I had an interesting conversation on Twitter last night. I wanted to share because the other person made one very horrific tweet, and because I thought I handled the conversation very well, for once. Here’s the link to the whole thread.
For those who don’t wish to read the whole thread, here’s what I tweeted that sparked the discussion:
— Complete History (@completeh1story) August 27, 2014
Just for some explanation, because I was once Christian, I thought homosexuality was wrong, and I actually continued to think it might be for a while after I stopped believing the religion. I remember thinking that being gay was a choice, so when I learned that it really is biological more than anything, it helped me to accept that homosexuality is not wrong. Later, I realized there is no good reason to think homosexuality is wrong; whether it is a choice or not, why is that expression of love, that way of seeking pleasure, that way of trying not to feel alone, wrong? Of course, I also never really thought the orientation was wrong, only the acting on it, so I thought I would understand exactly where this person was coming from. I was wrong.
First, she (profile looks like a woman, so assuming female, but could be wrong) angrily asserts that I’m attacking a strawman in the original tweet, but I proved I was not by pointing to “pray away the gay” camps. She then complained that people wrongfully think that claiming homosexual sex is wrong is like racism:
This is where I’m proud of myself, because I started asking questions to ensure I knew exactly what this person believes on the issue. The thread also might become a bit difficult to follow, as it started branching, with me pointing to bonobos, one of our closest evolutionary cousins, to show that sex of all kinds is perfectly natural.
Soon enough, she revealed herself to be bigoted:
@completeh1story I don’t think that people are gay. So “not being gay” or “becoming straight” are misnomers.
— J. B. Dove (@blackdove3) September 1, 2014
I’d never heard someone flat out deny that people are gay before. She did have the small amount of decency required to admit people can identify as gay, but she denies that they actually are, apparently because it is “not inborn”. She thinks human “bodies, biology, psychologically were designed for” loving, consensual sex “within a heterosexual marriage covenant”. I was quick to point out that I know people whose psychology is helped by being actively polyamorous.
While it took me some time to think of how to respond because it was such an ignorant statement and I was stunned (I responded to some other branches of the thread meantime), I think I did well:
@blackdove3 Analogy: it’s like saying there are no atheists because we all know there is a god but deny it to disobey morals
— Complete History (@completeh1story) September 1, 2014
There has been no further response at this time.
I’m normally a lot more articulate when I have more than 140 characters to work with, and I think that shows in most conversations that happen on Twitter. It’s the main reason, other than lack of time, that I don’t start arguments on Twitter, though I will pretty much always respond if someone starts one with me. This time I did well, and I’m glad. I’m not a member of the LGBT community*, but I’m an ally, and I will go to bat against ignorance when I see it.
*I might be a man in a woman’s body who is attracted to men, which would make me trans and gay, but I don’t identify as either of those labels right now. I do think I would be full-blown, seeking or having already had surgery, trans if I’d been raised in a more open environment, though. (I’m more sure that I would still be attracted to men. Would a person who denies trans identities see a trans man having sex with a “born” man as gay? I think this would confuse the bigots.) See also: http://www.robot-hugs.com/identity-shift/