There’s a YouTube video that’s been circulating quite a bit of late that gay people in Lebanon seem to love. It’s being touted as an “educational video to be shared with family and friends which answers frequently asked questions about the origin of homosexuality. The video takes us on a conversational journey with three animated characters (George the gay guy, Martha the lesbian, and Christian the homophobe), and attempts to make the argument through reference to flawed scientific studies that homosexuality is inborn, innate, static, and unchangeable, and that’s why society must find it in its heart to tolerate the queers. You can watch the video here:

I hate this stuff. It offends me. Taking this argument to its logical conclusion, it would follow that if sexual orientation were not actually genetic or inborn, then it would somehow cease to be acceptable or worthy of social tolerance. I understand why some gay people like this line of argument: “It’s not my fault, I was born this way, please accept me”. But for gay activists, those who are (supposed to be) actively working to challenge the structures of society that allow for discrimination on the basis of non-normative sexuality to be propagating this bullshit is not only ignorant, it is also supremely irresponsible.The scientific “evidence” presented in the video is flawed in the first place. The birth-order argument, which claims that boys who have older brothers are more likely to be gay because pregnant women carrying male children produce anti-bodies against them, and therefore the more boys she has, the stronger her antibodies become, causing the boys to become increasingly “feminized”. If ever there was proof that there is no such thing as objective knowledge in science, and that just like every other form of knowledge production it is filtered through the lens of normative cultural tropes and beliefs, then this is it. Heteronormative society holds that only males can be attracted to females, and only females to males, and that’s the way it should be. Along comes science, and instead of questioning or problematizing this belief, it takes it as a given, attempting to explain homosexuality by proving that there is something of the female in gay men, and that’s why they end up being attracted to members of the same sex. For queer activists to promote this view is horribly, horribly wrong, not only because of flawed scientific methodology, but because they don’t even feel the need to question the heteronormative basis on which these arguments are built.And y’know, it’sactually ok to question science. Seven years after homosexuality was removed from the DSM-II (the diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders), the doctors decided to replace it with a new illness that they termed “gender identity disorder”. So the gays are now safe, but the trannies, they’re the ones who are f***ed up in the head. It’s no longer deviant sexual desire, it’s now deviant gender identity. In the diagnoses of both homosexuality and transgenderism, the explanation is that the person does not conform to what is deemed “normal” male or female. Unsurprisingly, the gays have nothing to say about this.

And to top it all off, this apologetic “it’s not a choice video” ends with a supposedly funny skit where Martha the lesbian mentions how this one girl that she knows “goes back and forth” only to elicit a look of horror from George the gay guy who nudges her frantically and tells her to shut up. SHHHHH! DON’T LET THEM KNOW ABOUT THE BISEXUALS! THEY’LL RUIN EVERYTHING! Because really, how can the “gay gene” explain people whose sexuality is fluid? The very idea that sexuality is fluid is antithetical to orthodox gay rights activists whose entire argument is predicated on the belief in discrete, separate, stagnant, and categorical identities. The sexual and gendered expressions that straddle that uncomfortable space in-between, the transgenders, the bisexuals, the queers, have always been marginalized. And that marginalization seems to be completely acceptable. Hypocritical chants of “Celebrate Diversity” may be more honestly re-written as “Celebrate Some Diversity (the others don’t count)”.

What these gay rights activists fail to realize is that our struggle is so much bigger than this, and framing it in this way is extremely detrimental because it puts the bar so low. At the heart of this struggle lies everyone’s right to sexual freedom, the right to choose their own sexual partners without violence and discrimination, and regardless of whether their choice is due to a genetic mishap or not. And this means everyone. Decriminalizing homosexuality because “gay people don’t have a choice” does nothing to end discrimination against heterosexual people for sexual non-conformity (like women who have sex before marriage, honor crimes, or you-better-bleed-on-your-wedding-night-or-you’re-divorced syndrome). The right to freedom of choice becomes meaningless, and gay people themselves will suffer for it despite their current short-sightedness. If we don’t have an LGBT movement in Lebanon that can see this, then maybe its time for something new.