Today a few students, after reading the inner monologue of several sociopathic Edgar Allan Poe narrators, wanted to discuss the problem of evil. Although they didn’t call it that. They wanted to know why people do “f****d-up s***”.
“People are born good, right?” asked Backwards-Hat Nick. “So how can they turn out bad?”
I said people are like cars: Some are better-made than others. Some are lemons. If something goes wrong at the factory (genes) and the car is bought by someone who doesn’t take good care of it (environment) and drives on dangerous roads (culture) disaster is more likely to occur.
For some reason, they extrapolated sociopathy into homosexuality:
Backwards-Hat Nick: “I don’t believe people are born gay.”
Me: “Well, as someone who believes she was…” (meaningful eyebrow raise).
Him: “Well, you would think so.”
I let it go — he’s a kid, and he’s from a country that hates gays more than the U.S. does — but after class it started to gnaw at me. Yes, Backwards-Hat Nick — I would think so, because I’m the one living in my body, mind, and spirit.
Straights love to tell us how we got this way. After all, they’re the ones who can see us objectively, right? How could we ourselves know the origin of our sexuality, laboring, as we do, under the illusion that we are who we’ve always been? Either we’re not facing up to our childhood trauma or we just haven’t met the right man or or or. Gay is caused by controllable factors, ones that can be explained if not remedied. Because if they aren’t controllable and explicable, gay could happen to anyone. And there’s nowhere to put the blame.
It’s more complex that this, anyway. Some women’s sexuality is more fluid than others; plus I’m starting to believe in political lesbianism more than I used to. Nothing I could explain today, though,