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comment by Saouka
Saouka  ·  2244 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: "Outing" : On the practice of "outing" someone

    Apart from "orientation" changing to "genetic encoding," nothing in that particular line has changed (though, that change is a promising one).

I think Rick Perry's not far off the truth with 'People are inclined to be homosexual' - the idea that individuals can possess a natural inclination towards homosexuality seems persuasive with the entire "Gay Uncle" hypothesis that if you have an Uncle who's homosexual you are more likely to be homosexual yourself. There's also the hypothesis that if you have many brothers each brother is more likely to be homosexual than the last. So there's potentially some genetics in play and potentially something to do with development in birth.

One of the major differences between a disorder and an orientation is that a disorder causes medically significant distress, which homosexuality does not and alcoholism does and can. I think that can put away the entire "Homosexuality is a disorder" nonsense, but there's a more pressing issue to do with teaching homosexuality as genetic. I think the majority of the LGBT+ community is intimately aware that homosexuality is not entirely genetic. There are some individuals that always show an interest in those of the same assigned sex and always will, and some who show interest in both, and some who develop an interest in one or both over time. The LGBT+ community, as I see it, has been more comfortable with the idea pithily expressed by Mae Martin "Some are born gay, some become gay and some have gayness thrust upon them" - homosexuality also has roots in social development and this is not a negative thing.

But there's more to it than that. People have rejected homosexuality as a lifestyle choice from the mid 1800's onwards, and that's acceptable to do because you can't judge someone for who they are but you can judge them for who they choose to be or what choices they make. Surely of that, even if not their genetic makeup, they are responsible. And now there is evidence that homosexuality has genetic roots people have taken hold in this, in the "It is not their choice, so you cannot hold them responsible for being gay." So now the opponents have taken this aboard and are making stances that show we can hold people responsible for their genetic makeup, hence the entire alcoholism stance.

But they're playing the wrong game from the start, because homosexuality is not purely genetic. You can also see this happening with Transsexualism, which is why I'm so annoyed about this issue personally. To summarise, Trans people either come out pre or post puberty, and the DSM/ICD diagnose this differently, where pre-puberty is the best transgender and post is the worst transgender. Despite the best/worst, 6-23% of pre-puberty trans kids end up being Trans, most of the assigned males end up being gay instead. Society will slowly accept the best trans and in about 30-40 years accept the worst trans, because we can't 'blame' people any more for their genetics.

This shouldn't be about whether people can be held responsible or not for the 'awful' decision/inclination to be gay, the debate needs to be focused instead on the fact that there is nothing shameful about being homosexual and that this argument is going in the wrong direction. The best solution for this strategy alienates a considerable amount of gay individuals and sets up the trans* community for the same shit in about 5-10 years and the worst one fails to show it is genetic and has to backtrack considerably.

To return to the main point of your article, I think the majority of the community if not all of it is against forcible outing people. You've got two big issues here:

>There's a certain satisfaction in finding someone who voted anti-homosexual bills turned out to be homosexual >The media really loves finding gay people and outing them

I don't think this is a current LGBT+ issue, I think this is currently an issue with the media who still believe that someone being gay is reason to write a headline. LGBT members are not, as far as I know,searching out closeted members and outing them currently, Jim Kolbe is a story from 1996.





user-inactivated  ·  2244 days ago  ·  link  ·  

As far as genetics: I do have a gay uncle, though I've never spoken to him. My best friend's younger brother is gay as well. There is a genetic component, that is basically confirmed at this point. I, however, don't think that's the only factor (if even the deciding one). I believe, and pretty much always have, that people have a sort of "percentage of preference" that varies from person to person. I'm not a biologist, nor intelligent enough to write about something like that, so I generally don't advise much on that.

The article wasn't really on the genetic / choice factor, but on the practice of outing someone. I disagree with you on the notion that the entire community is against it. There's a very active debate on the topic, actually. The documentary Outrage! goes into it, and there are still movements within the LGBT community to maliciously out people. I don't believe this is compounded by the media as you suggest, mostly because I very rarely see it done in any serious news medium. The only place I've seen it advocated is in journalistically compromised websites like Gawker. It is, however, entirely present in the comment sections of news websites and message boards.

I also don't find any satisfaction at all in finding out someone who voted anti-LGBT ends up being LGBT themselves. There are dozens of reasons for this to happen, none of which are as important as someone voting as their electorate would have them vote. Do I think that's "right" ? Not really, but it's understandable. I wouldn't support a politician who was still against equality, obviously, but to break the entire community trust to disgrace them is disturbing.

I'm also aware that Jim Kolbe is from the later 90's, that's sort of my point. In the paper I'm currently writing, concerning the Electoral Politics of LGBT Candidates in the US, Kolbe's case is an important one. It sets a lot of expectations for LGBT candidates to deal with. This is still a real issue, as evidenced by the parts of the LGBT community that are going around and seeking out politicians to out. Rick Perry is a case where they are seeking to out a politician.