When “gay” or “homosexual” meant somebody who predominately engaged in same-sex activities, the words had some use, but with an inherent and real danger that people, via this language, would come to assume that “gay person” or “homosexual person” was a real, distinct creature, something different than a “heterosexual person”, almost another species, which is impossible. People are now quite surprised when they learn, for instance, “homosexual” is a neologism only a century or so old. The OED reports 1892 for the first inclination, 1912 for the first creature. But why this innovation? Good question, that. Before answering, a short journey.
People now identify themselves, not as man or woman, the only biological possibilities (barring gross malfunction), these forming the (part of the) essence of human being, but as “gay” or “bisexual” or “hetero”, or one of a dozen, and growing, list of designators, and all “born that way”. (Don’t forget Yours Truly is created with inventing woofies, an untoward bit of satire that will probably turn around and bite him in the ass.) That this is proved false, not just by appeal to biology, which is sufficient, but by observing identical twins report same-sex attraction rates similar to non-twins, is everywhere ignored. If “orientation” were genetic, or people were “born that way”, both twins would report the same attractions; they do not, therefore, etc.
This proves the adage that when we lose our grip on language we lose the ability to think. Propaganda works. Consequences?
It is often observed, and therefore true, that some individuals engage in same-sex activities in their lives, usually in their youth or in prison or on a lonely mountain, only to turn later to wholly opposite-sex activities. People—many people—report, that is, being “gay” then not being “gay”. “Conversions”—itself the wrong word since it assumes “orientation” is a nature—happen. (Enter the distressing No True Gay-person fallacy: skip it.) The evidence for the fluidity in sexual behavior is overwhelming, and, anyway, used to be, for all of human history, common knowledge.
Before that common knowledge began to be banned, that is, in part because of the corruption of language. We have reached the point where to assert what is true is called “hate” or “hate speech”. Truth-sayers are routinely chased from society, hounded by spittle-flecked, shrieking mobs who belch, “Hater!” Hilarious, in its way. Words matter.
People have now become so frightened of being screeched at, that we have reached the point where this headline is not surprising: “Gay-conversion therapy ban to be introduced in House“.
The push to end so-called “conversion therapy” against homosexuality is expected to gear up Tuesday with the introduction of a House bill to ban the therapy nationally.
The bill comes a few weeks before a consumer fraud lawsuit described as a “David and Goliath” battle over the therapy begins in New Jersey, and in the wake of a request for a federal probe into whether the therapy’s marketing and practices are “deceptive” and “dangerous.”
Opponents of sexual orientation change efforts, such as Reps. Ted W. Lieu and Jackie Speier, both California Democrats, say being homosexual is not a disorder or illness, and efforts to change one’s sexual orientation are wrong and harmful.
See? It’s right there: “being homosexual”, as if this state represented a race or subspecies of humanity. So common is this locution that it’s almost impossible to see the truth behind it. And notice—particularly notice—that the discussion of whether same-sex acts are moral is missing in action. That is the only question of interest. It is. Just think: if all persons who claimed to be “gay” were celibate (and believed to be) then nobody would care one whit about what people called themselves or their reported unacted-upon desires.
What has happened with the corruption of language is that the morality debate has been bypassed: tacitly, folks believe that if people are “born that way”, then they have “no choice” but to engage in same-sex acts. Since that is an obvious fallacy, it is never stated. (If you don’t see the fallacy, apply the same argument to murderous psychopaths, woofies, etc.) People want same-sex acts to be moral, but don’t want to or don’t know how to say so, and so engage in this end-around. (Perhaps that accounts for why people wildly over-estimate the percent of people who engage in same-sex acts.)
It’s worth quoting another paragraph:
“I am ecstatic that the leader of the free world has called for an end to gay ‘conversion’ therapy. And I commend President Obama for recognizing ‘reparative’ therapy for the crappery that it is,” Mr. Lieu told a reporter for Frontiers Media on Monday.
Crappery. Get that man a pitchfork.
As said, “conversion” is the wrong word, and so is “reparative therapy”. They, too, are a diversion of the real argument. “Converters”, if you like, believe same-sex acts are immoral; “banners” believe they are not. It is Victorian-puritan squeamishness, I think, that accounts for the polarization and the creation of “homosexuals.” People who desired to engage in same-sex acts were forced into the word, so to speak, not so much by biology, but by rationally concluding they could get what they wanted were they to assume an identity. And don’t forget there are cultures (still!) where there are no such thing as “homosexuals”—mainly in Africa and remote South America where the squeamishness was never present.
Anyway, once these bans become common, how long before it is ruled illegal for a man to claim he is a “former gay” or to tell children they have a “choice”? Well, these are just the kind of things you can expect in a democracy. “Truth” is decided by vote.
Extra. A small article on the types of therapies: Show Us the Facts on Homosexual Therapy
Update This article has been reprinted at The Stream.