How to Roll Back Global Homophobia

tolerance

In my previous article I addressed the issues faced by people concerning their sexual orientation, practices, and preferences. The arbitrary nature of societal norms regarding sexuality and love was pointed out, and the conclusion was reached that the current system which insists on heterosexual, monogamous, vanilla relationships and (for the larger part) misrepresents or even demonizes any other paradigm is positively absurd.

So how do we change this? How can we take a step towards an open society where sexual orientation or practices aren’t an issue? Well, first off, we need to define what is generally acceptable and what isn’t. Now, at the risk of coming off as a hypocrite, I’ll draw the hypothetical line at the point of consent; it is my opinion that if the person cannot give you clear consent, then sex should not be had with them. This admittedly prejudices people who practice zoophilia, pedophilia, and suchlike, but I’m afraid that remains a steadfast line in my opinion. The basis for this is a notion of mutual respect; that is to say that while one should be free to explore their sexuality, this should by no means impinge on anybody’s right to personal safety or their freedom to make their own choices.

The next point of order is how to make it possible for people to express themselves in a manner where no one’s rights are being stepped on. What comes to mind is a situation where people can:
a) Be able to openly express themselves without fear of repercussions
b) No one’s orientations or preferences are being forced onto anyone
c) People remain tasteful at all times [Read more…]

Freedom to Love

lgbt

Among the freedoms that many of us take for granted these days, is the freedom to choose one’s partner and to express one’s sexuality and love towards them. Indeed, global society has come a very long way from the days where affection and sexuality were so taboo that the very thought was considered sinful. And yet, the progress made is mitigated by its own exclusive nature; while certain people began expressing their sexuality and affection more openly, the vast majority of the world’s LGBT population remained oppressed.

To some extent, it is understandable that society would have a difficult transition period from prudish to sexually open, and it does make sense that the most common and familiar forms of sexuality would be recognized first. However, progress in the field has stagnated significantly since this social upheaval began, and in some places society has regressed to primitive notions of superiority based on sexual orientation.

Russia and Uganda are prime examples of what can happen when homophobia spills over into legal policy, situations where homophobia is either condoned or encouraged, and the homosexual community is left without the means to defend themselves either physically or politically. The laws against pro-gay protests and demonstrations prevent people from raising awareness, leaving the majority of the population in ignorance, leading to persecution and abuse. To give the most extreme of recent examples: Russia has proposed a law that makes the act of coming out (i.e. publicly declaring one’s hitherto secret sexual orientation) a criminal offense! [Read more…]

To the Other One Who Got Away

gotaway

I’m scared. Have been for a while. Ever since I met you I’ve feared losing you. Even though I never really had you, and never really will.

I recognized early on that we were different. That we had separate life trajectories. That our souls could never really merge like I so wanted. Too bad it couldn’t stop me from wanting you. From trying to make something of us, even though I knew there was no chance at success. From straining against that great foregone conclusion, just to be able to dream for a little while. Just so I could lie myself into having a little hope.

Because really, that’s what made you so damn irresistible to me: hope. You’re young, sweet, innocent, hopeful. Functional. Whole. Everything I could have wanted to start off a future full of possibility. Everything with which I could try to restart a broken life. You were so irresistible that I couldn’t stop myself from staying by your side for a little while, even knowing the whole time that nothing would come of it. I just needed to hide in your shadow for as long as I could manage. No matter the inevitable end. [Read more…]

To the Next Dreamer

Photo credit: Brian Leavy

Photo credit: Brian Leavy

A last letter of counsel to a loved one

My Dearest,
As I write to you now, I wish with all my heart that I could be with you in person. There is so much I would like to say to you. So much left unsaid over the years. So much I will never have the opportunity to say to you. What I have to convey is beyond the power of mere words, anyway. But I will try my best.

You may not know it, but you are on the verge of embarking upon a great adventure, my dear. An adventure that will fundamentally transform you, shake you to your very core, make you soar to new heights. It will be difficult and trying. It will leave you broken and weeping, thinking you cannot push on. But push on you must. There is no other option, no other road to take. This is your path. You can either stall and fail or surge forward and succeed. And if I know anything about you at all, if I have learned anything from witnessing the fire in your eyes blazing with that perfect dualist fusion of ferocity and tenderness, it’s that you are destined for greatness.

Along your unique, twisted, glorious path ahead you will face many changes. You will go places you never thought you would go, see things you never thought you would behold with your own eyes, feel things you never knew your aching little heart could ever contain. You will be blessed beyond your wildest imagination, feel joy beyond what you know you deserve. You will be subject to horrible pain and suffering, so much that it surprises you that you can take that much agony and still continue to breathe. And, throughout it all, you will have to do your best just to keep a few small fragments of your sanity, trying to make sense of the torrent of incredible events as they crash into you at lightning speed. Then, as abruptly as it happened, it will all be over. Your respite will be catatonic, leaving you dazed and confused, staring in the mirror at a strange and unfamiliar person. You will be left to ask yourself, again and again, if it was all just a dream. Because it sure as hell felt like one. [Read more…]

Adversarial Dating

karate couple

Love is a beautiful thing. Two people getting to know each other, celebrating their similarities, intrigued by their differences. Sharing special moments together. Maximizing their respective strengths while supporting each other through their respective failings. Becoming stronger together than they ever could be alone.

That’s the theory, anyways. All too often, a supposed partner ends up looking a lot more like a rival.

Think about the ways in which we’re conditioned to think adversarially about the opposite sex. Wear certain clothes. Look a certain way. Say all the right things. Seem interested, but not too interested. Call them. Don’t call them right away. The socially-established human mating dance is indeed a complex, trying game.

And it doesn’t get any better when a relationship begins. When she’s saying this she’s really thinking that. Be careful not to do this or he’ll take it that way. This is how to get her to give you what you want. Say that to manipulate him into doing things your way. There are literal volumes written on how to navigate a relationship with the opposite sex. And a lot of it is on how to get what you want from an otherwise unwilling partner, while at the same time avoiding being forced into reciprocation.

Call me a dreamer, but to my mind this is a colossally wrong-headed approach. Our worlds are filled with enemies and, God willing, friends as well. I believe we should devote as little attention to our enemies as we can get away with, and dedicate most of our effort to our friends and loved ones. Special friends are special, and should be treated with all the love, respect, and understanding that we can muster; not with suspicion, obfuscation, and manipulation. We seek true love, to find someone with whom we can share our hearts, our minds, our bodies, even our souls. That requires absolute honesty, sincerity, and devotion.

Romance gives us a chance at a truly remarkable connection with another human being, something we all long for. Instead, tragically, we often end up sleeping with the enemy. That makes absolutely no sense whatsoever.

Forbidden Love

interracial couple

The brutally vigorous hurricane of debate over gay marriage is sweeping across the United States. I have a stance on this matter as well. But first, I believe it’s important that I share my story.

I am multiracial. Or, as some older folks have phrased it, a “half-breed.” My father is Mexican, and my mother is a diverse collection of peoples that amounts to “white.” They met in Arizona, where the two of them were going to school. This detail is important, because in my parents’ lifetime, there was a law in Arizona that made it illegal to marry a Mexican. Had the repeal of this law been delayed a decade, I would never have existed. [Read more…]