaking up with her girlfriend by outing the friend to her homophobic sister? Now the lesbian in that advice column has three things to be depressed about instead of just one: brekaing up with her girlfriend, having a sister who's looking for ways to "save" her from her queerness, and having a "friend" who outed her to her sister. I'm sure she feels lots better as a result of that.
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Religion and Queerness: equally difficult to change? [Jul. 11th, 2006|07:46 pm]

sammka
Just found this Salon article about an ethnography of the ex-gay movement.

I thought it was interesting. And, from a queer by choice standpoint, the article does a good job about acknowledging that not all queer activists believe in a "gay gene." And more interestingly, at the end it seems to come to an interesting conclusion that a large part of the pain that "ex-gays" suffer is not just that they can't stop being queer, but that they can't stop being religious fundamentalists who believe that homosexuality is sinful.

The comparison between religion and sexual orientation is also pretty interesting from a queer-by-choice perspective. While lots of people would argue that they can't simply "choose" what to believe, nobody's really arguing that there's a "Christian Fundamentalist" gene. And for a lot of people in this community, queerness is an extension of values that are important to them. Anyway, food for thought.
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Queer by Choice People versus AlterNet [Jul. 3rd, 2006|08:03 pm]

queerbychoice
I stopped reading the AlterNet RSS feed several years ago, mainly because I got sick of how every queer-related article they ever publish is completely pro-"gay gene" biased. But I found my way to one such article today because of the queer by choice people who left comments on it, critiquing AlterNet for this tendency. I loved it! I even recognized davelwhite there. Here are some of my favorite quotes from the comments.

From someone named Michelle:
Hmm, that's interesting. The heterosexual man, kenadrian, confused about the difference between the various beliefs he listed above, claims interest in diversity. At the same time, he defines being gay as biologically-based, thus erasing the subjectivity of all gay people who may feel either that it is not biologically based for us or that this kind of crappy argument is not necessary because we are human and there is nothing at all immoral about being gay, period, that's all we need to say.

Diversity, Mr. Straight Person, means taking into account ALL of our subjectivity, not just the subjectivity of those gay people whose subjectivity fits into your confused and blurry framework.

So to be clear about the actual real diversity of our experiences and perspectives: Some queer (gay men, lesbian and bi) people feel that we are born this way, others feel it is a choice, others feel it as a combination.

Cut across all of these groups are various perspectives on political strategy: Some feel that it is strategically necessary to defend and justify ourselves by addressing whether we are born this way. Others feel that the "we are born this way" argument is unnecessary, reactionary and has the implicit statement that we are only fully human if we can prove to the heteronornative, heterosexist, homophobic power structure that "we can't help it" (the implication being that we would be straight if we could.)

As for me: I am a lesbian who feels that the "we are born this way" argument is politically ugly and that it's none of heterosexual people's business how any of us are or came to be queer. I could have passed my whole life as heterosexual, but made the choice to NOT DO THAT because it was hurting my soul and my body. I currently live in a household where there is diversity/difference even between my partner and I on our feelings about whether we were "born this way" -- but we are in 100% agreement on the political strategy question and both believe that the pandering and justification of arguing that "we are born this way" supports homophobia in the end.

I guess our actual realities and perspectives and experiences as actual living human lesbians don't fit into the kind of "diversity" that Mr. Hetero Guy kenadrian claims to support.
From davelwhite:
You know what, maybe this particular study won't turn out to have serious methodological flaws and bad statistical inferences, like all the other ones have turned out to have. But, both the study itself (from what I see in the article anyway) and Alternet's depiction of it avoid any of the obvious, scientific facts that contradict the notion that the gay gene (if it exists at all) is an iron-clad thing that "forces" you to be an out gay person. I will save that evidence for the end, since I have relayed it to Alternet before and it seems to have no effect.

So today, my main question is why, whenever Alternet does a piece on the Gay Gene or gay marriage, they get me and usually bunches of other queer-identified people writing to them telling them that not all of us believe we were born that way, or identify marriage as a goal for us, they just come out again with the same exact article a month later?! And they don't even do that journalistic balance thing, like having a sentence that says "Some queer people dispute this or have other goals." I think I can tell you why, and it isn't pretty: Either the writers at Alternet, or the audience they imagine reading Alternet, views themselves as "progressive" and likes to think of themselves as "supporting gays" but cannot actually deal with the real diversity of the queer community (which, in fairness, often cannot deal with its own diversity very well either). And so they need to not only focus on the normally very fishy (but potentially, in theory, correct) science about the gene, but also the completely bogus notion that if there was a gene we would have no control over what we did about it, we would be forced to come out regardless of our cultural surroundings.
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attraction and queer-by-choice [Jul. 1st, 2006|11:42 am]
pure_agnostic
[mood |just thinking aloud]

I was wondering how many non-bisexuals identify as queer-by-choice.  I can imagine asexual, straight, gay, or lesbian persons calling themselves "queer-by-choice". Does that imply that queerness to them is not about attraction, and even not about a willingness to date others regardless of gender.  If there are any non-bi QBC folks out there, how do you describe your queerness?
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To break the ice a bit... [Jun. 11th, 2006|02:33 pm]

tamerterra
I haven't posted here yet, so I thought that I'd break the ice with this icon that I just made.

QBCicon_by_tamerterra
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interesting article on sexual selection [Jun. 10th, 2006|09:51 pm]

songquake
http://www.seedmagazine.com/news/2006/06/the_gay_animal_kingdom.php

what do y'all think of this? it how does it fit (or fail to fit) into your understanding of being queer-by-choice? the logical extension to the hypothesis seems to be that animals make choices about sexual activity based on social as well as evolutionary survival. does that make any sense for humans, particularly in western society?
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Happy_Gay_Life [Jun. 10th, 2006|03:42 am]

being_together
Hi, come and join a brand-new homo/bi friendly community: happy_gay_life

This is a community dedicated to building a positive homo/bi image by sharing joyful and uplifting experiences of being homo/bi.

