Friday, March 14, 2014

The REAL gay (Family) question: Nature or Nurture

The REAL gay (family) question:  Nature versus Nurture ...

So do you think that we have decided the question on Nature versus Nurture?  Well, we haven't.  No, I don't mean the question on if a gay person "chooses" to become gay.  We've all heard that question for years.  Granted, there are still quite a few heterosexual people (especially religious ones) who believe it is due to a choice or due to issues with dear 'old mummy or daddy.  

Nurture.  Mommy babied him too much.  If she would've let him play with cars, instead of dolls ... or had him play sports, instead of listen to music.  Well, unless those weren't the case.  Then, well, things are okay.  She only had older and younger brothers around her, so she became a tomboy.  That seems to always equate to being a lesbian, unless of course, it doesn't.  Then, she is just purely athletic and such.  My family is living proof of some of those just not working.  I have a sister, who was (is) very athletic.  She played in multiple sports and was on scholarship at the Collegiate level.  She isn't a lesbian.  In fact, she is a happily married mom of 5 kids.  Oh.  

I played a lot of sports growing up, as well.  And, yes, they were both individual and team sports.  I never played with dolls. No, I forced my sisters to play with cars and ride bikes.  I didn't dance about in a dress.  But, that wouldn't have made me gay.  I just was.  It wasn't because my Mom was too close to me.  I was always fiercely independent.  It wasn't because my Dad wasn't close enough to me.  He worked, but was involved in our lives.  Oh.  

So much for that theory.  The good news is that, even though there are still a lot of people out there who believe being gay is a choice or a result of nurturing, the number is going down.  More of those people are questioning these theories and coming up with the answer, "I don't know what makes a person gay."  We'll take that movement.  Even more people are coming up with a different answer of "I don't think it is a choice."  We are glad that people are hearing us, finally.  

So, what is the question?  Nature versus Nurture?  Yes, I mean for gay families.  If a gay person wants a family, is it nature or nurture?  Now, I know that there are a lot of gay people that don't want a family.  There are a lot of straight people who don't want a family, too.  But, the fact that out of a group of supposedly anti-family gay people, the numbers of gays who want to be married is rising; so are the numbers of gays who want to have kids.  

WAIT a minute!  I thought gay people were against kids.  Aren't they the reason families are breaking up and falling apart?  Every time a straight person gets a divorced, isn't it the fault of a gay person?  Well, in some cases, it is (okay ... that was a sarcastic joke).  No, it isn't their fault.  When a kid rebels against their parents, it isn't the fault of gay people, either.  More and more gay couples are adopting and having kids (I'll ignore the snickers, here ... you know what I mean!).  

I've always wanted to have a family.  While I know that being gay is not from my upbringing.  Nothing about my growing up would say it is okay to be gay.  I come from a rural, religious, conservative family.  All of those would point to being anti-gay.  Yet, here I am.  But, where and how I grew up was all about the family.  Most people I knew growing up (including my family) had dinner together as a family.  They went to school plays and concerts as a family.  They attended church together, as a family.  It is what I knew.  I am Mormon.  The Mormon church believes that the family is one of the most fundamental parts of the religion.  It is a big reason they are anti-gay marriage.  They are afraid it will ruin the family (and many Mormons are just afraid of gays).  

Does my wanting to have a family come from my upbringing (nurture) or is it inherent to some people's being (nature)?  This is more difficult to answer for me.  I look to my very large Mormon family and think of the countless family reunions (with almost 60 cousins on one side), family vacations to the mountains and to the rivers and to visit relatives, family activities at my church and wonder how much of a part did they play in my desires.  It had to play some part in it, but did it just build on my natural desire to be with someone and want to have kids?  

Either way (nature or nurture), it doesn't matter.  The modern family is changing and it is starting to look more like what I envision.  

As much as my religion, family background, small town upbringing, etc. played in my life, I am thankful.  It has helped make me who I am today.  It may have also helped me want to be with someone I love and help raise some kids.  I am still unsure about the mini-van, but I think I would adjust.  

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