As for how this particular myth got started, well, we've already established that the demographics of homosexuality are a complete unknown, due to the flaws of asking people to self-report on something that could get the shit beaten out of them. Now imagine how much worse things are in the poorest parts of the country -- it's a hell of a lot easier to be openly gay in San Francisco than your average trailer park.
Myth: You'll Always Be Permanently Gay or Straight
It's taken decades of progress, social changes, and Lady Gaga songs, but people are finally catching on to the fact there isn't a switch that can turn gayness on or off (those are called nipples, guys). You're just born that way ... for better or worse. Whenever a married politician has a homosexual affair with his pool boy, we assume he must have been secretly gay all along.
Tony Kurdzuk/The Star-Ledger
Come on, look at the wife: she's been practicing that look for years.
Likewise, if a "gay" celebrity announces they are now straight, we figure they just had a tense conversation with their agent who explained that Middle America still buys lots of movie tickets.
But Actually ...
Science officially says that you can totally turn gay or turn straight -- but no, it doesn't mean you can control it, or that gay kids can be "cured" if you show them enough GIFs of Scarlett Johansson running or something. In recent years, scientists have been looking into the growing trend of "late-blooming lesbians," or straight women in their 30s or 40s who suddenly realize they want some lady lovin'. Dad gets a new convertible; mom gets a girlfriend.
Or, if you're a single parent, you can go with both.
Again, you'll be tempted to think they're just going through a phase (or worse, doing it "for attention") but several studies say otherwise. Scientists followed a group of women for years and measured changes in what they wanted to hump, confirming that what gets people to the summit of Fuck Mountain can absolutely change with time. It's different for dudes, because society as a whole is way more into lesbians than gays, but these changes can manifest in other ways: like heterosexual men increasingly getting into all sorts of butt stuff, or the proud tradition of married guys who fool around with other guys but still consider themselves straight.
"My boyfriend is the only gay one here."
It's situations like these that bring credibility to the concept of "pansexuality" -- being attracted to people, not genders. A lot of people have even started rejecting labels of gay, straight, and bisexual. Perhaps that's where humankind is headed, and, who knows, maybe society will be much happier then ... until we discover aliens, start having sex with them, and have to deal with all this again.
Sam Jackson has spotlights on his property and barbed wire around his heart. Check out his friend Richard Jessee's music video, then follow Sam on Facebook and Twitter.
For more misconceptions you probably have, check out 6 Things Everyone Knows About Women (That Aren't True) and 5 Widely Believed Dating Myths (Science Says Aren't True).
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