The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

SMU students gather around a bucket of markers to write an encouraging note to put in “Welcome to the Shelter” kits at event in mid-April on SMU’s campus.
Dallas homeless recovery center, The Bridge, is a home
Morgan Shiver, Contributor • June 20, 2024

I am not a ‘behavior’: a response to Allsup

I am not a behavior: a response to Allsup

I’ve never actually been attracted to men. Watching “Will and Grace” just made it look so fun, and wow! More than one thousand partners? I may like only women, but I need some action, where do I sign up!?!

Maybe that isn’t believable. Would you rather hear how I was abused as a little boy? My father never loved me, the priest raped me, and my older sister put me in dresses and makeup. That’s how I became gay.

Would you rather that was the case? That’s what Mr. Allsup would like you to believe, as presented in his opinion piece, “Celebrate Recovery.”

Curious sexaholics and societal tragedies sure support his argument more than the truth. In all honesty, I lived a perfectly normal childhood. I played sports, ate dinner with my entire family every night and read X-Men comic books. The only difference is that I really, really liked Scott Summers.

Now, I didn’t know anything about homosexuality back then; I only knew what I saw around me, and that was men in love with women. Now that I know better, I can look back and recognize that my first crush was with a fictional, male mutant. I never chose to love Cyclops, I just couldn’t resist his charms.

Any ideas that homosexuality is a choice are so outlandish that I’m consistently amazed they’re even given credit anymore. Any straight man claiming he has chosen to face the hatred, intolerance, homophobic violence, political discrimination and societal stigma that comes with homosexuality was never straight to begin with.

You pick where you want to live, what color sweater to buy, or what kind of cheese to have on your sandwich. No one chooses his or her sexuality.

Mr. Allsup cited William Masters’ study “Human Sexuality” as support, saying, “The genetic theory of homosexuality has been generally discarded today. Well that’s impressive, until you take a quick look through the Library of Congress, listings and discover that the last edition of this book was written 11 years ago.

I would like to bring up Stefan Lovgren’s article, entitled “Sexy Smells Different for Gay, Straight Men, Study Says,” which shows how gay men’s brains function differently, and how “The findings suggest that brain activity and sexual orientation are linked.” It also supports an opinion held by most scientists, that people are born-not bred-gay.

Sorry, Mr. Allsup. That one was published by National Geographic on May 10, 2005. But that’s all right, let’s look at some more statistics mentioned in Allsup’s article. How about that incredible statistic saying 60 percent of gay men have more than 250 partners and how 28 percent have more than 1000. That’s pretty staggering.

Not so much, however, when you realize “Homosexualities,” the book providing that statistic, was written in 1979. Yes, the 70s; the era of the bathhouse. If those statistics are even anywhere near accurate, the data was compiled in a time when most states still considered homosexuality illegal and society was even more hostile to gays than it is now.

Committed relationships would only reveal their orientation to the world and make them targets. For most gay men, anonymous sex was the only option.

In 1973, the American Psychiatric Association declared that homosexuality was not a disorder. The sickness in our country comes, rather, from minds like Ted Haggard’s.

Haggard complains that he never had a community to support him? As the cliché goes, he made his bed and now the world knows the prostitute who lay in it. He helped to create the community that could not support him.

The sickness comes from men like Russell Allsup, who may have the best intentions, but nevertheless do immeasurable damage to society. Remember how difficult it was for you to go through puberty? Or how much fun middle school was as your mind and body transitioned?

Now, imagine those years, realizing that you are gay and all you hear are people telling you that who you are becoming is something to be ashamed of, a dirty secret, a sinful perversion and certain to send you to Hell if you don’t change.

And Mr. Allsup wonders why gay men are “three times more suicidal than heterosexuals.” Confusing cause and effect is one more skewed statistic so eagerly introduced as proof. Mr. Allsup, don’t you see how you’re hurting the very demographic you’re trying to save?

Maybe when people say ‘choice,’ they only mean the choice between accepting inherent identity or struggling against it because the Bible tells them to. But I defy you to tell the members of Dallas’ Cathedral of Hope, the world’s largest GLBT congregation, that they are sinful in the eyes of God.

Stop citing Sodom and Gomorrah as proof that homosexuality is sinful unless you’re willing to support the rape of Lot by his two daughters. Stop screaming about Leviticus unless you’re willing to bring the same scorn to someone with tattoos who’s wearing a cotton-linen blend.

And stop trying to change orientation. A founding member of Exodus International left the organization to live in a loving, same-sex relationship. Isn’t that enough?

Try believing that God created this world and everything in it, including homosexuals. Spread compassion so that men like Ted Haggard no longer have to live a life of self-loathing and denial. Help the world understand.

I am not a behavior pattern.

I am not a choice.

I am not a perversion.

I am not a sin.

I am gay, and have been since the day I was born.

About the writer:

Travis Acreman is a sophomore theatre major. He can be reached at [email protected].

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