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Are you gay by birth or is it something you develop?

29 Answers
Last Updated: 07/13/2020 at 10:12am
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Anonymous - Expert in LGBTQ+ Issues
November 27th, 2014 12:51am
Do you have a favorite color by birth or is it something you develop? While there does seem to be some genetic factor related to sexuality, there's not been nearly enough research required to draw any true conclusions. It's hard to say if someone is born of any sexuality, since people don't experience sexual attraction until puberty. That said, you cannot be raised as a particular sexuality, either. Your sexuality is your sexuality regardless of how and where you were raised. Though it can change over time, not by intention on your part or anyone else's, such as with hormone medication or through so-called therapy. Sometimes extreme, traumatic events can result in enough emotional stress to alter your sexuality. Other times, your sexuality may change as you grow and learn more about yourself and what you want. None of this invalidates someone's sexual identity. There's no difference in what "causes" someone to be gay as what "causes" someone to be straight or any other sexual orientation.
July 13th, 2020 10:12am
Since the 70s, the American Psychological Association has been at the forefront of research around the topic of sexual orientation, sexual preference, and LGBT people. Even today, it is widely debated in the research community as to whether same-sex sexual behaviour is influenced by environmental or biological factors. There are still conflicting findings.

One environmental influence that is thought to affect a person’s sexuality is childhood gender nonconformity (CGN). It is has been found that, for example, men who recalled being feminine during childhood are gay, and women who recalled playing in a more masculine style identified as lesbian.

A further environmental influence could be due to changes in a mother’s womb. Much research has gone into one theory called the ‘maternal immune hypothesis’. This theory suggests that the maternal environment changes when a woman is pregnant with a boy. The immune response of the mother changes, and this change has been associated with an increasing chance that the child will be gay. A recent study, published March 2020, found that men with older brothers are more likely to gay. It is suggested that the more male children a mother has, the more likely the youngest child will identify as a gay man.

In other new genetic research, it has been suggested that the concept of being born with a ‘gay gene’ that determines if an individual prefers same-sex partners is not real. Before this study, in 2015 there had been research suggesting homosexuality could be linked to the X chromosome. However, the large genome-wide association study, that looked at genetic markers associated with same-sex preferences, concluded that there are many genes that are associated with same-sex sexual behaviour. This would suggest at least some biological basis for human sexuality but cannot be pinned to one specific gene. Bear in mind that these studies were completed with individuals who identify as the gender they were assigned at birth, so the extent that the information can be generalised to transgender people is unclear.

