It is laughable, bordering on disturbing, that opponents to Fairfax County's inclusion of the topic of homosexuality as part of sex education courses next year believe that the courses have such an overwhelming influence {Metro, May 24}. By introducing the topic, the opponents declare, students will choose to be gay if given even the slightest hint that being gay is "acceptable behavior."

Gays are not created, as opponent William Nowers implied in the article. Gays are not taught to be so, as opponent Elaine McConnell, a Republican supervisor from Springfield, was quoted as saying. And sex education courses have nowhere near the influence that these same opponents fear.

If they did, I would be a heterosexual today. As a student enrolled in Fairfax County schools from 1967 to 1980, I know for a fact that nothing but heterosexual ideas and values were presented during my studies; it was actually against county policy to even broach the subject of homosexuality in the classroom, with a threat of dismissal aimed at the head of any faculty member who dared to do so. Regardless, I knew that I was gay and considered my sex education courses a farce for not mentioning what I knew (through my own research and no help from Fairfax County) to be such a common and natural occurrence.

I applaud the Fairfax County School Board's decision to include homosexuality in next year's sex education courses. Here's hoping that the courses' ability to influence increases by leaps and bounds by making students realize that they are capable of hearing all the possibilities and making their own mature, valid choices.