The Sexuality Of Luke Skywalker Is Open To Interpretation

lukeskywalker

Mark Hamill has been being asked about the sexuality of Luke Skywalker. He has been replying, telling people that Luke’s sexuality is what you would like it to be. I love that he says this, and it is just one of the many, many reasons as to why Mark Hamill is so awesome.

He most recently talked to The Sun about LGBT characters in Star Wars, saying:

“I just read online that J.J. is very much open to that. In the old days you would get fan mail.”

“But now fans are writing and ask all these questions, ‘I’m bullied in school… I’m afraid to come out’. They say to me, ‘Could Luke be gay?’ I’d say it is meant to be interpreted by the viewer.”

“If you think Luke is gay, of course he is. You should not be ashamed of it. Judge Luke by his character, not by who he loves.”

Mark Rocks!

We should hopefully be getting more and more LGBT characters in Star Wars. With J.J. Abrams talking about it, that makes me feel confident that they will be going this route.

It’s very important that everyone has characters that they can watch and see themselves in. We need more representation of everyone. Star Wars doing this will make me very happy. A galaxy far, far away going this super positive way will for sure make an massive impact. With Star Wars introducing a huge amount of diversity, it will be seen all over, by everyone. Something this big being a part of the charge is really awesome!

Again, everyone should be able to have characters to relate in stuff that they are watching. Absolutely everybody needs to understand that. It is excellent that Star Wars is moving forward with as much diversity as possible. I love it!

 

Heroic Staff

Heroic Staff

Heroic Special Activities Division Agent Trainee Program

  • Joey Johnson

    I only have beef with it, cuz he should be reys dad, and artificial insemination should NEVER be uttered in star wars

    • Sarah Smith

      Eh, he can like chicks and dudes and then everyone wins! 😉

    • breakerbaker

      He should not be Rey’s dad. If he’s Rey’s dad, he abandoned the New Republic to the First Order and his only daughter to Jaku.

      • Joey Johnson

        Not necessarily: Lukes pregnant wife saw snoak coming, so she fled, snoak lied to luke and said he killed her which caused luke to briefly turn to the darkside(scarring snoaks face with his light saber), and went into hiding so that his darkness wouldnt damage the new republic. Thats one of many possibilities.

        • breakerbaker

          Luke’s established ability to perceive the well being of the people closest to him and ability to locate them in a far away star system using only his perception of the Force would make this a problematic story to tell.

      • Ryan

        Who said Luke dropped her off on Jakku? After seeing the film multiple times, my belief(based on Rey’s vision) is that Kylo was seduced by Snoke, as the betrayal of the Jedi happened and the students were slaughtered, he came upon his cousin as another Knight of Ren was about to kill her, he protected her, killing him(you see him kill a lightsaber wielding foe in the vision,) kidnapping her and hiding her on the distant planet of Jakku. She was young and most likely had her memories hidden/wiped by Kylo(while not canon, it has happened in the EU a la KotOR, and as several ideas from the EU have been cherry picked and used in the canon, it’s very possible they would use this kind of plot device) Luke has shown perception of his loved ones when they were in danger, but he’s never been shown in canon to be all knowing.

        And even if Luke did flat out desert Rey on Jakku himself, well… I don’t know how much of the Star Wars you’ve been privy to, but good parenting has not been a common theme throughout the series, lol.

        • SAMURAI36

          Agreed, on all fronts.

    • Chris W

      How about immaculate conception?

      • Joey Johnson

        Lol that came up at work. All my coworkers and i think we’d prefer luke getting impregnated by the force and giving birth to rey, over when it happened to shmi.

  • wilderfox

    I hate to break it to everybody but he was married to Mara Jade. Sure the books don’t count now its still the same character

    • Jake Bucsko

      “The books don’t count”

  • Why does it matter? Do people really need movie characters to justify their life choices? I really don’t understand this progressive movement. Just make good movies and leave sexuality out of it.

    • Sarah Smith

      Scientific studies show that minority groups benefit psychologically from seeing themselves positively reflected in media. These studies also show that a lack of positive representation can be psychologically harmful. It’s especially important for younger people. So, yeah, actually, some people find movie characters enormously helpful when making life choices. The entire point of stories is to inspire, to thrill, to make us feel things. Where is the shame in finding admirable qualities in great literary characters? Where is the shame in using fiction to engage with social issues? Why is it bad to be inspired to pursue something because of a story?

      But then we get back to the basic point: studies show positive representation is psychologically beneficial. I’m not sure why you’d want to deny that to someone when providing it deprives you of nothing.

      I’m also not sure what you mean by “leave sexuality out of it”. Should The Empire Strikes Back have left out the Han and Leia love story? Or are straight people exempt? In which case, say what you mean: say that you think that non-straight sexualities should be treated differently and should be left out.

      • batghost

        ^^^^^bravo

      • Jake Bucsko

        All the up votes for you

      • Chris W

        Luke had the hots for his sister. It’s very clear that he is a positive representation for a certain community. But it is not the LGBT community.

    • breakerbaker

      Did you just call being gay a “life choice”? You really don’t understand “this progressive movement,” do you?

      • SAMURAI36

        For some people, “understanding” and “agreeing” are not synonymous.

        • breakerbaker

          Framing it as a thing to be agreed with is to frame it as a matter of opinion. That’s not what this is. I’m not interested in people’s opinion regarding gay people or whatever religious hangups they have about the concept, but to call it a choice is equating being gay with an act (sexual or otherwise) and that’s based in a fundamental misconception. Being gay isn’t analogous to being an accountant or a lawyer. Being gay is analogous to being blue eyed, and though you can hide your eye color from the world, being blue eyed is a default. It is not a choice.

          • SAMURAI36

            While I have no issues with being gay, I very much disagree with being gay being equated to being Black (which I am).

            I cannot choice to hide my blackness, although there are numerous gay people who choose to live their lives as a straight person, complete with having children with people of the opposite gender, etc. There are plenty of people who live their lives in such a way, that no one would know if they are gay or not.

            Black people, not so much.

            People treat being gay as an action, because there’s nothing discernible about it, outside of seeing someone do/say something, or act a certain way, none of which are genetic, as with the “blue eyed” example you gave.

            You may not agree with such a perception (which, btw, has nothing to do with being religious, per se), but until there is a more clear physiological indicator(s), then people are well within their rights (religious or otherwise) to feel that it’s a choice.

          • breakerbaker

            I’ve twice replied to this and the response has twice been tagged for the never ending review process.

            It suffices to say that while I agree with you that the experience of being black is unique from the experience of being gay, I disagree that it’s a bad analogy.

            When we talk about what it’s like to be black or be gay, we’re talking about a cultural inheritance of being born into a specific group. Those experiences have similarities and differences from one another, but on a fundamental level, the greatest similarity is that they’re both biologically meaningless ways to distinguish people from one another. Race has no meaning beyond a cultural/ethnic signifier. Sexual identity is only meaningful because the culture has deemed it so. Neither of them are all that different from having blue eyes. It’s just society that tells us otherwise, and society has a way of getting its way.

          • SAMURAI36

            I understand your issue with this site’s flagging. I quickly realized that the “h” word is what was triggering the flag.

            Anyways, the problem with playing down races as merely a cultural/ethnic signifier (while ignoring the obvious physiological characteristics that fuel said distinctions), is that the very same can be done for being gay, especially since being gay has no physiological signifiers.

            If someone was just standing there, not saying/doing anything, then NONE of us would have any way to tell if they were gay, anymore so than if they were Christian. Which is why people see being gay as much a choice as being Christian is.

            But I’d be careful of debasing the value of social merit; that works in both directions. Otherwise, the logic could stand, that gay people don’t need rights, any more (or less) than a Christian person does, since it’s more than easy (effortless, for some people) to pretend that they fall in neither category.

            The same cannot be said for my being Black example, or even your being blue-eyed example.

          • breakerbaker

            I think you’re misunderstanding my point when it comes to “merely a cultural/ethnic signifier.” The point is that race is nothing more than a superficial evolutionary variation. Yes, of course, it’s usually characterized by one or more conspicuous physiological attributes, and while that contributes to the difference of experience between being gay or being black, it’s not meaningful point when it comes to the question of whose oppression at the hands of the dominant socio-political power is more of an injustice. There’s no good reason to look at it from the perspective of “whose oppression is worse.” It benefits nobody but the oppressor because it’s a rationalization that says some oppression is okay.

            Your inability to feel empathy toward somebody simply because they can hide the thing that makes them a target of oppression is not a defensible philosophical position.

          • SAMURAI36

            I feel the need to lead my response with your last statement, rather than your first one:

            Your inability to feel empathy toward somebody simply because they can hide the thing that makes them a target of oppression is not a defensible philosophical position.

            You did precisely what I was hoping you wouldn’t do, which was indict me on charges that I’m not remotely guilty of.

