Story Idea #15: Unnaturally Gay

What if homosexuality was a ‘disease?’ What if a cause was isolated, and a ‘cure’ found?

This was the common way of thinking for some time, and many were sent to (or chose to go to) halfway houses where they would be ‘cured’ of their homosexuality. Whether homosexuality is caused by genetic, psychological, environmental or other factors has yet to be determined. Perhaps it never will be. Considering that it has become a social, rather than a scientific, issue of significance with many making it a part of their intrinsic identity, I rather doubt too much work will go into discovering the cause of homosexuality for some time. Not until things calm down on the social front, anyhow.

If homosexuality was discovered, scientifically, to be curable, what would happen to Gay Pride parades?

I’m not entirely sure what conclusions a story based around this might lead to, but here’s how I’d start. The story takes place in the present day, focusing on the scientist- the doctor?- who discovers the cause and figures out the cure. He does not immediately reveal his findings, and instead leaves the office/lab early in order to contemplate the significance of his findings. He’s heterosexual. I’m not sure I could write this from any other perspective. I’m not up to the challenge of writing this from the perspective of a homosexual man (or woman) making this discovery. I get confused just thinking about it.Gay Pride Flag

The doctor has one- at least one- close friend who is homosexual. Also, let’s set this in San Fransisco. He goes to confide in his friend- potentially his friend was part of the group of test subjects he got the results from. The friend compares being gay, in light of this discovery, to having a non-critical medical condition. A hammertoe (my own affliction), acne, or anything along those lines. Anything that might cause someone to want plastic surgery as well. The medical technology exists to ‘fix’ these conditions, but to what end? To make the person more ‘normal,’ to work the way we believe the human body was designed to work? When asked, the friend decides that he would not seek treatment if such a thing was made available.

Now, let’s also have the doctor’s teenage son- or daughter- be homosexual. My first notion was to have it be a son, but at this rate the entire cast of characters will be male. Either way, they will make the opposite position. For them being gay has been anything but. They have found it to be a hardship. After the father informs his child of the possibility of a ‘cure,’ the child will ask whether the father would want them to seek treatment. The doctor considers telling the child that they should- he wants grandchildren. Instead, he tells them that the choice is entirely up to them. They decide that, if it were to be made available, they would seek treatment.

The doctor goes to bed, but cannot sleep. He feels guilty that he might have pressured his child into the decision, and is still unresolved as to whether or not to publish his result. Late into the night he calls his homosexual friend on the phone and asks if he can come over to talk. The friend says yes (of course) but chooses to meet him at a 7-11 or some similar all night location, likely within sight of a ‘gay bar.’ He doesn’t want to reveal the results to his partner, who for a long time was uncomfortable with his homosexuality.

The discussion now revolves around the potential aftermath of revealing the doctor’s findings. The doctor is a researcher at heart, and few things matter to him more than the truth. At the same time he realizes that such findings would make the movement for gay rights nearly impossible, which he believes would be unfair. He asks his friend whether he might not wait until gay rights at been achieved, and then publishing the results. The friend says that might not be a bad idea, but that like as not it might cause a reversal (Any law which can be passed can also be revoked.) The friend okays the publication of the results saying that “If it’s the truth, people might as well know. I believe that the cause is in the right. This will change the minds of some other people, but I wouldn’t have you hide the truth. Perhaps I’m hopelessly naive, but I’d like to believe that the right side should be able to win by being fully honest. Otherwise they shouldn’t win. Now, maybe I’m not right… I’m as capable of doubt as the next person. But I’m invested. This is who I am… etc.” In short, while the research will make progress more difficult, he won’t stand in its way.

Walking around the city until the sun rises, the doctor contemplates each side of the argument and, as the first rays of light illuminate the city, reaches a decision.

I don’t choose to reveal what that decision might be. That will be left to the reader.

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3 thoughts on “Story Idea #15: Unnaturally Gay

  1. • What if critical thinking was a ‘disease?’ — What if a cause was isolated, and Christianity the cure? Would all atheists, agnostics, scientists be sentenced to be burnt at the stake unless they accept Jesus as their Lord and Saviour? How about Jews, Muslims etc…

    • What if critical thinking was a ‘disease?’ — What if a cause was isolated, and Islam the cure? Would all atheists, agnostics, scientists be sentenced to be burnt at the stake unless they accept the Prophet as their Lord and Saviour? How about Jews, Christians etc…

    • What if critical thinking was a ‘disease?’ — What if a cause was isolated, and Judaism the cure? Would all atheists, agnostics, scientists be sentenced to be burnt at the stake unless they accept the Creator as their Lord and Saviour? How about Muslims, Christians etc…

    • What if faith was a ‘disease?’ — What if a cause was isolated, and atypical antipsychotics found to be the cure? Would all religious people, as well as UFO nutties, new age hippies etc, be locked into giant mental asylums unless they accept medication and counseling?

    • What if being white was a ‘disease?’ — What if a cause was isolated, related to evolution of species, white being proved early Jewish or even Arab descent? Would white people be fined if they’d drink from the same tap as a black man’s? Would they be denied marrying anyone but their own color?

    • What if heterosexuality was a ‘disease?’ — What if a cause was isolated, and all current civil rights denied to heterosexuals, unless they accept treatment and become homosexuals?

  2. I think you’re reading something into the story idea that I didn’t intend to be present. There is nothing wrong with homosexuality, just as there is nothing wrong with being male or female. Yet we have a way for people to change their gender should they feel the urge.

    We don’t know the cause of homosexuality, and I will come right out and say that we do know the causes of heterosexuality: evolution, reproduction, and survival of the species. In an overpopulated world, homosexuality or asexuality is logically favorable. Yet the world is not governed by logic.

    I use the word ‘disease’ for the lack of a better term. It is rather more concise a phrasing than ‘medical condition,’ and more accurate in the minds of the homophobic, and the homophobic comprise an impressive contingent of the political reality we must try to fight. The proposed story, I confess, does little to assist in that fight. It merely presents a philosophical conjecture.

    On a side note, there are those who believe that the Caucasian complexion was originally the result of a genetic mutation, rather than evolution, and that whites moved to northern climates because they were unable to survive in the regions humanity had originally occupied. So, arguably, being white might just be a disease, though not a treatable one as of yet.

  3. I found your blog as I was trying to fight off another urge to re-read The Name of the Wind…but this is a really cool idea that I’ve thought about but never seen put into words. It really would be a world-changing decision to make. Well written too.

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