Born This Way Blog

A Los Angeles based blogger by the name of Paul V. has created an interesting, sort of, online photo essay.  The Born This Way Blog is a space where gay men and women are encouraged to post childhood photos and stories of themselves. The goal is to show that they were born this way.
"People need to realize that 20 and 30 years ago they were just awkward kids who were struggling in their junior high and high schools. Even if they didn't know they were -- quote -- 'gay' at the time, they knew they were different," he says.

Jennifer Smith of CNN has more: Link

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@Randall - Yes, of course BTWB makes the claim that gay people are born gay. I never suggested otherwise. (As you point out... it's in the name of the blog.) All I'm saying is simply that they do not advance this claim as a justification for gay equality.

Now, your free will argument:

Yes, we have free will. Yes, people who do not control their actions are a menace. But we're talking about instinct here, not actions. And whereas I have control over my actions, most of my instincts are indeed preprogrammed.

I can't just decide not to feel pain, not to get hungry, not to get scared. That's hardwired - I was born that way, I can't help it. Does conceeding that point mean surrendering free will? Of course not. I can choose to steel myself against pain, I can choose to fast, I can be brave in the face of fear. The instinct is preprogrammed, but I decide what to do about it. THAT is free will.

Sexual orientation is the same way. I've been gay my whole life - no matter what I do, I find myself attracted to men and not attracted to women. Am I ruled by these instincts? Again, no. My decision to obey those instincts is both conscious and deliberate. I could pursue women if I so chose, whether I'm attracted to them or not. But even if I did that, I'd still be gay. And since I can think of no reason to follow that path, I don't.

See what I mean?
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Well, I believe that self-evalution is a big problem in all areas of our culture, and the difference between productivity and being mired in self-absorption. We've lost sight of our ability to evolve in this regard, and instead embrace egotism and self-indulgence. With some very serious consequences.
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@Randall - It's not crap. We must first realize we are not free, and that our thoughts, feelings, emotions etc... are contingent on domains of self-evaluation. We go through a radical deconstruction of our character, reigning in the determinants. It is in-fact, through determinism, that one becomes free. But freedom of this sort is gifted/earned. All this contingency and self-evaluation is Babylon, Maya, Hell.
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Born this way, does make the argument that they were 'born that way.'

They were not. The idea that you have no free will and are preprogrammed to do whatever you want is crap. If you don't think you have any more control over yourself than an animal than you should be put in a cage, which is usually what we do to people who do not control themselves.

I believe that 'grew this way' would be more appropriate. Gays became gay because thats what made them happy. I don't think they are crazy or victums of abuse or mentally deficient, I think they are living the way that makes them happy, just like I live the way that makes me happy.
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I did try to read the discussion here, but it was long and boring.

Being "born this way" helps to take some of the pressure off of playing the blame game - whose fault it is that you turned out the way you did. And people tend to try and discover why someone didn't turn out "normal".

I would compare it to alcoholism and AA's theory that you have no control over your "disease" of alcoholism. Once you accept the fact that you are who you are, you give up trying to change your sexual preference to fit in.
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