            I never once stated or even implied that I don’t feel empathy. In fact, I thought I’d made it quite clear, but here it is again:

            Under no circumstances should anyone be oppressed, abused, harassed, beaten, or otherwise discriminated against, for ANY reason.

            That is, unless they are Marvel fans, LOL.

            I think you’re misunderstanding my point when it comes to “merely a cultural/ethnic signifier.” The point is that race is nothing more than a superficial evolutionary variation.

            I didn’t misunderstand it, I merely don’t completely agree with it. At least, not in the way that you are presenting it. I get that this has become the “conevntional wisdom” of this current Zeitgeist. Just as “it’s not a choice” has equally become so.

            Just as the “superficial” argument doesn’t stand up to the fact that people with whiter skin are, due to evolution, able to withstand colder climates than those with darker skin, and people on the opposite side of the spectrum tend to be better runners, due to having shorter calf muscles and other physiological markers, various aspects of “being gay” (man, I wish they’d let us say the “h” word here. Saying “being gay” really doesn’t do either of our points any justice) have been contributed to forced scenarios such as penile culture, which goes unaddressed, let alone unexplained by proponents of the conventional wisdom.

            Yes, of course, it’s usually characterized by one or more conspicuous physiological attributes, and while that contributes to the difference of experience between being gay or being black, it’s not meaningful point when it comes to the question of whose oppression at the hands of the dominant socio-political power is more of an injustice.

            No one ever said or implied anything of the sort. I’m fully cognizant of the fact that an oppressor’s whip or beating is going to be felt the same from both parties.

            However, since we are on the subject, I’m sure you are fully aware of the strife that has developed between both communities (Black and gay) over the past couple of decades. So while it does neither party any good to play who got the worse whoopin’ by massuh, it does less so to be oblivious to all the facts–at least as they are being perceived on both sides.

            There’s no good reason to look at it from the perspective of “whose oppression is worse.” It benefits nobody but the oppressor because it’s a rationalization that says some oppression is okay.

            Good thing I was never doing that, then. And now, I think you are misunderstanding my perspective here Not sure where in any of my statements you were reading that. Again, no trait, be it physical or character, is an excuse for mistreatment.

            However, as far as identifying differences, which proves valuable for different reasons, those markers are indeed quite useful. People use them everyday, for far less manevolent reasons.

          • breakerbaker

            Saying that you don’t think anybody should be oppressed is not the same thing as having empathy. As an example, I am not black, but I suspect that you have encountered any number of white people (probably on nearly a daily basis) in your life who would reject racial prejudice and institutionalized racism in the abstract but who lack anything resembling self-awareness when it comes to white privilege and who would defend the status quo to the point that they make either implicitly or overtly racist arguments without even realizing it. The problem usually isn’t that these people think black people deserve to be oppressed. It’s that they don’t have the capacity to look beyond their personal experience and try to understand the world from another person’s perspective. They lack empathy.

            When I say you lack empathy on this subject, I’m pointing to the fact that you keep pointing to the idea that gay people (to varying degrees of success) can pretend to not be gay as though that’s a meaningful point. If, as you’re now saying, that isn’t to characterize one category of oppression as more or less credible/legitimate, then I’m honestly not sure what point you’re trying to make. What difference does it make that they can pretend to be straight. Some black people and people of mixed race have been able to pass as white before. The point remains that they shouldn’t have to, that there should be no perception of cultural advantage in being able to pass yourself off as somebody you’re not–or more precisely, in these instances, there should be no cultural disadvantage in being who you are openly.

            To bring everything back home, though it may seem difficult to accept given the lack of physical markers, one can no more choose to be gay or straight than they can choose to be black or white. A gay man who pretends to be straight, who has a family, who never has a relationship with another man is still a gay man. He’s just another in a long line of gay men whom the culture has manipulated/coerced into living a lie for fear of judgment in this life and/or the next.

          • SAMURAI36

            Saying that you don’t think anybody should be oppressed is not the same thing as having empathy.

            I disagree completely. I think it represents a level of empathy, which is on a sliding scale. Is it Mother Theresa-level empathy? Of course not, but it’s not fair to try to hold anyone (even MT herself) to that level of empathy.

            What this means for me, is that I’m not gonna stand by & watch someone get best up or bullied. I’m not a fat person either, but I’ve stood up for fat people before. But, as someone who’s into fitness, I don’t like obesity, nor do I agree with the plethora of excuses people make about it (i.e. “the fat gene”).

            I don’t have to champion someone’s cause, in order to stick up for one individual. Conversely, someone else’s cause doesn’t necessarily disqualify them from being looked out for. I could be wrong, but these seem to be the premises that you are operating from, or at least, are trying to hold me too.

            IMO, it just seems like you’re trying to throw stuff at the wall, in attempts to see what sticks, by trying to hold me to any/all of the conventional tropes. You threw “religion” in there in the beginning, & when that didn’t work (I’m technically atheist, by this society’s standards), now you’re moving to question my empathy. I believe I’ve been quite clear on my position here. Moving on….

            As an example, I am not black, but I suspect that you have encountered any number of white people (probably on nearly a daily basis) in your life who would reject racial prejudice and institutionalized racism in the abstract but who lack anything resembling self-awareness when it comes to white privilege and who would defend the status quo to the point that they make either implicitly or overtly racist arguments without even realizing it. The problem usually isn’t that these people think black people deserve to be oppressed. It’s that they don’t have the capacity to look beyond their personal experience and try to understand the world from another person’s perspective. They lack empathy.

            Yes, I would agree with you on this. I’d say some 90% of the white people I encounter fall into this category. BUT, I’d also wager that those same white people have varying levels of empathy as well.

            But here’s the kicker…. So at this point, I’m going to assume that you are white as well (or certainly non-black) (& probably in some way affiliated with el-gee-bee-tee [weird how this site flags every little thing, but I digress], based on how vehemently you are fighting for this point). Feel free to correct me on those assumptions as needed.

            But assuming that I’m correct, are you as a white person prepared to pay reparations to Black people for 500 years of slavery? Are you willing to risk your life at Black Lives Matter rallies, when we square off against police? Are you ready & willing to go into impoverished Black ghettos, & fight the crime, drugs, & gangs, all of hitch are a direct result of said oppression?

            If so, let me know when/here to pick you up, & I’ll let you know who to make that check out to. But we already know the answer to all of that. And so, does that mean you lack empathy? Should I be lumping you in with the 90% of other privileged white people?

            Be careful how you answer.

            When I say you lack empathy on this subject, I’m pointing to the fact that you keep pointing to the idea that gay people (to varying degrees of success) can pretend to not be gay as though that’s a meaningful point. If, as you’re now saying, that isn’t to characterize one category of oppression as more or less credible/legitimate, then I’m honestly not sure what point you’re trying to make.

            The reason you can’t see where my point is, is because you’re trying to pigeonhole me with some sort of agenda, where I have none, while ignoring the actual origin of the discussion. If Luke Skywalker doesn’t live in a world (or in his case, a galaxy) where people aren’t oppressed based on…. Well, anything, but including being gay, then unless a gay relationship is integral to his (or anyone else’s in SW) story, then there’s no reason whatsoever for it to show up in SW.
            This is especially the case, since a gay person cannot be identified as a gay person, unless s/he is doing something that can be readily identified as a gay characteristic.
            This is diametrically opposed to Finn, who is clearly black. What “cultural outliers” did Finn demonstrate in the film, that solidify his Blackness? Did he talk slang? Did he mention “how hard it is in the galaxy for a brotha”? Did he walk with a gangsta lean?
            Finn’s presence was one that could easily have been played by a white guy. But it’s clear that Black people exist in that Galaxy. But it’s clear because the cultural experience of being Black isn’t relevant to the story, & the physiological aspect is just happenstance.

            What difference does it make that they can pretend to be straight. Some black people and people of mixed race have been able to pass as white before.

            Very true. But here’s a question for you…. if people can pretend to be straight , why can’t they pretend to be gay? BTW, there are Black people who look like Finn that are trying (& failing, of course) to pass as white, everyday.
            There are also Black gay people who forsake the red, black & green banner, for the sake of waving the rainbow flag. And many of them do that (according to their own words), because the “gay struggle” has proven to be more successful for them than the “Black struggle” has been. And unfortunately, they are right. The gay struggle (or, the “progressive movement”, as the one guy called it) has effectively leap-frogged over the black struggle. Would you like examples? Because I can definitely provide plenty.

            The point remains that they shouldn’t have to, that there should be no perceptionT of cultural advantage in being able to pass yourself off as somebody you’re not–or more precisely, in these instances, there should be no cultural disadvantage in being who you are openly.

            Sorry, but that doesn’t mean as much to me as it seems to mean to you. I’m sure you’re gonna say that’s because I lack empathy, but something tells me that I am no more lacking in empathy, than you are.

