Ask a gay friend of yours when they chose to be gay (go ahead, we’ll wait here ’til you’re done), and you’ll probably get a polite answer about it not being a choice. Because they have also grown up understanding the limits of some people’s thinking, you might even get an anecdote about when they realized they were gay — sort of like a happy, placated medium.
Now go ask some straight friends of yours the same question. If you’re straight, ask it of yourself. For most people the response is likely “well, I never chose.” It’s a simple enough exercise in realizing and accepting the limits of one’s own knowledge base, but in the case of the video below, it’s also highly effective.
Travis Nuckolls and Chris Baker took this simple idea and ran with it: asking the kind people of Colorado Springs, Co., whether they believe sexuality is a choice, and then asking them when they chose their own sexuality. The resulting video is poignant, at times frustrating, but ultimately effective for those involved. Lightbulb moments happen for several of the participants, and while others are less willing to accept that what they believe may not coincide with practical human nature, it shows how effective it can be to show people a more, oh, let’s call it a practical-empathetic path.
Changing the discussion is critical in the debate for any sort of human rights issue — it’s less about telling people what they need to hear, and more about asking them the right question so they can see it for themselves. It’s about understanding the limits of other people’s capacity for empathy and seeing outside of their own experience — something that’s a challenge for loads of folks in a whole manner of situations.
Really, it’s just a great, gentle reminder for people to put themselves in situations more, and in turn achieve a greater understanding of life and other folks. Oh, and, you know, to not be such d**ks about the fact that some people have been born to love people of the same gender. The fact that we silly humans were born with the capacity for love at all is such a wonderful thing that it should be celebrated, not criminalized.
Check out the video, below:
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