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La_chica_gomela's avatar

If you could change it, would you?

Asked by La_chica_gomela (12495 points ) June 19th, 2011

Reading this article by Rev. Desmond Tutu called “All Are God’s Children: On Including Gays and Lesbians in the Church and Society”, I was struck by this quote:

We struggled against apartheid in South Africa, supported by people the world over, because black people were being blamed and made to suffer for something we could do nothing about—our very skin. It is the same with sexual orientation.

“something we could do nothing about”—this was a theme throughout the article. The second to last sentence brings it up again:

Equally, I cannot keep quiet while people are being penalized for something about which they can do nothing—their sexuality.

I do not want to start a debate about whether sexual orientation is a choice or not.

My point is, that could be interpreted as implying that if people of color could change their skin color or GLBT people could change their sexual orientation, they possibly would or should.

In fact, the entire debate about whether or not sexual orientation is a choice somehow sort of implies that if people could change it, perhaps they would or should.

So I’m asking, if you (whoever you are, however you see yourself) could change your skin color or sexual orientation, would you? Why or why not?

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15 Answers

incendiary_dan's avatar

I don’t think that that point is being implied at all.

And no, I wouldn’t change who I am. Of course, I’m a heterosexual male and mostly white, so I get a lot of privilege in the current system.

Nullo's avatar

I think that the Reverend is starting from the wrong place. Skin color is not addressed in the Bible, whereas who you sleep with – note that it addresses behavior – is.

athenasgriffin's avatar

I wouldn’t change what or who I am. I like me.

@Nullo Are you incinuating that going against the bible is a bad thing?

Facade's avatar

@Nullo According to Christian teachings, thinking of doing something is the same as doing it…

I would change my skin color. I think it would make life easier. I wouldn’t change my sexual orientation; I’m not eve sure what it is exactly.

FutureMemory's avatar

I would not change my sexual orientation or my skin color.

I have a natural tan from being part hispanic. I’ve only had maybe two sunburns, ever.

I like being hetero. I love women.

The_Inquisitor's avatar

I have no problem with how I am currently, as well, so that’s why I would not change my skin colour or sexuality. I’m Asian, and heterosexual.

Plucky's avatar

I would not change my sexual orientation. I am fine with what it is.

As for skin colour ..if anything, I’d change it to black. I find black skin beautiful. And, yes, I know that comes with many societal negatives.

_zen_'s avatar

I agree with those who said that it was not implied. There is a limit to words, a limit to political correctness. His sentiment is understood – and true – until it is picked apart semantically and hairs split, misconstruing the implication.

Someone born black or gay is just that. They can’t change it. This is coming very, very far from when it was implied, and stated in the church and elsewhere, that being gay was a choice, a sin, and could be corrected.

I can’t think of a better way to state it. People of colour are simply that – we whites are pigmentally challenged – and we can’t change it.

SABOTEUR's avatar

If I were unhappy I would probably change my skin color, if given the opportunity.

The thing is, though, outward changes rarely give us sustained happiness. It’s what drives people to constantly strive to acquire more or obtain something different, and still wind up miserable.

So while I might obtain brief satisfaction, it’s inevitable that I wouldn’t be happy for long since I’ve failed to realize that happiness comes from within…not from an outside source or external change.

Vunessuh's avatar

I wouldn’t doubt that upon realizing they were gay or upon beginning the “coming out” process that many homosexuals have wanted to change their sexual orientation so they wouldn’t have to endure any of the criticism, intolerance and patronization they would receive specifically due to their sexual orientation, from family, friends and their community and society. Not all families and communities are as accepting and open as others and because of this, I imagine fear is the main reason why one would wish they were heterosexual. Being fearful of your own identity and how other’s around you will react, can lead to a lot of self-torment as well, and has pushed people to some pretty awful and sad extremes. Suicide, living a heterosexual lifestyle complete with marriage and children, etc. I imagine the level of unhappiness due to “pretending” you’re straight to either feel “normal” or be perceived as “normal” or receive the same rights as heterosexuals, must become pretty unbearable at times. You’re a prisoner of a fear that only resulted from society and religion being a piece of shit over the way some people were born.

I think (and I truly hope) that homosexuals struggling with this, reach a point where they completely embrace who they are and no longer feel that being gay is a burden or question whether or not they’re a good person or if they belong here or allow anyone to dictate the way they feel.

In the end, a homosexual spends less than 5% of their lives in bed with someone else and performs most of the same sexual acts (with or without a strap-on) as heterosexuals do, and we really want to pretend they’re all that fucking different from the rest? Different enough to cause them physical and emotional harm, wish them to Hell, remove some pretty valuable rights granted to everyone else? Holy fuckola. Makes me so proud to be an American. We all fall in love and we all fuck like rabbits. Mind your own damn business if I do that with a woman or not.

To answer your question, even though I have on numerous occasions in the past wished I could change a few things about myself and even cried over the fact that I couldn’t, my logical self knows that I never, ever would. I like who I am and because of the way I was born, I get to feel and experience things (good and bad) that a large percentage of the population never will. Neener, neener, neener. XD
That’s too valuable to give up or spend time being unhappy over.

FutureMemory's avatar

Great post, V.

envidula61's avatar

I wouldn’t change my skin color—except maybe in summer time. I always wanted to look dark skinned in summertime. My skin color gives me a social advantage, so why lose it?

As to becoming homosexual—how can I know? I know who I am now. I can’t imagine what it would be like to be gay. Why would I want to change?

Well, I will say this. When I was in college, I thought I should try everything. So I tried making love to my best friend, who was gay. It somewhat strongly confirmed that I was not at all interested in members of my own sex. At least, not sexually.

Neizvestnaya's avatar

Yes, I’d change into a young, hetero, attractive white male. For me it would be like switching into the carpool lane of life- still going the same direction but with a whole lot less fuss.

Symbeline's avatar

No. Especially not for some damn god. If he didn’t want me to be bisexual, he shouldn’t have made it possible for me to be. If he didn’t want gays or lesbians, he shouldn’t have made it possible for people to be gays and lesbians. If he didn’t want me to use his name in vain, he shouldn’t have created language, or anger.
His problem, not mine. Maybe God should think about his shit better next time.

Of course, I realize that all the condemnation that all kinds of people get are from other people. And I ain’t changing for a single goddamned soul. If they can’t hack it, may they get the fuck out.

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