          • breakerbaker

            Nah. “Nobody should be oppressed” is a statement of principle. Defending somebody you see as being oppressed is acting on that principle. That’s not what empathy is.

            Empathy is the ability to listen to and understand the feelings of another person as though they are your own feelings. It doesn’t require agreement with that person–the more important variety of empathy would be the connection you’re able to establish to somebody with whom you don’t naturally agree. Nobody is suggesting that you should champion any cause. That’s neither here nor there.

            As I said from the very beginning, I’m not really concerned with how you feel about gay people. It is absolutely a free country, and though it’s very clear that there’s something about gay people that makes you feel some discomfort, that’s none of my concern. I’m not trying to “pigeonhole” you. All I’m doing is saying that it’s categorically incorrect to call being gay a lifestyle choice, which was the point at which you inserted yourself into the debate–in defense of calling it that.

            And I’m sorry, you can’t claim empathy for gay people while defending the idea that it’s legitimate to refer to being gay as a lifestyle choice. Or you can, you just can’t do it while retaining a shred of credibility on the subject.

          • SAMURAI36

            Nah. “Nobody should be oppressed” is a statement of principle. Defending somebody you see as being oppressed is acting on that principle. If you were to come to the defense of a Klansman who was being beaten, it’s probably not because you feel empathy–you might feel sympathy, which is a different thing.

            True enough, empathy is separate from principle. However, if that truly is the case, then as I stated, I have no more or less empathy than you do. Lest you want to prove otherwise, by actually answering the Q’s that I posed to you (none of which were rhetorical, BTW) about Black Lives Matter & such?

            But, to address your statement, I personally have been attacked before. As a Black person who is a member of a group/race/nation that has been oppressed, I can definitely empathize with the oppression of other people. As a man, I have defended women when they were being assaulted, because I wouldn’t want anyone to jump on my mother/sister/wife. How are any of these things NOT empathy?

            Empathy is the ability to listen to and understand the feelings of another person as though they are your own feelings. It doesn’t require agreement with that person–the more important variety of empathy would be the connection you’re able to establish to somebody with whom you don’t naturally agree. Nobody is suggesting that you should champion any cause. That’s neither here nor there.

            Then I’m not sure what your issue is. If it’s acceptable for me to not fully agree with those positions, & doing so does not interfere with my ability to empathize, then what’s the problem?

            As I said from the very beginning, I’m not really concerned with how you feel about gay people. It is absolutely a free country, and though it’s very clear that there’s something about gay people that makes you feel some discomfort, that’s none of my concern.

            And there it is again; throwing stuff at the wall, in hopes that it sticks. The religious angle didn’t stick, so now I must be harboring some closet feelings about gay people. This is am losing battle for you.

            I’m not trying to “pigeonhole” you. All I’m doing is saying that it’s categorically incorrect to call being gay a lifestyle choice, which was the point at which you inserted yourself into the debate–in defense of calling it that.

            Fair enough, but this was clear to me from the start. It’s also clear that we disagree on the subject. All the digressions of “empathy” & other stuff hasn’t bolstered your position, any more than it’s hurt mine. We’re simply at an impasse. I’m fine with that, whereas you seem to not be. I’m fine with that as well. I don’t expect the conventional wisdom to be overturned on a fan site where Luke Skywalker, of all things, is being discussed.

            And I’m sorry, you can’t claim empathy for gay people while defending the idea that it’s legitimate to refer to being gay as a lifestyle choice. Or you can, you just can’t do it while retaining a shred of credibility on the subject.

            And again, it’s fine of you feel that way. Clearly others don’t share your position. People whom would probably say the same thing about your position.

          • breakerbaker

            FWIW: I didn’t answer those questions, not because I thought they were necessarily intended as rhetorical, but because I viewed them as non-sequitors designed to move the parameters of the debate too far away from the conversation we are having vis-a-vis homosexuality as a “lifestyle choice.” I’ve observed over many months of having a back and forth with you that you like to try to do that–move a discussion of one thing into an arena that feels more like a comfort zone. You may have observed that I am not always conducive to these tactics.

            You had already done it earlier in the conversation when I made the very intentional decision to compare a biologically inherited attribute with a great deal of socio-political baggage (being gay) with a biologically inherited attribute with very little socio-political baggage (eye color). Hand preference may have been an even better analogy, seeing as left handed people up until very recently had been forced in grammar school to use their less dominant hand in order to conform to cultural norms. However, the point of the comparison is that these are natural, biological phenomena, and to treat being gay as a choice is no different than treating some other biological phenomena (e.g., being good at math, having explosive quick twitch muscle fibers, going bald) as a product of choice.

            Faced with that rather benign argument, rather than address it directly, you decided to shift the debate and compare two biologically inherited traits with socio-political baggage. I said, okay. That’s not really what we’re talking about, but I’m not afraid to talk about race, and we can have a conversation about the nature of homosexuality and the nature of race that acknowledges the cultural differences of experience, but more or less remains on topic. The questions you asked regarding Black Lives Matter and your assumptions about me are not really relevant to the initial conversation, and to answer them would result in further unrelated tangents, so I ignored them. Because it is important to you, I will answer them now.

            I am white. I am 36 years old. I am straight. I have a wife and three children. Though I am philosophically aligned with both gay rights groups and the Black Lives Matter activists (and have, of course, had conversations like this one in defense of these and other issues), I am not an active participant in either movement or any other. If you wish, you could probably draw any number of conclusions as why I don’t: I’m obviously not immune to the complacency of white privilege, so there’s probably some of that going on, but I think the more fundamental issue for me is that I’m generally very cynical about the efficacy of activism, and I lack the requisite level of optimism needed to continue to do the same thing over and over and over again, see no positive returns, but continue to do it out of the knowledge that somebody has to. I’m impressed and awed by people who have that ability. I have tried, depression was the outcome. Maybe that too is indicative of white privilege (i.e., the ability to say, I can’t carry this any longer and then the ability to put it down and live with myself). As I said, I am not immune to feeling that pull.

            The other reality is that I live outside of Atlanta and within a radius of about 900 miles, I know virtually no one outside of my family, my kid’s friends’ parents, and the people I work with. Activism is the kind of thing that requires a social identity, a feeling of belonging, and I haven’t had that since we moved here 8 years ago. Maybe that’s another rationalization. I’m open to that interpretation.

            Whatever the case, my point is that none of that matters. If I were to stand here and deny the continued existence and consequences of institutionalized racism to you, and said “I understand your position, I just don’t agree,” you would rightly say that it isn’t a matter of opinion. Agreement and disagreement is moot. This is simply the way things are, and part of the reason they continue to be this way is that a huge swath of people would prefer to believe that everything the Black Lives Matter movement is about is an illusion–a fictitious product of a resentful, embittered, lazy, entitled, [insert racist adjective here] group of people who have the same opportunities as white people, but just don’t work hard enough to achieve anything. People who would rather take by force than to earn, and who would defend criminals against the righteousness of first responders. It’s insane that people think that way. But you know as well as I do, maybe better, that it’s also unremarkable that they think this way. People have always chosen to tell themselves comforting, self-affirming lies rather than see what is plainly true but frightening or shameful or embarrassing. It’s a pretty fundamental attribute of who we all are, and your unwillingness to see being gay as more than a product of choice is just another mundane illustration of it.

          • SAMURAI36

            FWIW: I didn’t answer those questions, not because I thought they were necessarily intended as rhetorical, but because I viewed them as non-sequitors designed to move the parameters of the debate too far away from the conversation we are having vis-a-vis homosexuality as a “lifestyle choice.” I’ve observed over many months of having a back and forth with you that you like to try to do that–move a discussion of one thing into an arena that feels more like a comfort zone. You may have observed that I am not always conducive to these tactics.

            Soooo, none of my Q’s were relevant to this discussion whatsoever, is what you’re saying? Got it.

            And by “got it”, I mean you’re FOS. You’ve got some nerve, accusing me of moving the goal posts, when you’ve done nothing but that this entire time. As I said, you threw religion, empathy, and even accusing me of being a closet “phobe”.

            Never mind the fact that you wanted to make this discussion needlessly about “oppression”, a conversation I only indulged you in, A) just to see how it would turn out, and B) because I find such discussions fascinating, and I find you to be intelligent enough to carry on such discourse.

            This is in spite of the fact that this discussion never once returned to the actual topic, until I brought it back to such. You didn’t even know what the point of all of this, and when I mentioned it, you completely ignored it. I guess me mentioning Luke Skywalker was me moving the goal posts too, right?

            So here’s what really happened;

            I posed Q’s that challenged the rightness of your “conventional wisdom”, and you A) didn’t like it, and B) didn’t have an answer for them. I stayed completely on topic of the stuff you were throwing in my direction, as well as on the actual topic. You did neither, and it’s hilarious that you wanna admonish me for such.

