Faggot, bum boy, pervert….. no a son, a brother, a human with rights!

imagesAs a gay man I’m acutely aware of the reality of labeling a person. Am I a top, a bottom, versatile? Am I dominant or submissive? Am I the boy or the girl? Am I an otter, a cub, a bear, a Chelsea boy, a gym bunny, a snowdrop, a queen, a leather boy, or one hundred and twelve other titles? There’s a plethora of ways to send the wrong message as to who you are, and though a label might sound exciting the reality could have you running for the door and a bottle of aspirin. Don’t ask me about the hankie code because I walked away shaking my head, partially in disgust but also in complete bewilderment.

The reason we do it is simple. As gay men and women we have been conditioned by society to think of ourselves first in terms of sex, and then second as human beings. It’s not a pleasant way to live but society, mainly the religious members, have decreed that a homosexual shall be just that, a sexual being first and a benefit to society somewhere along the line when it has been broken and seen the light.

Imagine, just for a moment, telling your heterosexual child that they were to be only thought of in terms of the number of children they had. Horrific right? The child becomes a breeding machine, something only known for its ability to produce mini me’s with no value beyond that basic function. Every human of the heterosexual persuasion has the potential but should that be how they are labelled. Should they ultimately only be valued for the fertility of their body? Should they ultimately be banned from having sex unless it can be scientifically, with probings and testing, be shown that the woman is ready in her cycle and the man is fertile? Is that how a heterosexual child should be identified and controlled?

If your answer to the question is a resounding “no” then there has to be a follow up question of “why would you do it to the homosexual child then?” It’s because of the way that we in the west have been conditioned. As soon as the child needs to talk about the fact they are gay the world melts. Parents, society has taught you to think negatively about the idea of your child being gay. How you respond is in your hands and you can either perpetuate some very damaging myths or become part of the bright tomorrow where “coming out” as a ritual is no longer needed.

The quaking and scared teenager in front of you isn’t doing it to deny you grandchildren, or because they want to hurt you. They aren’t telling you to shock or hurt you. They are in fact telling you because they want to share they are the same person with this is a small but important part of them. The correct response in my mind to the statement “I think I’m gay” would be “that’s nice sweetheart and nothing’s changed. Are you happy or need to talk though what it means to you? But first have you done your homework because you still have a duty to the family to be the best you that you can and being a doctor/an artist/ the president takes some effort with the books? Oh and the dog still needs to be walked and the rubbish is overflowing so take it out please.”

If I sound flippant I’m not. What I’m trying to describe is a brighter day where we no longer believe the myths that have become ingrained. There’s a reason that the suicide is notably higher among LGBTQ youth as opposed to their “straight” counterparts. We have a society which is at its very basic level set up to destroy anything which is different. The mechanisms it uses are the same that any good dictator would use.

Propaganda is a truly wonderful thing and even better when combined with cyclical arguements. When used against the gay community it usually runs in a four prong manner:

First we start with the argument that it’s not natural. This of course is untrue. Natural infers that it is a process of the natural world, which homosexuality and incidentally the desire for gender change are proven to be found in large numbers of species. From primates throughout the animal kingdom. So yes it is natural, very natural, and being gay is not a specific choice of the human teenager to rebel and break society. If it’s good enough as a natural condition for a penguin then it’s good enough for me. The cyclical arguer would then come back with “but we’re not animals! Humans have free will so being gay is a choice and a disgusting one which has no value!” In order for us to have chosen rather than for it to be natural means I have to burn my “Origin of the Species”. I am an animal, an intelligent one that knows how to bake a quiche and use a chainsaw, but none the less I am still an animal. Science has proven that there is a direct evolutionary process. My being gay is just one of the brilliant ways my species developed to deal with the overpopulation and the depletion of resources my breeding neighbors cause, while still bringing material benefit to the pack. So unless you are willing to deny general acceptance of evolution and our part in it there is no argument to say being gay is unnatural.

The second prong of attack is to repel through disgust. The homosexual is reduced, diminished using a series of accusations that are deliberately designed to disgust the listener. Anal sex is always a good start, after all that is unnatural. The rectum is a thing to expel waste not receive a penis. It is the source of disease and to engage sexually with it is just asking for all sorts of problems health wise. What kind of mind could even think that that would be a way to engage sexually? After all there has never been a single incidence of a heterosexual buggery has there? The union of penis and vagina is sacrosanct. The one made for the other. And that union creates a product. “Bum sex” as it has been so lovingly called has no value because no child can be born. Once we get over the obviously ridiculous argument that sex is only for the purpose of making babies, something most heterosexuals would balk at if told that that was the only time they could have sex. Especially as a blowjob also becomes illegal under the rule “one penis one vagina”.

I make no apologies for the previous paragraph. True it is base, crass, and a little unsavory, but so are the allegations and the logic leveled against me. Unlike the basic tenant of a civilized legal system where I should be innocent until proven guilty, assumptions as to my lifestyle and the most intimate details of my bedroom are banded about as fact. In addition to my life being distilled into a sordid, and highly inaccurate, tabloid scandal the terms that I am called are also scatological to put it politely.

