[This copy-cat ad was the bisexual movement’s response to the 1997 anti-gay fundementalist Christian full-page “ex-gay” ad campaign, which targeted mainstream newspapers (NY Times, LA Times, etc.) and claimed that people could be cured of homosexuality. Each ad had a photo and the testimony of a “cured” homosexual. The copy-cat ad appeared in several gay papers around the country, in national conference programs, and in Anything That Moves magazine. I spearheaded the national bisexual ad campaign, writing the basic copy with input from activists, organizing the photoshoot, and working with ATM editor Linda Howard to produce the final product.]
Toward a new national discussion of sexual orientation
The Christian Coalition, Family Research Council, Concerned Women for America, and the American Family Association (partial list) used this slogan in recently published anti-gay ads claiming to have cured homosexuals of their behavior. The ensuing debates on morality, genetics, or unlearning behavior all miss an important point – we have the right to love whomever we choose. The truth is, human sexuality is far more rich and multifaceted than we’re taught to believe. The truth is that neither science, nor politics, nor religion can yet define the genesis of sexual orientation. Most likely each of us is a complex mix of nature and nuture.
The truth is, many people are bisexual.
Bisexual people have the capacity for emotional, romantic, loving and/or physical attraction to more than one gender. Some of these so-called ex-gays are undoubtedly bisexual. Bisexuals can choose to be open to the full range of possibilities, but our bisexuality is the potential, not the requirement, for involvement with more than one gender. Some bisexual people choose to be in committed monogamous relationships; some choose other forms of relationships and commitments. Heterosexual and homosexual people also make these choices.
Bisexuals come from all cultures, all religious and spiritual beliefs, all sizes and abilities, all social strata and walks of life. Some of us are just like you. Some of us are nothing like you. But we are bound together by one important factor: we believe in the freedom to love whom we choose.
The truth is, love is about honor and respect for yourself and others.
The truth is, these ads sow hatred and intolerance. These organizations are seeking to define sexuality, gender, and family solely in their own image. It is an offense to the human spirit for any group to impose their beliefs as the one true way and to tell people to reject and hate themselves and each other because they do not fit a certain mold. That is not love.
Love, between people who care for each other regardless of the genders involved, is an important family value that strengthens our society and enriches all our lives. Love is an essential part of life and a celebration of the human spirit. The truth is that the families we create, in whatever form, are precious and entitled to respect and to equal protection under the law.
The truth is, love makes a family.
As human beings we are born with the right and ability to love, to change, and to choose as we grow. We must all have the option to choose to get married or not. We must all have the right to have and to raise children or not. All our relationships and families must be equally valued. We must have the right to walk down the street holding hands without the threat of violence. We must have the right to live, to work and love without fear of discrimination of any sort. We must have the right to make our own moral and ethical decisions based on our own personal integrity.
THE TRUTH IS, ALL OF US –
BISEXUAL, LESBIAN, GAY, TRANSGENDER, HETEROSEXUAL –
DESERVE THE RIGHT TO LOVE WHOM WE CHOOSE.