This article was originally published by Mennonite World Review

Lifestyle or life?

When the word “lifestyle” is applied to LGBTQ people, it can be misleading and harmful. Today, most of those who have tried to help change homosexual people into heterosexual ones admit that LGBTQ people are not simply “choosing a lifestyle.” And some who take every word of the Bible literally have a secret: A beloved son, daughter, sister, brother, mother, father or friend was born homosexual. Then the problem becomes personal. I have known several homosexual people, and not one could comprehend choosing the living hell they have had to deal with. And why would they? They have lived in fear of being “outed,” or marginalized by some authority, or taunted or beaten. This is not the same as making a wrong choice and regretting it. This is someone simply being who he or she is. People born homosexual do have choices, but to be gay or straight is not one of them. Usually the choices are simply about which way to suffer. Choosing celibacy seems to be the “cure” in some churches, but how many heterosexuals could make that choice? Choose a permanent partner, and there is at least a chance to experience the full expression of love in your life, but you will be marginalized and might still live in fear of discovery. Choose promiscuity, and you might find brief, shallow happiness but also probably find life to be short and dangerous. Or choose to end your life, as, tragically, many LGBTQ people do. They have lives, not a “life­style.”

Mike Combs
Newton, Kan.

Sign up to our newsletter for important updates and news!