For decades activists have worked tirelessly to spread the message that sexual orientation is not a choice—a fight that Lady Gaga took to pulsing heights in 2011 with her hit anthem “Born This Way.” And over time, the message has begun to take hold. While in 1985 only about 20% of Americans believed that people are born gay, that figure more than doubled to around 47% in 2015, according to the Pew Research Center.
But what if teaching that gay people are “born that way” isn’t the most effective way to erase homophobia? A new study reveals that even those who believe sexual orientation is not a choice can be homophobic—just as those who know race is not a choice can be racist. Do activists, community leaders, and even parents need to tweak their message?
— Why the ‘Born This Way’ Approach to Sexual Orientation is Failing | Taryn Hillin for Fusion