Re: Bud Hills response to Michael Reagan’s May 4 column, “Out of the Closet and into identity politics”
Mr. Hill’s most recent attempt at furthering his bizarre thesis that sexual orientation is not an aspect of personal identity but a behavior to be curbed and thus should not merit equal rights in America has taken an asinine turn with his recent claim that individual identity is instead a product of “humanity and race.”
The emphasis on racial identity is a particularly American distinction and one that Mr. Hill would be wise to discard if he ever wishes to gain a modern understanding of evolution and culture. Modern population genetics and genealogy have shown there is nothing more arbitrary, shifting and artificially constructed than the concept of race. If you were to tell a 19th century, protestant, Bostonian that one day his city would be attacked by two men from the Caucasus region and the city’s resolve would then later be celebrated at a professional basketball game by the city’s team named the Celtics and whose starting line up and head coach are all African American, the Bostonian would think you had your notions of race completely backwards.
One’s race is defined conceptually by cultural constructs lying outside and beyond the individual, existing on a grey continuum that is certainly not distinct. One’s sexual orientation speaks to the most basic of human instincts originating from within the person, established through genetics, developmental biology and environment and is highly precluding of any expressed behavior one may display. That is why, while many people may identify strongly with the cultural aspects of their racial identity, sexual orientation is much more central to one’s individual identity. That is also why both America and its legal framework should insure equal protection of LGBT rights.