Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Congratulations...It's a Gay!

So the little social science community is all a-flutter as of late, what with the scandalous Dr. Bailey being semi-exonerated by an ethics scholar who just published a paper about him and the controversy surrounding his work.

For those unfamiliar with Dr. Bailey's "science," he wrote a book a few years back in which he hypothesized that (I'm summarizing, here) transgender women are actually just male cross-dressing fetishists, motivated to change their sex by the sexual arousal they feel when perceived as women.

So, whatever your thoughts are on that asinine theory, Dr. Bailey also expounds the belief that sexual orientation is genetic (stay with me here), and, once the gay-gene is isolated, parents' determination of their fetus' sexual orientation and subsequent selective abortion based on the results of that test is "morally responsible."

Let's be clear here. We're talking about an educated white straight man who has made a name for himself by categorizing trans and gay people essentially as "genetic mistakes." Talk about exploiting those a wee-tad bit lower on the political-clout totem pole.

What a douche-bag. I feel like calling him up and telling him that, given the choice, most gays would stay gay. I know I would. I'm not one of those lesbians who snub other lesbians because "my orientation is the least interesting thing about me." I'm just not interesting enough to feel that way, I guess.

But also I think sexual orientation is pretty deep. It informs nearly every part of my life, down to the most widely-experienced life events: making friends, buying a coop, interviewing for a job. Having a baby.

I look forward, with great interest, to confusing the shit out of people who will doubtlessly question the origin of our child (for this will surely happen, even in enlightened NYC).

It's pretty freaking interesting, watching the world react to gay people.

Anyway, the Dr. Bailey scandal made me think of the whole infertility thing again. Part of why I feel so connected to the world of infertile people (even though I'm sort of reluctant to become a parent in lots of ways) is that people who struggle so hard for a child are more likely to love that child no matter its orientation.

Imagine a poor infertile woman busting her ass to get pregnant finally becomes pregnant and takes Bailey's gay-gene test only to discover her long-awaited fetus is, lo, a 'mo.

If she's a homophobe, she may grit her teeth, sock money away for ex-gay camp, and line up Billy Graham himself to christen the wee baby, but she sure as shit isn't aborting.

And my guess is she'd probably love that baby anyways. Because we infertiles have a lot of fucking love to give.


Trace said...

Ok, I'm not gay, but we have been in infertility and adoption land (adoption is no easier than ART) for a few years now and yes, I think the majority of people (obviously a generalization) who work that hard to have children really value their kids and love them unconditionally gay/not gay or whatever.

sfsueny said...

more importantly where is the test that shows that the fetus is a future Republican!!!!

that's what I want to know.

Linda said...

Thanks for writing this.