The anti-gay crowd believes that being gay is a choice. They really have to believe that–the choice otherwise is that God created gay and lesbian people. So there isn’t a choice for them–God didn’t create gay and lesbian people therefore it has to be a choice.
What is the definition of ‘choice’?
1.an act or instance of choosing; selection: Her choice of a computer was made after months of research. His parents were not happy with his choice of friends.
2.the right, power, or opportunity to choose; option: The child had no choice about going to school.
3.the person or thing chosen or eligible to be chosen: This book is my choice. He is one of many choices for the award.
4.an alternative: There is another choice.
5.an abundance or variety from which to choose: a wide choice of candidates.
6.something that is preferred or preferable to others; the best part of something: Mare’s Nest is the choice in the sixth race.
7.a carefully selected supply: This restaurant has a fine choice of wines.
8.a choice grade of beef.
9.worthy of being chosen; excellent; superior.
10.carefully selected: choice words.
11.(in the grading of beef in the U.S.) rated between prime and good.
12.of choice, that is generally preferred: A detached house is still the home of choice.
The noun choice has everything to do with making a decision. To make a choice is to make a decision. Let’s look at the definition of choose:
1.to select from a number of possibilities; pick by preference: She chose Sunday for her departure.
2.to prefer or decide (to do something): He chose to run for election.
3.to want; desire.
4.(esp. in children’s games) to contend with (an opponent) to decide, as by odd or even, who will do something: I’ll choose you to see who gets to bat first.
–verb (used without object)
5.to make a choice: He chose carefully.
6.to be inclined: You may stay here, if you choose.
7.(esp. in children’s games) to decide, as by means of odd or even, who will do something: Let’s choose to see who bats first.
a.to select (players) for a contest or game: The boys chose up sides for the game.
b.to select players for a contest or game: We have to choose up before we can play.
9.cannot choose but, cannot do otherwise than; is or are obliged to: He cannot choose but obey.
Choose is a verb, meaning you have to do something. To choose is to make a decision between alternatives. I choose to do one thing and not the other.
So how does this fit into the anti-gay, ex-gay belief that being gay is a choice? It really doesn’t. There is no choice made. I didn’t choose to be either gay or straight. I am just gay. There wasn’t a choice here. I didn’t choose. Period.
But I can understand where they feel the need to say it is a choice. These ex-gays have made a choice to not be gay. That means they were gay in the first place and choose (or try to choose) not to be gay. A good example of this can be found at Scott’s blog. He gives a letter by an "ex-gay" Michael Glatze. Michael is upset that he received an underwear catalog. His response? "I am not going to purchase your evil and immoral underwear that entices me and my brothers and sisters to sin." So Glatze isn’t an ex-gay–he is a gay man who is trying not to be who he really is. If he is "enticed to sin" by an underwear ad, then he is still gay. He isn’t an ex-gay.
So the ex-gays didn’t choose to be gay because if they did, it should be pretty easy to decide not to be gay.
No one in their right mind is going to choose to be part of a despised minority (at least despised by some–but certainly not all). No one is going to choose to be in a separate-but-nearly equal category. No one is going to choose to be in a relationship in which the government makes all the rules. No one is going to choose to be called names and be the object of violence.
So when they say it is a choice, remember that it really isn’t. To choose means to make a decision. When you don’t choose, it isn’t a choice.