A couple of years ago a myself and few friends got together for what would soon go down in history as one of the worst New Years Eve celebrations in history. For many reasons, none of which I’ll state here.
At the end of these celebrations, one girl tried to subtly ask if myself and my close girlfriend were in a lesbian relationship together.
Oh, she played it cool. She was asking on behalf of her “sister”. And let’s be clear here: she wasn’t asking out of wanting to invest in our lives. She wanted dirt.
And suddenly the weird looks and snubs I’d been getting from her friends and family all weekend made perfect sense.
I found it hilarious when I realized what she was doing. Just the way she asked so carefully as if she were about to unearth a big scandal. I had to remind myself not to laugh.
Cuz, I’ll put it very simply; I see no shame in being homosexual. I am not ashamed to have people think I’m part of that community, even if that assumption is false.
Truth is: If I preferred women, I’d seek out a relationship with a woman. I live in what is probably the most LGBTQ affirming city in my nation. I’d have zero problems. But, I’m quite heterosexual. I like men. One man in particular, but I digress.
I think about this story every now and then and I compare and contrast with other things I’ve witnessed or experienced where being thought to be gay was seen as such a shameful thing. As kids, if we wanted to insult someone, we’d call them gay. Even in celebrity circles – celebs used to be so quick to issue press releases/make statements if they heard any rumours about their sexuality so no one would believe they were anything but straight.
It used to be such a shameful thing not even 20 years ago. For many people, as my misguided “friend” shows, it still is.
What is so shameful about being attracted to someone? Even if it is same sex attraction?
What if we just accepted people?
Can you imagine a world where people were shamed and insulted by being called “straight”? It’s ludicrous because we already accept straight people as “normal” and “okay” (despite numerous reports and stats showing how predatorial straight people can be – pedophiles, rapists, etc… Again I digress).
Earlier today, I read an article about Amber Cantorna, the daughter of a Focus on the Family exec who came out as gay in 2012. In this article she talks about complete excommunication by her family, her church, and her friends. The way the people in her life reacted to her truth caused her to contemplate taking her own life.
Sadly, her story is very common.
The world today is friendlier towards LGBTQ people, than perhaps 20-30 years ago. But that doesn’t mean it’s safe.
Stats show that LGBTQ people experience higher rates of assault than heterosexual people:
The CDC’s National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey found for LGB people:
44 percent of lesbians and 61 percent of bisexual women experience rape, physical violence, or stalking by an intimate partner, compared to 35 percent of heterosexual women.
26 percent of gay men and 37 percent of bisexual men experience rape, physical violence, or stalking by an intimate partner, compared to 29 percent of heterosexual men
46 percent of bisexual women have been raped, compared to 17 percent of heterosexual women and 13 percent of lesbians
22 percent of bisexual women have been raped by an intimate partner, compared to 9 percent of heterosexual women
40 percent of gay men and 47 percent of bisexual men have experienced sexual violence other than rape, compared to 21 percent of heterosexual men
And us heterosexual people are sitting over here all scared of being labeled “gay”.
Let’s drop the bullshit. And remember that every human being in the planet, despite who they may love/be attracted to/identify as is an actual human being. And as a human being, they are deserving of love and respect.
They are not your piece of gossip to get all scandalized about.
They are not a threat to your marriage.
They are not a threat to your favourite bakery.
Move past the BS and love.
And now I’ll leave you with some Lady Gaga.