“Are we born to know?”


Over the recent years, especially since Gay  marriage has become legalized across the country, the topic of what is born with not born with have taken place. Are you born Gay? But what I would also ask in addition to that question is are you born heterosexual as well? Because from my understanding of what sexuality is, sexuality is defined as the person’s orientation or feelings. It is a person’s way of expressing themselves in society sexually, as well as their biological, belief systems, physical, and behavioral makeup. Yet, there is something that is odd about anyone saying how they were born, no matter their sexual orientation. And the reasons below are why.


The above video is of a TedTalk on the most influential aspects to a child’s development. And when you watch the video, you will hear how certain aspects of our upbringing contribute to the way we grow: our country, religious beliefs, how you are nurtured, your community, your education, and your advancement of your civilization. All are important to the development of a child. Because in this initial stage, you will start to maintain a lot of your ideologies you hold on to for the rest of your life. Now what does this have to do with sexuality, a lot. Because you develop aspects of who you are that makes you, you. Only reason why sexuality doesn’t show itself at certain points is because your external factors (religion, community, family, friends, societal constructs/norms) in addition to internal.


Now given we know a little bit about the development of humans, the controversy besides being born with a sexual preference that makes the conversation difficult, is what is natural. There actually can be a deference in what is natural and what is natural. I know the repetition sounds odd, but what is natural to us in nature and what is natural based on society constructs is different. So when looking at sexuality, having sex with any human is natural. But who you have sex with being deemed unnatural is the construct. It’s how we design societies to be.So heterosexuality is the considered by nature to be more pure in form because you need a male’s sperm in combination with the female egg to make a human. Two women and two men can’t procreate to make a human. So we use that to say what is natural. But natural is defined as existing without mankind intervention. So in regards to nature both heterosexuality and homosexuality can be seen as natural. Even though skeptics may say man through force influences one over the other creates certain outcomes, the majority of people who are either hetero- or homo- weren’t influenced by force to be.


Overall, the human is an evolving, developing, adapting creature. Born to know your sexual orientation is a stretch, yet we all have the internal makeup for what love, emotions, and sexuality feels like. We all have attractions we develop, and no one knows for certain why we develop attractions as humans. Scientist will of course say evolving to have attractions keep us going as a species. But being born with a sexual preference would almost aim at stating that we are conscious at a time when we don’t even know we have a consciousness. In my opinion, we try to make sense of our emotions by saying born because we either want to make our case stronger, or you’re fighting against the social construct that places emphasis on how you live to be unnatural.

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“To serve or not to serve.”

President Donald Trump announced his decision yesterday that the United States military will not be allowing transgender men and women to serve. This comes as a shock to most, considering not long ago, under President Obama, the LGBT community won a victory with the legalization of gay marriage. Now, a year later, we are seeing reversals of decisions being made. It seems as if everything that Barack Obama did during his reign as president, Trump is working to undo. So as gays now have the right to marry, transgender men and women can’t serve in the military. What was once a victory is now short lived because the community iS right back where they started. A sign that more work is still to be done.

Well, what are some repercussions, if any, from Trump’s decision. For starters, every male must sign up for selective service. It is a requirement for being a citizen in the United States. If you identify as transgender, does that mean you still have to sign? Or, are you exempt? And what are the guidelines for saying you identify as the opposite gender? How do we know to get out of selective service, there won’t be people who use this as an excuse to not enlist? Then there is the flip side of keeping transgenders from serving. And that is if you are willing to fight and protect your country, you should be able to do so. Are we going to keep that same sentiment if a war breaks out?

People at home have all these reasons they agree with the president. Yet when people start dying and drama is all around you, the last thing you think about is the sexual orientation of the person fighting with you. It must be a deflating feeling to know that a country where you are told to pay taxes and follow the laws you can’t protect the freedoms you have. This is yet another decision that could be overturned by our government. Trump’s views were aimed at not incurring costs for rising medical windfalls by the military. And this is when I started to question, “What costs? Are transgender men and women’s surgeries and enhancements being financed by the system? Do they need specialized physicians unlike everyone else? When you transition, do you need special medication because you are no longer who you once were? All of the above questions are not true.

And in the end, that is people’s problem with this decision so far. The transgender servicemen and women is so small, this seems more personal than fiscal decision making. Our military defense budget is between a range of $500 – $700 billion, with medical expenditures being around $50 billion. Any real cost incurred by the transgender community is a few million dollars. It’s so insignificant, that it could be mistaken for personal preference. But like I said earlier, the government may react quick to overturn this decision as well. This will just add to the ongoing tension between Trump and his adversaries in and out of government. Meanwhile he has not lost support from his voters.



