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Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays

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IS IT NORMAL TO BE GAY?

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THE SHORT ANSWER: Yes. Being gay is as natural, normal and healthy as being straight.

No one knows exactly how human sexual orientation - gay or straight - is determined. Most experts think it's a matter of genetics, biology and environment - that a person's sexual orientation could be set before birth or as early as two or three years old.

Not only is it as natural, it's as healthy to be gay as to be straight - no matter what some people might tell you. The Canadian Psychiatric Association has declared that homosexuality is not a mental disorder or disease and the Canadian Psychological Association says that it would be unethical to try to change a gay person's sexual orientation.

Many other people besides scientists, psychologist and psychiatrists now understand that too. Ann Landers, the advice columnist, wrote: "It never ceases to amaze me that in this day and age, so many people fail to understand that homosexuality is not a lifestyle that is chosen. That 'choice' was made at birth."

So, if you're wondering why you're gay, lesbian or bisexual, the answer is that some people are gay, or gay to some degree, and some people are straight - just as some people have blue eyes and some people have brown eyes or some people are right-handed and some people are left-handed. Not all blue or brown-eyed people even have the same shade of blue or brown eyes. Some people have the ability to use the right hand and left hand with equal dexterity. In some countries, children are still being actively discouraged from writing with their left hands! Being gay, lesbian or bisexual is not something that anyone can choose to be or not to be. It's just one part of who you are.

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Last updated: 08/17/2002
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