When you think of love what thoughts occupy your mind? It could be anything from men and women showing affection such as kissing or holding hands, or it could be a sweet song that gives you that half-melted feeling. Maybe it's an image of someone's face that you care for very dearly, or for those so inclined, a pet at home, or a type of food. If you ask someone to describe the images in their mind when they think of love, those aforementioned thoughts might be some of the more basic and easier to come by ones. If you continue to ask, you might start to really get at what love means to someone, or they might start to run out of ideas. Maybe by the fifth or sixth answer the person lists, if in the right age demographic, you might hear them say it's a word written on someone's arm (a la To Write Love on Her Arms Campaign), or maybe they will quote you a Shakespeare Sonnet. Typically though, you won't hear someone describe love as something shared by two members of the same sex - even if they are GLBT there are far too many instances of open non-acceptance for most to be so open about their thoughts. Summed up, it’s tough to be honest and deep about something so sensitive.
Is that because love is only cross sex? It is safe to say that most people would deem love as a 'normal' occurring thing and right now in society there are those who certainly won't allow themselves or others to consider homosexuality a normal thing. No matter which side of this issue you're on right now, you know the people I'm talking about. The pastors, the priests, the 'old school', the conservatives; but first and foremost, the narrow-minded. If you think homosexuality is a choice, not a biological inclination, if you think it is your ticket to an after-life to hate homosexuality, rather than accept it, if you preach bigotry against those who just want to get on with their lives then this piece is certainly for you. It is going to explain quite clearly why you are wrong, and I am right, when I say that homosexuality needs to be accepted, celebrated and treated as it is, love.
By definition (copied straight from wiki, for reference reasons) Homosexuality is romantic and/or sexual attraction or behavior between members of the same sex or gender. As a sexual orientation, homosexuality refers to "an enduring pattern of or disposition to experience sexual, affectional, or romantic attractions" primarily or exclusively to people of the same sex; "it also refers to an individual's sense of personal and social identity based on those attractions, behaviors expressing them, and membership in a community of others who share them."
Some obvious issues with this definition (that has been sculpted by anyone who wished to contribute) are that firstly it is defined as 'social identity'. The most obvious reason this is silly and unnecessary is that in no way does your chosen partner define you socially, or at the very least I mean to say, it shouldn't. If I prefer short brunettes but my friend prefers tall blondes does that mean we are to be identified as socially different? To take it one step further, if I prefer partners of a certain ethnicity does that define me socially? If you're answering yes, then you are a part of the problem with the lack of acceptance for GLBT individuals. This is one thing that the proponents for homosexual rights and the opponents both make mistakes on - discussing the 'homosexual lifestyle'. GLBT communities need to stop talking about themselves as if they're a separate type of people - they aren't. When they do that it makes the job of segregating and marginalizing homosexuals so much easier for the opponents of equal rights. If you want equal rights and to be treated equally (they aren't the same thing, more on that in a moment), stop defining who you are by who you love! Or mark my words the bigots will continue to oppress. We need to explain that GLBT individuals still have interests and hobbies, favourite sports teams, artists, musicians, movies, actors and when the narrow-minded people resisting the equal rights movement finally understand this, that we are all humans, then true equality is only a short step away. I'm not talking about equal rights as in right to marry in this instance - in Canada we are quite fortunate in that these laws have been passed and will not, I repeat, will not, ever be reversed. I am talking about the social factor - being able to walk down the street holding hands like a straight couple. Go for dinner, cuddle in a theatre, hold hands outside a Tim Horton's without being ousted - that's the type of equality we are in dire need of. The type that doesn't just change laws, it changes thought patterns.
Of course there are exceptions right now as so many individuals have been oppressed and forced to feel shame or guilt simply for wanting to find love. There are other feelings that result as reactions to those forced feelings, feeling the need to lash out, or 'show off' their homosexuality. And shouldn't they? If you had to fight to gain the same rights as everyone else then wouldn't you want to celebrate it? I would. In fact, I am straight and I celebrate Pride Week every year simply because I am ashamed that every day I am forced to deal with my overwhelming empathy I have for these people who are constantly bullied and suppressed.
