In the “SLCC hosts transgender forum” article dated April 6, 2011, clarification is needed regarding a statement that was made. The article stated sexual orientation is a choice according to speaker Jonathan Stowers. However, further elaboration is needed on his remarks.
Jonathan Stowers has since explained the different definitions for the words in this topic.
“This topic is confusing because us, American society, tries to make it binary. We want there to be only two choices, that everyone is either straight or gay,” Stowers said. “It is far more complicated than that. To talk about this topic one must be perfectly clear about the definitions of the words one uses.”
Stowers defines the context used when he references the following terms:
· Sex – is biological based on chromosomes.
· Gender – is a social construct. Societies decide what is “masculine”, and what is “feminine.”
· Sexual Orientation – is a social construct. Society defines what is “heterosexual,” and or “homosexual” or “transgender.”
· Sexual practice – is a personal choice. What you do, and with whom, and how often, that’s all a personal choice.
· Sexual attraction/aversion – is inexplicable, though there are hundreds of theories. No one can explain why they are attracted to certain people and not others.
“This explains the problems in today’s social discourse. People who identify as straight may say homosexuality or transgenderism is all a choice because they focus on what people do, not on how they feel,” Stowers said. “Some straight people, relying on their own attractions for other people sex/gender, assume that queer people choose to ignore their “normal” attractions and perform these strange actions.”
He goes on to state, “Queer people say they were born this way because they can’t explain why they are attracted to those they are attracted to. Queer people do not want to be judged on their sexual practice, since those actions are private and personal.”
He finishes by saying, “Those who say it’s a choice are focusing on sexual practice. Those who say they were born this way are focusing on sexual attraction.”