On The Right Track, Baby?: Should LGBT Campaigning Use The Narrative That LGBT People Are 'Born This Way'?

Perspective Writers' Votes
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Should the LGBT rights movement campaign using the narrative that queer individuals were "born that way" ?

Pros
Cons
  • The "born this way" narrative appeals to individuals and groups who might otherwise be skeptical of or hostile to LGBT rights.

  • There is increasing evidence that there may be some genetic basis for sexual orientation.

  • If the narrative is understood and applied to mean "born this (fluid) way," then BTW lends itself effectively both to LGBT+ advocates who emphasize aspects of nature, and to those who emphasize nurture or social mechanisms in influencing sexuality and gender.

  • While some may say not all LGBT people were 'born this way' it's a testimony to our right as humans. We are human. We were born LGBT. Just like any other human, we were born this way.

  • It is scientifically (or statistically) confirmed that born this way cannot be changed. Suggesting otherwise, that it is "social construct" or something gives a point to opponents of legalization that this "construct" is actually anti-social and hence should not be tolerated.

  • Removing 'born this way' from the narrative would open the door for conversion therapy and other attempts to change someone's sexuality or identity by insinuating it is subject to alteration by circumstance or outside entities/factors. It could also validate those who feel interaction with LGBT individuals, or certain activities and media, may 'turn' someone gay, and thus embolden them to lash out at those individuals, activities, and media.

  • In interviews of LGBT people -particularly the ones who had hard times because of their sexual orientation due to family / society etc.- they claim that they had these feelings from early chilhood. For sure this makes it easier for others to understand- because it means that it is not a conscious choice, rather it is very similar to being heterosexual

  • "Born this way" forces LGBT individuals to justify their humanity by appealing to "nature", rather than their human dignity or the intrinsic worthiness of their choices.

  • Individuals may not be 'born this way' and it is incorrect to campaign as though sexuality (and by extension, gender) are inherent rather than social constructs.

  • Infants do not experience sexual attraction. And tall people aren't born tall. They are born with the predisposition to become tall later in life.

  • No, because it commits the naturalistic fallacy. Whether you are born that way is irrelevant, and assumes that to have chosen to be that way would be wrong. The scientific fact of sexuality being biological is as obvious as it should be morally irrelevant. It is at best an apologist's stepping stone to convincing people who believe LGBT is intrinsically immoral and need an initial path to sympathizing with these people. I argue that is aims too low. We believe are right, and we should be bolder.

  • No, born this way implies there is a LGBT Gene. Babies have genes, yet they physiologically cannot conceptualize sexual attraction, therefore genes alone do not dictate sexual orientation. Born this way hurts the LGBT cause because it allows scientist to argue against its main campaign slogan.

  • "Born this way" implies that LGBT people deserve rights only because they can't help it rather than the lack of any harm caused by their existence.

  • The response to any irrational prejudice or discrimination, is rational criticism. By asking a question which disregards the facts pertaining to the genetic bases for sexuality, one enters into a discussion on the terms and assumptions that initiate the prejudice in the first place.

  • Sexuality is much more fluid than many people give it credit for. Male bi-sexuality in ancient Rome and Greece was prevalent but they were not significantly genetically different from people today and as we see the acceptance of (relatively) non-traditional sexuality grow, the number of people who identify as LGBT grows along with it. This, as with any behavioral trend, can be explained better by social and cultural means than by biological ones.

  • Furthering the cause based on ideas of biology and genetics is valuable, but only to a certain degree. Making it the only argument for securing rights is not helpful in the long run. The overall strategy should be making sure people treat others well and fairly without regard to etiology.

  • The 'Born This Way' ideal seems to hold that infant/parent biology is the sole factor that determines sexuality because it comes from the parents DNA. However, considering how many environmental mutations can occur, the decision to be homosexual can happen anytime in life, even if the person was born with strong homosexual tendencies. However, how environmental factors has been coded to interpret these tendencies, and recode the ideal, may physically change the person's sexuality.

  • If LGBT takes the phrase seriously and truly believes they are born that way and therefore can't change then what right do they have to expect anyone else to change? Anybody can claim they were born with tendencies that run counter to their ways and ideals and make that case for remaining as they are.