Ever wonder why there are so few homo/bi stories/movies with happy endings? I did.

I figure out that it has to come from us. We've got to count our blessings and share these lovely moments with each other: the special moments that bring smiles to our faces, that make our hearts sing, that tickle us, that move us to tears of joy ... on a daily basis.

Every time you share a line of joy, you're contributing to building a positive homo/bi image.

Come! Join us and have some fun!
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R.I.P. Fritz Klein [Jun. 1st, 2006|11:56 pm]

queerbychoice
(obituary in my journal)
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Androphilia... [Apr. 28th, 2006|05:30 pm]

markarsenal
Rev Malebranche has a website up: http://www.androblog.com and plans to put out a book about male homosexuality soon. It's going to liken homosexuality to an ecumenical preference, sort of like a taste for olives - something I've always tried to do myself when explaining my own sexuality.

He's stirring up some pretty big shit, but I think it's worthy of mention here...
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(no subject) [Apr. 28th, 2006|11:12 am]

njzero
this is my absolute favorite community, even though it's pretty much dormant.

ahem, anyone read any good books, papers, or see a good film relevant to queerchoice?
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:D [Mar. 10th, 2006|04:30 pm]

sammka
Justinsomnia.org would like you to know that there are ways out if you're straight, unhappy.
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intro and other identity related ramblings [Oct. 27th, 2005|02:20 pm]

_allecto_
Hi everyone,
I discovered this lj group a while ago but haven’t had the courage to post yet. There are some bloody intelligent people here and I hate exposing my stupidity to people who might actually have the intelligence to understand it.
Anyway, this is my introduction. For the first 15 years of my life I was brought up as female. And I mean feminine female. With the frilly dresses and the long hair (past my bottom) and the urgent, everpresent desire to please (especially to please those with a phallus on whose opinion my self-worth ultimately hinged). And I was very, very heterosexual and extremely heteronormative. I learnt all about sex from secretively reading Mills and Boons novels (my father was a fundamentalist christian so naturally sex was not something that was talked about). Thus started the cycle of rape fantasy/eating disorders/self-hatred etc that are wonderful markers of sacrificial femininity.
I was made into a woman. For the past 9 years I have aggressively unmade myself. It would be stupid of me to claim full success; gender is a pervasive and all-encompassing societal force, I believe that the full exorcism of gender can only take place in a world that is genderfree. However, I try.
I believe that gender abolition is the only logical extension of non-essentialist feminism. Patriarchy relies on the rigid borders of a false gender binary, without which there can be no distinction and therefore no oppression. But if there is no gender then there is no gay, straight or bi: there is only queer.
In this sense I define queerness as innate; straight and gay are the perversions, false identities in a world built on a fictitious gender binary.
BUT we are talking now of the sociology of desire which is a highly contentious issue because we are constantly force fed essentialist ideology.
When I was younger, heterosexuality was compulsory. I was aware of same sex (not that ‘same sex’ has any meaning as it implies there is an opposite, but bear with me) attraction from an early age but ‘men’ were the only ones with the power to define me and determine my self worth. ‘Women’ had no value except as objects, they do not have the power to shape or confer form, they do not own themselves they are owned and therefore cannot bestow identity but merely receive it. This was not the sole fact that kept heterosexuality compulsory but, for me, it was probably the strongest one.
Choice? I chose to deconstruct my self, sexuality, gender and identity. In doing so I reconstructed my relationship to desire from the inside out and found a queer identity. I am not a victim of an essential sexuality but rather a person who has fought hard to discover it, and trust me it was bloody well hidden.
There is much that is liberating about having such self-awareness in that love and desire are flexible concepts that I can choose to wield. But I believe, for many people, sexuality is not a choice. Choice can only exist in a society that does not define itself by falsehoods. True choices can only be made by people who have their eyes open and there is so much around us that encourages them to keep them shut. And sadly enough most people do.
Well, I have my eyes open and all I can see is people bumping into each other in the midst of a dense fog. Finding this community was an amazing ray of light. Our sexual preference and ability to desire should absolutely be informed by choice. It is completely irrational that love is constructed as uncontrollable “I fell in love” rather than “I chose to love” and most people (queer and straight) pursue destructive relationships based on this principle.
I didn’t exactly choose to be queer because I believe queerness is innate to every single person on the planet. However, had I not deconstructed my sexual identity I would very likely have spent my life being raped on a continual basis by a six-foot Neanderthal with half a brain and popping out babies. I didn’t choose to be queer but I definitely chose not to be straight and I think the distinction is an important one. Hopefully I still qualify for this community as I do agree with its ideas/ideals.
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Sheryl Swoopes comes out as...lesbian by choice? [Oct. 26th, 2005|12:40 pm]

legolastn
[mood |happyhappy]

Sheryl Swoopes, forward for the Houston Comets (which has one 4 championships while she was on the team), five-time All Star, three-time Olympic gold medalist, three-time WNBA Most Valuable Player, and last year's leader in scoring, came out today. And says she wasn't born a lesbian.

From Sports Illustrated:
"Do I think I was born this way? No," Swoopes said. "And that's probably confusing to some, because I know a lot of people believe that you are."

Swoopes, who was married and has an 8-year-old son, said her 1999 divorce "wasn't because I'm gay."

She said her reason for coming out now is merely because she wants to be honest.

"It's not something that I want to throw in people's faces. I'm just at a point in my life where I'm tired of having to pretend to be somebody I'm not," the 34-year-old Swoopes said. "I'm tired of having to hide my feelings about the person I care about. About the person I love."
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