Being gay: choice or nature?

Tell me, what is the first thing that crosses your mind when you see two men walking down the street – holding hands.

Rather picture this, you walk into a bar or any other social place for that matter, its dark, but immediately you spot two ladies making out in the corner. Queer? Normal? Totally gay? Or all of the above?


Well it doesn’t matter, because we are heading into an era where we need to decide what’s ‘morally acceptable’ or not. And quick, because that’s all we’ve got. All other rational thinking has been thrown out the window.

I was at a recent debate held here in town and I left with so many unanswered questions that made me deduce that I shouldn’t have gone to the event in the first place. If there’s any one thing I dislike, it’s doubting my beliefs. The heading of the debate read ‘Sexual Minority’ and clearly I knew beforehand what was going to be discussed. What I didn’t know was what would be the supporting points to the motion.

Walking in, I found a certain professor giving a lecture on human rights. I should’ve guessed that that would be his foundation. So he tells us, the crowd, that every human has a right to exercise his own desires. He defines ‘sexual orientation’ as a state and practice of emotional attraction to men/women, and classifies four types of orientation: Bisexual, Heterosexual, Homosexual, Asexual.

The last one means ‘having no sexual desires’ just in case you didn’t know. So he continues and says that whatever sexual orientation you have, it is natural to you.

That it should not be a reason to discriminate against another group because it is not their choice to be what they are, it is just the way they were born. Hmmm…interesting…

My brain is already at work here. So in a nutshell, being gay is not a choice, its a natural thing. You are born gay just like someone else is born ‘normal’.

Does that make sense to you?

By now, you’ve already guessed where the conversation is headed. Give gay people their rights from marriage to even parenting responsibilities. But I look around and I see faces of indecision, caught between acceptance and a little doubt. As Africans, does the ‘culture’ and ’standard’ we live in permit us to accommodate such behavior?

The good professor says that homophobes hide behind the skirts of culture and religion to defend their thinking. They are hypocrites because they have defined people like murders, rapists and even pedophiles in society, but not ‘homosexuals’. All these semantics can be really confusing but at the end of the day, its really how you perceive the situation.

They say that sexuality is like a pendulum. It can swing in any way, either front or backwards. At one point, everybody’s got a ‘little gay’ in them. Don’t frown at me, frown at the individual who came up with the theory! The lesson being; we should never judge others too harshly because you can wake up one day and find that your sexuality has swung the other way, so to speak. Your friend, partner, mother, father, uncle, child can be a victim at any one time. How will you react to it then?elton_john_and_partner_371456189.jpg

At the same panel, there is a pastor and I couldn’t help but think that this whole motion was planned to the last detail. ‘Mr. Pastor, obviously a religious leader, supports homosexuality by saying that when on earth, Jesus freely welcomed ‘vulnerables’ like children, women, the poor and sick, who were looked down on by society, into his abode. So he would definitely welcome gays and such like ‘vulnerables’ in his presence. Because he had such a big heart and respected all types of people. Wow! If only I could sample your opinions on that! For all bible readers, the Holy book clearly outlines its stand on homosexuality.

We should never try and impose our ideas and try to twist teachings on the same. Jesus never sat down with homosexuals. I wish he would have quoted another scripture like ‘love your neighbor as you love yourself’ or ‘love one another’. But I always believe that everyone is entitled to their own opinions no matter how absurd they are.

In our quest to reject all types of discrimination are we losing our grip on what is morally right? On religion? Or are we paving way to new types of thinking and ‘freeing’ ourselves from the ’slavery’ of culture?




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  1. Noma January 1st, 1970 at 12:00 am

    Being homosexual either for human rights issues or family acceptance should not be imprisoned into the nature-nurture binary. Such debates are limiting, until such a time when we can clearly articulate if heterosexuality is a choice or is inherent to humans, then perhaps we can engage in parellel discussions about homosexuality. As far as I know there is no gene that is telling of ones sexual orientaion including heterosexuality. What is 'normal' and inherent to humans regarding sexuality is debatable. Ofcourse, the shortcut which is often loaded with prejudice is culture and religion, along with instititions that have politically supported and maintained heterosexuality as the norm for different reasons, in different parts of the world. For instance, the MDC's latest stance on homosexuality in Zimbabwe is a politically strategic move ahead of the next elections. Again, the Ugandan anti-gay Bill, its initial supporter Bahati has for years been receiving support(both financial, mentorship etc.) from the The Family church in th US to fund different programmes provided that the politics are conservative (read the book "The Family" by Jeff Sharlet). So morality and religion for decades have been politicised for years to gain and maintain power while simultaneously marginalising some groups

  2. Ty Mukumu January 1st, 1970 at 12:00 am

    Dear writer

    Your own homophobia comes through quite clearly, even if you have attempted to mask it by quoting the professor.

    When you state that the professor wants us to believe that being gay is not a choice, then proceed on to say and I quote, "…So in a nutshell, being gay is not a choice, its a natural thing. You are born gay just like someone else is born ‘normal'…" What are you saying? That gays are abnormal? Capitalfm should pull off this homophobic article.

  3. Ndunge January 1st, 1970 at 12:00 am

    this is total rubbish…..this gay nonsense should stop!!!!NO ONE IS BORN GAY…there's nothing like homophobia coz the practice should not be in existence in the 1st place….

  4. Deedee January 1st, 1970 at 12:00 am

    First of all, I would like to thumbs up Jeanette for this article. Personally, I think it is wrong for people to practice homosexuality. I don't know about other religions but The Christian Bible clearly condemns it. Have you by any chance heard of Sodom and Gomorrah??? Woe unto you!!! I have been reading a few blogs by gay guys and I must say that I am truly shocked!! What kind of nonsense is this??

  5. Ms Namiinda September 24th, 2013 at 2:33 pm

    I would not identify as a lesbian but on reading your article I have not been informed of anything about this particular sub-culture. What I got from your article is bias and your research or lack thereof is wanting. You took a stand before understanding what you are discussing and ended up giving us your opinion.

  6. A_Makena September 24th, 2013 at 6:17 pm

    the term natural laterally means ‘from nature’. so, if we find homosexual bhavior in nature, then homosexuality can be said to be natural. the thing is, it happens among some canines, aquatic mammals and even some primates…..

  7. K. Kelly Meine September 25th, 2013 at 8:04 am

    A) Did you choose to be straight? Can you tell me when you made that decision?
    B) Do you believe anyone would choose to limit their dating and sexual partner pool to only those who are also attracted to the same sex? Why would anyone choose to do it? Do you think that gay sex is JUST that tempting?
    C) Do you think anyone would choose to live with the social stigma which comes from being queer? If so, why?


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