Monday, June 9, 2008

Homophobes Should Support the “Gay Agenda”

Today I'll be talking about homophobia and gay rights, but first I want to talk a bit about the American sitcom Friends.

I like Friends; it’s a really nice show. Some of the lines are wonderfully witty and a lot of them can make me smile again and again. One exchange I particularly remember is a dialogue between Ross and his friend Phoebe, in a flashback episode where he has just found out that his wife is a lesbian.

In that scene, Ross stumbles into the bar that used to be their hangout and meets Phoebe. She notices his distress and asks what is wrong.

“My marriage…” he says. “I think my marriage is… is kind of over.”

“Oh no,” she says with concern. “Why?”

“Because Carol is a lesbian… And I’m not one… And apparently it’s not a mix and match situation.”

That line slays me. I think it’s hilarious. Of course the scene has a bitter aftertaste when you remember that this sort of thing actually happens in real life, which is something I find very sad.

What I find even sadder yet, however, is the people who think that it’s sad for an entirely different reason than I do, the people who blame “the gay agenda” for things like this happening.

Now, I’m friends with plenty of gay people and I must admit that I hadn’t even heard of this agenda before I started watching Fox news and listening to American social conservatives. And I must say that after hearing about it I’m shocked; apparently “the gays” and “them damn, dirty liberal fag-lovers” (which I’ve so lovingly been called) have a hidden, secret agenda together.

The ones who are part of this agenda are the people who sometimes mention homosexuality in a positive way. Apparently this is a most nefarious thing to do and is ruining western society by “making people believe that people being queers is something normal” and other bad things like that.

The ones who oppose this obviously despicable agenda claim that it is to blame for things like the aforementioned scene from Friends. Since they love to claim that homosexuality is a choice (and an evil choice, at that!) they think that all these proponents of the agenda are recruiting innocent straight people to join them in their evil, wicked ways. By “making homosexuality seem good and normal” we are obviously tricking people into somehow converting to being gay.

They say that the entire concept of women leaving their husbands for another woman, and men leaving their wives for another man, is all because of this. They claim that these good, married people have been converted to homosexuality and thus the evil gay agenda succeeded in ruining another straight marriage.

That’s the kind of talk I’ve heard many times. What about reality though? What do we see if we ignore the paranoid ramblings of those homophobes?

Well, I’d say that first of all we should see that even if there was such a thing as a hidden gay agenda it would not be at fault for ruining any marriage. In fact, I’d say that those homophobes have things completely backwards; I think that a greater public acceptance of homosexuality actually helps reduce the number of ruined marriages.

You see, the kind of thing that happened in Friends actually does happen in real life. The reason is however not that straight people marry someone and then “turn gay.” People don’t choose or change their sexuality like that.

So no, it’s not the people involved in the “gay agenda” who have converted them. It’s rather that being gay is such a stigma in large parts of our societies. The sad truth is that the oppression against gays makes many repress their sexuality and try to believe that they are straight, or at least act straight in the eyes of the outside world.

Sometimes these people get married. This is often a cover, either to others, to avoid oppression, or to themselves so that they don’t have to accept the truth about themselves. This happened more before, but it still happens today and it’s a sad state of affairs. These people are living a lie and generally have miserable marriages that sooner or later break down.

I like to imagine a world where homosexuals don’t feel oppressed, where young people finding that they have feelings for the same sex see no reason to suppress those feelings, where people can be themselves openly and without question. I want that because it’s the right thing; people should always be allowed to be themselves.

The homophobes who blame “the gay agenda” for the failed marriages between a gay and a straight person should wish for the same world. They should wish for it, because in that world of tolerance and understanding there would of course not be more of that kind of marriage, there would in fact be substantially fewer, perhaps even none.

In a world where that perceived agenda has succeeded in making homosexuality universally accepted there would be no need and no reason for gay people to ever marry straight people. Straights would have no risk of getting involved with someone who doesn’t actually like the opposite sex, because people would be open and frank about their sexuality, eliminating such things.

So even the people (and I use the term “people” quite loosely here) who are complete homophobes should support this “gay agenda.” A world more open and friendly towards gays would only mean benefits even for those who want to avoid homosexuals.

An important thing to note however, and I can’t stress this enough, is that there is no secret, nefarious, hidden gay agenda. All the non-straight people in the world don’t get together in secret meetings with secret literature and plot the downfall of heterosexuality.

The only agenda I’ve seen among gay people is a strong wish to live normal lives; to love who they want without a need to hide it and have relationships just like straight people, without being condemned for it. For most homosexuals this “agenda” just means quietly living their lives, without bothering people. For others it means fighting for their rights by trying to convince people that they’re not doing anything wrong.

It’s the latter group who bother some people and who gives rise to these strange rumors of secret, evil agendas. Many homophobes feel that the mere mention of homosexuality is so bothersome that they want to stop people from talking about it. But remember; if we suddenly live in a society where homosexuality is fully accepted there will no longer be any need for them to fight for their rights, no need to be loud and talk about it. So, again, even homophobes should support this “agenda” so that homosexuals can “shut up about it.”

People being gay just shouldn’t concern you, because the relationships of other people do not involve you. Let people live and love in the way that’s in their nature; it doesn’t affect your life if they love someone of the same sex and if you don’t bother them about it they won’t bother you.

So, support the gay agenda; stop giving homosexuals any reason to be dissatisfied or complain.