Thursday, March 6, 2008

homophobia

.
The hostile stigma associated with homosexuality bothers me tremendously, and it's a shame to know that even in the liberal and weirdness encouraging atmosphere of Austin, TX, it exists within the huddled niches of human ignorance, also known as "the consensus."

I'll elaborate. Through a friend, through his job, I am now friends with a lesbian couple; one of which recently shaved her head completely bald, while the other sports fuchsia dyed punk spikes. The couple-before the shaved incident-were obviously gay since they display their 'smitten goggle-eyed joy in finding each other' on their sleeves: kissing, touching affectionate grazes on backs and necks as they walk by if they're not sitting like Siamese joined at the hip, we're-really-into-each-other-and-we-want-to-shout-our-love-from-rooftops type stuff.

Then, while on a set of a collaborative sci-fi low budget film production, Costume's looking for wigs to add feminine appeal to a leader of the notorious all-female tribe of space mercenaries who subjugate and dominate their male foes, and it comes out, because of the bald lesbian's new low maintenance hairstyle: her dismay of having to deal with closed-minded bigotry involving dirty looks from strangers "more than ever, especially students around campus" she said, especially small groups of girls who look like they're rich variations of the same exact product walking by quietly, leering condescendingly, and then laughing.

These are children I've known, having been raised in Christian communities, being from a small Southern town. These are insecure children raised by insecure parents who were raised by Leave It To Beaver, coddled with ideals, parents who wish to one day become beautiful baby grandparents, in a picture perfect fairy tale story, Susie Q married to Doctor X, a dog named Lollipop, birdies landing perfectly on a fingertip in the morning sunshine singing Tweet Tweet I love you, birdies who never poo, because no on ever poos in LaLa Land except for Lollipop of course because he would shit on the mailman every once in a while out of pretentious pet boredom.

In a fall first semester ever Intro Philosophy college course in 1996, debates on moral and ethical issues were a given, extra credit points were incentive for participation, we discussed euthanasia, abortion, Socrates, and towards the beginning of winter, homosexuality.

In the end of most of these debates I would usually have to walk out of class first, away from 30 minus 1-2 angry Christians armed with the phrases, "It just is, because the Bible says it's wrong, because it's not God's way, it just ain't natural" My desk was close to the door because I had been raised with the freedom to use my own logic when answering the riddles of the universe. I had not received all of my information in a nicely wrapped package. I had not been raised with fear of a place called hell where I would suffer the rest of eternity receiving torture for misdeeds according to an ancient book of the mortal world. I'd been raised by a broken English Korean immigrant single mother without a military dad who left us for a dancer when I was eight. She remarried when I was eleven to a psychologist, a Presbyterian, and we went to church a few times before Sunday lunch lost its glamour and my constant pleas for new dresses to fit into the 'cool' Youth group crowd was replaced with disinterest in over-learning the word 'hypocrite.'

But back on track with the debates, and even more specifically: the debate on homosexuality, the canned answers of, "Because the bible says it wrong," even after the teacher asks for "Something else, for anything else" to "What other reason would you need?" to my:

"What business is it of others what people do behind the sanctuary of closed doors, is everyone supposed to have missionary style heterosexual sex in the sanctity of marriage for procreation only, anyone here who's not married is a virgin right, what gives us the right to judge people's character and point fingers and condemn people and act as if they have some contagious disease, what makes you think every gay person wants to have sex with you and will try to seduce you or lick you or stick you against your will, or that they are into perverted or grotesque sodomy practices involving leather chaps and leopard skin underwear, have you ever thought that they could be nice people aside from judging them by sex preference, that aside from sex their hearts beat and need love, and that they can be smart, and that if they had a choice in this sometimes horrible world they would choose to be was considered by so many a moral abomination?"

I left class a little extra 'first' that day feeling the tension in the classroom strung by eyes of hatred. Already I was an outsider by my "Chinese" looks in a predominantly white male classroom, but as an outspoken girl defying the bible's dogmatic recommendation of avoiding questions in keeping the masses at bay, I had become a Communist Devil Worshipper who was going to hell, and on my way out of class that day, I heard three words which gave my arms chills from an anonymous coy voice amongst other livid voices that said, "You'd better run."

