"We are here to love the wrong people and die.” Nicholas Cage, Moonstruck
I’ve never chosen who I loved. I don’t think it’s possible. Whatever combination of neurons and pheromones opens my heart to someone is a mystery to me. (As a teen, I thought the main requirement was just “jerk” and refused to date anyone I was attracted to on the proven theory they would turn out to be horrible.) I am, in the most general of senses, a proponent of choice. It is actually what resonated most deeply for me as a Mormon, the concept that our life is a gift in which we are able to make the choice between good and evil. I have a different connection to what I am choosing between, but I still believe the freedom to choose is one of the most basic freedoms we have as human beings.
Several months ago Cynthia Nixon stated that she chose to be gay and caused an unexpected uproar in the gay community. My girlfriend at the time and I had a heated discussion about the whole concept of choice, with her insisting vehemently that “no one would choose to be gay”. Except, as a bisexual woman, in some ways I did choose to be gay. In the same way that Cynthia Nixon did. For those of us for whom gender is not a limiting factor in attraction, we do actually and actively choose to embrace our same-sex attractions. So while I did not choose my orientation and I do not choose my attractions, I have chosen to accept the whole spectrum when I could easily just accept the conventional parts of my desires.
As an activist, I worry about the politics of “it’s not my choice”. It sounds a lot like “it’s not my fault” which implies that we are apologizing for who we are and begging for someone to let us in. It feels like embracing a politics of victimization. I didn’t choose to be bisexual, but I embrace it completely and my life is richer because of it.