Amen. Why does it have to keep coming up? It seems like everytime I turn on the TV they have to be talking about gay this and gay that. Look, I don't have a big problem with gay people, but I really don't want to hear about it all the time! One of my friend's roommates is gay, and it seems like that's all he ever talks about (i.e. his gayness, he's going out to a gay club, he's chatting with his gay friends). I know we live in a biased society, but it probably wouldn't be so bad if they didn't dress up in rainbow colors and march down the streets. I'm not for discrimination in any form, but let's face it, gay people largely give themselves the negative image they have by acting that way. Of course, not all of them act that way, but enough people do to turn the majority of society off.
Would you be open to the suggestion that you just perhaps are not used to the idea of homosexuality becoming more mainstream? I am not here to try to change your mind or your ideas, but I would challenge you to spend one day and observe how heterosexuality "keeps coming up" in your everyday life. Almost every single aspect of mainstream American culture is geared toward heterosexuality. Your attraction to women flavours the clothing you wear, the activities you plan, the places you go, the way you behave, and the things you talk about. I would venture to say that in your life that straight things "keep coming up" because it is a large defining characteristic of who you are. When you are with your buddies, does the topic of going out with girls or discussing this hot chick or that babe not come up with any regularity?
I do understand your viewpoint. AlI used to feel much like you do now. I don't know what exposure you have had to gay guys, but if you have had much at all you probably have noticed as I have that to a certain segment of them, everything actively revolves around being gay. It's a bit hard to explain since sexuality is so omnipresent in our lives, but I'm talking about a general lifestyle. Some guys are so busy being gay and only being involved in a gay lifestyle (gay night clubs, their gayness, their gay friends, this gay event, that gay event, etc.) that they miss out on the wider world that is bypassing them. I have always found that a little sad, but then I had to realise that I went through that phase too. Although some people never seem to grow out of it, you have to have a little understanding.
For many of us, we spent between the first fifteen to forty years of our lives hiding and pretending to be something other than what we really are. For those of us who lived a part of our lives as closeted gay guys, our only interactions with other gay guys have been in gay clubs/night clubs, internet chat rooms, bathhouses or cities far from home where we didn't have the fear of being "found out". That kind of living takes a certain toll on an individual. When and IF
a person reaches that point where they decided enough is enough and that they are tired of the double life, the lies, and all the secrets; then unless you have personally experienced it you cannot imagine what it is like to finally throw off that cloak that so many of us have lived under. For a period of time you absolutely revel in your new found freedom in a way that you probably will never understand. Many people who have never been able to talk about their lives and express themselves freely before suddenly are enthralled to discuss their homosexuality all the time.
It's like the floodgates are open and you can connect with other guys with similar experiences. You become part of a community where for the first time you really feel accepted and like you are with your own kind. Maybe that sounds kind of crazy, but with many of the attitudes towards homosexuals today, it is a most amazing thing. It is natural that at this time in your life you want to surround yourself with gay friends, explore "gay" things, and talk about your "gayness" all the time. As an aside, in all fairness, I'd bet you still talk about your "straightness" all the time. You've just grown up with it as the norm so you've never really noticed it.
Some people never seem to move beyond that stage, and to me they miss out on a lot of living. However, for some it appears that is where they find their safety net, and if that is the case I say more power to them. What eventually happened to me is that I fell for someone and became involved in a long term monogamous relationship. Our lives probably more or less mirror any heterosexual couple's life, with some obvious exceptions. We don't go to gay clubs....we go where they play good music. We don't seek out gay friends.....although we have them, we look for qualities in people that make them good, fun people to be around no matter what their gender or sexual preference. We don't attend the local pride parade because it's a gay event....we like to go for the entertainment value. We don't sit around and talk about our gayness.....rather we sit around and argue about what we're going to watch on TV
, discuss what we want to do this weekend, or spend an evening paying the monthly bills. Sound familiar? Hopefully so.
