My least favorite theory on how LGBTQ folks came to be (as if we need an origin story like Batgirl) is the all too prevalent myth that we are all victims of Childhood Sexual Abuse (CSA). This of course does a huge disservice to both LGBTQ folks and CSA victims at the same time. Not that the two are mutually exclusive, but any overlap (and there is overlap) is strictly coincidental. That’s our topic for today folks; how our old pal widespread ignorance has once again managed to once again unzip and foul two passerby in a drunken cross-eyes piss. I know, gross, but I think it’s how we all feel about it.
I’m really good at starting with the obvious, so I’m going to do that. I’m not at all sure how this idea got started, because there is no evidence whatsoever that being victimized by CSA causes someone to be gay or trans. Nada. Yes, some CSA victims are gay and trans, but they were gay or trans before the abuse occurred. If I had to guess how this imbecilic little tale came about, I would say that some savant in the field of logical fallacy decided that CSA is a horrible thing that causes horrible effects, and the most horrible effect they could think of is being gay or trans. Yes, yes, I’m also hot potatoes irritated by this as well.
As this is a trans forum, I think it’s right to do the gracious thing and address first why this is wrong to do to victims of CSA. Aside from super warped world view pedophiles and truly reprehensible organizations like NAMBLA (really not sure why they are not slapped with a terrorist organization label), everyone sane agrees that CSA is a horrific thing. CSA victims are scarred for life by the experience because you simply can’t obliterate the sense of trust and inherent inviolability of self in an innocent child without terrible consequences. Survivors deal with shattered psyches, paralyzing fears and anxieties, agonizing relationship issues, suicidal tendencies, feelings of worthlessness, addiction, and some even become perpetrators themselves to continue the destructive cycle. I think this is enough to deal with without tossing “and become gay or trans” on top of it. That many are able to overcome such debilitating assaults on their innocence and still manage to thrive and achieve is a testament to the human spirit. Many others simply can’t, but it still doesn’t make them gay.
Those of us born into the LGBTQ demographic also have an array of enervating odds against them from the start. Assuming the root cause of this is CSA, however, does us and our families a huge disservice. Aside from struggling with personal issues simply as a condition of our existence, many or most of us come from stable, loving, non-abusive families. I had a very happy childhood myself, and am very fortunate to never have had my trust violated by anyone. What I despise about the false link to CSA is that it casts my family and overall circumstances under a cloud of suspicion. “What really happened in our house to make her trans?” Nothing. I was never even hit. Not once. Nor was I mistreated in any way by relatives, friends of the family, babysitters, teachers, priests, friend’s parents, or complete strangers. LGBTQ people really already have enough to deal with in terms of their family without making them defensive about something they didn’t do; especially the supportive ones.
We also don’t appreciate that chalking up our innate orientations to a causation of horrific evil that by nature makes it a very negative thing. We do not consider being gay or trans to be a bad thing in and of itself. Yes, even in today’s society we admit that it would probably be easier to be in the majority, but that is entirely due to the words and actions of intolerant people. It’s not a cause of shame, the mark or poor character, or the result of a reprehensible act. Don’t even get me stated on the “lifestyle choice” or sin thing. Ugh. No one made us this way, nor did we make ourselves this way, we simply are; a less prevalent but very real part of the natural world.
Finally, to anyone who may have found this post due to a internet search to quench your thirst to link a heinous wrong to a natural condition, I hope you read the whole post and listened. Survivors of CSA have enough to deal with less your crackpot theories. We LGBTQs simply came out that way, and every shred of credible scientific evidence speaks to this being true long before air touched our infant skin. If your belief basis is biblical, well, nothing I say is going to dissuade you from holding to that, no matter what mountain of contrary findings written through the fabric of physical, chemical, and biological creation is amassed. Not even your sacred texts, however, go so far as to suggest CSA makes you gay. I can only suggest that perhaps you shift your focus to helping those who were wronged, preventing future occurrence, and showing charity of spirit to your fellow humans, however you find them.