A Few (876) Words On Sexuality and Self-Discovery

I went to the post office yesterday and noticed that they now offer Harvey Milk themed postage stamps. Maybe they have for a while; I don’t know. I rarely go to the post office because I rarely send packages, because I don’t have any friends.

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I’m kidding.

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Half kidding.

Okay, I’m done with that.

We’ve been progressively prying our minds open wider and wider in favor of same-sex marriage for years. Earlier today, this wonderful little bit of news popped up in my Facebook newsfeed:

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Way to go, Fourth Circuit! Blue and yellow have slowly but surely been wiping the board across the country over what once was red. I hope I live to see the day when same-sex marriage is so common that it’s naturally accepted, much like interracial marriage has become.

But that begs the question: Why is sexuality such a prominent thing in our lives? People assign a public label to the most personal human capacities. What’s more is that society places a label of importance on them, as well. This has led us to believe that we have to exhibit perfection in every aspect of our personal lives for the sake of the opinions of others.

If you aren’t a size 0, you’re urged to cover up, because somebody might not like it.

If you’re not white, you’d better not move into a predominantly white neighborhood, because somebody might not like it.

If you’re a practicing Christian, take note to use discretion when you go out to spread the word, because somebody might not like it.

Similarly, if you’re not straight, you really should take caution while publicly displaying affection with your partner, because somebody might not like it.

No matter the circumstance, whatever you do, whoever you are, whoever you love, somebody might not like it. This ‘somebody’ always seems to take precedence over your own convictions. This world is far too caught up in other people’s business; that’s why tabloids are so wildly successful. I can’t speak for other countries, but Americans are too eager to learn what goes on in the bedroom of celebrity couples, or which famous person has been charged with tax evasion, or which celebrity chef may or may not be plagiarizing recipes. And it’s all the biggest crock of shit I’ve ever witnessed.

That’s why the ‘issues’ of same-sex marriage, interracial marriage, or age disparity in relationships are even considered issues. They really aren’t problematic. The people are problematic. They cause more roadblocks on the way to personal happiness and contentment than anything else on the planet. They’re concerned more with preventing other people from doing things that go against their personal beliefs.

There’s a proverb that suggests to live and let live. So why can’t we do that? Let other people do what they want. Remember that what you believe in isn’t what everybody believes in, and that’s OK. That’s what makes this world beautiful: it’s a gargantuan melting pot of colors, sizes, shapes, cultures, languages, belief systems, lifestyles, and practices. I’d rather recognize the beauty in the difference than fight for unanimity.

Ever heard of the Self Evident Truths project by iO Tillet Wright? Check out this video:


 

Whatever rules you live by, please be aware that the same rules do not apply to everyone. If you’re a strict vegan and don’t ingest any sort of animal byproduct, that’s absolutely and 100% fine. But your neighbor might not feel the same. Your parents and siblings might not, either. As long as they support you, what does it matter if they don’t share in your convictions? I know how easy it is to be so passionate about something that you just want to spread it around. Excitement is infectious, this much is true, but don’t be disappointed or feel obligated to ‘convert’ other people to your side.

Going back to the prevalence of sexuality, I tend to feel that too much emphasis is put on sexual preference. To explain further, I don’t consider myself a gay man. I’m simply a man who happens to be gay. Sexuality is a single facet among thousands of others. There’s no need to treat it as some outstanding anomaly; treat it as you would anything else. Who you love does not define you; there’s no reason to accentuate it. That’s not to say that you shouldn’t have pride or that you should hide it, however. That’s also not to say that your right to marry shouldn’t be fought for. Press on, and the battle will be won. It’s sad that it’s become a dangling carrot, of sorts.

But being anything other than straight is a mere part of who you are- it isn’t all that you are. On a broader scale, there are so many layers and complexities to every human being that it’s impossible to define by a single attribute. You can pick and choose which aspects of your life you want to represent you, but it’s counterproductive to try to define yourself. To define would be to squeeze inside a box, and we thrive best outside of it.

Do whatever makes your heart content; so long as you are kind, the rest shouldn’t matter.

Be who you want to be. Know that you’re limitless. Preach love, not hate.

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11 thoughts on “A Few (876) Words On Sexuality and Self-Discovery

  1. Not quite.

    So the vegan and the battery farmer, or the proselytising Christian and the antitheist, or the fat person and the person who habitually mocks and abuses fat people, meet. What then?

