Main | Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Gay Adoption = Assimiliation?

My scientist buddy Dagon used to live in Manhattan but is now back in Austin, Texas, where he studies and teaches plant biology. Dagon also noticed Little David's post about the two gay men who adopted an infant baby, but his take was a little different.
I've been online too much reading theist vs. atheist fights, and as a result I have a persistent stress headache. I was reading some gay blogs too and ran across an account of two gay men "adopting their first child", a phrase encapsulating a horror of hideous heteronormative assimilation. In particular, the word "first" chilled my bones. How many babies is it going to take to satisfy these two gay men?

While I'm not sure about evolutionary explanations of homosexuality, I do feel strongly that our fate is different from that of the those who can breed, which I guess includes lesbian couples at this point. Our fate is in some ways a distinctly selfish one; however, I also have a lot more headspace for my research than many of my married, child-rearing colleagues. There are distinct advantages to the situation. I would not choose to be straight, given the choice. Call me selfish.

I'd be more approving of two men settling down together, pretending to be a nuclear family, if it were part of some kink. It's the earnest mimicry of the nuclear family that kills me. I feel the gays are cut out for something different, maybe better--that's up to us.

I'm skeptical of straight people finding their lives' fulfillment in having babies and (at least!) doubly skeptical of gays' pantomiming that life trajectory. Turning one's back on powerful biological imperatives, including the urge to reproduce, is important. It is the kind of action that separates us from animals. We are, of course, animals, but we are also uniquely positioned to defy our base instincts. Failures to defy these instincts constitute massive failures as human beings.
Fascinating stuff. Ten years ago, maybe even five years ago, I would have agreed with Dagon completely. Perhaps it's my age or battle fatigue, but I can no longer muster much more than a puzzled shrug when I talk about homos who want children. I have never felt the slightest momentary twinge of interest to procreate or parent, but I must support our people that do, and in whatever manner pleases them. That doesn't mean I don't still consider heteronormative assimilation to be the greatest internal threat to the continuity of gay culture. It is.

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