It’s not a choice!” is a fun­da­mental refrain of the gay-​​rights move­ment often echoed by both gay rights activists them­selves and their allies. It adds a stark, clear line to the debate: You, the anti-​​gay-​​rights person, are pun­ishing people for some­thing they have no con­trol over, just like their gender or the color of their skin. To casual observers of the move­ment and to its everyday allies, this might not seem like a con­tro­ver­sial notion (it’s one I’ve cer­tainly invoked dozens of time over the last decade), but Suzanna Wal­ters, head of the gender and sex­u­ality pro­gram at North­eastern Uni­ver­sity, sees things very differently.

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