Night Owl Mk. II

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Boldfaced statements are parts of the original essay (or a subsequent reply) to which the respondent has directed his comments.

Italicized/emphasized comments prefaced by (R) are those of the respondent and are presented unedited.

My replies appear under the respondent's comments in blue text and are prefaced by my initials (MB).

(R) I read your article regarding homosexuality, and I must say it is probably one of the most truly balanced pieces I've read regarding the subject. There is one thing that I'd like to ask you about, though.
(MB) Thanks for your comments. Let's hear what you have to say...

(R) In your article, you basically said that if homosexuality isn't caused by genetics, it must be a willing choice. However, I don't think that those those two options cover the entire range of possibilities. What's your take on the viewpoint that while homosexuality may not be genetic, it could be caused by various psychological factors present in a person's childhood?
(MB) In other words, could homosexuality be something that is "forced upon you" by something (presumably traumatic) that occurred in one's childhood? I don't buy that any more than I believe that *anything* is "forced upon you" by a previous experience.
    Whenever something traumatic happens to any given individual, that person will naturally have some reaction to it. Many people deal with it successfully and the event becomes little more than a bad memory. Others don't know how to handle it and go into what might be called "avoidance mode". In other words, they react by behaving in ways that will make it less likely that the event will happen again. However, both reactions are choices. Even though a choice may not be a satisfying one, it is still "willing" since one could always choose otherwise (even though he may well rationalize that he can't).

(R) Keep in mind, when I say "homosexuality," I refer only to the actual attraction felt towards others of the same sex, not any lifestyle choices, such as the choice to be a drag queen or not, or to be a leather fetishist or not, and so forth. While I agree with you wholeheartedly that such behaviors are most definitely choices and as such should not be defended with protestions of bigotry, I don't think the same reasoning applies to gay people who don't particularly dress or act any differently from the mainstream.
(MB) Obviously, homosexuality can be expressed in various degrees of public visibility (so can heterosexuality, for that matter). Whether or not one flaunts their sexuality in public, it is still practiced in private. I don't think that most people's opposition to homosexuality would disappear if there was no public flaunting of it. Remember that homosexuality (and opposition to it) has been around throughout human history while public flaunting of it is only a recent development.

(R) I guess I should explain myself. To me, explaining away homosexuality per se as enitrely a choice sounds vaguely criticizing.
(MB) The criticism was meant to be leveled at those who argue that homosexuality should meet with general approval because homosexuals "have no choice" about how they behave.

(R) I do realize that you probably intended your article to have somewhat of a critical tone in the first place. I'm just not sure it's quite fair to extend that criticism to homosexuals as a whole, since not all homosexuals run around protesting that everybody's out to get them.
(MB) The behavior still exists and still inspires a generally negative reaction despite how many homosexuals go around protesting against that reaction. Again, the protests are a relatively recent thing while the behavior (and the reactions to it) is old.

(R) My ultimate idea, I suppose, is this: if it's possible that homosexuality in and of itself is not a choice, should *all* homosexuals be criticized for the actions of a few?
(MB) I think there's a few apples and oranges being mixed here. Again, the behavior itself can be criticized separately from the actions of some of those who practice it or protest in favor of it. Consider that it's also entirely possible to approve of homosexuality while still being against the activities of some gay activists.

(R) At any rate, thank you for taking the time to read this rather drawn-out babble. =) I'm not quite sure I expressed myself quite the way I wanted to, but hopefully you'll know what I'm trying to say. Ciao for now.
(MB) Thanks for taking the time to express your own views on this issue. I hope I've answered your questions satisfactorally.

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