****Edit: I wrote this when I was feeling depressed and I realize my error of over-generalizing my statements!****
It is undeniable that if progress continues as it has been, in the next 10 years, our world will look very different compared to now. As we speak, there are a whole bunch of scientists world-wide, doing multitudes of experiments to give more knowledge and better technology to our world.
To start off, I do not go by a specific label, but I still consider myself apart of this group. Although, in my opinion, "Gay Rights" should really be apart of "Civil Rights" as the former implies a distinct separation between gay and straight people. LGBT people have gained a strong political platform, but I disagree with the statement that "we are born gay". Ever since I discovered I had feelings for the same-sex when 15 years-old, I never settled well with "we're born that way". I believe that genes play an important role, yet it doesn't fully define our sexual orientation. Sexual orientation can be discovered at a very young age, yet I still believe that it is a developing process that eventually becomes ingrained, in most cases. No one is born either gay, straight, or bi as people do not develop much, sexually, until puberty hits.
Despite what many LGBT people and others think about sexual orientation, there is very little science backing their statements. Also, we have to mention that there are still many LGBT people, including myself, struggling with coming to terms with our own gender and orientation, even with general social progress. Then there are many religious groups who are working to "correct" homosexuality, further increasing the pressure. There are even a few secular groups who work to "help" people struggling with their orientation. There has been much self-denial, depression, self-harm, and suicide-attempts because of attraction to the same-sex. I've even experienced, personally, what I've mentioned in the former sentence, as for many, if not, most of us, are caused much stressed in a variety of ways because of our orientation/gender. I want to be hopeful that one day, it simply won't matter, but I see there is a different trend at work.
Scientists are already to manipulate the sexual behavior of animals like rats. They have been able to change what we consider love and affection in these animals. In society, there are many concerns regarding paraphilia and you can bet scientists are looking for a way to correct it which can prevent rape, child-rape, incest, and bestiality. Even though homosexuality has slowly become more socially acceptable, many people still find it to be an abnormality. Many LGBT people who haven't come to terms will say that if there was an option to change their feelings, they would. I'm proud of those who have already come to terms with it, but I believe there are many more struggling quietly.
Maybe in the near future, say several decades or, at most, a couple of centuries, scientists find a way to make anyone attracted to the opposite-sex. Many LGBT people today observe their pre-dominantly heterosexual environment and wish to have an opposite sex partner with children as well. If the science prevails with an undeniable solution, who would deny it, besides those who have already come to terms with their feelings? If I were presented with that solution, I'd feel that life would be much easier, but I also worry that I'd be submitting myself to the notion that "heterosexuality is superior" and it isn't inherently superior. No one ever says "I want a gay child". They will either wish for a straight one or just accept the person that their child becomes. Who would complain about a purely heterosexual environment if there was really a way to change all other attractions that typically create dysfunctional connections in our society? If such a solution came to be, LGBT people, as we know them, would eventually be bred out of existence.
I've been thinking about this for a long time. I AM NOT saying that LGBT people SHOULD be bred out of existence, but who would resist a passive solution that doesn't require self-denial? There also wouldn't be nearly as many family related complications regarding sexuality.
What do you guys think about this, have you thought about this, and what do you think about the future of LGBT people?
I find it hard to respect people's beliefs in things they cannot defend and religions are at the top of that list. However I can tolerate them the same way as I do a neighbor who roofed his work shed with beer and soft drink cans he split open and recycled.
I respect the person and I respect the person's right to believe whatever they want. I still reserve the right to think that the belief is indefensible, and as such I don't have to respect it.
I don't think that such possibilities (e.g. of gender identity manipulation by medication) are very far-fetched or long off, as we dive more rapidly into neuroscience and genome-tailored medication. I think some people will be willing to experiment with it.
More significantly, I'd be more worried about intolerant governments and cultures who might consider forcefully prescribing (or even just strongly encouraging) such medications.
