A three-year-old glossary on the web site of the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network defines sexual orientation and identity as follows:
Sexual Orientation: This is determined by our sexual and emotional attractions. Categories of sexual orientation include homosexuals—gay, lesbian—attracted to some members of the same sex; bisexuals, attracted to some members of more than one sex; and heterosexuals, attracted to some members of another sex. Orientation is influenced by a variety of factors, including genetics and hormones, as well as unknown environmental factors. Though the origins of sexuality are not completely understood, it is generally believed to be established before the age of five.
Sexual Identity: This is how we perceive and what we call ourselves. Such labels include “lesbian,” “gay,” “bisexual,” “bi,” “queer,” “questioning,” “heterosexual,” “straight,” and others. Sexual Identity evolves through a developmental process that varies depending on the individual. Our sexual behavior and how we define ourselves (identity) can be chosen. Though some people claim their sexual orientation is also a choice, for others this does not seem to be the case.
The PDF brochure on which this glossary is based is even older — it’s dated 2002.
Both Randy Thomas at Exodus and British exgay advocate Peter Ould act as though this is breaking news, and feign astonishment that a pro-tolerance organization would accurately define and distinguish among sexuality, belief, and behavior.
Have either Exodus leadership or Peter Ould really tried to read and understand what we and some other pro-tolerance advocates have said for years? Apparently they have not: True to the spirit of political correctness, they have devoted years to the study and actual belief of their own strawman argumentation.
Witness the obvious oversight — a self-contradiction — of both Thomas and Ould: Even as the pair sarcastically acknowledges that GLSEN has accurately defined sexual orientation and identity, Exodus leaders and NARTH continue to teach the politically correct falsehood that unproven and poorly documented environmental factors — overbearing mothers, distant fathers, effeminacy in men, tomboyism in women, and child sexual abuse — are primarily or exclusively to blame for same-gender sexual orientation.
GLSEN’s acknowledgement that exgay activists exist doesn’t seem like news to me, either: Yet another strawman argument aired frequently by exgay advocates such as Chad Thompson and Warren Throckmorton is the notion — attributed to no one — that gay activists believe that exgays don’t exist. There has never been a question as to whether exgay activists exist. The debate has always been whether, and how, said activists have really “changed” — and just how moral is it for certain exgay activists to presume to explain away the unique sexualities, struggles, childhoods, and family circumstances of all other gay and exgay individuals.