Woman Claims College ’Turned’ Her Gay

by Kilian Melloy
Tuesday Dec 30, 2008

A recent topic of discussion at conservative chat site Free an April, 2005 article from the Web site of a conservative talk-show host who interviewed a young woman, then in college, about her sexual orientation--from the perspective that college "taught" her to be gay.

The original article, which was posted at the Web site of The Dennis Prager Show on April 19, 2005, claimed that by "honoring" homosexuality--through media depictions of lesbians on the TV series "The L Word," for example--society was encouraging young people to "choose" homosexuality.

The item cited an article that appeared in McGill University's student paper. The article, by Anna Montrose, then a student at McGill, read, in part, "It's hard to go through four years of a Humanities B.A. reading [French intellectual Michae] Foucault and [UC Berkeley gender studies theorist Judith] Butler and watching [the lesbian-centered TV series] "[The] L Word" and keep your rigid heterosexuality intact."

Continued McGill's article, "I don't know when it happened exactly, but it seems I no longer have the easy certainty of pinning my sexual desire to one gender and never the other."

The item at the site for The Dennis Prager Show, which seemed to have been written by Prager, detailed how Prager interviewed McGill, finding her to be "a bright and articulate 22-year-old woman," and declaring of McGill, "She is a fine example of the type of thinking and behavior a homosexuality-celebrating culture--such as that at our universities--produces" for having put into print her questioning of her own sexuality.

In the transcript of the interview, Prager asked McGill, "So you and I both believe that how people behave sexually, including which sex they will engage with sexually, is largely determined by society and not by nature."

Answered McGill, "Yeah, I completely agree."

Noting that GLBT equality advocates claim that they are gay or lesbian by nature, rather than by choice, Prager said, "I don't believe [sexual preference is] fixed necessarily at all and neither do you.

Added Prager, "I have a heterosexual preference because my values tell me that male/female love is the ideal. You don't think it's the ideal. Is that fair?"

Responded McGill, "I think that it's one of many options."

Prager went on to say, "Thousands of years of Western civilization preferring male-female bonding leading to marriage and family is a good thing, and Anna feels that it's a bad thing. Is that totally fair? Or am I putting words in your mouth?"

Replied McGill, "I don't think it's necessarily preferable. I think that people should be able to make their own choices."

Prager asked McGill, "So you're saying that for thousands of years, Western society has been wrong for preferring male-female marital bonding."

McGill answered, "I only think it's wrong in that it limits other possibilities, which are equally good."

Prager went on to ask McGill whether she had had sexual experiences with other women, whether she had also had sexual experiences with men, and whether sexual experiences with each gender were equally meaningful.

McGill answered, "Well, there is definitely a difference, but they are also both meaningful."

Prager asked, "At this point, do you hope to marry one day?"

McGill replied, "I haven't really decided on that."

Prager responded, "You don't even have that hope? You haven't decided on the hope? I asked if you hoped, not if you decided."

McGill told Prager, "Well, hope would imply that that would be ideal. But I'm not going to say that getting married would be ideal.

"But I'm also not against marriage," McGill added. "I mean you get insurance benefits by getting married so I can definitely see a case where I would get married."

"For insurance benefits?" asked Prager.

McGill answered, "Yeah."

"That's why you would marry?" Prager inquired.

"And tax benefits as well," McGill responded. "It's very convenient."

The exchange was posted at Free for comment on Dec. 29 of this year.

The comments provoked by the article ranged from (evidently male) commentators assuring others in the thread that their own heterosexuality was not a choice, to a suggestion that young lesbians require "Repeated, videotaped exploitation" as a "course of therapy," to claims that homosexuality is "an acquired taste" and McGill had "simply become bisexual, and amoral."

One commentator wrote, " There is a difference between homosexuality and kinky. This chick is kinky."

Commented another, "After reading the transcript, she comes across as such a wet-brained window-licking idiot that I'm surprised they didn't open her mind to bestiality too."

Answered another, "The silver conservative women will continue to bear children, while this chicky obviously will not."

One participant wrote in to repeat the oft-asserted claim that if homosexuality were genetically determined, gays and lesbians would have long ago disappeared because they would not have reproduced.

This assertion was rebutted by the observation that in most societies throughout history, young people were forced into arranged marriages and pressured to have children.

Another correspondent wrote in with the speculation that variances in sexual orientation are a natural phenomenon, and compared gays with identical twins.

Higher education also came under attack, with some correspondents denouncing gender studies, and similar courses.

One sub-thread concerned whether college girls with no sexual experience in high school might discover they are lesbians in college, bringing at least one commentator in to insist that there is nothing wrong with girls getting through high school without having had any sexual experiences.

Taking note of McGill's comment that marriage is a good way to secure health benefits, one participant cracked, "I've got to show my wife this quote: The Meaning of Love."

Kilian Melloy serves as EDGE Media Network's Assistant Arts Editor. He also reviews theater for WBUR. His professional memberships include the National Lesbian & Gay Journalists Association, the Boston Online Film Critics Association, The Gay and Lesbian Entertainment Critics Association, and the Boston Theater Critics Association's Elliot Norton Awards Committee.


  • tristram, 2008-12-31 20:53:14

    uh oh - let’s go back and do a little editing. Anna Montrose (not McGill) is the student in question. McGill is the university that worked it’s magic on her. [quite a trick, I’d say. I’m requesting an application from Oral Roberts University in the hope that a little down home religion will heteroize me. God (figuratively) knows I tried everything else before I realized it wan’t gonna work. ORU - the oral part always sounded kind of interesting anyway.

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