THE BLOG

Are People 'Born Gay'?

26/02/2014 13:01 GMT | Updated 27/04/2014 10:59 BST

Scientific studies recently showed that there is a link between sexuality and our genetics, but for something that is not a choice and is present from birth, was it really any surprise? And also, does it actually even matter?

Scientific research is the cornerstone of progress in society through understanding natural phenomena. It has brought us many huge advances in health and provides answers to what happened in the past. The need for continued research is self-evident, with health being a key avenue for improvement. But in finding the 'gay genes' what does this actually give us? Finding the genes of other traits are mostly explored in the efforts to find a cure for a condition which you wouldn't reasonably want. This is certainly not the case for gay, lesbian and bisexual people. Do we need a cure for it? And then where do we stop: with in-utero changes to our DNA; with our personality, likes and dislikes; skin and eye colour and hair type?

It is interesting that there is a genetic link to sexuality but that is where it stops being of use. In current economic times, isn't researching issues such as a cure for motor neuron disease, Parkinson's disease, dementia and infectious diseases more important? Or would it not also be better finding genes culpable for paedophilia, racism, rape or even for vegans - because how can you live without bacon? Some people are gay; get over it. Some people are lesbians; get over it. Some people are bisexual; get over it.

Having a genetic link is also confusing to many who have not spent years in science. It gives the idea that it could be a simple case of a few genes at cause and that is the sole reason. This is definitely not the case as genes only count for part of the end product of sexuality. The environment has a big part to play. This means the chemicals that a foetus comes into contact with are factorial: radiation can change gene expression, diet can too. Genes are also only shared in 40% correlation between gay genes and a man being gay. A person can have some of the genes present and certainly not be gay, in just the same way that many genetic conditions are. So you if you find out you have some of these genes, does this really make a difference? What really matters is the thoughts in your head, such as is the case for transgender people. If you are attracted to a particular sex, or both, the specific genes you have don't matter to you in everyday life.

Finding these specific genes may lead to screening being available to know if you're gay and even be detected in utero. Will that then be a good heads-up message for someone? Or give some people a need to abort the foetus? Surely we cannot even have that possibility in a society that is supposed to uphold equality in sexuality.

It is okay to be gay? But of course it is! Why do you need a reason to be the same as you? So you're different from everyone else, just like everyone else is unique. There are more pressing issues in the world, especially for gay people: like is green a good colour for them, whether to have a second dinner or if they can get away without ironing a shirt.

I leave you with this by Paris Lees: 'true acceptance of transgender people simply requires that we truly accept transgender people. Ditto gay people. The end... If everyone is adult and you're not hurting anyone without their full and informed consent, I hereby declare it OK to be gay. If you fancy it. No reason required. You're welcome.'