            So here’s the drill: you don’t get to dictate the flow of these discussions. Especially with me. If you notice, I give you the respect of acknowledging ALL of your statements, and respond to them accordingly. I’d expect the same courtesy, or we not converse at all.

            I’m quite fine with either option.

            You had already done it earlier in the conversation when I made the very intentional decision to compare a biologically inherited attribute with a great deal of socio-political baggage (being gay) with a biologically inherited attribute with very little socio-political baggage (eye color). Hand preference may have been an even better analogy, seeing as left handed people up until very recently had been forced in grammar school to use their less dominant hand in order to conform to cultural norms. However, the point of the comparison is that these are natural, biological phenomena, and to treat being gay as a choice is no different than treating some other biological phenomena (e.g., being good at math, having explosive quick twitch muscle fibers, going bald) as a product of choice.

            Okay, so here’s what I’ve been trying to avoid saying this entire time, despite your best attempts to get me to say it:

            None of what you said here (right/left handed, gay) is biologically/physiologically/genetically provable. The jury is still out on all of these things. Any positions being made in any direction about these subjects is purely theoretical at best, and speculative at worst.

            With the hand reference, there are people who are able to switch hands, or become ambidexterous as a result of the grammar school scenario you mentioned.

            Faced with that rather benign argument, rather than address it directly, you decided to shift the debate and compare two biologically inherited traits with socio-political baggage. I said, okay. That’s not really what we’re talking about, but I’m not afraid to talk about race, and we can have a conversation about the nature of homosexuality and the nature of race that acknowledges the cultural differences of experience, but more or less remains on topic. The questions you asked regarding Black Lives Matter and your assumptions about me are not really relevant to the initial conversation, and to answer them would result in further unrelated tangents, so I ignored them. Because it is important to you, I will answer them now.

            I did no such thing. YOU’RE LYING.

            See, this is one of many reasons why I like to quote people’s statements. Not only does it help me keep track of the conversation, but it helps me to hold the other person accountable for what they say.

            That said, I challenged you to find anywhere in my statements where I did any such thing. I’m not gonna let you get away with trying to unload all your junk off on me.

            I am white. I am 36 years old. I am straight. I have a wife and three children. Though I am philosophically aligned with both gay rights groups and the Black Lives Matter activists (and have, of course, had conversations like this one in defense of these and other issues), I am not an active participant in either movement or any other. If you wish, you could probably draw any number of conclusions as why I don’t: I’m obviously not immune to the complacency of white privilege, so there’s probably some of that going on, but I think the more fundamental issue for me is that I’m generally very cynical about the efficacy of activism, and I lack the requisite level of optimism needed to continue to do the same thing over and over and over again, see no positive returns, but continue to do it out of the knowledge that somebody has to. I’m impressed and awed by people who have that ability. I have tried, depression was the outcome. Maybe that too is indicative of white privilege (i.e., the ability to say, I can’t carry this any longer and then the ability to put it down and live with myself). As I said, I am not immune to feeling that pull.

            So, my takeway from this, is that you’re generally lazy, but are fully capable of committing to the lip service of these things?

            The other reality is that I live outside of Atlanta and within a radius of about 900 miles, I know virtually no one outside of my family, my kid’s friends’ parents, and the people I work with. Activism is the kind of thing that requires a social identity, a feeling of belonging, and I haven’t had that since we moved here 8 years ago. Maybe that’s another rationalization. I’m open to that interpretation.

            Nah. I think I’ll stick my first conclusion. But here’s a clue:

            Activism doesn’t require having friends and family to do. It doesn’t require proximity either. I live in Cali, and I recently connected with some people to do some work for the Flint water crisis in MI. I never met those guys a day in my life. Couldn’t point them out in a line up if my life depended upon it.

            I “met” them, the exact same way that I “met” you. There’s no excuse whatsoever for not doing your part to change things. Especially in today’s information age.

            This is why your “empathy” schpeel was totally bogus. What difference does it make, for you to empathize with someone’s plight, if you’re not gonna actually do anything about it?

            Whatever the case, my point is that none of that matters. If I were to stand here and deny the continued existence and consequences of institutionalized racism to you, and said “I understand your position, I just don’t agree,” you would rightly say that it isn’t a matter of opinion. Agreement and disagreement is moot.

            Actually, I disagree. Surprise, huh?

            As someone that actually discusses this stuff all the time (when I’m not engaging in DC vs Marvel discussions, which is how I take a break from all the real world stuff), I hear that argument all the time. It’s easy to think that, when that’s not your reality.

            They only thing I’m responsible for, is present the info and facts as I understand them. But that’s the difference; you didn’t do that. Telling me “being gay is no different than having blue eyes”, without showing me how/why that is so, is not a demonstration of facts.

            To my knowledge, NO ONE has been able to pinpoint a “gay gene”. Just like NO ONE has been able to pinpoint an “artist gene”, or a “smart gene”. The jury is still out on all this stuff. All you did, is basically what John Q. Public does, and espouse the conventional wisdom.

            Sorry that my not going along with the program is not good enough for you. But as you can probably tell, I’m unmoved by the general consensus and group-think.

            This is simply the way things are, and part of the reason they continue to be this way is that a huge swath of people would prefer to believe that everything the Black Lives Matter movement is about is an illusion–a fictitious product of a resentful, embittered, lazy, entitled, [insert racist adjective here] group of people who have the same opportunities as white people, but just don’t work hard enough to achieve anything. People who would rather take by force than to earn, and who would defend criminals against the righteousness of first responders. It’s insane that people think that way. But you know as well as I do, maybe better, that it’s also unremarkable that they think this way. People have always chosen to tell themselves comforting, self-affirming lies rather than see what is plainly true but frightening or shameful or embarrassing. It’s a pretty fundamental attribute of who we all are, and your unwillingness to see being gay as more than a product of choice is just another mundane illustration of it.

            Ready for the curve ball I’m about to throw you?

            There’s alot of what you said, that’s actually true. See how that works? Which is why you can’t trust the conventional wisdom.

            There are Black folks that are trying to milk BLM, while using it as a mask to do all the stuff that you listed. I see it happening everyday.

            But NONE of that changes the fact that Black Lives still do matter, and that Black people don’t deserve to get gunned down in the street. I don’t care how lazy and shiftless some of my people are.

          • breakerbaker

            Yeah, I get that you like to do the blockquotes. I’m not going to tell you not to do it. For me personally, in this kind of situation it just seems to make a post three times longer than it needs to be, which adds a kind of passive aggressive note of hostility to the discourse that I would prefer to avoid when possible.

            But if you’re going to pat yourself on the back for using cut and paste, you should spend some of that time rereading the comments you reference.

            You’ve got some nerve, accusing me of moving the goal posts, when you’ve done nothing but that this entire time. As I said, you threw religion, empathy, and even accusing me of being a closet “phobe”.

            Literally, the only time I made any mention of “religion” in this entire back and forth was here:

            I’m not interested in people’s opinion regarding gay people or whatever religious hangups they have about the concept, but to call it a choice is equating being gay with an act (sexual or otherwise) and that’s based in a fundamental misconception.

            This is in no way to be read as an accusation. I’m saying that people can think what they’re going to think about gay people–including everything along the spectrum from it’s great to it’s weird to it’s gross to it’s an abomination. I’m not interested in any of that. All of it is inconsequential to the question of whether it’s a “choice.” That is the meaning of that sentence. That is the takeaway. I wasn’t even talking about you. This is not me “moving the goal posts.” It’s me saying the same thing I said in the very first post. You just didn’t take a moment to ask whether your first interpretation was the correct one.

            Soooo, none of my Q’s were relevant to this discussion whatsoever, is what you’re saying? Got it.

            This is what I’m saying, yes. If you’d like to make a contrary argument, that’s fair. But I don’t see myself being persuaded. As I said before, you’re welcome to draw whatever conclusions you may draw about the fact that I am not an activist of any shape or form. I’m sure there’s some truth to whatever conclusion you arrive at. I doubt it’s the whole truth, but that’s neither here nor there.

            This is why your “empathy” schpeel was totally bogus. What difference does it make, for you to empathize with someone’s plight, if you’re not gonna actually do anything about it?

            I don’t know what difference it makes. But I also don’t know what the point of the question is. From the beginning, I’ve said nothing about “making a difference.” I’m not trying to persuade you or anybody else about the importance of gay rights. I think they are important, but that’s not what I’m talking about. I’m talking about a very narrow topic (i.e., whether “lifestyle choice” is an appropriate way to describe being gay).

            None of what you said here (right/left handed, gay) is biologically/physiologically/genetically provable. The jury is still out on all of these things. Any positions being made in any direction about these subjects is purely theoretical at best, and speculative at worst.

