Is Gay a Choice?

A common myth is that sexual orientation is a choice.

If being gay, lesbian or bisexual is a choice then being heterosexual is also a choice.

Do you remember…

How did you choose the person for your first crush?


People do not choose their sexual orientation, whether it is bisexual, asexual, lesbian or gay. Most people become aware of their sexual orientation when they experience a romantic, emotional or sexual attraction towards another person. However, a physical, sexual experience is not required for a person to know their sexual orientation.

A common myth about sexual orientation is the notion that sexual orientation is a choice. Research has found that people have a more positive attitude toward LGBTQ people when they believe there is a biological basis for their orientation or identity, but they will have a more negative attitude if they believe that being LGBTQ is a personal choice.

For many people, the only education they received about lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people was a compilation of social myths, stereotypes and value judgments. The myths, stereotypes and value judgments persist because most people never take the time to learn the realities of being LGBTQ. It is usually when they discover that someone they know and love is LGBTQ that they seek out more information.

The myths, stereotypes and value judgments impose blame on LGBTQ people for being who they are and may lead people to develop negative attitudes towards LGBTQ individuals.

They neglect to consider that everyone has a sexual orientation, and, if were a choice, every person could identify the moment when they chose what they wanted it to be.

Everyone has a sexual orientation. Where does it come from?

SEE: The origin of sexual orientation

The relationship between biology and human sexual orientation (heterosexual, homosexual, bisexual or asexual) is a subject of ongoing research. Theories and medical research point to human sexual orientation being determined by a combination of genetic, hormonal, anatomical and social factors. There is not a single “gay” gene, just as there is not a single “straight” gene, it is a complex mix of many biological factors.

Why are some people gay?