Within the context of discrimination, one of the most used "weapons" of those against equality is the notion that people "choose" to have a homosexual orientation. It is important to challenge this myth, because it forms a key part of opposition to equal rights for gay and lesbian people.
Why are some people so quick to latch on to bold claims about the biological origins of homosexuality? I think it's because they believe that we need to show that we're born gay in order to establish that our sexuality is a deep, important and relatively fixed part of who we are.
Now that I'm blogging about growing up with two mommies, a friend of mine recently asked me, "Did you ever think you might be a lesbian, since that's the lifestyle you knew from home?" Obviously I have to answer this one with a story.
If we can't talk about differences that puzzle us, or things we're curious about, without fear of giving offense, then how can we ever overcome our ignorance about cultures and races -- or even the opposite sex?
A question often asked of same-gender couples is, "Who is the man and who is the woman in the relationship?" It is perhaps the most illustrative example of gender-role conformity at its worst. We are not just genders with roles to fill. We are individuals.
Last month, Jet -- a magazine marketed to African-American population -- featured their first gay male couple in their wedding announcements. The announcement may be a sign that African-American attitudes towards gay marriage may be turning around.
What seemed like life-saving road trips at the time ultimately gave me the courage to turn to Leigh one night and tell her a story -- my first story -- about a guy that I "liked" rather than the standard story about guys who I thought were "cool."
What about my sexual orientation? I'm most strongly attracted to transgender women. I am certainly not straight, but I'm not gay, either. So what's my sexual orientation? There is no word that describes a person who is primarily attracted to transgender women.
Now that the courts are recognizing that sex and gender overlap, and now that Americans realize that gender identity and sexual orientation are rooted in the biology of our brains, we are nearing the moment that the entire LGBT community may be protected under an expanded Title VII.
Many would argue that discrimination against left-handers or homosexuals is indefensible regardless of the origins of those attributes, but human prejudices are complex, and the simple reality is that many people find it easier to accept a difference that is believed to be innate.
The Scout Association of the UK decided to officially accept girls as Venture Scouts in 1976. Then, in 1991, allowing girls to join the Scouts became optional for all other sections. It was official -- girls could be Boy Scouts.
In 76 countries, consensual sex between same-gender partners is a crime with a prison sentence. These kinds of human rights abuses are unacceptable, and the Obama administration is committed to combating them -- but we also need your help.
Establishing lesbians, gays, and bisexuals as a legally protected class is an important goal in the quest for equal civil rights under the Constitution. The fact that Judge Walker made the finding that he did is no guarantee that other federal judges will make the same finding.
The more your speech and behavior contributes to the general sense that being LGBT is normal, the more LGBT persons will be able to enjoy acceptance and normality in everyday life. And the more others who believe in equality will be empowered to say so.