Born This Way. No, Really!

By Dave Kendrick, Fitness Professional, Fitness SF, SOMA

“You’re black, white, beige, chola descent
You’re Lebanese, you’re orient
Whether life’s disabilities
Left you outcast, bullied, or teased
Rejoice and love yourself today
‘Cause baby you were born this way.”

Truer words were never spoken. It turns out Lady Gaga was on to something, which science has proven, and can be explained by looking at nature, and the human animal’s desire to adapt and survive. This is for YOU, Vice President Mike Pence, so listen up:

It comes down to one simple sentence, succinctly stated by Dr. James O’Keefe MD, in a recent TED talk. “Gay men and women are essential to the survival of the human race.”  Wow, that’s one heady statement, but O’Keefe backs it up with some impressive science.

Homosexuality persists throughout time and history, but not as a fluke of nature. “If this were a genetic error,” he says, “natural selection would have long ago culled this from the genetic pool.”O’Keefe states that homosexuality actually increases a family’s ability to survive.O’Keefe began this quest to understand the science behind what makes a person attracted to the same sex, when his son came out to him and his wife at 18.”Mom and dad, I have something to tell you,” his son said. “It’s not bad, it’s just different. I’m gay.” After a few seconds of “deafening silence” O’Keefe’s wife said, “Jimmy, we will love whoever you love.”

And while Jimmy’s parents were very supportive, they secretly worried about their son’s safety, and struggled to understand why this happened to their family.  They felt that somehow they had failed their child, or done something wrong. So O’Keefe set about to discover, using his medical background, how it is that people are gay. On the surface, it doesn’t make much sense. “Viewed in the light of evolution, homosexuality seems to be a non-productive, self-defeating strategy. But down through recorded history, in every culture, and every recorded species, homosexuality has been a small, but distinct subgroup.”

O’Keefe watched his son grow into a young man. And something occurred to him, as he watched Jimmy’s interaction with his siblings and parents. “It suddenly dawned on me,” said O’Keefe, “homosexuality isn’t about sex, it’s about survival. Specifically, the family’s survival.

Homo Sapiens are a very social animal. It’s not just a “kill or be killed” struggle for existence, it’s also a “snuggle for existence.”  The ability to bond with our family determines our ability to survive. “So it’s the survival of the fittest FAMILY, not the fittest individual” he says.

“Gays are designed by nature to help us be kind to one another,” says O’Keefe. And to back this up, he sites the preeminent evolutionary biologist E. O. Wilson, who agrees with his assessment. “Homosexuality gives advantages to the group through specialized talents and unusual qualities of personality” says Wilson. “A society that condemns homosexuality harms itself.”That’s some pretty strong stuff, Dr. Wilson! What does Wilson mean by “unusual qualities”?

Well, O’Keefe thought about his single female friend, a 35 year old straight female, who recently complained about her struggle to find a man who is smart and funny, who’s sensitive, who’s a good listener. And she says she occasionally meets a guy like that, but inevitably he already has a partner- another man!

O’Keefe says we need to stop worrying about what gay people do in the bedroom, but instead recognize them for their distinctive personality and strong intellect. Scientific studies have proven that gay people are more intelligent, particularly when it comes to EMOTIONAL intelligence.

“Studies have proven that boys and girls who fall into the ‘extremely bright” IQ range are twice as likely to be gay then those that fell in the low to average range. Gay males, in psychologic testing, score much higher in metrics of compassion and cooperation, and lower in metrics of hostility.” O’Keefe says, “If Michelangelo was straight, he might  have just wallpapered the Sistine Chapel.”

Songwriter Sam Austin said, “Homosexuality is God’s way of ensuring the truly gifted aren’t burdened with children.” Funny, right? But nature backs up these theories.

Today is the U.S., two out of every 25 people are gay. “Diversity is nature’s secret weapon,” asserts O’Keefe. “If all males were gay, that might be a problem.” (well, for O’Keefe, and for our future, maybe, but not for me!)””But if all men were warriors, we would always be at war. The recipe for a successful human culture is a synergy of many different ingredients. Homosexuality is like a catalyst to help emotionally connect groups of people together.”

O’Keefe says our epigenetics chooses from all the different “programs downloaded on your DNA to decide which version of YOU is the best fit for your environment.” O’Keefe sites the studies of ant colonies, where their epigenetics and social environments are very similar to humans. Two twin  sisters in the ant community have identical DNA, except that the queen ant places different epigenetic tags on the two twins. One ant is big and brawny and is the soldier ant that protects the colony, and the other is brainy but quick and small for food hunting. The queen releases one tag when the colony is under attack, or others when food is scarce.

And here’s the kicker that ties it all together – humans do the same thing. We are born with traits that allow us and our families the best chance of succeeding in the current conditions.

O’Keefe says everyone has gay genes in their DNA, but unless they were turned on in your mother’s womb, they remain coiled up and silent.
So the question is, what conditions in the mother’s womb turn on those gay genes?

For a male baby, your chances of being gay increases based on how many boys previously inhabited your mother’s uterus. For every older brother you have, your chances of being gay increases 33%. “Long before we developed the pill, nature developed homosexuality as a prescription for birth control. After 4 straight males, nature says ‘enough already!’ and your mom’s immune system flips the epigenetic gay switch. This gay male will not be burdening future generations with more mouths to feed, and he’s not going to be killing his brother over ‘who gets the girl.’ He also acts to promote ‘togetherness’ which improves the chances of survival of the whole family.

There’s one more important reason why DNA turns on the gay gene in your mother’s womb. While O’Keefe’s wife was pregnant with Jimmy, they discovered a large cancerous tumor in her esophagus. She had to have radiation therapy while Jimmy was in his third trimester inside her. Miraculously, they both survived. So why is Jimmy gay then? Parental stress is the other factor which turns on the gay gene. Studies say 37% of all gay males have mothers who had some form of prenatal stress – whether physical or emotional. And so nature says, this family needs a child who will be sensitive, kind, and a clever ally who will support mom emotionally, and help hold this family together. So, Jimmy was born gay.O’Keefe says that Jimmy announced to his mom at the age of 3, “when I grow up I’m gonna marry daddy!” Some parents would have sent their children off to conversion camp but as O’Keefe says, “You might as well send them off to conversion camp to change their eyes from brown to blue!”

Boy George once said “people think that gays want to have sex, while straight people fall in love.”

That’s not true.

We all want love.

In many countries homosexuality is punished by imprisonment and even death. Many countries, including the U.S., where Vice President Mike Pence, believe that homosexuality is “against the order of nature.” Except that it’s not. We are not confused or defective people who need to be punished or ostracized. We need to be accepted for who we are and embraced. Mother Nature knows what she is doing. Jimmy is exactly who he was meant to be, and so are you and I.

Says O’Keefe, “Gay men and women are essential to humanity. It is in our diversity that we find our collective strength.”

No matter gay, straight, or bi
Lesbian, transgendered life
I’m on the right track baby
I was born to survive



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