Opinion: Sexual orientation is always a personal choice

Opinion: Sexual orientation is always a personal choice

By Adrian Maldonado

Sexual orientation is absolutely a choice.

Now this isn’t meant to be an attack on the LGBT community. I know people that identify as LGBT and hold them dear to me. But it’s time for me to own up to my beliefs.

Why do I believe this? It comes down to identity.

During the first few years of life, you are not pressured into finding your identity.

Sure there can be a few labels thrown around. The bully, the jock, the nerd, the chubby kid, the class clown, etc. But none of these are much more than that, labels.

Yet as you grow older, you are expected to find out who you are.

It’s then that you discover there is more to identity than the way an individual behaves. It’s based on your beliefs. It’s the way you process your emotions. It’s your self-image or self-esteem, and so much more. Self-identity is psychological.

Sexual orientation is what we use to measure and comprehend what we do or don’t like. It is more than just what we find pleasing aesthetically. It is an emotional bond you develop with another person, whether it be a man or woman.

We as people are wired to be social creatures. We love social connections and crave emotional intimacy. Because of this we are capable of forming deep emotional bonds with others outside of our sexual orientation. Once a person forms an emotional connection with someone, the possibility of a romantic relationship is there.

Even if it’s a 0.000001 percent chance of it happening, it exists.

We would just choose not to act on it if we didn’t find it morally correct or it doesn’t line up with our religious beliefs.

According to an article by the New Scientist, neuroscientists proposed a theory of individuals being born with “gay” genes. Meaning they were able to spot variations on a region of the X-chromosome between homosexual and heterosexual men. However, the article states that even if men had these genes, not all of them act on their impulses. This is why I believe sexual orientation comes down to personal choice.

While I have no ill will to the “Born This Way” mantra, I don’t see it as anything besides a slogan meant to sell T-shirts. We have free will.

I choose the food I eat, the literature I read, the clothes I wear, the people I hang out with, what I do with my time, what music I listen to and who I find sexually compatible, all because it’s my right to do so.

— Adrian Maldonado is a journalism major and a reporter