I'm going to steer the topic away for a bit...because this has been bothering me for a while and I thought someone might have an answer to it.
The notion of sexual orientation and gender identity being a "lifestyle choice" is quite... strange to me. I think the closest phrase I can find to describe the feeling is laughably bizzare. Or maybe not...since there's also a lot of genuine confusion mixed in. But anyway.
Just like how straight cisgender people don't understand how another person could fall in love with members of the same gender and why trans people feel incongruence between their identity and their bodies, I too don't understand why people think it's a choice. Or why some of them even think we're lying or we're rebelling because we think it's trendy. It simply doesn't make sense to me, because there has never been any CHOICE in the matter. I don't choose who I get attracted to, I just do. I don't choose how to feel about my gender, I just do. It is an intrinsic part of me.
The only choice I have is between living an honest life because it is the only way I can get the most out of life, the only way I can enjoy life to the fullest, and living a lie just to please other people but wrecking myself internally in the process. What is the point of leading an empty, meaningless life? The second choice is pretty much equivalent to death. So between living and dying, which would you choose?
The people you see fighting for their rights are the ones who survived the choice game. The rest are dead. Dead. Most did not die peacefully. Thousands have committed suicide because they cannot bear lying to themselves, lying to everyone and even lying to God. Thousands have died because some monsters who have the gall to call themselves humans assaulted them, killed them and maybe even raped them in a fit of disgust and derision. You don't have to look far to find the proof and statistics, they're all there.
For some people, this is how it works :
1. The scripture (whichever religion that applies) tells them who they are is wrong and sinful.
2. They can try pretending to be "normal", to fit themselves back into society as "good" and "proper" citizens, but that would mean they are lying. Lying to God too. Lying is a sin.
It's a lose/lose situation. They're born sinners. They're born to be hated on by other people. Where is this choice you speak of? There is none. Unless of course, you want them to force themselves to believe they can be normal. That process will probably just lead to more deaths than successful conversions. Why?
[A 2002 study of recent participants in an 'ex-gay' conversion program reported that, out of 202 participants, only 8 reported being completely 'cured.' Out of those 8, seven were employed by the program as counselors, four of whom were paid. 176 of the participants were classified as 'failures', and of these, 155 reported significant long-term harm, including depression and suicidal thoughts, complete loss of religious faith, and deteriorating relationships with family and friends. 18 of the participants were forced to undergo shock therapy and induced vomiting.
(Shidlo, A & Schroeder, M. (2002). Changing sexual orientation: A consumer?s report. Professional Psychology: Research and Practice, 33(3), 249-259.)]
So...choice? I can't even begin to understand it.
If someone would like to explain why they think it is so, please do enlighten me.
edit: thought i'd brighten up the place with something that i found somewhere i can't remember...