The whole reason this approach has worked for so long and become so established in the social consciousness is because we have taught to be scared of our own sexual selves. Through the centuries embracing our sexual selves has been designated “evil”, a man made term. Sex became a restricted practice, a gift from a divine being that was only to be acceptable when performed by the faithful. But the reality is that in nature sex is not restricted. There are not limits placed on who or how an animal should have sex. By extension “love”, that unidentifiable chemical maelstrom, of which the desire to have sex plays a large part must also be a natural process.

If arguing that the homosexual isn’t natural and that they are disgusting don’t work then a third prong of attack is needed. So fear is brought out to play and it’s the WMD of weapons. First you tell the heterosexual community that the gays will destroy the very fabric of their civilization. The institution of marriage will crumble, rights will be lost, and jobs will be threatened because the gays will demand the right to do them so the old specter of positive discrimination can come out to play. Then when the people are getting nervous you stick the knife in and threaten their children. It’s a true bully technique and one that is hard to counter because it short circuits the brain. Whisper to a parent that a homosexual will convert or abuse their children and there is an instant visceral reaction. You don’t need proof you just need words and they will poison the minds of the innocent. Of course it helps if you have battalions of preachers to spread the word because the faithful are the ones who work in governments, in schools, those positions where the lies can become laws, can become real and the fear can live.

Fighting the fear is a truly gargantuan task. Its now not a case of celebrating the truth and just getting on with living in the light because the lies that stimulate the fear are so ingrained in the social conscious. Good men have lied from pulpits, men who had positions of authority have repeated those lies, over time innocent people who trust their religious and medical advisers have taken those words, embedding them and reinventing them. Two things are important to remember here.

Firstly the medical profession started and was controlled by the church for centuries. Therefore, there is a long history of church dogma influencing medical practice and thought. We know this to be true, we have also seen it within the sciences. Religion has denied evolution, the shape of the earth, even good medical practice, and all because it failed to agree with a book that the church itself had invented. And the bible as it’s preached in every church today is a work of fiction. It has been revised, it has been altered, pieces have been shredded, all because the church decided that politically the message needed to change. If it is not the complete, untouched document propounded as the word of God then it has no validity in any argument. It’s been transformed from the word of a deity into a useful means of social control which poses as the word of God.

The second thing to remember when fighting fear is that sometimes we have to think radically about how to heal the lies placed into the social consciousness and hold the people who started them accountable. One of the things which leaves me with my head in my hands here in America is the supposed sacred nature of the constitution. To be honest the British can be accused of feeling the same about Magna Carta but the nature of laws is that they can’t be allowed to stay the same as they were centuries ago. The purpose of any system of law is to change and protect its citizens at the present moment not sanctify a past ideal. So to fight the fear that has been spread we have to bring forward our lawyers, our teachers, and our doctors, we have to be able to fight superstition and lies with the law, the truth and science. It will take time, all change does, but the effort is worth it. We don’t do this for ourselves but for the generations that follow us because fighting fear takes time. So the question then becomes are we willing to be the ones who change things for the next generation or do we give up and to become the “me” generation? Changing the hearts and minds of a society, changing laws, breaking the chains of superstition all take selflessness. The beautiful thing is that there is a strong movement working to fight the fear, and it’s growing daily.

The final prong of attack is the “because I believe it” method. Faith has become fact, though in reality it’s actually man made dogma, and to accept that belief as the truth is seen as a personal attack. Here’s the thing. Approximately 16% of the world’s population describe themselves as Christian. Just 16%. In this country there is a clearly defined division between the rights and influence of the church and the duty of this country’s government. That duty is to ensure that all citizens live equally and are able to pursue happiness as they deem it right for them. So clearly it is the duty of those who work on a government level to accept that their faith has no place in the choices they make for people who don’t subscribe to their beliefs. As a country America is made up of immigrants of all faiths, so it becomes a question of whether the Christian camp feels that the Muslims for example should use their right to influence the law according to their faith? I suspect that that would be seen as a negative in churches up and down the country and we would hear how this is a “Christian, cough, country.

The personal rights of a Christian to pursue their faith are of course enshrined and protected in law. The right to free speech is similarly enshrined in law, but ultimately that can’t be at the expense of someone else. Decisions for the whole can’t be based on a minority’s beliefs. Using my freedom of speech I see no difference the current practice of bowing to a religion when it comes to laws for this country and the arguments leveled against the worst religious governments in the middle east. There is no difference between Ayatollah Khomneini, the pope, and every minister in this country who seeks to destroy the rights of the homosexual community. In the end all of them are seeking to impose their faith on people, to diminish them and restrict their lives.

But old men die and the polls actually show that the new generation are less inclined to believe in segregated societies. There is hope because just as fifty years ago it was illegal to share a marriage bed if you were a mixed race couple. That law too was supported by the church. Good Christian white people predicted the end of the world if it happened and what was the result. There are still people who believe that it is wrong and they say so but society has the sense to just put them in the cracked egg basket and ignore them. Old men die, old prejudices whither, and society grows stronger.

In the end the old ways will fall and equality will come but I will not see the full harvest of what is done in my lifetime. So I am proud to be labeled bum boy and faggot, I am happy to be reduced down in people’s minds to what actually doesn’t happen in my bedroom, because in the end it will be better for my niece’s generation. And then it will keep getting better and better with every new generation because I will teach her what needs to be done for the greater good.

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