A Gay Gene?


Yes, I know this article and study do not prove anything. But what if there IS a gay gene? Should we identify it? Look for it? I’m not sure that we should, but I can see the positives and negatives to finding it.

On the positive side, it will eventually silence those who say that homosexuality is a choice – all but the most science-denying religious Creationists, I assume. However, they are too busy mating with their cousins or preaching that gay marriage will doom society somehow…as if we are a legion of mutant ninjas who can only truly power up when paired in state and federally recognized unions. It will give much ground to the theory that to discriminate against gays is like discriminating against another race or ethnicity. It may also therefore scientifically support not just tolerance (who wants to be simply tolerated?) but acceptance.

But that’s when the scenario turns sour to me. I’m trying not to be a glass-half-empty kind of guy, but I think society could split here. Either homosexuality becomes no more of an issue than having dark hair, or light eyes, or dark skin (because that’s never an issue, right? *rolls eyes*), or it becomes something that sets one apart. Something that makes an entire group of people intrinsically, genetically different.

History has never been kind to those who cannot help but be different. In fact, history shows us that society tends to treat them worse, see them as others, outsiders, even sub human. How many wars can be boiled down to, “You are different from me, therefore I hate you and must rid the world of your brazen intrusion”?

This does sound like a histrionic, far-fetched, right-wing nutjob theory, especially with all the advancements we have made just this year in equality, but following that line, how long is it before we end up in special gay schools or gay workplaces? Or gay camps? Yes, I can hear thousands of jokes ringing out about that one, and I can make a few myself, but “different” usually translates to “inferior” (the alternative is to see oneself as inferior, and that just isn’t going to happen. Considering someone different as an equal rarely occurs). And being seen as inferior, historically speaking, has ended up in much pain and suffering. Gays were once put into camps by people who saw them as both different and inferior, you see. Along with gypsies, political prisoners, and Jews. And we know how that turned out.

Coming back to the subject of segregation, whether enforced or voluntary, exposure to gay people makes it commonplace, makes it accepted, erases that divide between us and them a little more every day. It lessens that impact, that feeling of alienation, and heightens compassion. My father was a straight-laced, religious, bigoted jock douchebag…until I came out. It didn’t quite crumble his bigotry. That didn’t happen until my sister came out, too.

Here was a man whose concept of his religion caused him to be disgusted by and hate homosexuality. Suddenly, he was forced to come to terms with the fact that two people he knows and loves are gay. They are that vicious Other that so terrifies the masses. He still struggles with reconciling his religion and his gay kids, but that’s his fight. All I can do is expose him to just enough to allow him to see that I don’t have some xenomorph living inside of me which causes me to be different. It’s just how I am. And maybe, just maybe, when he sees another gay person, he will think about his kids and how he would want someone to treat them, and maybe he will be a little nicer, a little kinder, a little more understanding.

And if this gene is discovered, other issues could some up. I don’t even have time to go into the more likely scenario of gene suppression. If they can find it, they can potentially “cure” or suppress it, right? During the coming out process, just about every last gay person wishes for this. If we find a gay gene, a parent’s response could range from “Don’t worry. You were just born different” to “Fix him! Find the gene and fix it!” to “Our baby is going to be born gay? Should we keep it?” Religious sorts would first deny, then see it as a test from God – “To deny these impulses is divine; He made you like this to be one of His disciples!” I believe most people would just shrug and move on with their lives. Unfortunately, it’s those fringe types that make the most noise and get the corresponding media coverage.

Honestly, I’m torn. I know a great deal of this is over exaggerated conjecture, a logical fallacy, a slippery slope based only on an admittedly suffocating view of human society. Sometimes we evolve, we grow, and we come together. But usually it is this concept of us and them, of separation that allows atrocities to happen. And discoveries like this will solidify those differences for some. Gays will become not people, but afflicted. Sick. Others. Outsiders. And from there, anything can happen.


~ by Darren Endymion on November 24, 2014.

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