And now Ellen Degeneris is crying on her show because an eight year-old boy killed another eight year-old boy for asking him to be his Valentine. Like puppies killing other puppies for barking at them the wrong way, it just doesn't make sense. It's not always the luxury of choice which governs our personalities, since if that were the case there'd be no such things as Psychiatrists, or divorce, or prisons, or Prozac.

There are people who are attracted to the same sex biologically, and others who follow their desires based on chemistry and attraction, and others who are turned on by more soft than hard, or vice versa, more of less hair, muscles, curves, smells; and what business is it of ours what these preferences are in strangers, unless they become friends with us, and confide in us the details of what makes them the unique people they are, apart from the ambiguity of being unknown and, in general, a human?

.

8 comments:

dingosatemyblog said...

Wow! Hey, you write good.
Wanna be weekend-lesbians with me?

Sabra Embury said...

I would if you were really gorgeous, but I'm into the penis. If I'd been born a man, nothing would be different in that respect. I'm all about penis. Day and night and in dirty trickstop bathrooms with drunk clowns in kangaroo outfits, penis.

Glacial Spain said...

Christianity has a problem - on the one hand the Psalmist says "You knit me together in my mother's womb" and on the other hand the bible is clear and consistent that homosexuality is immoral.

It's pretty hard to reconcile these if homosexuality is congenital, because God would not make a person immoral.

Glacial Spain said...

On a related note, I was wondering recently - what if someone invented a pill that changed a person's sexual orientation, "cured" homosexuality so to speak? I can imagine how Christians and gay-rights groups would react, but I wonder how that would play out in society.

Also, I was wondering how peoples' reactions would compare on the subject of sex change. On the one hand an interior (psychological) change, on the other exterior (physical).

Sabra Embury said...

Glacial, the fact that you could even consider homosexuality as congenital, as a Christian, is progress to me. It means that you are not afraid to believe in scientific evidence; it means that you are more open minded than most, which I've known anyway from your interests in these from time-to-time serious discussions aside from all other random nonsense.

Ten years ago homosexuality was predominatly viewed as some contageous disease turning people into sexual deviants; homosexuals were seen as molested-in-their-childhood freaks who either enjoyed inflicting pain in unnatural sexual acts or women mistreated by men being rebellious, or an abomination 'just because'...the idea for a homosexual panacea is derivitive of that, looking at same sex attraction as a disease with an impossible hypothetical cure in a pill.

From what I know about people's reaction with sex change,it's still pretty clear aside from small sectors in Frisco, that people aren't likely to brush something so dramatic still.

The idea of people born with a natural inclination in being attracted to the same sex, or even those people who decide later to pursue same sex partners, is completely different to me than the idea of replacing a penis with a vagina or vice versa because the term 'natural' is associated with the first and 'drastic' with the latter.

To me, that is the same as talking about people licking feet for kicks, and people eating feet like cannibals being related.

Glacial Spain said...

Gay-rights groups tend to sympathize more with the cause of sex-change and transgendered folk.

Among Christians, the issue of sex-change is... I don't know... not a big concern? For the category of Christians we're talking about here, we could probably safely guess their reaction.

So back to the pill: Gay-rights folks would probably reject the idea of taking a pill to change one's sexual preference, but nevertheless are sympathetic to those who change their sex.

Generally society has more respect for the body than for the mind. E.g.Physical rape -> jail. Mental rape -> "Asshole."

Personally, I think the availability of a pill would give people another option for dealing with their sexuality. I'm not comfortable burdening it with a moral imperative, though. Social acceptance of homosexuality is ultimately a better solution.

steve d said...

sabra,

you have returned like a breeze across tall grass at midnight.

i thought i had lost you, but i was ok with that. needless to say i am grateful to have my favorite editorial columnist back in print.

sincerely,
banjo 89

Sabra Embury said...

Good to see you too old friend. Hope life's treated you well.

There was an error in this gadget