Does Being Gay Matter?

An eight-year-old girl approaches her dad on Father’s Day.

The little girl noticed her father glowing with happiness and asked,” Daddy, do you feel special?”

“Of course I do, sweetheart,” he answered,” you and your mother have made this the best day of my life!”

“Why don’t I get a special day?” his daughter said. “I want to be special too!”

“You don’t need one,” he replied,” you’re awesome and special every day!”

“Oh,” the girl said,” but why do gay people have a special day? How are they different from the rest of us?”

“You see, honey, society has manufactured a stigma against gays based solely on their sexuality. It doesn’t matter if they’re nice, or smart, or funny. They’re homosexual! Therefore, they must be treated with intolerance and given a special day for them to be accepted.”

“…”

It's funny because it's true.

Let me make it clear that I love gay people. I support them, I accept them, I give them hugs, you name it. In fact, I treat them pretty much like I treat everyone else. I think you should, too.

Okay, I get it. National Coming Out Day is important because it allows hidden homosexuals to reveal their true selves and come out of the closet. But does anyone else find it just a little sad that National Coming Out Day even has to exist for people to appreciate each other for who they are? I mean, why hasn’t anyone made a “Let’s Accept Everyone For Who They Are Because That Would Be So Much Better” day?

It’s not really the day itself that annoys me, rather the reasoning behind it – I intensely dislike how society has painted the image of homosexuality in such ostentatious colors. What makes gay people so different from straight people besides their sexuality? Gay people pay taxes, lose jobs, experience heartbreak… heck, gay people get cancer.

One may argue that suffering through these ordeals strengthens gay people, but at what cost? Torture? Suicide? It’s just so frustrating. If we were to live in a perfect world, peoples’ perception of gays would be of equality, not of disparity.

Kurt Hummel and Blaine Anderson, two gay characters in the popular television show "Glee".

Harvey Milk once said, “I know that you cannot live on hope alone, but without it, life is not worth living.” I have hope for homosexual equality in our generation and in generations to come. Despite the shortcomings that still occur when it comes to preventing hate crimes and bullying, we have never been as tolerant as we are now concerning gay people.

My close friend and I were discussing the hit television show “Glee”. I’ve never watched it, yet I had heard that it involved two openly gay guys engaged in a relationship, which caused me to Google them and stalk them become curious. I asked my friend about them and she said the most fantastic thing ever. This isn’t an exact quote, though she said some thing along the lines of “it isn’t even about their gender, it’s about who they are as people.”

Now I’m sure that my friend had already come to that realization before watching “Glee”, but the amazing aspect (besides how awesome she is) is that there are more people promoting GLBT equality than ever before. We see it in shows like “Glee”, with celebrities like Lady Gaga, in books like What They Always Tell Us by Martin Wilson or The Mortal Instruments series by Cassandra Clare, and through everyday people via the It Gets Better project. And I suppose National Coming Out Day helps too.

So to answer the question “does being gay matter?”, I’d say it does and it doesn’t. While it’s unfortunate that people place an issue as minute as whether one should be able to marry who they love regardless of their gender on the same political pedestal as the morality of capital punishment or the failing economy, for the time being sexual orientation plays a part in your place in society. Despite that, being gay doesn’t negatively affect anything about you yourself – it doesn’t make you a bad person, it shouldn’t stop you from loving “the one”, and it can’t cause you to become cruel and vengeful on the inside.

Yes, you will face more struggles if you are gay than if you are straight. However, if we continue to fight for what is necessary – the rights that all humans deserve to have – one day people will look at back and think “dang, I cannot believe how ignorant we were. I am so glad we’ve learned from our mistakes.” Imagine Martin Luther King Jr., Rosa Parks, and the African-American Civil Rights Movement. What they accomplished required a tremendous about of tenacity and hard work. What they accomplished was worth it.

On a less serious note, I hope everyone is enjoying their weekend! I apologize for the slight variance of tone in this post. I started it one day and came back to it the next with a slightly changed mindset, but, at least I got a lot of thinking done! Before I forget, shout-out to mutated-kitty for proving to me that finding the distance a flying projectile will help me as an English major and for being one of my most appreciated readers (no, really, you rock). Also, here’s an interesting post from one of my friends on Twitter about gay marriage and The Scarlet Letter.

This turned out to be a pretty rant/train-of-thought style post. Still, it’s probably better than a post about how I found the courage to pick up that dead cricket off the bathroom floor… I didn’t make up that friend I mentioned, I swear.

What are your thoughts on homosexuality and gay rights? This subject and my readers’ thoughts always pique my interest, so please don’t hesitate to state your opinion, even if you disagree with what I’ve said!

