Thursday, March 17, 2011

"Born This Way" and LGBTQ Discourse

I'd like to start off this post by saying that I am a huge Gaga fan, and that this blog post only applies to Born This Way in terms of the song's application to LGBTQ identity. The aim of Born This Way in affirming and empowering queer identity is not implied; lyrics include:

"No matter gay, straight or bi
lesbian, transgendered life..."

While I love Gaga's passion for equality, the assertion one is "born" queer has negative implications for LGBTQ equality. The narrative "it's not your fault, you didn't choose this, and therefore we will accept you" is the same as saying "queerness is [insert pejorative here], but because you didn't choose it--and what sane person would?--we will tolerate you."

To me, that is not equality. To me, that is not acceptance. There is nothing wrong with being queer--whether you were born "that way" or whether you chose "that way."

I am not trying to argue that a person cannot be "born" LGBTQ--I am not trying to take any one's experience or re-cast their own sexual/gendered history. Reasonable minds, however, do vary as to the nature of sexual desires and orientations, particularly more fluid orientations.

That being said, this post is purely political. In a world of equality, it would not matter whether you were forced by some sort of innate inclination or freely chose to love someone of your own sex. But, in a world rampant with homophobia, the argument "accept me because I can't help that I'm queer" continues to posit queerness as less than heterosexuality.

I will say, I don't hear many members of the LGBTQ community pitching that argument--but that is the rationale I have heard time and time again from numerous "allies." I think it's about time we set the record straight: it's okay to choose.

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