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“I don’t understand it, but people just can’t accept it.”

Yesterday in New York City was the Pride Parade that stretched along Manhattan city streets. People came from all over the city to take part in the parade. Members of the LGBT community as well as heterosexual men and women take part in the parade. A day to celebrate the LGBT community and the strides they’ve made. But my question is, why did it take so long for gays to have the right to marry? Is there still more work to be done? And why do people care so much? Gay marriage was legalized not long before president Obama left office. A landmark decision that resulted in the White House being illuminated in the rainbow colors.

As for me, I am a heterosexual man, and could not possibly understand what gays go through. I know people I grew up with who are gay. But I never asked them what their lives are like being gay. I have my theories, but I can only go by the stories I have heard and read. And my limited knowledge just from observing in society allows me to see how tough it is being gay. For example, I vaguely remember the Matthew Shephard case, but it was a case where he was killed in Montana for what the prosecution stated was a hate crime for him being gay. The men who committed the murder stated that it was not because he was gay, but nonetheless, they were both given life sentences.

Now you fast forward to today, and there are still hate crimes against members of the LGBT community. You’re also starting to see a rise in crimes against Transgender men and women. So I want to know what compels people to commit acts of violence against these individuals. I almost in a strange way wish I could morph momentarily into the bodies of these people who disagreed with gays. Then after leaving the body, I could understand what their true anger and fear was about. Because people are truly compelled to fight, even if it’s to the death. So what should happen moving forward?

These men and women are able to wed now. But even with them being able to wed, they still face stiff discrimination. I would compare it to interracial heterosexual marriages and push back against that union. You still have people who are against it. So you can image how long it takes for people to accept gay marriage. In the end, there is nothing to not accept. What goes on in the privacy of another person’s bedroom is their business. Because that’s where the push back is coming from. People are concerned with their sex lives. And it only becomes problematic for the anti-gay people once their own lives are pushed against.




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“How does one know they are in the wrong body?”

Growing up in my household, my sisters and I were in a privileged position. Why because our house was a lot more liberal than most. Whatever we felt we knew that our mother was willing to have the conversation. But I have been hearing throughout my life how so many are growing up in situations where they can’t talk to their parents. This was odd to me given my nurturing background. The topic today is how hard it is for members of the LGBT community to come out to family. But there is a more centralized focus and that is transgender men and women expressing how they feel.

Living in New York City, you’re exposed to a wide range of people. Whether it’s sexual orientation, ethnicity, religion, socioeconomic, etc. But especially when it comes to sexual preferences. When I first moved to NYC I was offset by the number of openly gay relationships there were. Don’t get me wrong it’s in the Midwest, but to the degree of openness like here, not so much so. But through working in theatre you come in contact with members of the gay community and realize it’s not a big of a deal as it might have been in your previous environment. Then you hear about transgender, and I draw a blank. What does it mean? How do you know you were born in the wrong body? It is a normal biological response or is it mental illness?

As an adult, I’ve heard people say things like, “My family refuse to speak to me.” “They have disowned me.” Me personally, I don’t understand why a man would want to become a woman or a woman would want to become a man, but let’s have the conversation. Let’s first look at my life. Like I said earlier, I grew up in a very progressive household. Had I have been one of these men who felt he was born in the wrong body of course there would be questions and a discussion. But disowning me, I think not. So I guess my upbringing would be the envy of most of these men and women. Then what is it?

I love waking up everyday being a man. Thinking like a man, talking the way I do, having the genitalia that I do. But what would make a man go I don’t want this and live a happier life after it’s removed. Knowing what we are as men, my first response is why. The next would be, how do you know? What is it internally that makes you feel you’re in the wrong body? Then here are the critics who say I am thinking into the matter too much. They have a mental illness Faheem, and that’s all there is to it. But do they really? Me, I can’t say for sure because I am not in that position.

I don’t know the feeling of being depressed because you look it the mirror and wish you were something else. I don’t know what it’s like to look at my new genitalia and feel accomplishment by the new me. But my reaction to the people who are the critics is have you wondered why. Or better yet, have you ever attempted to sit down and converse with a person before judging. It’s easy to attack, it’s a lot harder to put yourself in the know. Hard because we all like having our views and sticking to them.

So in the end, to me, I don’t get it. But what’s funny is that it’s not your place to get anything. It’s not our jobs to figure out why they want to do it. You actually are not entitled to embrace an individual’s lifestyle. But you should respect people with the respect you would want for yourself.  Are they a threat to society, no. And that’s all we really need to know.