Thank you, Morgan McClain. Your eye-opening letter to the editor Friday questioning my creation and use of “cock-mouthed” and your Freudian analysis of my sexuality are much appreciated. And with Transgendered, Bisexual, Gay and Lesbian Awareness Days (T’BGLAD) this week, there couldn’t be a better time for me to take a deep look within myself and discuss how I really feel about homosexuality.
One of my fellow editors at the Collegian has said time and time, and again and again, that he believes gay rights will be the next be civil rights movement to take place in America. A firm believer in equal rights, I believe that gays and straights should hold the same privileges in society. This includes gay couples being able to adopt children – I don’t think an orphanage and the street can raise a kid better than two dads or moms – life-partner benefits and basic humane treatment.
Lately, on the other hand, I feel several gay issues, mostly sexual, have been shoved in the faces of many Americans, often by the powers that be in Hollywood. While exposure is a powerful tool in any taboo issue such as homosexuality, it can also be taken too far, and often is.
Less than 5 percent of Americans are gay – or openly admit it – but this percentage seems disproportionate when compared with the amount of gays in the media. Maybe gay people watch a lot of TV and the advertisers and are just targeting their niche market. Or maybe their organizations have really good public relations with the media, I don’t know. What I do know is when I watch “The Real World” and see two gay guys kissing and grabbing each other’s ass, I feel uncomfortable, and begin to believe that homosexuality just isn’t natural.
Of course, I also believe that love is good, blah blah, hate is evil, blah blah, and that no love between consenting adults should be denied. But it’s hard to maintain this philosophy when I feel handcuffed by political correctness.
This pro-active era of political correctness makes me the defendant when I say seeing two gay guys kissing makes me uneasy. It analyzes me without knowing me, saying that an inferiority complex and my culture of ignorance are fueling my discomfort. It says I’m wrong, I’m a bigot and hate-filled, without even listening to me. It makes me not even want to bring up the fact that seeing two girls kiss doesn’t bother me at all.
Admittedly, I haven’t known too many gay people in my life. The ones I have known are, for the most part, fine people. They seem to have a good grasp of when public affection is appropriate and when it is not. But unfortunately, there is a minority that doesn’t seem to get it, or maybe more accurately, give a damn about anyone but themselves.
It seems, and deservedly so, like a good percentage of the gay population has a stale chip of oppression on its shoulder. This could be motivation to “shove it in the face” of many mainstream Americans who don’t understand the community’s cause. In fact, this aggressive attitude only paralyses the movement, offending many potential heterosexual supporters, without whom, the movement will crash. Remember, less than five percent, and it’s amazing to think how far gay rights have come.
Do whatever you want in private, but don’t disrespect me by doing it in my face if you know I don’t like it.
Any successful movement of equal rights has to be visionary enough to learn and listen to the views of opposing traffic, because only communication can create an efficient two-way street where respect is the law and equality is the norm.
Zeb’s column appears every Tuesday.