Zach (the teenager in the USA sent to Love In Action’s anti-gay camp) updated his blog yesterday to ask everyone to please leave him alone, from the hundred odd comments he’s since recieved on the said blog it doesn’t look like anyone was really paying that much attention. One of the things he said on his blog was that he didn’t want homosexuality to rule his life. Some people seemed to take this as an admission of his accepting that homosexuality was a sin etc.etc. Maybe it was maybe not, he’s sixteen, thats for him to deal with, he’s taken a step that I never have, though I came damn close when I was a teenager and still living at home, that is to tell his parents that he was gay.
Brave lad, and to tell his parents and be so sure that early on, but he doesn’t seem to realise (presumably because he’s only just come out from the place) quite how unacceptable some of the rules at the camp were for people who didn’t volunteer to go there…parental rights are one thing but advising parents not to tell their children about the rules previous to entering the camp? Dodgy ground if you ask me. Dodgy and a half.
Some people have been so angered by his assertion that some people allow homosexuality to rule their lives and he is right, sexuality should be a valid part of your life not the be-all and end-all of who you are. But we have a problem whilst homosexuality is still a crime in some parts of the world, whilst the word ‘gay’ is still an insult, whilst people think that homosexuality and bisexuality are not the equals of heterosexuality, that in some way it is a moral offense or whatever. I once resigned from the position of treasurer in an LGBT society because (well actually because of a continued campaign somewhat akin to bullying) I suddenly asked myself why should there be a society? Why should I be a treasurer when I am bisexual but I have no desire to scream I AM BISEXUAL at every oppurtunity. Well except in that one memorable instance when it was used as a really cheesy yet effective chat-up-line.
My opinions have somewhat changed, I am a teacher in a school in Japan. Around them everyday the pupils see heterosexual monogamous couples and understand that that is how they can act and be happy. Until they see heterosexual and homosexual couples around them, equally happy and understanding of one another there will always be that terrible fear of coming out, not just to your parents but to everyone around you. There isn’t always a stupid boy to shout across a common room and make your outing experience a bearable one. The point is that it still matters, the point is that you can’t just say to your grandma ‘don’t fix me up with men, I’m looking for a woman’. In some ways I am not delivering the goods, I am not out and proud because in my world view my sex life is not anyones business but my own (yeah yeah I like to talk about it but it”s not like I constantly thrust it down people’s throats unless you read my blog)…It shouldn’t be something that rules your life but until people realise that all is equal in the world of sexuality it’s something that needs to be taken into consideration. You have a choice as a bisexual or homosexual person that a heterosexual person doesn’t need to think twice about: am I going to be honest with everyone that I live with my lover, that this person is my beloved, am I going to be out there for all to see living my life ordinarily so that people know that this is ok? Or am I not going to bother because if more people don’t bother then that itself normalises homosexuality…and I think that most LGB people are faced with this decision at some point in their lives and trying to make it at sixteen is impossible when you have so much else to contend with.
I don’t think that dogmatic religion in the mix really helps any.
Dogmatic religion, when it enters the grounds of sexuality becomes distorted, twisted and abhorrent to me. From what I have seen of things the two that especially get to me are Christianity and Islam. I have had friends who have been very screwed up about the sexuality because the book of Leviticus says it’s a sin. I have no issue with a thought out choice to practice celibacy though I believe it to be an un-natural state (much of what we do in our heads seems to be strictly speaking to be against nature) what I do have a problem with is the idea that some god designed you specifically to be flawed in some way. That your sexuality, a part of your identity which you cannot help (at least we know that scientists believe fruit flies sexuality to be genetically encoded) is morally wrong would be a terribly terribly hard burden to bear. Its bad enough to figure out that you belong to a fertility cult that makes a huge sanctified deal out of the sex act between men and women and thats only something that you’re half interested in without your religion telling you the other half’s a moral wrong as well. Islam seems to me, having gotten to know a few gay Muslim’s via the web and a couple of international gay rights groups, to be even worse than Christianity.
I think I’ve got my sexuality pretty much figured out now and I do my bit towards the normalisation and equality across the boards of sexuality not by letting my bisexuality rule any more of my life than the sex bit but rather by my little political actions and by letting it be a normal part of my life. But I can never let it sit quietly in the background or else it will not become normalised but rather slide back towards segregation and predjudice. Again as with all things in my life it is a balancing act, but this one at least I feel I share with a good chunk of the population.