            Okay, if we’re going to have a discussion of science (i.e., biology, biochemistry, genetics, etc.), it’s probably important to point out the meaningless of the concept of “provable” and the deceptiveness of the term “theoretical.” Science is not about proving things. It’s about observing the world, and attempting to glean some idea about the world and then trying to find support for that idea. Nothing is ever proven, though many things are disproven. Now, you’re right that on this and other topics related to the human mind (e.g., hand preference, mental illness, intelligence quotient, etc.), a lot of the science is inconclusive. That’s not the same as saying there’s no evidence to support hypotheses regarding a biological explanation for homosexuality (or any number of other things); it’s just to say that the human mind is incredibly complicated. Even a rudimentary understanding of genetics will tell you that complex mental, emotional, and even physical traits generally are not explained as a simple question of a single or even a single strand of genes. It’s not like a dominant/recessive switch in which everybody with X gene behaves or looks this way. It’s more like people who behave this way tend to share similar genetic markers. But not everyone who has those genetic markers share those traits. We are more complicated than that, and other variables (e.g., exposure to specific levels of certain hormones during fetal development) can lead to different outcomes later in life. Yes, the science is inconclusive, but it’s a lot more than purely theoretical.

            But putting science aside (I doubt either of us are qualified to speak too long on the subject), let’s look for a moment at what it means to reject the idea that being gay is not a matter of a choice. What does that say? For one thing, it says that virtually every gay person you’ve ever met is lying. If being gay is a choice, then everybody is biologically straight (I certainly don’t remember choosing to be straight), in which case anybody who’s ever said they knew they were gay when they were 6 or 7 is lying. I mean, we’re not arguing that every gay person on the face of the Earth chose to be gay and then forgot making that choice, are we? So they’re all liars, is that right? I honestly don’t want to put words in your mouth. I’m just not sure what other conclusion could be drawn. Do you think it’s a reasonable hypothesis that they’re all lying or sharing a delusion? Why or why not?

            I did no such thing. YOU’RE LYING.

            You did, and I’m not.

            While I have no issues with being gay, I very much disagree with being gay being equated to being Black (which I am).

            Nobody equated being gay to being black. I equated being gay to having blue eyes. You’re the one took that and ran straight at racial politics. That was nobody but you. At least nobody in this thread. Basically everything that we’ve talked about in this thread regarding race is a tangent off of the original point. Again, I don’t mind the tangent (even if you think I’m a lazy good for nothing for not being involved), but that is what it is.

            There are Black folks that are trying to milk BLM, while using it as a mask to do all the stuff that you listed. I see it happening everyday.

            That’s not quite as Earth shattering as it may have been intended. Every single political movement is used by some advocates of that movement in the most cynical ways imaginable. And while these people may discredit and do harm to the movement, only a fool (of which there are many) sees any group as nothing more than a representative of the least among it.

          • SAMURAI36

            Yeah, I get that you like to do the blockquotes. I’m not going to tell you not to do it. For me personally, in this kind of situation it just seems to make a post three times longer than it needs to be, which adds a kind of passive aggressive note of hostility to the discourse that I would prefer to avoid when possible.

            You, Mr. Loquacious, are concerned about the response being long? Perish the thought. LOL.

            This is in no way to be read as an accusation. I’m saying that people can think what they’re going to think about gay people–including everything along the spectrum from it’s great to it’s weird to it’s gross to it’s an abomination. I’m not interested in any of that. All of it is inconsequential to the question of whether it’s a “choice.” That is the meaning of that sentence. That is the takeaway. I wasn’t even talking about you. This is not me “moving the goal posts.” It’s me saying the same thing I said in the very first post. You just didn’t take a moment to ask whether your first interpretation was the correct one.

            I’ll take you at your word with this, but bear in mind that it’s hard for me to do so, when that wasn’t the only example.

            I don’t know what difference it makes. But I also don’t know what the point of the question is. From the beginning, I’ve said nothing about “making a difference.” I’m not trying to persuade you or anybody else about the importance of gay rights. I think they are important, but that’s not what I’m talking about. I’m talking about a very narrow topic (i.e., whether “lifestyle choice” is an appropriate way to describe being gay).

            I wasn’t the one that created the circumstance for the question to be posed to begin with. You’re the one who brought up “empathy” and such.

            Okay, if we’re going to have a discussion of science (i.e., biology, biochemistry, genetics, etc.), it’s probably important to point out the meaningless of the concept of “provable” and the deceptiveness of the term “theoretical.” Science is not about proving things. It’s about observing the world, and attempting to glean some idea about the world and then trying to find support for that idea. Nothing is ever proven, though many things are disproven. Now, you’re right that on this and other topics related to the human mind (e.g., hand preference, mental illness, intelligence quotient, etc.), a lot of the science is inconclusive. That’s not the same as saying there’s no evidence to support hypotheses regarding a biological explanation for homosexuality (or any number of other things); it’s just to say that the human mind is incredibly complicated.

            I’m quite aware of the meanings of terms like “theoretical”, as scientific jargon.

            I’m fine with the notion of the complexity of the human mind. In fact, that’s more/less the stance I take when it comes to being gay. However, when people start bringing in biological//physiological/genetic things like blue eyes, black skin, etc. into the discussion as some sort of proposed equivalent, that’s where things get murky for me.

            And, taking it back to Luke, at this point in the story, as it’s been established, it makes no more sense to start introducing a gay element, than it does to start trying to assert that he’s left-handed. For one thing, the evidence of the story itself doesn’t support it, and for another, attempting to shoe-horn those elements into the story at this point doesn’t service the story that’s already been told.

            Even a rudimentary understanding of genetics will tell you that complex mental, emotional, and even physical traits generally are not explained as a simple question of a single or even a single strand of genes. It’s not like a dominant/recessive switch in which everybody with X gene behaves or looks this way. It’s more like people who behave this way tend to share similar genetic markers. But not everyone who has those genetic markers share those traits. We are more complicated than that, and other variables (e.g., exposure to specific levels of certain hormones during fetal development) can lead to different outcomes later in life. Yes, the science is inconclusive, but it’s a lot more than purely theoretical.

            If you say so, to that last part. I’m not impressed with the data that I’ve seen on the subject thus far, personally. I’ve seen alot of people with an agenda, attempting to employ some inductive reasoning to the subject, much in the way that Creationists do with things of a historical matter. It’s no different to me, than “Biblical Scholars” (LOL, the oxymoron of that statement alone) always looking for proof of things such as the Exodus account, despite the fact that all evidence points to the people known as the Jews never having been in the land of Egypt to begin with.

            Again, it’s the conventional wisdom that keeps getting espoused. But these days, more and more people are questioning that conventional wisdom, which has since begun to falter.

            That’s precisely what it sounds like when El-Gee-Bee-Tee proponents make statements like “of course I was born this way, who would choose this for themselves?”

            That’s one of the faulty arguments, and it’s all they really offer. It runs parallel to the whole “empathy” bit that you resorted to.

            But putting science aside (I doubt either of us are qualified to speak too long on the subject), let’s look for a moment at what it means to reject the idea that being gay is not a matter of a choice. What does that say? For one thing, it says that virtually every gay person you’ve ever met is lying. If being gay is a choice, then everybody is biologically straight (I certainly don’t remember choosing to be straight), in which case anybody who’s ever said they knew they were gay when they were 6 or 7 is lying. I mean, we’re not arguing that every gay person on the face of the Earth chose to be gay and then forgot making that choice, are we? So they’re all liars, is that right? I honestly don’t want to put words in your mouth. I’m just not sure what other conclusion could be drawn. Do you think it’s a reasonable hypothesis that they’re all lying or sharing a delusion? Why or why not?

            You’re asking me this, as someone who rejected anything religious? What you’re asking me is no different than if you were to ask me if all Christians are suffering from mass delusion. How do I answer that, without offending anyone? Why is it not enough for me to say that “I don’t agree that Christ was even an actual, historical person, let alone that he saved all of humanity”…?

            Nobody equated being gay to being black. I equated being gay to having blue eyes. You’re the one took that and ran straight at racial politics. That was nobody but you. At least nobody in this thread. Basically everything that we’ve talked about in this thread regarding race is a tangent off of the original point. Again, I don’t mind the tangent (even if you think I’m a lazy good for nothing for not being involved), but that is what it is.

            Ahh, I see what it is you’re talking about now. I equate being black with having blue eyes, because both are phenotypical traits that are easily traceable biologically/physiologically/genetically. I don’t have blue eyes, but I’m betting you probably do, which it probably why you made the reference to begin with.

            It’s much more easy for me to “empathize” with being Black, than it is having blue eyes. Thus, if there was a “shift”, it was only for point of refererence’s sake, and not to shift the focus of the conversation.

