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I'm interested in creating a (humorous, satirical) science-fiction short story wherein the protagonist repeatedly claims

if everyone was gay, the human race would die out.

Then (somehow) one day... wish granted! In particular:

  • Everyone is now gay, except the protagonist.
  • The human race is on the brink of extinction because they are convinced that gay people cannot reproduce (as per the protagonist's claim).
  • The protagonist is now the only human who realizes gay people can still reproduce. To save the human race, the protagonist needs to convince people that, despite being gay, they can still reproduce.

I'm wondering how this could arise using quirky, not-very-strict science fiction: funny and curious is more important than realism.

Question: What could lead to everyone on Earth becoming gay, and the human race facing extinction because they believe they can't reproduce?

I'm thinking in the ballpark of e.g. (a) protagonist was cryogenically frozen, and was revived to save the species after everyone became gay, or (b) a nearby comet leeches alien pheromones onto Earth, inadvertently turning everyone gay. I'm after something that's not too simplistic, e.g. "wave a magic wand and everything turns out that way".

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    $\begingroup$ Replacing gay with idiot and you are following the steps of Idiocracy. $\endgroup$ – L.Dutch - Reinstate Monica Jul 27 '20 at 4:00
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    $\begingroup$ The harder thing to convince people of is that humans couldn't reproduce. Gay people today reproduce without sex. Do you somehow genetically control sexuality, then trigger everyone to switch the other way? Perhaps a "treatment" to control sexuality, that then somehow goes astray? Homophobic people imagine such a treatment already. And distant enough in the future that people don't remember homosexuality as history? $\endgroup$ – DWKraus Jul 27 '20 at 4:10
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    $\begingroup$ I get the "funny" part, but this could easily go the wrong way. $\endgroup$ – DWKraus Jul 27 '20 at 4:12
  • $\begingroup$ I don't get if the homosexuals can reproduce by having heterosexual sex or do man can get pregnant and women can get impregnated by other women? $\endgroup$ – SZCZERZO KŁY Jul 27 '20 at 7:48
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    $\begingroup$ I mean gay people can still reproduce normally it’s not like our penises don’t work or anything $\endgroup$ – Alex Jul 27 '20 at 10:14
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Reproduction and sexuality aren't the same thing. As one of the other answer points out: homosexuality is the not same thing as sterility.

Artificial insemination is a well-established and mature technology. Faced with potential extinction governments, families and other members of the human species will take whatever necessary steps to perpetuate themselves.

This can be done through legislation and persuasion. Since humans are ingenuous rascals they will devise a multitude of ways of ensuring there will be offspring in succeeding generations.

Once these arrangements are in place, everybody can go back to their preferred styles of bonking.

While a scenario where everybody becomes gay is a suitable subject for satire, it is hardly an effective cause for extincting the species.

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    $\begingroup$ I think you meant to say, "homosexuality is not the same as sterility"? $\endgroup$ – F1Krazy Aug 20 '20 at 14:53
  • $\begingroup$ @F1Krazy Thanks for spotting my mistake. $\endgroup$ – a4android Aug 21 '20 at 2:03
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Homosexuality and sterility are not related.

Since it is a mixture of environmental, cultural and genetic conditions that determine sexuality, it is impossible to make a specie with sexual reproduction completely homosexual (or heterosexual). So, handwave it.

This said, I no idea how politically correct do you consider within this "funny and curious", but, all those subgroups pretending regulate or change something in the way the humankind evolve and form their society may are a good source to explore. (I suspect that this option violates a rule here.)

a) Extrapolate radicals from subcultures like feminists or incels gaining more importance and power, capable of leading both men and women to separate and hate each other.

b) Make a reverse of political suggestion of homophobic ones (Thanks, DWKraus!): heterosexuality is a distortion, a deviation and need to be treated.

c) Exagerate childfree ideas. Have a baby is dangeours in some way.

d) Some kind of religion appear and spread popularity fast, then makes laws prohibiting heterosexual relationships.

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Just yesterday while link surfing I stumbled upon the following factoid

In ancient Sparta the way to training men was to have them live with their peers on their own until they were adults. When then they got married, the bride was shaven her head and dressed like a man, as for a man just out of training the idea of having sex with someone other than a man would be inconceivable.

Though the factoid has to be taken with a pinch of salt, it makes sense that some teenagers in the full of their hormonal storm and with daily interaction limited to same gender individuals will end up experiencing homoerotic relationship.

The problem however is that strict gender segregation in teenage years won't give a 100% rate of homosexuality (some countries enforced it in the past, and as far as I know they kept having a non zero birth rate), and even if some of them might indulge in homoerotic display of affection it doesn't make them exclusive homosexuals.

I think your best course of action is to use a non better specified plot device without venturing into detailed explanation. As I commented, the plot sounds like Idiocracy with homosexuality replacing idiocy, however cultural knowledge and reproductive behavior do not follow the same learning path.

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Since this is satirical you can go in many directions with this. But I think you're overlooking something that can ground your story in reality.

The U.S. air force proposed and researched the possibility of multiple literal gay bombs.