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18 Comments

Filed under Personal, Society

18 responses to “Does Being Gay Matter?

  1. Another thought-provoking post.

  2. I don’t think it’s sad that National Coming Out Day exists. The purpose of the day is not to allow “hidden homosexuals” to reveal their identity. It’s so those who are already out can share their stories and encourage those “in the closet” to come out and feel the relief of telling their story. It’s a tremendous weight to keep that secret in. Every time that person hears a homophobic joke from their straight friends and are forced to laugh along, they become afraid and feel pain, emotionally. Every time they are asked why they don’t have a girlfriend, they have to make something up and feel the pain of living a lie. Every time their father calls someone he thinks is gay a faggot or dyke, they fear their father will hate them if he finds out. There are so many different outcomes and many results of coming out are unexpected and can be an inspiration for others.

    • I suppose. Though I find it depressing that gay people can’t come out every day without trauma – to make it clear, I guess I meant that it’s sad coming out is such a “big deal”. I believe that it would be better if someone admitted to being gay and everyone around them went “so what? It doesn’t matter.” You’re right that it doesn’t work like that, which is why National Coming Out Day exists.

      Trust me, I can see why the day is beneficial. Someone close to me is homophobic and it hurts to be around them all the time. I can see the advantages of National Coming Out Day but I wish being gay didn’t make everyone look at you differently – that society didn’t have to make accepting who you are so special (when accepting who you are should just be a given thing).

  3. Hahaha Thomas I love you ^_^

    did you actually research a lot about Kurt and Blaine? I like how you even knew their last names! And yay, I’m awesome 🙂

  4. RabidBunnyD

    I would write one of my long thought out responses to this but I’ve actually been planning a post analyzing the major arguments of those against gay marriage and, with my epic high school debate skills, destroying them with logic and common sense. :3 Look out for it soon, I have free time this weekend 😀

    • I can’t wait! I’ve always wanted to write one of those, but have never had the time to perform the necessary research… I will be content with reading yours.

  5. This is a matter that I’ve constantly been thinking about for a while now. To me, being gay doesn’t really affect anything about a person like you said, they can be happy and friendly people or some could be just plain mean but being gay doesn’t influence their behaviour.
    It’s how they feel and we all know that feelings are almost impossible to change and asking a person to change their sexuality is asking to change an important part of themselves and that’s asking too much of someone.

    To me the big fuss is due to a deviation from the norm and being gay may be viewed as a bad because it wasn’t meant to be that way.My feelings about this topic is a bit complicated and it’s tricky to write it out than actually saying what I mean before I give the wrong impression.

    But I’ll try anyway.Even I agree that it wasn’t supposed to be this way but here it is ,having guys liking guys and the same goes for girls.But I’m okay with that,I really am,100%.
    I respect them,admire them for their strength for they keep going on despite being spat at by others though not all posses a healthy self esteem and the outcome can be disastrous, I treat them like I’d other people because the fact is that they are people too. I hope you understand what I’m getting at through this jumble.Gosh, this shouldn’t be such a touchy subject …

    • I know what you’re getting at, don’t worry. I agree with everything you’ve said, especially that one of the reasons why people make a big deal out of homosexuality is that it differs from the norm – and as they say, ignorance is the parent of fear.

      It’s funny because one thing you said came up in one of my classes the other day. Our class was debating about homosexuality, and one person stated that it wasn’t natural or one of the normal relationships found in human nature – which is similar to what you said that it “wasn’t supposed to be this way.”. However, why does that matter? As long as gays aren’t harming people, which they obviously aren’t, I don’t see why being “unnatural” would affect anyone besides the people who are “unnatural” themselves. In fact, I can see many benefits when it comes to accepting homosexuality.

      Only one century ago a lot of people said that a marriage between a black person and a white person was “unnatural” and that it wasn’t meant to be. But now we look back at things like that and the Jim Crow laws that openly embraced racism and shake our heads. I can only hope some day people will have the same mind set about gays.

      One of the smartest people I know (who I met through blogging) abides by the “I don’t care” philosophy. She’s not gay, so why should she care about what gay people are doing? It’s not like the zombie apocalypse will occur when a state legalizes gay marriage, and it’s not like one can catch homosexuality through the air – so I don’t see why people bother protesting against something that only affects other people.

      To be honest I’ve been waiting to respond to your comment on this post because I wanted to write a neat, eloquent response… but that didn’t work out. I apologize for the messiness of my thoughts here as well. (;

      Thanks again for another insightful comment!

