The Gay Gene – Dr. Dean Hamer Proved Who We Love Is Not “A Choice”
In its quest for authoritarian power, the New Right has resurrected old hateful tropes and lies about gay people like who we are and who we love is a choice. They’re passing “Don’t Sat Gay” laws and banning books by and about LGBTQ people to protect children from “indoctrination” because they believe shielding them from our stories will keep them from “turning gay.” But if there is one thing we have always known, it’s that loving who we love was never a choice.
And a story they really don’t want to hear about, especially the Evangelical crowd — a story surprisingly few in our own Community are familiar with is the discovery of the “gay gene” in 1993 by Dr. Dean Hamer.
Geneticist and HIV/AIDS researcher at the NIH, Dr. Dean Hamer, published the first direct evidence of the “gay gene,” xq28 located on the X chromosome in Science, July 1993.
“’Rarely before have so many reacted so loudly to so little.’ Hamer’s paper—‘A Linkage Between DNA Markers on the X Chromosome and Male Sexual Orientation’ — had the modest ring of science, where change is often slow and incremental. But the underlying idea seemed to carry enormous implications: Homosexuality was not a choice—’the wrong choice,’ as many religious and political leaders have demogogued on the issue. Instead, homosexuality was as much a biological fact as eye color.”
– PBS, Frontline
Hamer’s continued research led him to publish several well reviewed books targeted at a general readership including, The Science of Desire: The Search for the Gay Gene and The Biology of Behavior. His work has also been referenced by medical scholars more than 20,000 times.
With husband Joe Wilson, Dean Hamer formed the film company, Qwaves in 2005 and their first feature film, Out In Silence, won several awards including the PBS Independent Lens Shorts Festival, Seeds of Tolerance Award and an Emmy Award. After Hamer retired from the NIH in 2011, they moved to Hawaii and produced the documentary, Kumu Hina.
Dean and Joe’s most recent film is the award winning Leitis in Waiting.
In their own words
Main image courtesy of TheOutWordsArchieve.org
Read our previous Pride Month 2022 posts
“Celebrating Gilbert Baker, Creator of the Pride Flag”
“Glenn Burke, MLB’s First Openly Gay Player, Honored at LA Dodgers’ Pride Night”
“Podcast: Nick Adams & Hulu’s New Gay Rom-Com ‘Fire Island’”
“Pulitzer Finalist ‘Circle Jerk’ Debuts Hybrid In-Person & Livestreamed Production for Pride Month”
“‘Beyond LOVING’ a Short Film Chronicles the Power of Men in Love”
“Nicole Serrano: Coming Out After Years In Christian Music”
“Remembering The Pulse Massacre Six Years of Out Loving Hate”
“We’re Here! We’re Queer! …and We’re Hilarious! VIDEOS”