Why do GLBT individuals stand out so much? Because they're homosexual? What if they also write brilliant music, are scientists, doctors, lawyers, or are just a couple of people who like to watch movies in the theatre. Should they have popcorn thrown on them, rude remarks tossed their way as they enter or exit the theatre showing affection? One day I will have kids and those kids will become early teens and those early teens will start to take history and learn about oppression. I will then have to shamefully admit to my children that at one point in history where other early teens, who were GLBT, were oppressed so badly, bullied so openly that they had no option except suicide. I will have to explain that our society not only did nothing to stop this type of forced suicide but they actually condoned it. People gathered in huge buildings known as churches and mosques and synagogues to be taught why the homosexual is evil and not to be trusted. To be taught that not only is partaking in homosexual love sinful and immoral, but even to have those thoughts inside your own head is to submit yourself to eternal damnation. I will have to explain that if you weren't a part of this bigoted group then society deemed you as abnormal, deviant, and immoral. Quite the moral injunction on their behalf though, isn't it, to be convicted of thought crimes? To be made to feel dirty and nasty and shamed just because you love in a way that the masses don't see as appropriate, yet harms no one. I am definitely not looking forward to this future chat with my (hopefully distant) future children. However when the day comes for this chat I would like to be able to say that I did not condone this type of brainwashed bigotry. That I stood up for equality, no matter how unpopular my views were at the time.
A quick note (really quick, so as to not get on the religion debate) to the Christians who are undoubtedly offended that I'm calling out their weekly meetings, the bible cannot be interpreted literally, if this was the case then rebellious children would be killed: Deuteronomy 21:18-21. Also, Women may not speak in church: Cor 14:33-36. The bible is not a collection of dogmatic and strict rules; it is a book of God that promotes compassion, faith in God, truth, and love. Or, at the very least, that is my opinion of what it should be, if I were to ever put faith into it.
Now my favourite part of this discussion, the nature versus nurture debate. Is being homosexual a life choice? Well, at one point, yes. The desires, instincts and biological inclination quite obviously are not choices. However, an individual must decide at some point whether or not they are going to be true to their type of love. There are many individuals who never come out (as sad as it is to say) for many different reasons, suppression being chief among them. Simply put, I am talking about 'coming out' as a homosexual - which must be, especially with all the bigotry that exists today, one of the hardest things a human could do. The fact of the matter is that no one at any time in their life sits down with a pen and paper and writes "'pros' versus 'cons'" of being homosexual. No one writes that list, a list which would substantially favour the cons, such as; a life of constant verbal, physical and emotional attacks, repeated ridicule by society, parents/guardians and close friends, being treated as an unequal minority, not being given the same rights as your fellow humans and undoubtedly a much smaller pool of potential life mates. Considering that train of common sense it certainly doesn't take a scientist to realize that homosexuality is not a choice, it is a biological inclination. Need I really have to say more?
No study has ever been published that wasn't also later discredited that has proven that a) granting homosexuals marriage rights will be harmful in any way to the 'constitution of marriage'(that should have been obvious, you can marry and divorce a prostitute in Vegas in one weekend but two loving adults are going to cause harm? Right.), or b) that has proven that children raised by adoptive GLBT parents causes any detrimental effects on the child/children. Often people worry that if homosexual marriage were to be granted that polygamy would soon follow. This makes no sense and would be easily ratified by an amendment to the constitution that bans such a thing.
So if you're still against homosexuality then to be perfectly honest, I am okay with that. You've proven that you're a soon to be extinct breed, a narrow minded individual whose place in this world is becoming less and less. I've clearly explained why acceptance is right and bigotry is wrong when having this discussion. I am right, and this will be the only time thus far in life that it is fair to say that if you disagree with the acceptance of GLBT equality, to disagree with my points, then you are quite simply put, wrong.
To sum it all up, love between two consenting adults is not dangerous; it's what makes life worth living.
Thanks for reading, feel free to leave a comment or head on over to my Twitter page right here: https://twitter.com/#!/ChrispyPaul