Dedicated to my gay and lesbian friends
All of my life I have marveled at just how provoked and agitated people can become about sexual preferences. The fear, anger, and prejudice have always seemed to be blown way out of proportion, when consideration is given to sexuality being a rather minor issue, really. I mean, why would I overly concern myself with how and with whom, other people want to express themselves sexually? This is coming from a person like me though, and I tend to be the "live and let live" type.
Recently, I have read news articles that lead me to believe that the issues of gay marriage and military service are going to be exploited in the same laughable way they were during the last election. The "social conservative" right lane of the speedway just can't get enough of stoking this wildfire. I believe the reason is because it's an easy place to begin polarizing people and their opinions. Let's face it, gay sexuality has been negatively imaged and ingrained into our minds almost from the day we awakened sexually in our lives. For some of us, it's been longer than others.
I grew up in a strange situation. My parents decided at a certain point in my young life, to embrace a VERY conservative religious lifestyle. All of a sudden, things weren't easygoing anymore, and a really rigid, dualistic world settled down over our heads. People and things were either "right" or "wrong", according to whether they were approved of by dogma. I remember being taught in church how "homosexuality" was such a terrible thing to do, that hell was the only destination available to a gay person. It wasn't like, let's say, gambling or drinking too much, because you can cut back on THAT. You really can't cut back on being gay. It's really kinda not like that.
I remember being struck at how unrelenting the judgmentalism was. Straight to hell for being gay? The whole thing was compounded by two of my childhood friends coming out as gay, and pursuing their sexuality without apology. My parents didn't want me "hanging out" with these guys, but they knew well enough that attempts to intervene in my friendships was not going to be fruitful. They offered their concern, but ultimately chose not to dwell upon it very much.
I didn't choose to be a straight man, the decision was made for me. By what force of nature, I'm not sure, but it's the very same source that made the decision for my friends too. I think I lack the "fear" of gay sexuality, simply because I have known and have been close to gay people my whole life. I know that they are just like me, they just go about their affairs of romance differently. I saw these friends "blossom" into gay sexuality the same way I "blossomed" into straight sexuality. I never remember a time, where I was looking at gay and straight sexuality, scratching my head, and said "oh, I'll just take straight sex". It just happens naturally. Nature is the dictator of what happens naturally, and gay sexuality occurs in nature, naturally. This is a very important point.
Biologists and researchers know that gay sexuality exists in in the wild amongst the other living creatures as well as with humans, it's no mystery. There have been some papers published on it, that have a basis in sound fundamental science, but researchers are wary of delving into the topic. They tread carefully because, sadly enough, it can cost you grant money, or even your career to touch this subject in a way that rankles the religious right. It smacks of good old American bigotry, the way being silently ostracized works. These believers in the idea that straight or gay is a "choice" will smile in your face, but turn their back on you if they believe you have promoted an unapproved lifestyle, by defining it in scientific terms. They simply aren't ready to deal with the obvious evidence yet, because the power of belief is very influential.
The power of belief is the same one that implies that procreation is the only guiltless endgame of sex. We live in the center of a population explosion that is so exponential, to cling to such an idea is not only a labyrinth of morality, it's also irresponsible. The most populated countries on the planet are now at the threshold of population control policy. That's the deal, people. I don't see the self righteous crying foul when we manage the populations of deer, bears, and other assorted wildlife. We have reached that point in the timeline when we must do the same for our own numbers. It's not a futuristic concept anymore, it's a present-istic concept.
So, all this means something that the prudish would rather not think about. Guilt free sexual relations. A brand new sexual revolution. We have filled the planet with our own kind, and are now free to explore sexual relationships simply for the physical and mental euphoria they provide. Couples can marry or whatever else they would like to do, and we shouldn't be assuming that procreation HAS to result somehow. It doesn't.
There are also lots of other questions to ponder. Can someone define their own gender regardless of their sexual equipment? There is some science that points to that hypothesis too. I don't have the space to list the references here, but the internet is loaded with studies on this. There is male, and there is female, and there are many points in between. Possibilities abound. This is not a comfortable idea with many who prefer there to be clearly defined gender categories, but we live in an interesting age. Gay sexuality was not only tolerated in ancient cultures, in some, it was simply part of the panorama of sex. People gravitated towards whatever it was they identified with. It's a rather recent development that gay people have had to endure such scrutiny as to allow the intolerant to relegate people to the outskirts of our society. We have to do better than that.
I hear all the time about gay teenagers being taunted and ridiculed to the point of tragedy. How can some be so cold hearted as to say that this is a choice the person makes? Who would choose to be taunted and ridiculed? Especially at an age when peer acceptance is such an important part of development? How can some say that they can "cure" gay sexuality? What an obnoxious thing to say! I could not turn around tomorrow and "decide" to be gay, simply because my compass isn't pointing in that direction. Neither can a gay person quit their natural sexual drive and go in another direction. That makes about as much sense as that ancient relic of an idea to try and coerce left handed people to be right handed. It doesn't work if the brain is not hard wired to do so. It ends up tragic.
So, as I watch the country gearing up for an election year, and I hear of candidates who willingly emit such befuddled nonsense as to say that sexuality is a selection one makes, or that they can cure gay people into straight ones, I feel the need to speak my opinion on the matter. It's time to put this to rest, and to quit allowing politics to ride this social aspect for gains at the polls. America is always going to be lopsided and civil rights challenged because that's what we are, but for God's sake, let's move on to the next stupidity project and leave people's sexual lives to their privacy. What do I care how someone else handles their sexual business? Why does anybody get so caught up in that? Why is it such a big deal? Politics adores a scapegoat, and I would rather see an election where these buffoons are forced to talk about the relevance of war, poverty, and economic struggle, instead of hiding behind gay marriage as a smokescreen. It's time to push forward, and the best way to do it is for people to challenge their own prejudices and dare to realize that gays and straights are really not that different. It appears that prejudiced people need encouragement from the populace to change their tune. All equality struggles in America have incremental change as their modus operandi. It's my hope that a show of indifference to gay drama mongering from candidates can lead to better debates over issues we can't afford to delay any longer. Word out for 2012.