REFOCUS BY GERARD VELDHOVEN
Recently, I was given a hand-out titled, “Is homosexuality OK?” Reading through the content I soon became aware that this was an attempt to minimize and totally discard “homosexuality” as a sin, through the eyes of a fundamentalist who cannot understand the existence of any type of sexuality beyond his own, “heterosexuality.”
His/her attempt to explain the reasons why gays exist are totally absurd and unfounded. The reasons mentioned are of a different era when society indeed believed that a gay person was influenced as a child by the behaviour of a parent towards that boy or girl. Of course, we now know the reason and it is exactly the same as the development of a heterosexual and a bisexual child. We cannot choose our sexuality as it is developed well before birth.
I also emphasize that all sexualities have been in existence throughout time. The Christian believes it is a lifestyle. Well, a lifestyle is the way we choose to live, by dressing a certain way, or where we shop, etc. We do not ask, “Is heterosexuality OK?” Of course it is OK and the reason is that one’s sexuality is decided before coming into this world. Another consideration to consider is the following; why would a person choose a sexuality that is constantly criticized by those who do not understand and are influenced by their religious beliefs? Why choose to be gay when the beatings, the killings, the suicides are part of that existence and why would I constantly write and speak out against discrimination and homophobia?
Thousands of activists, groups in the gay and straight communities stand together in many cases, to bring attention to the diversity of the citizens of the world. We must make efforts to coexist and not grandstand quoting religious feelings that ultimately keep the fires of intolerance burning brightly and fuelling hatred, in turn causing attacks on folks like Scott Jones in New Glasgow.
I must add that many “mainstream” churches have embraced gay society and recognize that we fall in love, get married, have families, enter different professions and yes, attend church. We are your neighbours, your family members, your friends, your doctors, teachers, clerks, plumbers and all the other things that straight people are involved with in our cities and towns. The reason? We are all the same somehow and our different sexualities make each and everyone unique and above all we are here to stay, believe it, or not.
The author of this article does not accept love as an important ingredient to our existence. “Is homosexuality OK?” Of course! Comments and information: firstname.lastname@example.org
Gerard Veldhoven is a longtime activist for the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community. His column appears Wednesdays in The News.