Gays are not born that way, Mr Kiai

On Saturday, August 27th, Kenya’s Daily Nation newspaper published an article by Maina Kiai under the title “No one chooses to become gay, it depends on how one was born.” In it, he argues that gay people — as well as intersex, transgender, bisexual (the whole LGBT+ spectrum really) people — are born that way. The problem is, he is wrong on all counts but one.

Intersex people, those born with variable mixtures of both characteristically male and female features, are born that way. Their plight is truly pitiable. But they are too few to be statistically relevant to the debate on human sexuality. However, by mixing this one truth into his toxic gender theory concoction, Mr Kiai proceeds to build a seemingly viable case for a claim that has been repeatedly debunked by science.

No objective scientific study has proved that homosexual and transgender people are born that way. In fact, like many others before it, a recent review of almost 200 peer-reviewed studies on the subject bears this out. The report, “Sexuality and Gender,” written by two American scholars, Drs. Lawrence Mayer and Paul McHugh, was published in August in “The New Atlantis,” a leading journal on technology, science and ethics.

It concludes that science has not confirmed that “gender identity is an innate, fixed property of human beings that is independent of biological sex.” In short, a person cannot be genetically gay, lesbian or transgender. These deviant sexual tendencies are occasioned by nurture, not nature.

Be that as it may, it is not only my ire Mr Kiai drew. Audrey Mbugua, Kenya’s transgender poster child, attempted to correct Mr Kiai in an article published on Saturday, September 3rd, also in the Nation. However, his/her opposition falls too short.

While correctly stating that transgender people are not gays, Mbugua neither refutes the claim that they are born that way nor gives due attention to intersex people, whose plight was victim to Mr Kiai’s opportunistic ramblings. She commits the same mistake she is accusing Mr Kiai of i.e. confusing one group (intersex) with another (transgender) to advance his/her theories.

Mbugua’s article ends up being a transgender manifesto, committing the same error — mixing truths with untruths and making the latter sound like the former — as Mr Kiai. The scale of the error is such that this space is insufficient for comprehensively picking them out.

In the end, what both writers succeed at, in their attempts to perpetuate misguided convictions, is the double injustice of confusing and misguiding their readers. Kiai and Mbugua would be better off re-checking their science before presenting these baseless claims before Kenyans again.

Feature image: Wikimedia Commons.

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