Today is not only pi day, but it is the pi day of the century, and people everywhere are excited about this day on which nothing amazing is happening except for the serendipity of time. In a way it is like celebrating a birthday, a day which marks absolutely nothing that you did! Indeed, if anything, it ought to be your mother who gets celebrated on your birthday, for she did all the work! But I digress, for this is pi day, and I want to talk about pi.

The New Yorker has a wonderful article detailing the importance of pi that is worth a read. But even before seeing it, I wanted to write about pi and the linkage to LGBTQ Rights. There really isn’t one. Nothing gay about pi, although you might deem it a bit flamboyant. But there is something in pi for any of us pushing for full respect and inclusion in the culture at large.

I hope you can get past my double negative here: there isn’t anyone who doesn’t believe in pi. Pi just is. Partly that’s because pi is math, and partly that’s because pi is Science, but in a real way, it is also because we have all chosen to buy in and accept what we’ve been told.  Sure, some people have, but most have not done the math and solved the equation to see for themselves that pi is a number that goes on and on and on. It is unique and different and special, and the majority of people simply accept that this is true.

Pi describes something. It is a part of understanding and comprehending a perfect circle: another idea that seems unreal and special and unique. In a world where no two things are exactly alike and perfect– only by the beauty of their individualization, it seems astonishing that a perfect circle could even exist. In fact it seems at odds with reality as a whole, but rather it is a part of that reality, and a tool used in understanding and describing that perfection which doesn’t fit, is pi, this value unlike any other.

There is no religious basis for pi, yet no one has stopped knowing pi is real or celebrating pi because of it. Pi doesn’t prove there is a god nor prove there isn’t, but pi reminds us that there are other ways to come to understand, describe and accept that without the need of God.  In other words, Science and Math are not at odds with Religion or compete with religious ideas. They do very different things.

At one time, to see the (partial) value of pi, one would have to spend hours and hours and hours doing the calculation manually, but today, a computer and an algorithm can do it almost instantaneously. Here is pi to 100,000 digits. Imagine that! 100,000 digits. Frankly I have trouble grasping that such a number can even exist and be understood!

Sexual orientation is really just Math and Science too, when we come to understand that myriad combinations of nature and nurture gel together in a way that provides every human being with a sexual orientation that can be described as being on a continuum from exclusively heterosexual to exclusively homosexual. Science seems to tell us that there may be genetic basis for sexual orientation even if it is not simply determined by a one to one correlation between  gene and attraction. At some point, we will have a calculation a little more complex than pi perhaps, which helps us describe sexual orientation in the way pi helps us describe a perfect circle. We aren’t there yet. Science isn’t there yet, and the calculation hasn’t yet been worked out, but in time, it will.

Pi has been around for a while. Smart minds have e been working on it for quite a while in fact. Mathematics have been studied for centuries, ad there same vigorous exploration of genetics is just in the infancy of that Science. Smart minds are now working on understanding sexual orientation, and it is utterly reasonable to believe that in time we will be able to describe sexual orientation out to 100,000 digits. The proof of sexual orientation will be just as clear and concrete.

Happy pi day.

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