I believe there is also the element that people become more socially aware through intense efforts. Although I sometimes am tempted to look askance at certain groups within the gay community, I have always had to remind myself to take a step back and realise that if it weren't for the radical people who are out there making a stir, nothing would be different. If you look back through history, you will notice that all major social changes in a society generally have their roots in some sort of radical or in your face activism. It's the way things work. It is because of these sorts of people who may have had more guts than you and I might ever work up to stand up for what they believe is right and lobby for change who have made it possible for me to enjoy the life that I am able to enjoy today.
With all that said, I also think that gay issues come up too often. I should qualify that by saying that certain gay issues come up too often. When I meet a guy for the first time for friendship and/or dating and the whole conversation revolves around gay gay gay, then I usually know that we don't have a lot in common.
Airliners.net is no exception. I don't read many of the "gay" debates, much less post in them because the majority of them are inane, repetitive and unenlightening. It basically turns into a shouting match between two diametrically opposed groups of individuals. No one is going to convince anyone and all that happens is that tempers flare. I decided to post on this one because I yet have something to say about a gay bishop.
More generally speaking......
My position is plain and simple and it's going to draw heat. I don't believe that gay people should hold positions in organised religion. Before some of you start foaming at the mouth, note that I spent twenty-five years in a fundamental Mennonite religious environment. I know Scripture inside and out. I know more about a life of no television, no radio, no dancing, no movies......everything is sin sin sin than you will ever begin to dream about. I know about twenty-five years of life not allowed to wear shorts and only knowing a mother and female siblings who wear dresses, no make up and a head covering. I bet you do things in innocence that cause more conservative groups to wisely shake their heads and utter, "Those poor fools." I know more about a conservative philosophy and life than 99.9% of you can even imagine in your most conservative musings.
It's straightforward. The Bible condemns homosexuality in both the New and Old Testaments. I don't care about the arguments that the Bible is fallible because it is written by man or the assertions that it is outdated and at best a myth or a fable. I leave that where it's at. People who are Christians and spout Scripture in their condemnation of homosexuality better read the rest of the Bible carefully. If they apply the same principles to themselves found in the Scripture as the standard they apply to homosexuals, then they better hope there is a merciful God because no one stands a chance and even the most devout of you is riding a runaway train to the pits of Hell.
The point of all this is that Christianity is founded on the Bible. No matter what you believe or do not believe, that fact is true. And it is irrefutable that no matter who wrote it, those principles include condemnations of homosexual behavior in both the Old and New Testaments. I joined my church voluntarily when I was young and I left it voluntarily when I decided it was not for me. I'm having a hard time saying what I mean here. Since the church has its foundations in the Bible, it essentially cannot or should not change its rules to accomodate people. It doesn't matter if the issue is homosexuality, premarital sex, divorce & remarriage, bestiality, fornication, drunkeness, etc. If a religious body decides to "change the rules" then they depart from their Biblical foundations. That's why I left religion. It's all fucked up. People have "changed the rules" to accomodate their wishes and desires and overlook the judgements and guidelines that would affect them and zero in with religious fervour on issues that don't affect them or cramp their style. That's why it's so easy for straight Christians to bear down on homosexuality as a nearly unpardonable sin dooming gays to hell while continuing on with their own hedonistic lifestyles. I can say that with some confidence because if most of you who claim to be Christians were measured by the yardstick that I grew up with, then you're all phony anyway. It's all relative.
I had enough of it. When I left religion, I left a way of thinking that cannot by its very nature ever accept who or what I am. I don't expect it to. It's the nature of Christianity. It's just the hypocrisy that was a bitter pill for me.
Just some thoughts. I don't expect anyone to agree and neither do I care. Quite frankly, while we sit here at our keyboards and debate these issues from the comforts of our first world homes, millions of people at this moment are starving, being tortured, torn apart by land mines and bombs, and dying of preventable diseases.
That should make all our little pseudo-intellectual efforts look like a shameful pursuit and cause us to put our differences aside long enough to make a difference if only in just one person's life.
Bring on the wine, sex and song and let the sin begin!!!!