There's a phrase that always bothers me when I hear or read it. It's a phrase, really a single word, that is often used to describe us gay people. It's belittling and demeaning to what it means to be gay.
"Gay lifestyle." It's a reduction of this thing that is me to a mere choice, as if I'm living in a way that can be reasonably and accurately compared to whether someone enjoys UT football to the extent that they purchase orange clothes and seriously debate the merits of Fulmer's resignation.
If asked I don't think I could accurately describe what I'd consider my lifestyle. I don't think I have ever fallen into what one might think of as normal, though I certainly do things and there are certainly aspects of my life that could be described as such. I'm in my mid thirties, have two children, live in the suburbs, own a car and a truck (though the truck probably deserves its own complaint riddled post) have a dog, etc.
All of this of course begs questions that I'm sure the majority of gay people ask themselves at some point. Is my gayness no more or less than a sexual issue? Studies have given us good reason to believe that sexuality and the brain and gender issues are more interwoven that one might previously have thought, though I imagine many gay people could have told you that without scientific studies.
I believe that being gay manifests itself in numerous ways, ways that I never realized before when I so actively denied my sexuality. I believe it's more than the fact that I find guys attractive if impossible to make sense of. I also believe it asserts itself in ways that are generally invisible even to me.
Being gay is not a lifestyle, whether or not there are ways of being and living that are more gay than not. Lifestyles are made up of choices we make, and being gay is not a choice that we make. The only choices I've ever made in regard to my sexuality is the choice many years ago to begin denying it and live in the closet and the choice more recently of exiting that closet and beginning to try to understand myself.