I have to disagree strongly with your assertion that 'there is little science backing their statements'. There is a lot of science backing the idea that homosexuality is inborn. It's the best kind of science, too, a kind based on a search for the opposite conclusion, which only reaches the truth when it's exhausted every possible excuse for not settling there. I refer, of course, to the (horribly) religiously-motivated efforts to prove that same-sex attraction is learned or that it can be cured. I grew up very near to a vanguard of such research, BYU; even they now have to admit that it's a pretty basic part of a person, certainly not subject to change without significant reconfiguration of the brain. Though it's not mentioned as often, the same can be said of pedophilia and bestiality. Uncomfortable though these things are, they are an integral part of the person who manifests them, and one cannot speak of 'curing' them without seriously considering what damage that procedure would do to the victim's identity.
In short, the available evidence (and there is actually quite a lot of it) suggests that a person's basic markers for attraction are basically fixed and invariable over their lifetimes, after puberty of course. Everyone's sexual preferences can, in theory, be represented by a definite range on the Kinsey scale; some people's range is strongly towards the same-sex end of the spectrum, some towards the opposite-sex, some have a very wide range and some very narrow, but any one person's range does not seem to change very much at all.
As to the question of identity, I think you have to ask yourself how much of your distaste for being LGBTQ is socially based. We have all felt rejected or maligned by the hetero world at one point, but do you actually imagine life being much easier/happier/more fulfilling if you weren't LGBT? I have certainly asked myself that question; while I have always recognized that being hetero would perhaps be 'easier' in some ways, the key for me is that these are ALL social reasons, and, in truth, I am sort of repulsed by the idea of myself as a straight person. In this, at least, there is something of your feeling that identity is learned, not born. My biological sexual proclivities were almost certainly determined before I was born, but my identity was a lifetime in the making. I know people who are gay who are nonetheless disgusted by their own same-sex attraction, usually because their sense of identity is strongly bound up with a religion that teaches that homosexuality is sinful. Identity is certainly a partial product of environment, and there is a fruitful discussion to be had about the extent to which it can and should be changed.
I cannot recommend strongly enough the new book by Andrew Solomon, 'Far from the Tree', which explores the subject of 'horizontal' identities, i.e. those that are not inherited from ones parents. Homosexuality is most often such an identity; he also covers dwarfism, schizophrenia, autism and down syndrome, discussing how people build their identity around these things, the extent to which they accept them as parts of themselves.
You're right, Brian.
I see this all the time in gays my age more than in older ones. Professional victims and aspiring martyrs who perceive their sexual identities as the reason for everything bad that has happened and might happened to them. There's one of them who can't carry on ten minutes of conversation with some inference to his life as a second rate citizen or his inevitable fate as one of a persecuted minority. A few weeks back I reached boiling point with him over it. Naturally he interpreted my response as one more example of the victimization he has has to endure.
I've never seen myself that way and have a hard time relating to people who do. I was raised a catholic and attended a catholic schools. In spite of that, as a young teen when I was becoming aware of being something other than heterosexual I never perceived my sexual identity as a something that was wrong or defective but as something I needed to understand and grow into.
I've never bought into the whole labeling game about sexual identity either which kept me from trying to make myself fit into any definition except my own as an individual. I am me. The fact that I'm attracted to men is less than a tenth of who I am. I do my best to make it hard for people to define me just on that small part of what makes me who I am.
He's a 27 yr old pampered vindictive flamboyant gay rich boy with a degree in business who thinks everyone is supposed to be impressed with him because of who his dad and mom are. Highly dramatic and conceited. He "harassed' so many male employees and customers at his parents business they created a special jib description for him so that he can work from home rather than at their big large known store. Everything from a wrong order at a drive through to not being invited to parties is taken as discrimination based on his being gay. Example: He came to my house without calling back in May when my future husband a PhD in psychology was here. We were on our way to a family cook out. He expect my BF to give him an alternate opinion on counseling from his own psychologist but was politely turned down. (by me) 48 hours later talk was going around that my BF had no interest in helping gay people. And he wonders why people don't like him.
I'm like you about the thinking gays in my age group (mid 20s) seem to be outspoken and confrontational than the majority of gays 40 to 60 but that's not saying the older gays aren't involved. Many of them just don't want to be in the spotlight but work behind the scenes. This past winter a state representative made some pretty indefensible remarks about gay people. By the time it hit the news and I heard about it three separate high school gay clubs had invited him to meet them at restaurants to explain his POV and hear theirs. That led to a move by older gays to pitch in and pay for the restaurant events which the representative chose not to show up for. Victory team "us." Now he's remembered for being afraid of high school kids.