Dear Dr. Frankie,

Why am I gay?


Dear Questioning,

I think we could look at this question in many different ways; on a personal, social, biological, and spiritual level.  Finding personal meaning and an identity in being gay is one question, as for reasons why, that could differ pending on how you view the world.  Epidemiological studies of sexual orientation have found that as a mother has more male children, the odds of homosexuality in later-born males increases, called the fraternal birth order effect (e.g., Blanchard, 2004; Camperio-Ciani, Corna, & Capiluppi, 2004; Green, 2000; King et al., 2005; Rahman, 2005; Robinson & Manning, 2000; Williams et al., 2000).  This is thought to be related to changes in the uterine environment, in which the mother produces more antibodies to fetal antigens (H-Y antigents), as each additional male is born.

All throughout nature we can see many animals that have same sex partners or same-sex sexual behavior.  In Bonobos, the love making primates (apes), acts of homosexuality increase bonds in the troop and even decreases arousal in conflict situations.  It seems that homosexuality is just part of nature and is seen across the spectrum of sexuality.  I believe being gay is just being human and it is part of what I love about myself.  In being gay I’ve learned how to have a voice for movements I believe in and create a life that makes me happy, despite being judged at times along the way.

Culturally, sexuality may vary pending on what is taught or accepted.  Think back to ancient Greece where the Spartans had homosexual relationships and theorists have speculated that this increased unity, closeness, and the drive to protect.  If you’re searching for your own personal meaning for being gay, I would look at what you have gained from being gay and how who you are has strengthened by just being you.

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