"As a result, I had very few recognizable social cues to offer potential male or female friends, since I was neither confident nor sensitive to others," he observed. "Thus I befriended people rarely and alienated others easily."
The English professor pointed out that most adults who identify as homosexuals had the advantage of being "reared in a traditional home." Lopez, lacking traditional role models of either sex, "suffered because of it, in ways that are difficult for sociologists to index."
Lopez came to identify as bisexual in college, before dropping out of school and becoming involved "in with what can only be called the gay underworld. Terrible things happened to me there," he said.
Later, he was surprised to become romantically involved with a woman. He married and became a father, choosing to "put aside my own homosexual past" and vowing "never to divorce my wife or take up with another person, male or female, before I died."
"I chose that commitment in order to protect my children from dealing with harmful drama, even as they grow up to be adults," he wrote. "When you are a parent, ethical questions revolve around your children and you put away your self-interest – forever."
Lopez did not participate in Regnerus' study on the children of same-sex couples, but began corresponding with him after the work was published. In his essay, he thanked the sociologist for highlighting life experiences he believes some homosexual activists might prefer to overlook.
Part of the controversy surrounding the Regnerus study stems from its funding by the Witherspoon Institute, known for its social conservatism. Lopez also describes himself as a conservative, and anticipated activists' response to his defense of the University of Texas at Austin professor.
"Many have dismissed my story with four simple words: 'But you are conservative.' Yes, I am. How did I get that way? I moved to the right wing because I lived in precisely the kind of anti-normative, marginalized, and oppressed identity environment that the left celebrates," he wrote.
"I am a bisexual Latino intellectual, raised by a lesbian, who experienced poverty in the Bronx as a young adult. I'm perceptive enough to notice that liberal social policies don't actually help people in those conditions. Especially damning is the liberal attitude that we shouldn't be judgmental about sex."
"So yes, I am conservative and support Regnerus's findings," Lopez wrote. "Or is it that Regnerus's findings revisit the things that made me conservative in the first place?"