    Homophobia disgusts me. Homosexuality disgusts someone else. How may we live together? By using discretion because the other may not like it. To me it is a good thing that the acceptable point has moved to the Left recently- it is no longer the gay person being totally invisible and the homophobe saying what he likes- but we still have to live together.

    1. You’re absolutely correct. My point was that it’s disappointing that people worry too much about what others are doing in their personal lives rather than worrying about themselves. Not so much that you should disregard the usage of discretion, but more so that I wish it weren’t that way.

      Ironically, those who are phobic against any kind of minorities don’t seem to need to use discretion when they vocalize their opinions. It seems easier for a homophobe, for example, to outwardly denounce civil rights than it is for a homosexual to denounce homophobia. There are constantly stories in the news about someone gay being stabbed or beaten to death, either by a group or individual. However, how often do you hear about a brutal homophobe being deterred by a group of gay people? Maybe sometimes, but not nearly as often. The homophobe (and similarly the racist, sexist, ageist, ableist, etc.) has the upper hand.

  2. I enjoyed reading this piece. When I was much younger and didn’t know anything, I wasn’t homophobic per se but I wasn’t all that accepting either. But that was easily changed after reading a few novels about gay teens. Since then it has always confused me why people would even concern themselves with other people’s personal lives, especially for the adults. By that age, you should definitely understand that the world doesn’t revolve around you and that other people have personal lives that a) don’t need to be disclosed to you and b) can’t be expected to be the same as yours.

    Like you, I hope to see the day where sexual preference is viewed like any other aspects of being human, rather than the determining factor of one’s rights.

    1. I wish everybody operated the same way you have; you reached out and learned more about a subject you didn’t know much about, and your eyes were opened, if you will. You became more open-minded upon diving deeper into what was unbeknownst to you. Sadly, that’s not the way everybody works. You’d think it logical to not be so concerned about the personal endeavors of others, but unfortunately so far it’s merely a pipe dream.

      1. The process our society is taking to change is working slowly, but still working. When talks about the LGBT community arises on my social media nowadays, it’s extremely extremely rare to see accounts of hate. Unfortunately, there are a lot of older adults (who also control a lot of media) that refuse to be open-minded. But I’m sure in our lifetime we will see our dream to the end 🙂

      2. I certainly do not doubt it. It’s progressing, like you said, slowly but surely. We’ll get there. 🙂 We have come along way, and that allows me to remain optimistic that we’ll complete the journey sooner rather than later.

  3. I’m straight yet I do very Much support the idea of same sex marriage. A lot of people in my country think that I am gay and hence being so supportive of them. It’s not that. I just think…you love who you love. It’s possible for a man to love a man. If it wasn’t “natural” then it wouldn’t be happening at all. I think people should be allowed to spend their lives the way they want, with whomever they want, as long as no ones getting hurt in the process ( as in If I wanted to live my life killing people).
    I saw Milk and I thought it was great and for the first time in years I thought Sean Penn had been absolutely great in portraying Harvey milk. They look quite alike!

    1. What exactly are the views on homosexuality in Pakistan? I’m always interested to know the laws in other countries.

      Aside from humankind, homosexuality has been found in varying species of animals as well. That’s proof that it’s a natural occurrence. Animals don’t necessarily have a thought process that allows them to make choices; it’s all intuitively based.

      I still haven’t seen Milk! I don’t know what’s taken me so long. But I do agree that Harvey Milk and Sean Penn do look a lot alike! 🙂

      1. Oh god I’ll have to write a post to answer you how they perceive homosexuality in Pakistan. You won’t be surprised.
        Exactly! Thank you! But you know, you can’t argue with people who just believe this is a crime. They’ll keep shoving religion in your face again and again.
        Oh you HAVE to see it! It’s amazing. I would have lend it to you only we are so far away! 😀

      2. If you really want to write a post, I would definitely look forward to reading it. I know, though, that you’re just being facetious because it would probably take a while to explain. 🙂

        It isn’t necessarily impossible to change someone’s mind on the issue; I think they’d be more likely to change their stance by coming to the decision themselves, and not by the urging of somebody trying to prove them wrong. Does that make sense?

        I appreciate the thought! I will rent it one of these days and I’m sure I’ll love it.

      3. Who knows? Maybe I will. I’ll let you know when I do.
        Yeah I guess maybe we all are a bit stubborn. We always think we are right. Maybe they think we are the ignorant ones. It’s true that there’s no use asking or forcing someone to accept homosexuality but I guess..people are too ignorant about it. And if someone is saying something wrong, I do give them a piece of my mind.
        Oh let me know if you like it!

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