There was quite a hoopla in the news recently over a story concerning a scientist working with gay sheep. Apparently, about eight percent of rams are only interested in same-sex mating. Dr. Charles Roselli, a researcher at the Oregon Health and Science University, has been slaughtering and dissecting the sheep in order to determine which part of the brain is causing this behavior.
Once the story broke, PETA and gay rights groups went ballistic, accusing the scientist of animal cruelty and playing with nature. They also believe that the ultimate goal of the research is to come up with a “cure” for homosexuality. A statement by the scientist only made matters worse.
A release quoted Dr. Roselli as saying that the research “also has broader implications for understanding the development and control of sexual motivation and mate selection across mammalian species, including humans.”
After the vocal outcry, Dr. Roselli vehemently denied that his research is working towards erdicating homosexuality, or even allowing a person or parents to choose the sexuality of a human. World-renowned tennis player Martina Navratilova, who is closely associated with PETA and an out lesbian, remains unconvinced. In a statement to the press, she said:
“The more we play God or try to improve on Mother Nature, the more damage we are doing with all kinds of experiments that either have already turned or will turn into nightmares. How in the world could straight or gay sheep help humanity?”
Whatever the goal of the research may be, it did cause me to think about the possible implications. If homosexuality can be linked to genetics and have physiological factors, then it would only stand to reason that someone in some lab will try to find a way to correct those “flaws.”
If they did come up with a pill or surgery to “cure” homosexuality, would I be willing to take it? I’ve thought about that possibility many times over the years. When I was struggling with my sexuality as a young teen, my answer would undoubtedly have been a passionate “Yes”. It was hard enough being that age without the added bonus of being gay. The strict religious background and Christian school didn’t help matters, either.
Now, since I’ve been out and open about my sexual preference for several years, my answer would be much different. I do not feel that my sexuality is a handicap, but something that has made me a stronger, more empathetic person. If I don’t want people to judge me then I should return the favor, which isn’t always an easy thing to do.
Sexuality is such a part of who I am; the way I feel about myself, the way I interact with other people. It has shaped my views of the world, government, politics and social issues. It makes me question everything, especially religion. Why would so many denominations discriminate against people who have no choice in the matter?
So, at this point in my life, I would definitely refuse a pill. I would be giving up my identity, my way of thinking, and turning my back on all the pain and distress that I have suffered because I am different. This is my journey, and even though I’m not sure where it’s going to end, I wouldn’t trade it for anything in the world.