Just remember that the exploration of yourself and your sexual experience is your own journey, regardless of how others perceive it. Some family members may have their own opinions and prejudices about same-sex relationships, but that does not mean they are correct. Try to be true to yourself during your journey, as those who love you for who you are will accept you for exactly that- you.
December 4th, 2014 1:25am
There's a common misconception that people are "born gay" or "born straight." Sexuality is very fluid and can change throughout your life. Some people identify with one sexuality their whole life, other people identify as multiple.
November 27th, 2014 3:44am
Yes: sexuality is genetic, not environmental. For some people environment can play a role in sexual BEHAVIOR, but sexual orientation and sexual attraction are determined by biology and are an innate part of who we are. Sexuality is determined in part by specific genes and in part by androgen levels in the womb. (That's not to say that sexuality isn't fluid...for some people, it is. However, non-binary sexualities are also genetic, just another combination of genes and gene expression.)
November 27th, 2014 3:25pm
i think that weather you are born gay or it is something you develop is not as important as you deciding who you want to be, if you feel happy or comfortable being gay then there's nothing wrong with being happy
March 21st, 2016 4:02pm
Truly, we were born clueless, but eventually we get to know who we are and what we want, Thats how you become who you are, the thing is, everyone was born clueless
November 29th, 2014 8:47am
There are different opinions on this, and it may possibly vary person to person. I think the majority of people (if not all) are born predisposed to be attracted to people in a certain manner, but it is possible that socialization impacts some people's attractions - for example: there are theorists who believe that everyone is bisexual, and that society and experiences shape us to develop relationships in different manners (typically heterosexual due to rules and norms in society). Perhaps that is so, but I know so many people who have tried so so hard to change their sexual orientation and failed... so I believe it is something we cannot change - so whether we are born with or develop it, it is NOT something we can change by the time we realize what our orientation is (just look at the decades of failed scientific experiments trying to 'cure' gay people. Those gays tried very very hard to change, and hated their sexual orientation very very much).
June 13th, 2016 1:39pm
sexual orientation is something you are born with. You may discover it later in life, but you can't change/develop it.
March 15th, 2015 7:43pm
There were a lot of studies about it, I think it's a combination. You are born with a certain sexual/romantic attraction and events and situations in life can change that for the homosexual or heterosexual side, all are fine. And also , if one day you find yourself not so gay as you thought, it is alright.
July 19th, 2016 5:26am
You definitely can't choose to be gay. You can't force yourself to become what you're not - It'll catch up with you. So yeah, you are born gay and you're in it for life.
December 16th, 2014 11:05pm
Gay by birth, a funny question. No I wasn't panting hard over my mother's gynecologist as I emerged from the womb, but (I was told) by the time I was 6 months any man who picked me up when I was being fussy was able to get me to quiet down almost immediately, yet when a woman did it I just continued crying. Now, I don't know if that means gay at birth, but I knew early on what I desired and had acted on those feelings by the time I was twelve years old. I believe in the "gay gene". I certainly did not choose and have never regretted who and what I am.
November 23rd, 2015 8:47pm
i think no one was born straight, gay, bi, pan, etc. Sexuality is something that you discover with age.
November 26th, 2014 11:11pm
In my personal opinion, due to the fact that all sexual identities are socially constructed, it does not matter whether a gene has anything to do with it. We all ascribe to social norms in one way or another.
May 9th, 2015 7:56pm
everyone gets confused about their sexuality gays, lesbians, bisexual or straight as they grow up. One day it will just click and you will know no one else can tell you what you are only you can tell yourself or work out for yourself what sexuality you are
June 4th, 2015 4:36pm
You're gay at birth, but you may not understand it yourself until later in life. And if someone tells you that it's just a choice, it is not. This is who you are and you cannot change yourself.
July 13th, 2015 4:53am
I grew up thinking I was straight as a board, since I had several crushes on boys throughout my little childhood years. Junior high came around, and before I knew it, I was in love with both of my best friends. Nowadays, I identify as a genderfluxLike any LGBTQIA+ "label", they can change just as you change. You could be a cissexual lesbian now, or you could be demisexual and genderfluid in 6 years. And there's absolutely nothing wrong with that. For some people, they were gay coming out of the womb, and for others they didn't have this revelation until much later in life.
January 10th, 2017 6:45am
This being a particularly sensitive subject, I chose to be brief with my answer. I personally believe that when you are born, you are born innocent and not know what sexuality is. In today's society, our youth really is given this image of heteronormality and this is actually what might cause confusion in kids' sexuality. For most, people remember being gay for as long as they remember. For others, people realize, over time, that what they're doing now isn't necessarily right for them, and start to develop other sexualities or romances. So, for the sake of 'briefness' that barely occurred, I believe that you can be born gay, AND you can choose later on in life as you gain experience experimenting.
January 3rd, 2015 2:53am
homosexuality, along with any other identity of sexual orientation along the spectrum is something that a person is born AS. not with. it is just how they are. eventually overtime, a person may become to understand how they actually feel and figure out how they wish to indentify. it's different for everyone, this process. sometimes it's as early as 5 years old. sometimes, it takes longer to realize your orientation.
August 4th, 2015 11:05pm
You are gay or bi by birth, but you have to found out. I was attracted to girls too when I was in kdergarden but I didn't know that, I just thought that I like them like they are my idol, I always wished to be a guy so I can be with some girls I didn't know I was attracted to.
March 21st, 2016 8:34am
It can be either. Some people develop it by birth and others develop it over time. Either way people are all different in their own way regardless of when.
November 21st, 2017 1:10pm
I think most sexualities are present in some sense from birth. We start noticing these tendencies more and acting on them more later on in life, mostly after hitting puberty. This may be due to more education about sexual orientations and a general questioning phase.
November 21st, 2017 3:52pm
You are gay by birth. You can't change who are you attracted to. Your choice is whether you're gonna act upon it or not.
December 12th, 2017 2:52pm
You are gay by birth in my opinion, you don’t choose it, and you don’t realise it until later on so i guess it’s development
- Expert in LGBTQ+ Issues
July 1st, 2019 1:22am
Sexual orientations are something we are born with, they can't be influenced by external factors or by anything that happens in our life. External factors can only contribute to making your realize what your orientation really is, but the orientation has always been there as a part of you, even if for someone it's hard to realize it.
December 12th, 2015 9:43am
I've always considered it to happen at birth. Even when I was young, I remember feeling attracted to males and females, and I didn't even know what it meant to be gay.
May 17th, 2016 6:53pm
It's an answer that is not yet determined but I believe that everyone is born gay but choose because of various societal pressure.
July 18th, 2016 10:46am
Well actually, a lot of people are constantly talking about this and discussing this. Everyone has their own opinion, Like if a child has gay parents, he/she doesn't have to turn out gay as well, but he/she can. Or if parents are straight, child can turn out one of these ways. There have also been various researches. I did an essay about this in school. It's actually quite interesting. I believe that it could also be both, something you have, a feeling but it developes while aging.
November 23rd, 2017 5:13am
The more I reflect and consider the circumstances; I would say yes people are born gay. What I am trying to figure out is whether birth trauma can be a precursor to being gay.
December 17th, 2018 9:42am
Do you like sport cars by birth or it's something you develop? Let's start saying that sexual orientation is something that hardly ever comes out before puberty, because, earlier, body and mind aren't ready to ask themselves who would they like to have sex with, they're not even interested in the subject yet (gender identity is different for example, children recognize themselves as males or females before they're even able to talk). Next point: sexual orientation (such as gender identity) is a spectrum. This means that you can be straight, mainly straight but not despising same sex, bisexual, mainly gay but not despising other sex, or gay. It's tastes. So, what do I think sexual orientation is? I think it's taste. You may be a male and like to play with dolls, and convince yourself you don't because you fear other people's and your own judgement. Too bad. But this will hardly ever affect your life in a significant way. Forcing yourself to have sex with people with which you don't want to have it, will DEFINITELY affect your life. This is something more intimate and personal, you can't fool yourself around it, you can't choose it, you can't convince yourself to change your mind or ignore it and behave differently without this having major effects on your mental well being and overall serenity and happiness. You can either be born with it, develop it or whatever else. Does it really matter?