      • ‘However, why does that matter? As long as gays aren’t harming people, which they obviously aren’t, I don’t see why being “unnatural” would affect anyone besides the people who are “unnatural” themselves.’

        ‘It’s not like the zombie apocalypse will occur when a state legalizes gay marriage, and it’s not like one can catch homosexuality through the air – so I don’t see why people bother protesting against something that only affects other people.’

        Exactly! Why can’t we all just understand each other and get along? Apparently that’s an idea that is to hard to comprehend to many, too bad for them.
        And don’t you worry, I’m yet to come across any piece of your writing that’s ‘messy’ so don’t apologize:)
        By the way, I love the chart!

        • Yes… I do wonder why people can’t just get along. There are some reasons but none of them are very logical.

          I love the chart too, because it depicts the truth. 😀

  6. Dave Sullivan

    Thomas, Nice blog posting. I agree with your thoughts. Today’s society is much different than in the past. I grew up in a small town in the 80’s were being gay was a terrible thing. Back then I had only heard of one other person who was possibly gay, and he moved to Boston because of it. So, I didn’t accept who I was until I was 26. I dated women, even got married, but was never happy. Deep down I always knew why. I am happy to see today’s world is better, but there is still a lot of change needed in smaller communities to help teens know it is OK to be who they are. All teens just want to be socially accepted and fear being different. Doesn’t matter if they are gay or straight, they fear being different. Friends and families need to encourage teens to be who they are and help them know they are accepted no matter what.

    • Thanks for sharing your story Mr. Sullivan, it’s unfortunate that some gay men are forced to repress who they are to conform to society’s standards. Adding onto your train of thought it seems that because teens are not taught that it’s okay to be gay, they often pick on the people who do show signs of homosexuality – like I wrote in my comment above, ignorance is the parent of fear. And those who are gay fear themselves because, like you said, they’re not sure whether they’ll be accepted or not. It’s really sad. Hopefully as society progresses we will become more open to those who do not follow the norm.

      Thank you for reading and commenting. (:

  7. Okay I don’t know why I didn’t comment on this, but I really like talking about LGBTQ issues. (Oh wait, that’s right, I briefly talked about it in one of my posts but… Eh.)

    I’ll start off by saying this: I love me some gays. I love them so much that I write stories about them. The sad thing is, though, that a lot of the people around me like to hate on gay people.

    Now, I live in a pretty progressive area, but it’s not as progressive as it can be. For example, I still have to call people out for saying “That’s so gay!” (and I also have to call people out for slut-shaming, but that’s a bit different.) I also discuss the topic of equality with my grandma (I love her, she’s the most amazing feminist liberal hippie socialist old lady ever).

    The thing that bothers me is that, why do people hate on other people who have little control over how they are? Although we still don’t know exactly what causes people to be gay, it’s like making fun of someone for the nose they were born with or how they speak; it’s just so pointless.

    Like for example, sometime last year, I participated in the Day of Silence that took place at my school, where those who wanted to could choose to take a vow of silence for the whole school day in honor of those who died thanks to bullying because of their sexual orientation (or perceived sexual orientation). What pisses me off is that my one friend had the audacity to talk at me about how gay people should not have the right to marry the people they love (or, as she claimed, it should ‘be called something else because REAL marriage is between a man and a woman’).

    What to do in this situation? I really wanted to slap her, but I’m a pacifist, and I wanted to tell her off, but I didn’t want to break my silence. It just made me so mad that people could be so ignorant and bigoted. It’s like “I have no problem with you as a person, I just don’t think you should be allowed to marry the person you love because of something you can’t help”. It must be infuriating for gay people to hear that, I would imagine.

    But anyway, I’ll finish this comment with this: making a National Coming Out Day is kind of like making a National Women’s Day. It’s sort of like, bringing attention to the fact that these are people being oppressed but other than that, there’s little need for them. Oh and it’s also like Earth Day, too. Every day should be a day to celebrate the Earth, as well as people in all forms. 😀

    • I feel your pain. You’re doing the right thing by defending gay people even if you yourself are straight, and the Day of Silence is a wonderful event to participate in – that girl just doesn’t get it.

      With GLBT bullying it seems like a lot of it is caused simply because people fear what they don’t understand what is different. Going with what you said it’s not like a gay guy can go “oh, you don’t like how I like men? Okay, I’ll change that for you.” Being gay isn’t the determining factor of one’s personality, but it is an important aspect of who they are and people need to acknowledge and appreciate other humans regardless of their sexuality.

      I see what you mean. Now that I think about it, I would rather have a “National Gay Day” or a “National Gay Rights Day” as opposed to a National Coming Out Day… but it’s better than nothing at all I suppose. (:

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