The Gay Option by Stephanie Fairyington

ENG 101 —- Essay #1: Article Analysis After reading Chapter 2: Examining Written Arguments in its entirety, choose one of the following argumentative essays to investigate further. The Gay Option Page 50 800 words in proper MLA format with PROPER citing and in text citations or paraphrasing. Using some of the strategies from the chapter, analyze the essay you chose in your own short essay that answers the following questions: Who is the author, and why is this important? When was the essay written, and why is this important? What claim is the author making? What kind of claim is the author making (fact, value, or policy)? How does the author support this claim? What is the warrant that connects the claim and the support? Overall, do you find the essay to be an effective argument? Follow these instructions carefully: Your paper should address the above questions in a unified and logically organized essay. You may answer the questions in any logical order. Whatever order you choose, your essay should include an introductory paragraph, body paragraphs, and a conclusion paragraph. The introductory paragraph should identify the author, essay, and general topic to be discussed. In addition, it should state the purpose of the essay, which is to analyze a specific reading. The body paragraphs of your paper should answer the required questions. Focus on transitioning from paragraph to paragraph smoothly to create the sense that all of the questions you are answering are working towards the same purposeto better understand an argumentative essay. For guidance with transitions between paragraphs, you may wish to view this topic on the Purdue Online Writing Lab (OWL); there is a link under the online learning resources for Week 3. You are expected to quote from the essay you choose to support your analysis. Avoid self-referential (first person) pronouns such as I, me, my, our, we, etc. If you are going to argue that the essay is an effective argument, simply state The essay is an effective argument without using phrases such as I think, I believe, or In my opinion. Review Chapters 1 & 2 in Elements of Argument for more information on concepts such as claim, support, and warrant. I have written the following, but am not satisfied with it. You can write your own or edit this one to fit the instructions above. I want a very catchy proper introductory sentence in the introductory paragraph. The author of the article The Gay Option is Stephanie Fairyington who is based in Dissent. The article was published in the year 2010. The author focuses on the idea of same sex love where most people are afraid of coming out with the fear of being rejected by their families, friends and the society at large. She argues that it is the high time that the LGBT activists across the world says it is their choice to love the way they do. This article has received lots of criticisms from various activists, social commentators and other individual across the world. The author shares her experience and tribulations when she confessed to her mother that she was a lesbian and the perceptions around her community on her. Therefore, this paper will focus on the reasons as to why this article is important, the claims of the author and the warrant that connects all the claims to the support. The essay was written in summer 2010 when the issue of homosexuality had dominated the country and the conservative republicans rebuked the homosexual people in the country. Those elected under the Republican Party ticket vowed not to support any bill that sought to fight for the rights of the LGBT community in the country. The discussions concerning the LGBT community was trending as various activists were at the forefront of ensuring that these people are appreciated and recognized in any community with no judgments. The author emphasizes that same sex is a personal choice and it is the high time the society accept those who love people of their sex. The author of the article is trying to make various claims. To start with, she came out at the age of 28. However, she was still in denial and afraid of coming out because of her family. For instance, she states that her mother blamed her parenting skills for the same sex attraction sin her. This is because she talked of lesbianism as a genetic defect or even a chronic disease that she caused on her daughter. This is the reason the author was drowning in self disgust and was afraid of coming. This is a clear indication that most parents have instilled fear in their children that they are even afraid of defining whom they really are and coming out. Secondly, the author believes that the heterosexual and conservative friends in their community were not supportive of the LGBT community. In most cases, they tend to practice what can be referred to as politics of pity. This is the same thing to the gay people in every community across the world as they try to secure their space. This is because the heterosexual people in the community always query about the status and the value of this gay people. This means that the LGBT community has no space in the table. In most cases, they tolerated and not fully accepted in the community. Further, the author supports his claims through various arguments. Homosexuality should be understood and taken as a valid choice in the 21st century. This is because most people and civil rights group always associate homosexuality with biological affiliations. Sexual attractions are valid and should be respected by all in the community with no judgment. The conservative republicans do not in any way support the LGBT community due to various reasons which are highly condemned and rebuked by the civil rights groups in the country. She argues that biology is not destiny, thus, people should be allowed to make their sexual association and choices without fear of being judged and rejected in their community. People should be in charge of their lives. She also states that most people who make enquires into the origins of the homosexual behaviors are suspects themselves. This is because their services to this community is limited and they do for their own gains. Moreover, politics of choice is the warrant that the author uses to connect to his claim. This is because the LGBT activists have played an important role in the construction of the sexual framework that has been implemented in various states across the country. Although this can be taken as a political strategy, this framework has enormous benefits to the LGB community in the country as most of them have benefited from the ant discriminatory legislation. This essay has an effective argument as it highlights the plight of most heterosexual people across the world. Most of them live in denial of being judged by their families and community around them. She has pointed out that same sex love is by choice and people should be allowed to make their sexual decisions with no discrimination. This means that the community should be ready to engage the homosexual people in the community and respect the choice of their identity. Just in case you need a copy of the article, I have pasted it here: I came out to my mother in a letter. I was 28. I was born this way, I wrote, following with the most shattering high note of self-loathing I can think of: If there were a straight pill, I lamented, Id swallow it faster than you can say the word gay. I didnt mean either of these things. I said them because I knew they would elicit pity and absolve my mother of the belief that her parenting was to