Let's mince words for a moment, shall we?
Before we begin, I must tell you that when my husband and I—two English majors—argue, it often comes down to semantics.
I might say: "Let's see … you wanted to go to work on Saturday, so maybe I can do my run on Sunday."
And he will say: "It's not that I want to go to work. It's that I want the overtime money."
Or one of my favorites:
"Don't tell me what to do."
"I'm not. I'm just offering a suggestion."
See? Sticklers for proper word choice.
Recently, I've seen two different instances where people refer to being gay as a "lifestyle."
The first one was a meme on Facebook that said something like, "Just because I disagree with your lifestyle doesn't mean I fear or hate you."
The second one was a very well written article about how Christians should tolerate gay peeps (for example, if a gay couple approaches a Christian baker asking him to bake them a wedding cake, he should bake them two cakes). Somewhere in the article, the writer said something about the gay lifestyle.
The definition of lifestyle is: "The way in which a person or group lives."
The definition of agree is: "Have the same opinion about something; concur." (Note: let's come back to this in a moment.)
Being gay is not, in fact, a lifestyle. It's a sexual orientation.
It's not how you live, it's who you love.
Here are some examples of different lifestyles:
- Hard core party lifestyle. Someone spends his or her time going to lots of parties, drinking alcohol and doing drugs.
- Hermit lifestyle. Someone spends his or her time alone in his or her home with no desire to befriend or spend time with other people.
- Homesteader lifestyle. Someone lives in a self-sufficient manner, raising and growing his or her own food and producing his or her own electricity.
- Family lifestyle. Someone chooses one life partner and raises children with that person. Soccer games, Crock Pot dinners, probably a dog and a cat. Maybe a pet fish.
- Open dating lifestyle. Someone chooses several partners to date, have sex with, and spend time with.
So a gay person could, conceivably, live any of these lifestyles.
Chances are, some of the gay people you know (and some you don't know) could live lifestyles exactly like yours.
How many gay couples are living a lifestyle similar to mine: married with kids, camping, exercising, eating healthy? Probably lots.
Now let's get back to that term, agree. You can't agree or disagree with sexual orientation. That's like agreeing or disagreeing with race or gender or freckles.
Second, and probably more importantly, nobody is asking you to agree or disagree with their sexual orientation. Sexual orientation is not an opinion. It's simply a state of being.
So if you don't like homosexuality, just say you don't like it. Say it's against your religion. Say you have a moral objection to it. Say it gives you the heebie jeebies. Say it makes you feel "icky." But don't call it a lifestyle, and don't bother disagreeing with it. Nobody wants your opinion.
Phew. I feel better.