These bombs were to use psychotropic drugs to alter the brains of people in target areas in such a way that they would all likely become gay.

The thought in the military at the time was that a gay man couldn't fight as well as a straight man(for whatever reason),and that trained soldiers could lose fighting ability because they decided to have sex with different people...

None of that fighting stuff makes any sense, but the gay bombs, those are real. Though they can't really work that way, I can see how these would work into your story.

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  • $\begingroup$ Were these gay bombs supposed to work on everyone or just on people sexually attracted to women (making e.g. asexual people and actual gay men immune to them)? $\endgroup$ – Danijel Aug 20 '20 at 15:35
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If you are looking for a "quirky, not-very-strict" way to make the world homosexual, there is the old standby of virtual reality.

As has been stated, homosexualiy and sterility are two completely different things. Between an organized agreement between parties, artificial insemination, and just plain experimental oops, our theoretic race of homosexual humanity would have children.

But with VR, well it's not a real world, now is it? The trick is to prevent your protagonist from noticing that it is a simulation. It could potentially be layered on top of another suggestion, such as cryogenic suspension, escaped virus, or aliens teaching us how to really love.

With the non-reality established, the programmers of it can make people react as they should. So long as your world's reactions can mostly pass logical muster the illusion will hold. The main thing will be to not have so many glaring holes in the virtual reality that your protagonist suspects that it isn't actually reality.

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How about this: instead of the whole earth, a conservative religious group is establishing a small colony on another planet. Planning the first permanently non-gay planet, they infect everyone with a retrovirus which changes their sexual orientation. But it backfires, so instead they get the first all-gay planet. Since they are highly invested in their ideology, they all disguise their new inclinations from each other until it's too late, and then they universally find PIV sex as disgusting (and unholy) as they once found homosexuality to be. One guy has to then convince the others that they can still occasionally take breaks for reproductive sex.

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What could lead to everyone on Earth becoming gay, and the human race facing extinction because they believe they can't reproduce?

Here are three options. Well, actually just one if you see it my way.

  1. Aliens: for some convoluted reasons aliens decide to alter mankind sexuality and also the thought process so that people really are convinced they can not reproduce. How would they do it? Well, they are aliens they would have multiple ways but for instance they could get control of the phone company and send a subliminal signal to the user every time people are looking at the screen... (and people look at their phones a lot!). Your main character is not affected because is the only one who still uses a Nokia from yonder years.
    But frankly... aliens? overused

  2. Biological: a parasite which has lived for millions of years in the rain forest is brought to civilization thanks to globalization. There it multiplies and quickly parasites are all over the world. They are hardly noticable and don't harm the host, just feed off a little. But as a side effect of their presence they can influence the amigdala and pituitary gland. So people remember this notion of not being able to reproduce and become gay, voilà!
    The main character can not become a host because has the foul habit of eating garlic in large quantities. Still... parasite? yaki

  3. Tech: The 'EnoughIsEnoughBecauseEnoughIsEnough' gay fighting group manages to infiltrate the web and TV channels and for two weeks sends retro hypnotic signals camouflaged as commercials that gradually modify both sexual orientation and cognitive behaviour of the watchers.
    Hypnopaedia conditioning sets the axiom in every conscience: "We can not reproduce because we are gay" is as self-evident as "The whole is greater than the part." It's easy to pull it off. Most people sleep with their cellphone next to them. Many people sleep in front of the TV.
    Why would they do that? Well, they are pissed off, that's why. And anyway it's good for the environment. Or something. Oh well, it's not that like being gay makes you smarter per se.
    The main character has not been affected because has spent the last two weeks in a semi-comatose state after getting wasted big time after his girlfriend left him for (Julius? Ann? up to you). He also lost his phone on that memorable night, the night on which EnoughIsEnoughBecauseEnoughIsEnough launched its offensive.

Cheers

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On a less satirical tone: one of the seminal works of modern sci-fi is The Forever War, by Joe Haldeman. It's the story of a veteran from Vietnam that goes on to fight a interstellar war. Due to the nature of FTL and relative time, the protagonist's travels back to Earth take days or months from his perspective, while centuries pass on Earth.

On one of his returns, the Earth is overpopulated (12+ billion people, if I recall) and in a global socioeconomic crisis (so kinda like the real world now, but with overpopulation). Then he goes to space, and when he comes back, hundreds of years have passed - and everyone is gay.

As the sole survivor of a number of battles, and as one of the oldest and most experienced members of the military, he becomes the commander of a battalion. Since he's both the only senior and the only straight person around, his subordinates coin him the nickname "old queer".

I think it's an interesting read which might give you some good ideas. Lots of Nebula winners include discussions of sexuality (The Left Hand of Darkness has a special place in my heart), they can serve a great deal for inspiration.


I almost forgot. As to what could make everyone gay: in the book, people were both genetically engineered and reared from a very young age into preferring affective and sexual relationships with people of the same sex exactly to reduce overpopulation (the book is from 1974...). They only reproduce through artificial means. Humanity did not reach the brink of extinction though, they just controlled birth rates to match death rates.

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