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I don't really care if I was born that way

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Or: appeal to nature is not the only way to prove that people deserve rights.

There are a few videos online interviewing people on the street on the question of when they decided to be straight. The point of course is for people to answer that they never really chose and that it just felt right, leading them to see the parallel and understand that gay people don't choose to be gay. It's a fun rhetorical trick and makes for a good video. It counters the narrative that heterosexuality is a natural, default, and correct orientation, a narrative that is used to demonize and discriminate against gay people. Additionally, it counters the idea that one can "cure" homosexuality.

Many people also point to the fact that homosexuality exists in nature outside of humanity as a way to counter the idea that it is unnatural.

Appeals to nature

However, I think using the fact that gay people didn't choose to be gay is a flawed way of arguing for gay rights on its own. It is, in a way, playing on the homophobe's terrain: the dangerous assumption that these kinds of arguments carry is that gayness is good because it is natural. This is known as an appeal to nature. Now, that assumption is not necessarily always present when arguing for gay rights (refuting the idea that gayness is unnatural requires arguing that it is natural after all), but I hear it enough to be pretty frustrated.

There is a host of classic counterexamples of things that are good but unnatural (say life-saving drugs or writing) as well as things that are bad and natural (say poisonous plants or herpes). In short, they are not the same thing. There is also a host of minority groups whose right to exist is all too often presented as being a result of their natural prevalence in the human population: gender and sexual minorities like gay and trans people, fat people, disabled people, drug users, and many more. To paraphrase, I hear a condescending "they can't help it" instead of "they're people like us".

Arguing that trans people have always existed throughout history or that fat people are fat for many reasons and not because of laziness and lack of willpower is absolutely fine activism, to be clear. But it's not the reason they deserve respect, recognition, and rights! If being trans really was just a fashionable trendy thing that people only started doing in 2010, it would still be a fine thing to be. If fat people had all purposely gained a lot of weight just because they felt like it, they would still deserve rights, actually.

You don't get to set the parameters of the debate on my existence

Minorities are not a burden, tolerated because they can't be forced not to be minorities. The reason they deserve rights is because people deserve rights. This kind of thinking is a lot like debating the actuality of meritocracy for me. It really doesn't matter whether being poor is someone's personal fault or caused by their nature or whatever else: people shouldn't have to live in poverty. Likewise, it shouldn't matter whether someone decided to be gay to deserve rights.

It's all too "in the weeds". We shouldn't have to justify ourselves on the reasons that we deserve rights. It's not negotiable.

Furthermore, this topic is especially iffy for me because of transmedicalism. Not only are trans people often told that there is something wrong with them, they're also told a criterion for being trans is having always wanted to transition. That if you didn't realize you were trans as a kid, you're not really trans. Similarly for people who end up changing their mind about being trans, or about their exact gender identity. It's all as if you're only allowed to be trans if you can't help it. If it's a decision, an interest, a change of mind, then it's your fault, you put yourself in that mess. In truth, I think the distinction between choice and nature is blurry when it comes to gender identity. This isn't really the subject but I doubt there is such a thing as a trans gene or a trans brain. So what if someone chose to "be a girl" just to try it, for fun? What's so wrong with that?

The appeal to nature can be effective, but I want to keep in mind the motivation behind it: the full liberation of the marginalized from policing and oppression, and not the approval of the oppressor.