Debate: Can You Raise Your Children to be Gay?

By Jake and Glenn

Since the beginning of homosexuality, society (and the smaller units of society: parents) have wondered how and why we land on the sexuality continuum described in the movie Kinsey and to a lesser degree, the actual work of Alfred Kinsey. For a long time conservatives in the United States argued that homosexuals made the "choice" to become gay, like the way one makes the "choice" to watch Sean Hannity. Though both will destroy your life, this idea - like conservatism itself - has been widely discredited. Now the debate is whether parents can play a role in shaping their children's sexuality. Is a heterosexual child born that way and destined to be that way no matter how he/she is raised? Or is there a role parents can play in helping their child reach full potential as a homosexual?

Jake (Con): I really don't think you can raise your child to be a homosexual, at least not on purpose. Sure, a lot of gblt's were molested and that tragic event may have a hand in their development into homosexuality. That is debatable, which is lucky for us, because this is a debate. Barring freak tragic events like hardcore rapings and the like, I don't believe that one can be pushed in the direction of wanting to make love to their own sex or cut off their genitalia in trade for that of the opposite sex. I'm no biologist, nor even a sociologist, so perhaps my argument is only worth its weight in dental dams. I feel that being a homosexual is not a choice, nor can be forced upon you (outside of prison).

Glenn (Pro): I do agree that homosexuality is not a choice. I think it is mostly genetic. But, as Kinsey said, sexuality is a continuum. For example, I'm a 10. And you are probably either a 3 or 4. I'm talking about children that are born in that 4-6 range. They could go either way, and I think the right parenting could push them towards homosexuality. Every parent has a dream of having a gay child. They're better behaved and automatically part of a subculture. The key to raising a child to be gay is to be supportive anytime he/she expresses same sex attraction and disapprove any time he/she shows "traditional" attraction to the opposite sex. For example, if I caught my son (not my actual son, just a theoretical one) watching Real Sex on HBO, I would be furious for two reasons. One, this is a terrible show that makes what should be sexy things very unappealing. Every fucking skit is about making rubber breasts or bondage. Then I would yell at him for sneaking a peak at naked women. Instead, I would show him an episode of Six Feet Under where two men are in a romantic relationship or having sex with each other, and then agree to play catch with him afterward. The positive attention - that my father never gave me - would help him understand that homosexuality is encouraged and heterosexuality is discouraged. Then he would become gay.

Jake (Con): In your theoretical world you're raising a theoretical son as a homosexual by showing them Will & Grace, Margaret Cho stand-up specials and Two and a Half Men. In the real world (not to be confused with the semi-gay television show Real World) gay parents are raising heterosexual children. How? The reason is that no matter how many Liza Minelli plays or viewings of Victor/Victoria you expose your son, there's no way to push them toward homosexuality. Gay entertainment (or enterfeyment as I refer to it) is not enough to transform your child into a homosexual. Perhaps if you fake son was actually gay but nervous about coming out (or living on the DL as it is refered to on the streets) then he'd be more comfortable coming out to you because he watched over 100 episodes of Will & Grace. Maybe, just maybe, he'd have a crush on Debra Messing. I know that sounds far-fetched, but it is possible.

Glenn (Pro): I'm glad you mentioned Debra Messing, because I think she's a fantastic comedic actress. She is also one of the reasons I was able to come to terms with my own homosexuality. Growing up watching Will & Grace I wasn't attracted to her. Later during Coming Out Week on my college campus I realized this was because I was gay. This is exactly the kind of upbringing I wish I had and that I will give to my kids. Often times young adults will be well into their twenties before they begin to fully explore their sexuality - and even later in conservative, overly religious areas. If parents confront the issue head-on, however, they can accelerate the process of identifying as homosexual. For instance, as a child I would often see naked men/peers at the community pool locker room. If my parents had told me that it was right to be sexually aroused by these things I would have listened. Instead, they told me to only go swimming in my street clothes. For someone as into Magic: The Gathering as I was, this was a recipe for disaster. With better parenting, I wouldn't have nearly drowned by the weight of my cloak but instead been lifted up by the invigorating feeling of early homosexuality self-identification.

Jake (Con): You're beginning to feed my point. Obviously being raised with the idea that homosexuality is acceptable and natural will help you more easily come out of the closet if you are gay. If you're not gay, you would probably just be more tolerant toward gays (or perhaps even like them). It's obviously a win-win situation, unless you're a huge asshole, in which case you are inherently against homosexuality because it is as frightening as Jason Voorhes punching a hole into a wall and grabbing you just when you thought everything was safe. I am pro-homosexuality, but I don't think you can force it upon a person by just taking them to a drag show, even if RuPaul was the master of ceremonies.

Glenn (Pro): I'm glad you mentioned RuPaul, because I think he is a fantastic comedic actress. RuPaul is not a great example of the potential parents have to turning their children gay, mostly because he is straight. We've gotten sidetracked on exposure to TV and great comedic actresses like Debra Messing, when in reality this should be much more about psychology and development of children. You can TRAIN children to be anything. Remember feral children - raised in the wild and unable to talk but seemed to be very adept at hunting animals and seeing through society's racial biases? That's because they were RAISED by wild animals. If you raise a child to believe that homosexuality is right and heterosexuality is wrong, that's the identity the child will adopt. Do I think our society would be better if it was upwards of 70-80% homosexual instead of the 30-40% it is now? Probably, but I'm more just trying to point out how important development is to the kind of adult a child will become. I'm no developmental psychologist, but I can't think of one off the top of my head, straight or gay, who would disagree with me.


  1. the return of the jake/glenn tuesday deb8 is the third gr8est thing that's happened to me today (first being the three episodes of lost i watched, second being the three tofurkey sandwiches i 8 while doing so). bonus points for mentioning PRISON RAPE and FERAL CHILDREN, my two and only fetishes. i hope this is here to stay.

  2. I stopped reading this debate to Google "top 20 fantastic comedic actresses." RuPaul was number three.


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