Before Herman Cain’s “Pizza Express” to the presidency got derailed by (re-)emergent charges of sexual misconduct and infidelity, he was the frontrunner in the GOP Field of Crazy — one reason, I think, for his preliminary success was due to his unapologetic, unwavering opinions, including his opinion that homosexuality is a choice. In an interview with Piers Morgan, he plainly stated:
I respect their right to make that choice. You don't see me bashing them. I respect them to have the right to make that choice. I don't have to agree with it. That's all I'm saying.
Implicit in this statement, although I’m sure he wouldn’t comprehend the logic (poor thing seems a bit slow), is the idea that all sexuality is a choice.
Of course, his opinion drew derision and critique, most notably from the LGBT political arm, the HRC. “It Gets Better” creator (and advocate of the poly-monogamous marriage) Dan Savage even proposed to Herman Cain that he “suck his d--k” to prove that sexuality is a choice.
If being gay is a choice, show us the proof. Choose it. Choose to be gay yourself. Show America how that's done, Herman, show us how a man can choose to be gay. Suck my d--k, Herman. Name the time and the place and I'll bring my d--k and a camera crew and you can suck me off and win the argument.
Very sincerely yours,
What Savage does not acknowledge is that, by giving Cain the choice (to suck his d--k), the argument is moot: Cain has chosen “no.” And “no” is still a decision based on a choice. As I firmly believe, an individual's actions — sexual or otherwise — is her prerogative, her power (unless she is being forced against her will in an assault/rape situation). Also implicit in Savage’s curt letter to Cain is the equation of act to identity, an equation that I agree with (we are how we act / we are what we do), as opposed to the counter-argument of an identity somehow being innate to an individual’s ontological being.
Shortly after Savage’s open letter appeared in the media, Darnell L. Moore wrote a compelling piece in the gay section of The Huffington Post that ponders the idea of selecting one’s sexuality. Moore’s piece is a step in the right direction — in a direction of (self-)affirmation, of ethics not based on prescribed morality, of equality based on the constitutional recognition of