How can feelings ever be chosen?

People choose their feelings all the time. A person who is sad but who knows they need to move on with their life will often force themself to smile and think positive thoughts—and the act of doing so will gradually make them actually become happier. And a person who, 30 years into an ecstatically happy relationship, suddenly notices that their partner has lately started looking a lot older, more wrinkled, or differently shaped than is to their taste at the moment will often choose to learn to appreciate their partner's newly wrinkled and reshaped exterior for the sake of all the love and goodness that resides underneath it.

If a person does lose the ability to choose to be happy, it means that something is wrong with them: we diagnose them as clinically depressed and give them medicine to cure them and enable them to control their feelings again. When queer people protest against homophobia by saying that they can't control their feelings, isn't that practically an invitation for homophobes to try to develop a "cure"?

[A woman on a panel said she chose to be a lesbian] and the audience was just going crazy! "What does this mean?" and "Well, do you still have an attraction to men?" And she said, "No, I don't." And they said, "But that can't be, if you had it before." And she said, "Yeah, I used to like cheese but I don't eat cheese anymore and I actually don't like it; it was an acquired taste. Men were an acquired taste. I no longer have the taste for them." People were like, "What? Oh no!" Weeping and gnashing of teeth.
—a queer man, quoted in Vera Whisman's Queer by Choice: Lesbians, Gay Men, and the Politics of Identity, 1996
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