Gays Shouldn’t Be Allowed To…
Gays Shouldn’t Be Allowed To… [insert stupidity here]
Today I was reminded of a discussion I took part in on Facebook a few months back. A guy on my friend’s list posted an unusual update to his profile, which was in fact a follow-up to a update he posted a week prior. He wasn’t happy with the positive feedback so he wanted to “stir the pot a little more” and get it all the way boiling, and it worked. I along with a few others commented on his update and so a brand-new discussion was born. He wanted to know what people thought about the recently elected mayor of Houston, Texas. Specifically, what people thought about her lesbian sexuality and were they okay with it? He further mentioned that he had nothing in common with her and didn’t understand her family structure, the fact that s which was of major concern. He questioned her ability to be mayor because of her sexuality. I recall commenting then replying with another and then stopping altogether when I could feel my blood beginning to boil while reading some of the “well-intended,” hateful replies. There were a few comments like mine. Made by people who weren’t afraid to express their disappointment with the way the discussion was heading.
My family appears with me everywhere. My life partner appears with me everywhere but this race is about who can do the best job as mayor. – Annise Parker
Since when does having nothing in common with someone mean they are incapable of providing quality, effective leadership? It appeared that he was still struggling with the initial shock of her win. Was the consensus in Texas that they wanted a lesbian or a highly capable politician and stateswoman to run the city? He didn’t even refer to her opponent, Gene Locke, a former city attorney who happens to be black. He didn’t bother to divulge his grievances at her political shortcomings or ideological differences. Instead, the focus was placed solely on sexual preference, which already proved to be a miserable failure for her opponent. Once the comments about religion, the bible and the sin of homosexuality starting rolling in, that was it for me. It lead to further debate about why a person’s sexuality should be considered when it comes to political office or hiring for a job, especially where children are present. People were not only giving this argument credence, we finally got to the reason behind the update! The majority of comments came from so-called black Christian.A few in particular derived from a girl I went to high school with. This single mother of two went on to profess that God didn’t want her to talk about the sins of homosexuality at that time. Furthermore, she understood why he took issue with the mayor’s sexuality. Apparently, God wanted her to express her prejudiced opinion a few minutes later because she went on to proclaim a complete discord with all matters concerning homosexuality including job seeking.Besides the sheer stupidity of the comments, it startled me to consider that most of the negativity came from individuals whose own family structure and lifestyle paled in comparison to this lesbian woman. I wasn’t surprised that those with the most junk in their closet had the most disparaging opinions. My final gesture was to give homophobia the Facebook boot. I deleted them both. My tolerance level has always been 100%, meaning I respect everyone’s opinion, even those I don’t agree with. It does not mean I have to further subject myself to it if I have the option not to.
Now the guy who started it all went to high school with my older sister back in the day. He and I conversed on Facebook via private message well before the incident occurred. He even flirted a little which I kindly deterred because he’d already acknowledged my sexuality more than once. I knew he was well aware of how I identified. I remember calling my sister to familiarize myself with who he was because I couldn’t remember off hand. So why the masked prejudice? That’s what made it so hard to disengage from the discussion initially, but I eventually did.
I not only have a tendency to totally disregard people who use the bible to propagate discrimination and prejudice in any form, I do not feel it beneficial to engage them further. When one is trapped in a prison of faith based hate and ignorance, they become devoid of common sense and logic. But when others who call themselves Christians back up those opinions, it both emboldens the message of discrimination, just as it further narrows the mind.
In retrospect, there is tremendous diversity within the LGBT community. Just because there is increased visibility within our ranks doesn’t mean that that straight guy you’ve seen at the gym for years isn’t really a closeted homosexual. The thoughtful, attentive schoolteacher your child adores has been living with her female partner of 15 years whom she loves with all of her heart. Your doctor, dentist, grocery store cashier, boss, colleague, family member, friend, class mate or pastor could be gay. You have no idea who is and who isn’t and which of them have come into your life to extend a helping hand or provide a service you’ve required. It’s not okay to invalidate another person just because they’re different than you. Negativity impacts us all. The good thing is that his position is no more radical today than it was yesteryear; though it’s just as disturbing and deliberately antiquated.
The mayor of Houston falls within a small minority of gays currently holding political office. The primary reason their sexuality is of any concern is because of sexist, oppressive, and homophobic intolerance. It wasn’t very long ago that a different, but radical minority was pushing for things like the right to drink from a general water fountain and to send their children to school with children of all races. They were fighting for things like full equality insetead of settling for separate but equal. The majority could have easily been made up of people like the two I refer to above whose mindsets remain stuck in the past.
When Out gays run political office it challenges peoples perceptions and prejudices about homosexuality. It can be a double edged sword. On one hand it asks people to look past sexuality to judge based on skill set and merit alone and on the other hand it boldly draws attention to a characteristic that should already be considered neutral. Fear of homosexuality is a biblical facade. Gays do not threaten the moral fabric of any institution, however they challenge the moral fiber of those who feel they are better than us just because they’re attracted to the opposite sex. Using the bible to justify homophobia is just as bad as slave masters and pro-slavery Christians using it to justify American slavery.
I was reminded of the discussion because a few days ago I received a Facebook notification of a pending friend request. Apparently, he still hasn’t figured out why we’re no longer acquaintances.