Late last week, whilst doing a little research for another post, I came across an interesting series of articles. These articles discuss what it’s like to be gay around the world. From the US to Egypt, Kenya to the Netherlands, people told their stories of what life is like as a gay person.
Some of the stories I found surprising. Perhaps it’s naïve of me to think that places like America and Australia would be more open minded. I hate that there are still countries were people can be sent to jail, or even put to death, for falling in love. Even in countries where the laws are not so medieval being gay is dangerous – just because it’s legal won’t stop people who think homosexuality is wrong from attacking and even killing people.
Some people argue that homosexuality is a sin. For the sake of honesty I will point out here that I am not religious. Whether that devalues my views on this or not is down to you as the reader to decide. Whilst some passages in the bible do make such claims – for example, Leviticus 18:22 “Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind: it is an abomination” – the intensity of hatred offered to gays by some is entirely disproportionate. There is nothing in the bible to suggest that homosexuality is a more severe sin than fornication, and yet the behaviour shown to gay people is far worse than that shown to unmarried couples. Likewise I feel it is important to remember that if God made everyone and everything, then he also made gays (and indeed it is described in Romans 1:26-27) – if he did not want people to be homosexual, then why make them that way?
Others argue that homosexuality is unnatural. The fact that examples of homosexuality can be found throughout the animal kingdom really would suggest the opposite. It also further reinforces the idea that homosexuality is innate rather than a choice.
As said in the book Born Gay, sexual preference is a “fundamental and immutable component of human nature”. It’s not a choice. It’s not learnt. It is something we are born with. I myself identify as pansexual; being married to a man does not change my sexuality. My husband is aware of this; it is not something either of us feel the need to be ashamed of.
To me (and this may be better explained in the link about pansexuality), I cannot understand the insistence that love only be between the “right” people – a man and a woman. Love cannot be controlled or directed like that. The saying that love is blind is true. Love does not care about gender or race, the colour of hair, education, language… Love doesn’t care about any of that.
People talk about “coming out of the closet” regarding letting people know their sexuality. I don’t like that. Why should there be a closet? Do people wait for their children to come to them and say “mum, dad, I’m straight”? No, they don’t (for the most part). And I think that it should be the same for people who aren’t straight – there should be no need to come out. It should just be accepted. Whether your son tells you he’s bringing his boyfriend or girlfriend to dinner, whether that partner is trans or intersex, it shouldn’t matter.
Love is love. Let it be.
P.S. To any of my friends reading this and being surprised at my admission of my sexuality, and perhaps wondering why you weren’t aware of it, reread what I said about coming out of the closet… Incidentally, the spell-checker wants me to change “pansexuality” to “asexuality” – not the same thing, spell-checker.
P.P.S. Something that irritates me (and that I have personally been on the receiving end of)… People who think that being gay/bi means you want to have sex with them. Surprisingly enough, being a lesbian doesn’t make you want to sleep with every girl you see, any more than being straight makes you want to sleep with every man you see (and vice versa for the males). If as a straight person you do want to sleep with every opposite-sex person you see then you may have a problem, and I would recommend speaking to your doctor about that, but do not push your issues on to innocent LGBT folk!