Letter: Homosexual misconceptions

I would like to thank John Hebert for writing his letter disparaging homosexuality for giving me an opportunity to address some of the many misconceptions in his argument, misconceptions that are rampant among those who have little or no understanding about gay people beyond what they hear at their conservative churches or in the echo chambers of anti-gay rhetoric in which they have ensconced themselves.

First, homosexuality is not a disorder or disease akin to any of the many mentioned by Hebert in his opinion piece. And while his opinion on this matter is strong, his opinion is, in fact, wrong. You see, every major medical and scientific organization in the U.S. that has studied homosexuality found, quite a while back in the last century, that homosexuality was not a disorder or disease at all, but simply a different natural expression of sexuality found in a small percentage of the population, in exactly the same way left-handedness isn’t a disorder, it’s simply a different expression of hand dominance in humans. This is a fact. If someone is unaware of this, he or she simply needs to visit the websites of the American Medical Association, the American Psychiatric Association, the American Psychological Association, or any other of the myriad of reputable organizations that have studied this phenomenon.

Second, homosexuality does not involve people who are more prone to pedophilia. In fact, the disproportionate majority of pedophiles are heterosexual males, whether their child victims are male, female or both. Suggesting otherwise is an outright lie.

Third, communicable diseases in general are not higher among homosexuals as a whole. While it is true that HIV rates are higher in the U.S. among gay men, these rates are also lowest among lesbians. And worldwide HIV affects heterosexuals at a disproportionately high rate.

Fourth, while it is true that there is a higher rate of suicide, substance abuse and some other behavioral disorders among gay men and lesbians, especially those who are younger, every study that has addressed this phenomenon has found that homosexuality is not the cause of these problems, but that the life-long oppression and discrimination gays and lesbians face from their families, churches, communities and individuals, like rt himself, are the roots behind the hopelessness and lack of self-esteem that lead to these problems. It’s almost ironic that people like Hebert bully gays and lesbians than point to the result of that bullying as proof that gays and lesbians are somehow damaged.

In closing, Hebert is welcome to his religious beliefs. I, however, do not need to live by his religious edicts. This is not a theocracy, no matter what he’d like to believe.

Michael Norris

college student

Baton Rouge