            That’s not quite as Earth shattering as it may have been intended. Every single political movement is used by some advocates of that movement in the most cynical ways imaginable. And while these people may discredit and do harm to the movement, only a fool (of which there are many) sees any group as nothing more than a representative of the least among it.

            I agree, but then, that leaves me with trying to figure out what your point was with mentioning that. It seems like to me, it was to find something that I could readily empathize with.

          • breakerbaker

            Out of curiosity, if we could get past these exceedingly long responses, let’s try to establish a common frame of reference. What does it mean to you to be gay?

            This is what it means to me: being emotionally, romantically, and sexually attracted exclusively (or almost exclusively) to members of your own gender. How do you feel about that definition?

          • SAMURAI36

            I’d say I’m fine with that definition.

          • breakerbaker

            Okay, cool. So building on that common ground, I’m going to assume we agree that attraction to another person (be it physical, emotional or whatever) is the result of an involuntary bio-chemical reaction taking place in a person’s brain and body.

            Now assuming point A from the previous post and point B above, I’m just not sure where the concept of choice is meant to insert itself, which is why when somebody starts talking about lack of “proof,” I’m just not sure why that’s relevant here. We innately understand that attraction is involuntary, and we define being gay as a particular kind of attraction, deductive reasoning says that being gay is involuntary. That’s not the same thing as saying “it’s genetic” or “it’s a result of developmental shifts that occurred in-utero.” It’s not even saying that people are necessarily born gay. All it is saying is that whatever the explanation for the mechanism that produces a gay person (whatever the origin), the one thing we can be reasonably certain of is the one thing the vast majority of gay people agree on: they had no choice in the matter.

            I mean, I’m a natural skeptic, and I’m not sure why that’s not a persuasive argument.

          • SAMURAI36

            Okay, cool. So building on that common ground, I’m going to assume we agree that attraction to another person (be it physical, emotional or whatever) is the result of an involuntary bio-chemical reaction taking place in a person’s brain and body.

            False, as far as the involuntary part goes. Meaning, the result is involuntary, but not the cause. We condition ourselves, in regards to who we are attracted to.

            For instance, no offense is intended, but I am just not attracted to Caucasian women. They do nothing for me. I’ve never been intimate with one, and don’t plan to be.

            However, I’m definitely a “boob” guy. Thus, if a white woman with huge boobs walks by, I might just get a woody. But that doesn’t mean I’m going to sleep with her, even if the opportunity unequivocally presented itself. That’s because I find boobs attractive, regardless of the woman they are attached to.

            Therefore, I’m CHOOSING not to develop a further physical/emotional attraction. In fact, once I snap out of the boob fascination, and re-realize who the boobs are attached to, the woody subsides pretty quickly.

            We innately understand that attraction is involuntary, and we define being gay as a particular kind of attraction, deductive reasoning says that being gay is involuntary.

            Completely disagree. This is yet another of those conventional wisdoms that get espoused and believed, without question.

            Most people who are considered gym rats, are not going to be attracted to someone who is morbidly obese, no matter how much of a great person that obese person might be.

            As a vegetarian, my attraction for a woman increases or diminishes, based on what the woman’s diet is like. The more meat she eats, the less I’m attracted.

            There are women who won’t date a broke guy, no matter how funny, physically attractive, smart, etc he might be.

            People treat love and attraction as some sort of disease (where once they get bitten, there’s no turning back), vs treating it as a decision (one that could be voluntary, and/or involuntary, depending upon the circumstances.

            That’s not the same thing as saying “it’s genetic” or “it’s a result of developmental shifts that occurred in-utero.” It’s not even saying that people are necessarily born gay. All it is saying is that whatever the explanation for the mechanism that produces a gay person (whatever the origin), the one thing we can be reasonably certain of is the one thing the vast majority of gay people agree on: they had no choice in the matter.

            I mean, I’m a natural skeptic, and I’m not sure why that’s not a persuasive argument.

            All you’re doing, is espousing the conventional wisdom, as if we’ve no choice but to accept it as truth.

            BTW, you asked me a question earlier, about the level of delusion involved (to which your statement above which I highlighted) speaks to, yet once again, you didn’t acknowledge my answer{BTW, I can’t overstate the fact that that comes off as extremely dismissive on your part, especially when you claim that every response that I give is an attempt to move the goal posts}.

            There are easily 1000’s of variables at play when it comes to human attraction. Yet, somehow being gay automatically makes one exempt from them, because…. Why, exactly?

            For instance, I mentioned in an earlier reply, about homosexuality in prison (another point that you didn’t respond to). There are countless stories about both men and women in prison, people who were largely straight prior to prison, resorting to gay acts (both forced and consensual) while incarcerated. Unfortunately this is something that I’ve learned far too much about (due to there being an overwhelmingly large Black population in the prison system). Even though there is a degree of shame that accompanies this truth, it’s still something that is well known. Yet, the EL-Gee-Bee-Tee community seems content to refuse to address it. Perhaps because it doesn’t fit within the narrative of the conventional wisdom they’ve been trying pass off as an undisputed truth to society.

            Or, how’s about the women who swear off men, because of any number of terrible experiences they’ve had with them (emotional abuse/cheating on one end of the spectrum, to rape/molestation on the other end)? Do they have no choice in the matter of their attraction as well?

            Or, here’s the scenario that you put to me earlier; the gay man, who, under the guise of being in the closet, marries and becomes intimate with a woman, even though he’s somehow not attracted to her. How is this possible? As a straight man, are you going to get aroused to the point of having consensual acts with another man? I know I can’t/wouldn’t, for sure. So, where is the “involuntary attraction” that you talked about earlier, that allows this gay man, to not only get aroused to allow penetration, but also to climax in order to impregnate her? It’s not like he’s being forced, like the men in prison are. Thus, how is this accomplished, where a gay man can fool a woman in every conceivable (pun intended) way, into thinking he is a straight man who has physical/emotional feelings for her?

          • breakerbaker

            Dude, your analogy game is weak.

            For one thing, I’m sorry to inform you, you didn’t choose your type. Your type is a product of life experience informing your conscious and subconscious mind, resulting in preference. For another thing, you’re comparing your type in a woman to a gay person being romantically attracted to people of the same gender. Gay people have a “type” too. Just like you. And just like you, most people who identify as gay, when describing their type, take one attribute of that other person for granted: gender. If you want to compare your inclinations to a gay person’s and then try to extrapolate from that that being gay might be a choice, start describing the man you’d like to marry. Otherwise, you make yourself look petty and foolish, as do several of the questions I consciously choose not to address because I’m embarrassed for you for having asked them.

            I’ll address this one in a way that I hope covers some of the others.

            here’s the scenario that you put to me earlier; the gay man, who, under the guise of being in the closet, marries and becomes intimate with a woman, even though he’s somehow not attracted to her. How is this possible?

            As you note, there are a lot of variables at play. Desperation. Denial. Shame. They’re powerful motivators. The human mind responds to these types of stimuli and does what it needs to or what it can to survive. This is unremarkable. The mind selects memories to let go of on a daily basis, out of necessity. It blocks out memories to allow people to move on with their lives. To ask how it’s “possible” is the wrong question. The realm of possibility is so vast–of course, it’s possible. Why it happens, or why some people are able to do it while others are not is a more interesting question. The answer likely lies in a combination of biology and culture. In terms of biology, it’s becoming more accepted in scientific communities that human sexuality is more complicated than gay/straight/bi. Instead, people are said to exist on more of a spectrum, where most people fall somewhere in the middle–though closer to the hetero side, obviously.

            Depending on the numbers you look at, gay people make up between 3 and 10 percent of the population at large. Let’s assume for a moment that there’s meaning to be gleaned in that 7 percent difference. Let’s assume that the 7 percent is real and that it comprises people who identify as gay because they’re pretty much exclusively attracted to people of the same gender, but they lie somewhere a bit closer to the middle of the spectrum. It stands to reason that those people would be more conducive to assimilating more convincingly, correct? And this is ignoring the weight of family, friends, and the people around them telling them who they are meant to be. This leads to the question of whether this ability that the theoretical 7 percent have that the 3 percent don’t have means that the 7 percent simply identify as gay, but are only “mostly gay.” But the better question is what does it matter?

            As a straight man, are you going to get aroused to the point of having consensual acts with another man? I know I can’t/wouldn’t, for sure.

            I wouldn’t say that anything is impossible, but it’s definitely improbable that this would happen. But again, I wouldn’t conflate “acts” with being gay or straight. I mean, these acts are not irrelevant, obviously, but participating in the act or even enjoying it isn’t what it means to be gay or straight. Being gay or straight or whatever is about that and all of the other intimacies of human coupling. Physical intimacy is a big part of that, or it is for most people, but it’s not all there is.

            Thus, how is this accomplished, where a gay man can fool a woman in every conceivable (pun intended) way, into thinking he is a straight man who has physical/emotional feelings for her?

