Americans / Equalities / LGBT / TV & Radio

When Did You Choose to be Straight, Evander Holyfield?

For as long as I can remember, there’s been idle speculation about how and when someone’s homosexuality is established – nurture or nature, a bit of both? Who knows? Certainly not me. Nor do I much care. To my way of thinking, identifying the ‘cause’ of something tends to suggest there should be a ‘cure’ and I’m not in the business of being cured. Why would I be? I’m not sick. What is blindingly obvious is that, whatever the reason, the sexual and romantic attraction to a member of the same sex is not a choice. If it was, many gay people might choose to be straight. After all, it’s so much safer to run with the pack rather than against it. Of course, this doesn’t stop many (almost exclusively straight) people claiming that sexuality is just a lifestyle choice like nipple piercing or kerb crawling. Or smoking, as Evander Holyfield claimed after being the first to be kicked off Celebrity Big Brother here in the UK. This gives a whole new meaning to giving up the fags. Really, Mr Holyfield, it’s time to shut up, bank the cash and go home. This whole ‘choice’ smokescreen is just an easy and convenient excuse to oppress and eradicate, and is used to hateful and sometimes deadly effect across the world, even in the so-called socially advanced West. It’s just lazy thinking from the pond life, the bigots, the politically hoodwinked and the religiously deceived. No, sexuality is not a choice. The only choice an individual has is whether to express their sexuality in a meaningful way. And that isn’t a walk in the park in far too many communities and societies. Who wants to be cast out onto the street by their families, get terrorised at school, end up with twenty years hard labour or get lynched from the nearest olive tree?

No doubt the sterile navel gazing about alleged lifestyle choices will rumble on across the airwaves, in the press, the pub and from the pulpit, long after I’ve shuffled off this mortal coil. Let me leave you with this little video* that debunks the entire myth in a deliciously simple and effective way. Please take note Mr Holyfield. 

*Thank you to my old friend Richard who posted the video on Facebook and who is lucky enough to live out his dotage with his partner, John, on the gorgeous Greek island of Kefalonia (the venue for my first late deal with Liam). Lucky sod. The clip was also featured on the liberal social media site Upworthy

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25 thoughts on “When Did You Choose to be Straight, Evander Holyfield?

  1. Excellent, thoughtful and passionate post and what a brilliant video – thanks for sharing! I have no idea who Evander Holyfield is but he’s clearly part of that ignorant group who don’t think before they speak…maybe like some of the folks in this video he too can learn how dumb his ideas really are.

  2. Evander Holyfield represents everything I dislike in a person…homophobic, sexist bigot, thinking that because he reads his bible, it makes him acceptable.

    Anyway, who cares how any of us came to be what we are? Life’s too bloody short and there are far more things in this world to worry about!

    • Spot on. He was a fish out of water and didn’t know what was going on. When he started reading the bible someone said “How did you manage to get that book in here?” as if it were contraband – wonderful!

  3. Isn’t it a fact that most people are born with the capacity to be gay or straight (or bi). Probably, I suspect, with a genetic bias one way or the other. But nurture plays a role too. A lot of teenagers go through a gay phase and then turn straight (or bi). An environment like prison makes men turn to gay sex because they can’t get any straight action. In Arabia when I lived there men (don’t know if it’s true of women too) settled for gay sex because their culture forbids them premarital sex. I have friends who lived in Spain during the Franco era and they say there was more gay action then than now because, again, girls were off limits.

    I think we all develop mainly in the way we are genetically disposed to go, but circumstances may nudge us in another direction. I know many married men who cruise around for gay action on the side, but I also know (admittedly not so common) gay men who screw around with ladies. I don’t believe homosexuality is something you can be “cured” of (those Bible-belt ‘convertors’ in the US make me sick), but I think there is a LOT more bisexuality around than is widely acknowledged.

    • I tend not to think too deeply about the causes of a person’s sexuality or the conditions in which it emerges. It’s mostly speculation with few empirical facts. I do know, however, that there is widespread confusion between sex and sexuality. There’s a world of difference between a hand shandy from the boy next door (or in the lower bunk) as a form or release and the desire to form a romantic bond with a person of the same sex. This is where the trouble starts.

      • True, Jack, but in my experience of moonlighting marrieds (and randy gents from MidEastern parts), a lot of them want a lot more than what you call a hand shandy. Yes, who you decide to LOVE is the real definer, but our choice of bonk-buddies surely says a great deal about how gay or straight we are?

      • Sex is sometimes circumstantial, particularly in those societies where access to women is limited. It’s not always related to sexuality. All I know is where I fit on the sexuality continuum.

  4. Well said, Jack … but don’t you find the lack of charity of the Bible bashers a hoot. They never seem to realise what an own goal it is! I just find them moronic.

    Can’t blame Evander Holyfield … he just let himself be manipulated into getting his brain regularly pulverised just for money. Obviously he lost too much from the little he already had.

  5. What a great video–and I especially liked the fact that all of the respondents immediately rethought their assumptions. I agree with you Jack–who the $#%$ cares? We love who we love, period. End of discussion.

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