Our culture very much values freedom and freewill. It’s basically the supreme American value (probably for Europeans too). And that is why I am so often completely stunned that people quickly deny their own freedom to rationalize their behavior. It just doesn’t make sense. I so often hear crossdressers or those struggling with transgender feelings or those struggling with homosexual feelings say that “they have no choice.” What does this really mean? My assumption is that they mean they have no choice about whether a part of them desires to crossdress, or have homosexual relations, or to live as the opposite sex. That may indeed be true. In my case, I feel like I didn’t have much choice in whether I would have crossdressing desires or not. I just had them.
But there is a logical leap many people make. They say that they didn’t get a choice about having these feelings, but then they say this means that they don’t have any choice about acting on them. Maybe people don’t really believe this logical leap, but in common ways of speaking, they act as if they do. For example, when Christians advocate that homosexuals should not have homosexual sexual relations, the common response is, “I don’t have any choice, this is just who I am.” But this is just not true.
All of us (except perhaps those with mental disabilities) have complete choice in our behavior. We don’t have to do anything we don’t want to do. We have freewill. Now, certainly freewill is a complex thing, and sometimes our will is at conflict within itself. For example, if I have homework to do, part of me might will to do my homework so I can learn and get a good grade, and part of me might desire to hang out with friends instead. In such a case, my will is in conflict, and what will happen is that the greater desire will win out. If I choose to do homework, that means my ultimate will was to do homework, even though a part of me desired to hang out with friends. What we choose is what our ultimate will is. Sometimes a situation can be far more complex than this example, with many conflicting desires, decisions, and consequences weighing in to the situation.
With sexual desires it is the same. I think most heterosexual men at times have lust towards women who are not their wives. If they follow the logic of many crossdressers or homosexuals they could say, “it’s just who I am, I have to give in and commit adultery. It’s part of me. I have to be myself.” But this is so false. If they give in and commit adultery, than they are giving in to that one desire, over the desire to love their wife, which means their ultimate will is to commit adultery more than to love their wife.
So we have to ask ourselves with crossdressing, or with transgender feelings, or homosexual feelings, what is our ultimate will? What choice will we make? It is nonsensical to say we don’t really have a choice. You can partly desire crossdressing, but your ultimate will is to live without it. You can partly desire to live as the opposite sex and get a sex change, but you can still choose to live as the biological sex that you truly are. You can partly desire to have homosexual sex with another man, but still choose not to act on those feelings.
Every day, ALL people everywhere in this world, choose not to act on many different feelings and desires. This is part of the wonder of being human beings with freewill who don’t just blindly follow instincts like many animals. We can make decisions and not give in to every desire that flits through our minds. Imagine how messed up the world would be if everyone acted on every desire that occurred to them? I know if I acted on all of my desires I would be a monster. But thankfully I have freewill, and can choose not to give in to every small or large desire that occurs to me.
You may freely choose to crossdress, or to get surgery that will alter your body parts, or to have a homosexual relationship. Do what you want. But don’t pretend you don’t have a choice. That is simply false and naïve. You may not choose what desires and thoughts drift through you head. You may not have chosen your biology that predisposed you to crossdressing, transgenderism, or homosexuality, but you do indeed choose whether to act on those desires or not. This seems so obvious, yet I think it was worth a post. We can actually choose which of our desires to give into or not.