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In which Lindsey encourages you to examine others AND yourself.

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Host: Dr. Lindsey Doe

Directing/Filming/Editing: Nicholas Jenkins

Titles: Michael Aranda

Executive Producer: Hank Green
Did you know there is a research study proposing that a virus or a bacteria causes homosexuality?


Ewald's 1999 theory of infectious homosexuality is not the only attempt by researchers to understand why some people are gay. Many, many researches like Ulrich, Hirshfeld, Freud, Jung, Whitam, Wilson, Rado, LeVay - on and on have proposed their own theories. This list is not short or consistent. The studies by all these curious cats point to different variables. For example: older brothers or hormones in the womb, maybe it's brain structure or childhood family influence. 

All these folks and their hypotheses trying to understand just one thing: Why?

I applaud their curiosity, but I'd like to offer a suggestion: background first. When I first started teaching human sexuality, I was handed a copy of the syllabus from previous years. I scrolled down through it, looking looking and there was that oh so popular question: Why are some people gay? 

[big sigh]

I had heard Jackson Katz speak in college, and he taught me how dominant groups like people who are white, heterosexual, cisgendered, and/or male stay dominant because nobody asks why. Why are some people white? Why are some people straight? Why are some people men? Why are some people cis?

In Jackson Katz' words, "The dominant group is rarely challenged to think about their dominance. Because that's one of the key characteristics of power and privilege. The ability to go unexamined, lacking introspection, in fact being rendered invisible in the discourse of issues that are primarily about us!"

Us. The people who separate, pick apart, classify the Others because they are different than us rather than looking at ourselves, at the whole picture. 

I accepted the syllabus from previous years, but when it was my class, it was all Doctor Doe style. I disregarded the theories, the pages of research about why people are gay for - get this - a panel of human beings with real stories about their experiences and beliefs. And I didn't choose strictly minority sexual orientations. Four guests were invited including someone heterosexual: Hank Green, producer of Sexplanations.

At a long plastic table with four folding chairs, each of them faced their audience. They gave a brief introduction and then they answered students' questions. All of them answered the same questions; all of them were examined. My hope is that the audience looked at themselves too, so when they asked questions like "When did you know you were?" and "How did you know you were?" they thought about their own responses. 

What was coming out like? How did your family respond? What about your friends? Have you ever been treated differently because of your sexual orientation? What do you want us to know about your sexual orientation? 

Your answers!

The responses to these questions spotlight then deflate how dominant attitudes prevent us from seeing us. How maintaining the ideology of the dominant group saddles them to dominate.

Examine others but examine yourself. When you look at the differences between all of us in this world, at least look at yourself as well because as you know, I'd really like you to stay curious.

I'm curious about a book on and I was hoping we could have a book club. This one with the gorgeous fish on the cover. The one I saw snorkeling. Gah that fish! You could get this book or another one of your choosing at Trying out Audible doesn't cost you anything - the first one's on them. First audio book download free. I have Evolution's Rainbow, by Joan Roughgarden in my queue.

"Roughgarden takes on the medical establishment, the Bible, social social science - and even Darwin himself." Yes. Get it! Yes, Harrington MacDuffie, please read us all Joan's fish book.