Thursday, May 6, 2010

Essay: Homosexuality - an inconvenient truth

Some say that mainstream religion hates homosexuality.  I disagree, I believe mainstream religion fears homosexuality, largely because they do not know what to do with  us.  We do not seem to 'fit in' with the plan of creation as it is generally understood - yet, we exist.  We're like a bothersome data point that doesn't fit the hypothesis.  To borrow a phrase - we are an inconvenient truth.

In an attempt to justify our existence, some try to conjure up explanations that do not require them to rethink their original beliefs - just like a scientist who tries to explain away an anomalous data point as a measurement or transcription error.  Most of the other data points lead to the same conclusion - so there is, obviously, something wrong with the few that do not.

They try to imagine causes - such as sexual abuse as a young child, or an overbearing mother and a distant father, or excessive masturbation as a teen.  They label it as unnatural - ignorant of the fact that  homosexual behavior has been observed in virtually every animal species.

We are compared to those with mental conditions that lead them to compulsively steal or abuse children - an insulting comparison as it reduces homosexuality as being all about sex.  But doing so makes it easy to focus on certain aspects of gay culture as anecdotal evidence that we are broken or confused.

Some depict homosexuality as emblematic of all that wrong in the world - making homophobia a powerful political force which unites people in a common cause against salacity. We are accused of conspiring to destroy society and force our deviant lifestyle upon the masses - then irony being, that as a gay man married to a straight woman, my homosexual lifestyle is no different than many of those leading the fight against homosexuality.

Two of us joined together in a committed monogamous relationship is considered so vile as to threaten the very foundation of marriage between a man and a woman.

Children must be protected from us, not only physically since, of course, everyone knows that we are all pedophiles - but also from even having awareness of us, fearing that we will recruit them.

So great is their fear of homosexuality that they seek to censure books and other media that include gay characters and/or gay relationships.  Some even go so far as to conjure up homosexual influence where none exists - such as Tinky Winky, Snagglepuss, even Bugs Bunny - and warn others to avoid such influence in their homes.

In some parts of the world - homosexuality is considered so loathsome that extermination is seen as the only solution.

We are mocked and ridiculed.  We are often the brunt of crude jokes.  To be called a queer is the ultimate insult for a man.   We are taught from our youth that being gay is a choice - one so horrid and terrible that some of us are driven to take our own lives rather than face the truth.  The very thought of being gay causes others of us to spend years, even decades, in denial of our true selves.

And yet through all of this - homosexuality continues to exist, even thrive in some quarters.  Why?  Because in spite of all of the lies, falsehoods, and distortions that are disseminated - truth, however inconvenient, has a way of coming out.

4 comments:

LDS Brother said...

Homosexual relations between men has been a cornerstone of Greek (especially Spartan) society as a stabilising force in groups of men, which led to strong armies as well as a strong intellectual tradition (in the case of Sparta).

Today's religion sees a threat in the non-heterosexuality of men to its position as a stabilising force of society. Looking back at history provides lots of clues to what's happening now.

Anonymous said...

Abe,

For some reason, I want to throw this out...

I went through several stages and am probably still not done.

Here are the stages at a high level:

First stage is all gay people are bad.

This stage was the longest and marked by increasing tolerance (not acceptance) of my homosexuality.

Second stage is gay people are good/straight people are bad.

This stage was marked by increasing acceptance of my homosexuality primarily fueled by increasing openness to other gay people and, for a time, idealism of all things gay.

Latest stage is people are people; some good, some bad.

This stage is marked by the sudden realization that I too was stereotyping people (in this case, straight people) based on their sexual orientation.

This stage is marked by true acceptance of my homosexuality primarily due to increasing openness to the straight world, idealism replaced by increasing skepticism of all things gay, increasing forgiveness of the intolerance of others (while not forgetting) and increasingly judging people based on the content of their character instead of their sexual orientation.

Regards,
Philip

El Genio said...

"Fear leads to anger. Anger leads to hate. Hate leads to suffering."

Reina said...

Thank you for this post. We always fear or hate what we can't understand or comprehend.