            Let’s first assume that the man does have “emotional” feelings for this woman and that he’s not just some kind of sociopath looking for a beard. Let’s assume that he has a great affection for her. I think it’s safe to say that in a lot (probably most) of these cases, where a man goes to these lengths, the reality is that he wants to believe these things too. He probably has an unhealthy, self-hating perspective on his feelings of attraction to men. Doesn’t think society or his family and friends or church will accept him. He doesn’t want to lose any of that. He wants to believe that he can break himself of it. He’s motivated.

            As for her: Why do women (and men) stay with a spouse who beats them? Why do they stay with someone who cheats on them repeatedly? Why does any unhappy marriage last? Because desperation and shame and denial and, yeah, love are powerful motivators. Just as he wants to believe that he can not just live the life of a straight man–but actually be one, she wants to believe that he loves and adores her above all others. If the desire to believe something is strong enough, it’s amazing what lies you can convince yourself are true.

            And that’s a better analogy to religion than the one you came up with before.

          • SAMURAI36

            I’m going to respond to each of your recent statements, but before doing so, I’m letting you know that this will be my last response on this topic.

            Unlike the Marvel/DC stuff, which I view as strictly for fun (as it’s meant to be), this particular convo has encompassed a variety of topics, most of which I take to heart. As such, I’ve revealed far more about myself that I perhaps cared to, at least on this sort of venue.

            That said, I’ve made it clear several times now, that I didn’t appreciate your approach to this discussion. I’d hoped to appeal to your sense of integrity (assuming you had such), but it seems that was an exercise in futility. I should have known as much, when you ignored my initial statement regarding my concerns, attempting instead to flip it back on me. Oh well, fool me once…

            Your dismissiveness, your condescension, your attempts to corral the discussion to suit your whims, and your repeated attempts to present your position as intellectually superlative. I’ve watched you perform and demonstrate virtually every argument fallacy during this discussion, from straw men to inductive reasoning.

            And now, with this most recent response, you’ve sought a creative and clever way to call me stupid. Clearly the opposite is true, otherwise I wouldn’t be able to recognize what you’re doing.

            You’ve spent far too much time making this about ME, rather than making it about the subject. A subject which, despite my best efforts, you’ve seemed to have forgotten what that actually is at this point.

            I’ve called you intellectually dishonest before, during the Marvel/DC talks. But, I was able to overlook my knowing that about you, because A) as I said, we’re discussing Superheroes, and it’s hard to take any of that stuff seriously, and B) as I’ve said to you more than once, you’re one of the few people on this site (and others like it) that I actually enjoy talking to, and whose post I enjoy reading.

            That enjoyment has reached it’s zenith for me. You don’t have to agree with my points of view, and I’m NOT going to agree with yours, in case that wasn’t already obvious. But that doesn’t mean that a meaningful conversation still couldn’t be had. Any statements I made or questions I asked, were done so out of absolute earnest.

            Still, even if this was meant to be taken as a learning opportunity, by ignoring and belittling both my questions/statements, and myself as a person, you failed as a potential teacher. Ironically, you put me in the mind of several of the teachers and professors I had throughout my entire educational journey; haughty, self-righteous, immovable in their “knowledge”, lacking in patience, intolerant.

            Anyways, on to your responses:

            For one thing, I’m sorry to inform you, you didn’t choose your type. Your type is a product of life experience informing your conscious and subconscious mind, resulting in preference. </blockquote.

            A) all you did was repeat what I'd said earlier, and B) the irony of this downright laughable.

            For another thing, you’re comparing your type in a woman to a gay person being romantically attracted to people of the same gender. Gay people have a “type” too. Just like you. And just like you, most people who identify as gay, when describing their type, take one attribute of that other person for granted: gender. If you want to compare your inclinations to a gay person’s and then try to extrapolate from that that being gay might be a choice, start describing the man you’d like to marry.

            Yes, I fully realize that gay people have a type. Their type is MEN.

            And I wouldn’t describe a man that I’d marry, because the thought of marrying a man creates the same emotional/physiological response (or lack thereof) in me, that the thought of marrying a white woman, morbidly obese woman (or an anorexic one, for that matter), or a dog would create within me.

            All examples illicit varying degrees of repulsion.

            As you note, there are a lot of variables at play. Desperation. Denial. Shame. They’re powerful motivators. The human mind responds to these types of stimuli and does what it needs to or what it can to survive. This is unremarkable. The mind selects memories to let go of on a daily basis, out of necessity. It blocks out memories to allow people to move on with their lives.

            So, the mind can perform all sorts of mental acrobatics for a gay person to to “act outside of themselves”, but somehow NONE of this applies, or should have been applied in the very first place, with said very same gay person. Got it.

            To ask how it’s “possible” is the wrong question. The realm of possibility is so vast–of course, it’s possible. Why it happens, or why some people are able to do it while others are not is a more interesting question.

            For you, perhaps. But these aren’t separate questions, for me.

            The answer likely lies in a combination of biology and culture. In terms of biology, it’s becoming more accepted in scientific communities that human sexuality is more complicated than gay/straight/bi. Instead, people are said to exist on more of a spectrum, where most people fall somewhere in the middle–though closer to the hetero side, obviously.

            Ah yes, the ubiquitous “it’s complicated” response. And while I actually agree, I also recognize that the source of the complication is not the subject itself, but rather the people observing it.

            BTW, I’m familiar with the Kinsey scale. Saw the movie, read some exerpts from the report. Not impressed. As I said, to which we both agreed (although you seemed to do so begrudgingly) that the jury is still out on the scientific aspect. so what’s accepted in “scientific communities” is pretty hit or miss for me. But feel free to take from it as thou wilt.

            Depending on the numbers you look at, gay people make up between 3 and 10 percent of the population at large. Let’s assume for a moment that there’s meaning to be gleaned in that 7 percent difference. Let’s assume that the 7 percent is real and that it comprises people who identify as gay because they’re pretty much exclusively attracted to people of the same gender, but they lie somewhere a bit closer to the middle of the spectrum. It stands to reason that those people would be more conducive to assimilating more convincingly, correct? And this is ignoring the weight of family, friends, and the people around them telling them who they are meant to be. This leads to the question of whether this ability that the theoretical 7 percent have that the 3 percent don’t have means that the 7 percent simply identify as gay, but are only “mostly gay.” But the better question is what does it matter?

            There’s no question here for me to answer, and you’ve invested more of yourself into accepting the “truth” of this, than I have. So I’m going to tender the a succinct “I disagree” here, and move on to your next statement.

            Let’s first assume that the man does have “emotional” feelings for this woman and that he’s not just some kind of sociopath looking for a beard. Let’s assume that he has a great affection for her. I think it’s safe to say that in a lot (probably most) of these cases, where a man goes to these lengths, the reality is that he wants to believe these things too. He probably has an unhealthy, self-hating perspective on his feelings of attraction to men. Doesn’t think society or his family and friends or church will accept him. He doesn’t want to lose any of that. He wants to believe that he can break himself of it. He’s motivated.

            What “emotional” feelings does he have for her? He can’t have romantic feelings for her, unless he’s a “Kinsey-3” (which would render the example moot anyway). Otherwise, assuming this gay man is a “Kinsey-5” or higher, then there should be no way for him to conjure up any such feelings for this woman. Or is there? *Snaps fingers* Oh that’s right, it’s “complicated”.

            I wouldn’t say that anything is impossible, but it’s definitely improbable that this would happen. But again, I wouldn’t conflate “acts” with being gay or straight. I mean, these acts are not irrelevant, obviously, but participating in the act or even enjoying it isn’t what it means to be gay or straight. Being gay or straight or whatever is about that and all of the other intimacies of human coupling. Physical intimacy is a big part of that, or it is for most people, but it’s not all there is.

            Not that I care one way or another at this point, but just out of curiosity, you know this…. How, exactly? Because you go into these detailed definitions, for someone who identifies as “straight”, and yet also says:

            But putting science aside (I doubt either of us are qualified to speak too long on the subject)

            And yet, you feel quite comfortable returning to speaking not only scientifically, but authoritatively so on the subject.

            But FTR, I get that the physicality of any relationship is not the be-all of it. That was never in question. However, as you stated, it’s a major part. I think I speak for most human beings, in saying that I’m not going to be in an “intimate” relationship with someone that I’ve no plans or desires to share at least some sort of intimacy with.

            And, nobody is gonna stick around in a relationship where affection is not demonstrated, since–as none of us are Martian Manhunters or Professor Xaviers– that is the only way that it can be conveyed to another person.

