I am close to a handful of gay people who grew up in a conservative and/or religious family, and I know being gay is not a choice. Because if these people had a choice, it would be to not be gay. That would be much easier. In many cases it took them a long time to even acknowledge it to themselves because of their upbringing. It is impossible to shake off all of the things you’re told as a child. That being gay is disgusting, unnatural, and immoral. If you had a choice, would you have your family see you as a deviant and a pervert? Throughout much of their lives they live in
fear of being discovered for who they are, and they try to live in denial. Imagine yourself in their shoes. Wouldn’t it eat at you constantly? And when you come to terms with it in your internal struggle, you then face the re-opening of those wounds by coming out to your family. No one wants to jeopardize their close relationships in this way. Even when the outcome of coming out to a family member has turned out to be positive, there was still a fear that it would change the relationship, that someone you’ve known your whole life is going to think of you differently.
No one is trying to turn your kid gay by broadcasting a message of acceptance (thereby earning the coveted purple toaster!). The religious right describes the issue in terms of an “anything goes” philosophy on the edge of a slippery slope. The real motive for reaching out with a message of acceptance is this: homosexuals who have struggled and endured through discrimination don’t want the pattern to be repeated. They don’t want others to suffer as they have. I have spoken with people who are annoyed at the outspokenness of “the gay community”- they feel as if liberal views are being forced on them. I admit I am impatient for social change. The reason I’m so passionate about this is because I don’t want my loved ones to hurt. Behold the gay agenda! All they want is to be seen as equal in the eyes of the law, hoping it sets an example for everyone else.