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  • Writer's pictureHannah Telluselle

Are all gay people born that way?

Updated: Sep 25, 2021

When I lived in Honolulu about a decade ago, a young Hawaiian woman who was my temporary room-mate at YWCA, said she wish she could marry me herself to help me get a green card, and get an end to the administrative delays that kept me on hold by my university. Sometimes, I have felt like that too, that it probably would be so much easier to be gay and live with a bestie, than to have to deal with men's dramas. But, I am not sexually attracted to women.

A couple of months later, I found myself talking to lots of women who are gay, at FDC Honolulu where I was detained by ICE during removal proceedings. Proceedings that my university could have stopped by simply confirming our indifferences and my passed grades like they said they would. Instead of continuing my graduate studies or start working as planned with the translation assignment I had gotten, I took down notes like I do with interviews.

While we all sat and talked story during lunches, or in our cells or recreation area, several of the women shared how they had been sexually assaulted, including as young girls, and therefor felt appalled by men. Does this then imply that they wouldn't live as gay if they received adequate therapy? If men simply stopped raping women?

Some of these American inmates even hinted that it seemed like they were arrested just because they are gay. How wrong doesn't this become?

If you only live with other women, it is said that it might become an option to have gay sex as a substitute, or even to avoid becoming raped by guards, which of course is a matter of human needs to be respected. But on the outside, do we live in such a rotten society that it can become an option that people rather fight for, than to heal?

Do I care whether you are gay or not? No, I don't. Either you are sexually attracted to me or not (if we are meeting for private reasons, through church, friends or so), why you aren't is nothing I need to learn. The question is, do you dare disregard of your minority and focus on just working with me?

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