            As for her: Why do women (and men) stay with a spouse who beats them? Why do they stay with someone who cheats on them repeatedly? Why does any unhappy marriage last? Because desperation and shame and denial and, yeah, love are powerful motivators. Just as he wants to believe that he can not just live the life of a straight man–but actually be one, she wants to believe that he loves and adores her above all others. If the desire to believe something is strong enough, it’s amazing what lies you can convince yourself are true.

            And that’s a better analogy to religion than the one you came up with before.

            :-

            Really? So just to recap: I have “weak analogy game” because I mentioned not liking white women, men in jail, and people believing in religion, but somehow a woman who suffers from Stockholm Syndrome is the superlative analogy?

            Got it, say no more.

            With that said, I’ve fulfilled my duties here. You are of course free to tender your own response as you see fit. I may or may not read it. But as I said earlier, I won’t be responding to it.

          • breakerbaker

            Your dismissiveness, your condescension, your attempts to corral the discussion to suit your whims, and your repeated attempts to present your position as intellectually superlative. I’ve watched you perform and demonstrate virtually every argument fallacy during this discussion, from straw men to inductive reasoning.

            You’re habitually one of the most dismissive and condescending people I’ve dealt with in a long time on this or any other site. If you feel that I’ve condescended to you, well, probably. If you think I’ve been dismissive…sure, maybe. Your position here is untenable, but you hold tight to it to the point of churning out sanctimonious bits of intellectual dishonesty. You think I’m calling you stupid. You’re wrong. I’m calling you a fraud (and maybe a bigot) seeking to rationalize a fundamentally irrational, emotional position.

            You want to talk about logical fallacies: Every example you give from the prison thing, to the marriage thing, to whatever the “women who swear off men” thing is was employed to feed a logical fallacy that says if you can find one or two or five exceptions, you disprove a rule. That is not how the world works. You can’t prove a negative by offering a handful of examples. People succeeding (by whatever criteria you would like to establish to describe success) at shifting or seeming to shift on the spectrum of sexuality may be interesting to you, but they’re all meaningless when it comes to the question of broader population. And they certainly don’t even begin to approach the argument that realizing you’re gay at the age of 8 or 10 or 12 (as many people I have known did) is in any way a product of choice. Your argument exists to try to justify denying these people the legitimacy of their experience. And yes, as I explained before, it’s indicative of a failure of your capacity for empathy. Call it hetero privilege–I’m sure that’s been coined elsewhere.

            So just to recap: I have “weak analogy game” because I mentioned not liking white women, men in jail, and people believing in religion, but somehow a woman who suffers from Stockholm Syndrome is the superlative analogy?

            A: I noticed that for some reason, you thought I was going to take offense to the idea that you’re not particularly attracted to white women. I’m not sure why I’m supposed to be bothered by that, but you bring it up again at the end, like it’s really supposed to be a sticking point…as I said, your personal taste when it comes to women is analogous to a gay person’s personal taste when it comes to their prospective same gendered partners. It has no relation to a gay man’s potential attraction to a woman, which is the way you originally employed it. That’s a bad analogy.

            B: I’ve already talked about the prison thing. Aside from the fact that gay men do actually go to prison, and that some other men who go to prison are more flexible than they may have realized going in, I’m not really sure why you think it’s a meaningful analogy to a 12-year-old boy entering adolescence and realizing he’s different from everybody else in this way. If you weren’t already done, maybe you could explain it to me.

            C: Your religion example from a few posts ago was problematic because you were attempting to use people’s belief in an external, unknowable, universal/supernatural concept as a point of comparison to what is a very localized, internal understanding of themselves. Saying I didn’t choose to be attracted to women is not analogous to saying that God created the universe in six days. Those are not equal beliefs. Telling somebody you don’t believe in God or their religion is not an assault on them or their legitimacy as a person. Telling them that you reject the legitimacy of their sexual orientation is absolutely an assault on them.

            D: I was never talking about Stockholm Syndrome. I was talking about a person’s desire to believe in something outside of themselves. And about the power of that desire enabling them to believe in those things despite whatever doubt may creep in. Religious belief is about trust/faith as much as it is about belief. At it’s heart, that concept of fidelity is contained in every personal relationship you’ve ever had.

    • henryducard

      First world problems man. People need affirmation in ways that didn’t exist in the past.

    • Ryan

      life choice? So tell me, at what point did you choose to be straight?

      • SAMURAI36

        Can’t speak for the person you asked, but I choose to be straight everyday of my life. Most recently, when I woke up this morning.

  • Fidel A. Finem

    This is just dumb. Luke Skywalker lives in a galaxy far, far away. So far away it’s make believe. Not real. Science fiction. If you want to make a statement about sexuality, then make it to your friends and family. Post about it online. Give a speech. Do a documentary. Run for office. But don’t fool yourself: the “choices” Luke Skywalker makes in a movie — and the “consequences” of those choices — are all pretend. So if we’re all pretending, I’d prefer that the producers, writers, directors, and actors put their effort into telling fun stories set in that far away galaxy.

    • Sarah Smith

      Are we only allowed to make-believe about laser swords and magic telekinesis, but not gay people, then? Are gay people not allowed to play pretend? Or are they allowed, but only if they imagine they’re heterosexual at the time? I mean, I dunno, I guess I’m just not sure why a gay person would be a giant fun-sucking problem. Gay people in Star Wars doesn’t seem particularly weirder to me than black people or women or robots or aliens. I don’t think it’d change the tone or the content or the fun level. But I guess I’m just playing the wrong sort of make-believe.

      • Fidel A. Finem

        Nope. You’re not allowed. C’mon. The point of Luke Skywalker isn’t that he’s black or white, gay or straight, male or female. It’s that he’s a character in a pretend story. And that story isn’t about him journeying along the spectrum of sexuality and making new discoveries about himself. Talk about a boring and unsatisfying twist on the character.

        • Just relax a little, of course no one is asking that his story is about Luke exploring his sexuality. But, just because you don’t see him as gay, doesn’t mean it can’t be true or wouldn’t be inspiring to others (gay or straight).

          Now – my honest opinion is that it would be lip service to add this to the story at this point. That doesn’t mean I am against the idea. I just feel it wouldn’t be a genuine addition. Sort of like – oh it is 2016, we need a gay character to be legit. Again not wrong, just not totally genuine in it’s (the idea of Luke being gay) origin. Hopefully that doesn’t sound bad, because I don’t mean it that way.

          • SAMURAI36

            Just relax a little, of course no one is asking that his story is about Luke exploring his sexuality.

            Then, how else would him being gay even factor into the story? Otherwise, almost everybody in the entire SW saga (prequels included) could be assumed to be gay. Why stop at Luke? Why not the Emperor? Why not Boba Fett?

            If all people are doing, is trying to re-envision people as gay, who may or may not (but most likely not) have been, then, IMO, there’s more that’s wrong with the people doing that, than the fact that these characters are not gay.

            As a Black man who would love for there to be more positive representations of my people on TV and movies, sitting around re-imagining Han Solo as a Black guy is the last thing I’ve ever been interested in doing.

    • breakerbaker

      Would you be upset if they explicitly outed Luke, so long as it was in a fun story?

  • grimrook

    luke is not gay get over it

  • JTShiro

    Bottom line is unless he is Rey’s father his sexual orientation isn’t relevant to the story

  • henryducard

    A guy that leans back like he’s the champ after a princess kisses him is not gay. It’s the sane thing with Finn in 7 the dude was hitting on rey. I’m all for social diversity but it doesn’t seem like they ever do it because it’s the right thing to do it seems like they force it into stories because its the hip thing to do. An extremely small percentage of the population is gay which means most of the population becomes alienated.

  • Alboone

    I understand both sides of the argument, it really shouldn’t matter but the flip side to that coin is that it makes perfect business sense. Disney is looking at the long game and being inclusive yields a massive financial windfall. They’ll attract new fans who couldn’t care less about Star Wars into the fold.

  • Math

    We don’t care, just don’t force it in just to pass a political message. As far as I can tell, there are inter-species couples all over Star Wars, so adding a gay couple would not really be that out of place, but it doesn’t need to be front and center. Like that Maz and Cheebaca joke slipped in naturally, keep it like that. Star Wars are about the adventures and the stakes are about life and death, not about some kind of prejudice against who you date. Like I said, if people are OK seeing different species date, I don’t think seeing gay couples would bother anyone in that Galaxy. You can casually slip it in, but don’t go out of your way just to pass a message about a different situation in a different Galaxy.

  • Chris W

    He pitched a tent for his sister… Not gay. Make a gay character if you want; Rey and Poe could easily be gay. But just like trying to make Greedo Shoot first, this is not the character retcon your’e looking for.

  • Archfiend_Baramos

    It really doesn’t matter for this character (who it was implied was pining after Leia anyway before finding out she was his sister): he’s celibate if they are maintaining the prequels’ standards for Jedi.

    Obviously in the old Extended Universe he married Mara Jade and all that, but none of that is relevant to the movies.