blame for my same-sex attractions. It worked. Five years later, my mother continues to talk about my lesbianism as if it were a genetic defect like Down syndromea parallel shes actually drawnbecause clearly, in her mind, no one would choose such a detestable and challenging state of being. This is not a message Im proud to have sent. Contrary to how I actually feel about my sexuality, it suggests that Im drowning in a sea of self-disgust, desperately grasping for a heterosexual lifeboat to sail my way out of it. But would my mother have been as sympathetic and tolerant if she thought I had a choice in the matter? Would conservative allies support us if they believed we could help it? If the answer is no, and I believe it is, what does it say about our self-worth and status in society if we, as gay people, must practice a politics of pity to secure our place in the world? It says, for one, that we dont have a place at the table. It says that we are tolerated, but not accepted. It says, ultimately, that its time to change our rhetoric. Until homosexuality is cast and understood as a valid choice, rather than a biological affliction, we will never rise above our current status. We will remain Mother Natures mistake, tolerable (to some) because our condition is her fault, not ours. By choice, I dont mean that one can choose ones sexual propensities any more than one can choose ones personality. What I mean is that its a choice to act on every desire we have, and that acting on our same-sex attractions is just as valid as pursuing a passion for the Christian faith or Judaism or any other spiritual, intellectual, emotional, or physical craving that does not infringe on the rights of others. And it should be respected as such. As a firm Kinsey 6with 6 being the gayest ranking on sexologist Alfred Kinseys 1-to-6 scale of sexual orientationI understand the resistance to putting choice and homosexuality in the same sentence. My same-sex attractions were awakened in me at such a young age that they felt as much a part of me as my limbs. In the late 1990s, when I was coming out, had someone told me that I had chosen my deepest, most tender and passionate affections, it would have been like telling me that I had chosen the arms and legs I have. But I have plenty of desires, like throwing my fists in the faces of conservative Republicans, which for one reason or another, I dont act on; my desire for women is not one of them. Biology is not destiny, and I am the architect of my own life, as is everyone. My point is not to challenge or even enter the debate about whether or not some combination of nature and nurture contributes to the formation of an inclination toward ones own sex. My point is that most inquiries into the origins of homosexuality are suspect, and their service to us is limited, if not perilous. image by Scott Bakal / www.scottbakal.com Content Tools Print Email A politics of choice would be one that regards same-sex desire enough to announce it as a conscious decision rather than a predetermined abnormality. No matter how bumpy the ride or long the journey, choice as a political strategy is the only ride out of Freaksville. Forty years ago, gay activists had a similar view, taking their cues from radical lesbian feminists who believed that heterosexuality and homosexuality were products of culture, not nature. In the absence of oppression and social control, writes historian John DEmilio, gay liberationists believed that sexuality would be polymorphousfluid, in other words. Back then they talked about sexual preference, which implies choice, as opposed to sexual orientation, which does not. It wasnt until the 1970s that the mental health establishment and its gay allies put forth the view that homosexuality is a permanent psychological condition and debunked the notion that it was a mental illness in need of a cure. Then came the 1980s and 1990s and a slew of shoddy and inconclusive scientific research on the biological origins of gayness, reinforcing the belief that sexuality is predestined. Both psychological and medical discourses formed todays dominant paradigm, which insists that sexuality is inborn and immutable. The LGBT activists who have helped construct this sexual framework are neither lazy nor naive in their thinking, as DEmilio points out in his essay Born Gay?, a crisp case against the politics of biological determinism. As a political strategy, it has helped reap enormous benefits, from antidiscrimination legislation to adoption rights in some states and civil unions in others. The reasons this model of sexuality is politically expedient and effective are threefold. First, if sexuality is understood as predestined and therefore fixed, it poses less of a challenge to the hetero monolith than does a shifting spectrum of desire. It protects straight people, in other words, from the threat of homosexuality. Second, by presenting homosexuality as a biological fact as firm and absolute as race or sex, gay activists have formed an identity the law can recognize and can follow in the footsteps of civil rights legislation. Third, its conceptually easier to understand sexuality as a permanent trait rather than the complex, ever-morphing mess that it often is. But for all the success this politics has had, in the end, its not only shortsighted but rife with limitationsand dangers. As lesbian activist Joan Nestle told me, its not good politics to cling to the born gay edict because the use of biological abnormalities was used by the Nazis when they measured the nostril thickness of imprisoned Jews to prove they were an inferior race; and when colonizers measured the brains of Africans to make a case for their enslavement; and when doctors at the turn of the century used the argument that the light weight of womens brains proved their inferiority to men. I do not want to enter into this sad history of biological dehumanization as the basis for gay rights. All the studies that gay sympathizers and activists invoke to justify our right to same-sex love cast homosexuality as a loud hiccup at the dinner table of normality. As such, were put on par with other undesirable deviations from natures norm, taunting eugenics with the keys to eliminating us. This is the ugly underbelly of our biology-centered claims to human rights. The typical conservative assault on homosexuality casts it as a sinful choice that can be unchosen through a commitment to God and reparative therapy. And the left usually slams into this simplistic polemic by taking up the opposite stance: Homosexuality is not a choice, and because we cant help it, its not sinful. By affirming that homosexual practice and identity are a choice, we can attach an addendumits a good choiceand open the possibility of a more nuanced argument, one that dismantles the logic of the very premise that whom we choose to love marks us as sinful and immoral and interrogates the assumption that heterosexuality is somehow better for the individual and society as a whole. In my conservative Republican family, signs already point to a kind of readiness to engage homosexuality as a legitimate decision. Recently, I called my mother in California to throw out my born-gay-pity-me garbage. She didnt swallow my pill of choice with ease, but managed to cough up an exasperated, Well, whatever makes you happy. Thats one down and a nation to go. Stephanie Fairyington is a freelance journalist who writes on gender and sexuality. Excerpted from Dissent (Winter 2010), a provocative, opinionated journal of politics and culture since 1954. www.dissentmagazine.org