This post was sparked by a comment by a reader. Before I go into this however, I want to make it clear that I am not attacking this person in any way. I simply want to explain why this argument doesn't make sense in my head. Obviously, I could be wrong, but here is how I think about it:
I reject the idea that action is what defines sexuality. This is a common argument. Gay people are often painted as purely sexual people. In the comment, the logic (and at first glance, it seems appropriate) was that the simple desire to cheat doesn't make you a cheater. The need you feel to lie, doesn't make you a liar. It isn't until you act on those feelings/desires that you become a "liar"/"cheater." The argument is then put forth that the desire to be homosexual doesn't make you homosexual.
Let's first look at the definitions of "cheater," "liar," and "homosexual."
Cheater: To deceive by trickery; swindle. To act dishonestly; practice fraud. One who cheats.
Liar: a person who has lied or lies repeatedly.
So far the argument holds true. Indeed, to be a liar or cheater, your actions must define it.
Homosexual: a person who is sexually attracted to members of the same sex.
Okay, so here is where the argument falls apart. A homosexual is not defined by his/her actions. Furthermore, sexuality is WAY different from adjectives like "cheater" and "liar." Sexuality is a core element of our humanity. It is a very important element of our being.
Ok, now for some logic. In order for sexuality to be determined by action, the following must also be true. All people are simply asexual until they act on their attraction. That means that, in the church, kids are asexual until they are 16 when they can finally date. It isn't until they hold a girls hand, kiss them, and start displaying their sexuality, that they become defined as a heterosexual. However, I am almost certain that if you asked these kids if they were asexual at age 15, they would, in large part, say NO- I am VERY heterosexual.
The term "homosexual" and "heterosexual" are also a bit confusing because sex is implied in the word. This is often used to show that gay people are purely lustful creatures looking for sex. But is sex what makes you heterosexual? Do you marry someone simply for sex? If so, I would argue that you are probably marrying for the wrong reason (and I think the brethern would agree with me). Instead, being a heterosexual means that you long for and are intrigued by the companionship of a person of the opposite gender. There is an emotional need for that partnership to feel complete as a human being. Much of this is based on sexual attraction, but just as heterosexuality isn't all about sex, homosexuality is much more than that. If it was only about sex, why do gays want to marry? There are much easier, no-strings-attached methods to satisfy lust.
Before coming to terms with my sexuality and being honest with myself, I dated girls. I'd take them out, hold their hands, cuddle, even kissed a couple. Based on my actions, I would be heterosexual. Yet underneath those actions was inner hell. It was so hard for me. It felt so unnatural and I couldn't understand why people kissed, why they held hands. It felt forced. And worst of all I would be in emotional agony whenever it came time to act heterosexual. It wasn't that I was dating boys. My actions were not homosexual ones. Yet I was and am gay. Once I became okay with that idea, I quickly found out why people held hands, why they kissed, etc. I couldn't understand it until my actions were in line with my emotional and sexual needs which are both parts of my sexuality (or perhaps, less confusing, orientation). When my actions became honest with my soul, I finally found out what being in love felt like. That was this year, age 25. Well after my peers have felt heartbreak and experienced love. Better late than never =)