I live in the historically-conservative (read: kind of bigoted) Midwest. Recently, there was an incident in my state where a high school teacher wanted to organize a “traditional” prom as an alternative to the prom the school already had planned— because there would be gay/lesbian/bisexual students at the regular prom. You can read more about it here, but let me break it down for you anyway.
This woman, an educator— a special education teacher no less— actually said that she doesn’t believe gays have purpose. As if the students she’s talking about need any more bullying, criticisms, or unsupportive influences in their lives. It’s like she’s completely unaware of the damage she’s causing. Now, she was placed on administrative leave (thank your deity of choice, because this woman has no business being an educator if she’s telling her students they are worthless); but there’s a deeper problem here that won’t be resolved simply by removing one instigator.
We need to get the heck out of everyone else’s bedrooms.
What do I mean when I say that? I mean somebody’s sexuality is none of your damn business. This woman made the statement that homosexuality “is offensive to [her].” Well, you know what, Diana? Maybe your heterosexuality offends me. Maybe your close-minded, bigoted, and sexist (you heard me— sexist) remarks offend me. Maybe, while you were so busy with your nose in Leviticus, you missed the part where Jesus told you to treat others the way you want to be treated, to love thy neighbor, to not judge lest ye be judged.
Now, let me be clear: I firmly believe that every person has a right to their own opinions, religious convictions, belief systems, ideas, and thoughts. However, I do not believe that gives anyone the right to discriminate against another person when they do something you don’t like. I have many friends and even close family members who disagree with homosexuality, but accept/love/are friends with people in that community regardless because they know it’s not any of their business. Let me reiterate: I have no problem with anyone disagreeing with the LGBT community. That’s their personal and legal right and their convictions, and it doesn’t concern me or mine. What I do have a problem with is mistreatment and verbal/emotional abuse of the members in that community. By all means, disagree with whatever lifestyle you want to disagree with— but don’t get personally offended by it. Don’t make belittling, discriminatory, harmful remarks about the people you disagree with (ESPECIALLY if you’re in a position of authority in relation to those people, like, oh, say, A TEACHER).
Here’s another way of looking at it, an analogy I used with a friend who didn’t understand why this bothered me so much: I’m a vegetarian. I disagree with eating meat; but that doesn’t mean I’m going to protest outside of McDonald’s or tell my meat-eating peers they have no purpose simply because they make different choices than I do or do things I don’t like.
What I fail to understand, then, is the pervasive discrimination against sexualities. Only eleven states in the USA (supposedly the land of the free, where we each have rights to life, liberty and pursuit of happiness…?) allow gay marriage. Like WHAT? WHY?
Why is it that people who have probably never met the majority of the gay community get to make rules about whether or not they can marry the person they love? Hell, interracial marriage wasn’t fully legal in the US until 1967, but I would imagine that most people in the US today would be appalled if a government official wanted to ban interracial marriage again. Why? Because we understand now that segregation was racist and terrible and really, really stupid. I hope that forty-odd years from now, we will look back on the struggle to legalize gay marriages as a likewise stupid discrimination. (The Oatmeal has a neat comic about this here).
As you can tell from the title, this is only part one of a subject I have many, many thoughts about, but let me simply end with this for now: why should what any couple does in the sanctity of their own damn bedroom matter or affect what you do in yours?
Feel free to leave your own thoughts in the comments.