It was after I had been a vegetarian for a few years that my friends one by one started giving up on relationships with the opposite sex. I didn't really understand it - my romantic experiences hadn't been the greatest, but I didn't see that as a reason to give up on the whole "natural order of things" or whatever. But the more I thought about it, and the more I had trouble communicating and relating to my partner, the more I began to flirt with the idea in my mind. I've always felt that I am a rational, reasoning person, and I wanted to think this one through.
It was this objective side of me that had caused me to become a vegetarian. It wasn't that I hated eating meat - there were just more reasons not to. When people casually ask me why I am a vegetarian, I will (for the sake of avoiding a diatribe) simply say "because I don't like eating meat." But there are a wealth of reasons - the cruelty involved in killing animals, of course, but also the food shortage in the world, the incredible cost of resources necessary to raise animals to kill, deforestation in the name of cattle ranches, general nutritional concerns, you know. Everyone knows these reasons, I think, and yet people just enjoy eating meat - they've grown up with the idea and that's what prevents them from making the switch. I thought I liked eating meat too much to stop, though I made several attempts after my best friend became a vegetarian and tried to convince me to do the same. Once I took the time to line up the reasons for and against, however, it was actually relatively easy to change my eating habits.
It was thinking about this recently that opened my eyes to how similar my situation is now with respect to homosexuality. There are some pretty good reasons to stick to your own gender. How can you be really close to someone who seems so different from you as does the opposite sex? Where intimacy is concerned, the differences between the sexes can only form a barrier to sympathy, understanding, and trust. Why handicap yourself to overcoming a gender "wall" when you can bypass the struggle altogether and get to the more meaningful experience that lies beyond merely physical matters?
In addition to the alienation factor involved, there are other reasons to go gay - with same-sex relationships there is no risk of pregnancy, no risk of bringing an unwanted child into an overcrowded world. In addition, embarking on a homosexual relationship allows you to better understand your own gender and, subsequently, yourself. Also, it's much easier to swap clothes with a significant other that happens to be the same sex.
Some people may say that by "limiting" yourself to people of the same gender, you are denying yourself the opportunity to enjoy the great variety that exists between the sexes. But in reality, only be investigating your own sex further can you overcome superficial differences and discover the true variety that exists among all people, whatever the sex. Meat may look different from other foods on the outside, but the range of flavors inherent in meat is actually quite limited. The same is true when we are blinded by the physical differences between men and women, fooled into thinking we are getting something special when in fact our chances of experiencing something truly new are quite slim. Far from being limited, I found that when I "gave up" meat my eyes opened up to a whole new vast variety of foods and sensations that are possible. And, for me at least, that's how it is with people as well (and sex and relationships and love). By avoiding the expensive distractions that society and commercial interests try to superimpose upon me with regards to sex and food, I am actually able to explore a more subtle - but infinitely richer - range of tastes.
What I like about the decisions I've made in my life is that they make sense to me, even though they're not presently the "norm." I feel that by being true to myself, somehow my existence on this earth has become a little bit more sturdy and meaningful. Though the paths I have chosen may not be for everyone, I know without a doubt that my decisions have made my own life happier and more interesting. And who can argue with that?