Last week we had Lesbian Visibility Day. As a lesbian I’m not sure that I feel positive about that. Probably because I have become so tired of the notion that the fact I am in love with another woman is a difference for which I need to stand up and shout for my acceptance.
I simply cannot comprehend how loving another human being can be considered negative. And I detest the label – because it IS a label and because the word has been used with so much negative connotation that it makes it difficult to embrace.
No one has been able to explain to me why being gay is so hard for other people to accept. There are wars, poverty, cruelty, hardship, death, destruction… so many terrible things in the World that need our love, attention and support, that I simply can’t comprehend why people waste energy on something as harmless as two people loving each other.
That we are different to the “general” understanding of romantic (reproductive?) relationships being heterosexual, is a factor of male dominated social rules of acceptance. There is nothing in nature to suggest a single sex relationship is damaging, either to the people involved or their friends, family or offspring, other than their self imposed desire to view it negatively. In other words, it is only society and people’s seemingly endless need to harbor and express anger and hostility that has created this negative belief.
It’s quite astounding really, that being different in the human species of this planet is such a “threat” to the majority. Minorities are a general target for hatred. In the natural world, there are plenty of examples of how different species get along together and how those that differ from the physical “norm” are still embraced. Different animal species can accept and love each other, humans can embrace and adore animal species – but humans, who are supposedly blessed with the most advanced thinking and emotional capacity, seem largely and determinedly anti embracing the differences between each other.
What’s also disturbing, is that the focus is on standing up for the right to be who we are as a minority, rather than addressing the issues that cause our rejection in the first place within the majority. The rules that have been “made up” to instill fear, anger and hatred of those that are different are what need to be addressed. We have many more things in common than those differences – we are all humans and we should be doing every thing we can to make our lives happy and successful in order to protect our species.
My own view from the experiences of life, is that much of this anger and hatred stems from a core unhappiness that results from people not being able to “be” and live as “who they really are”. Our basic freedoms to exist in the way we want to naturally have been stripped away by centuries of power and control. The irony is, that at the core, the majority are unable to stand up for who they really are, because that is something they have hidden or suppressed. Because they are conforming to the need to stay safe within the confines of societal boundaries. What to wear, how to look, body shape, hair colour, race, sexuality, male and female role norms (what your interests should be, men like cars, women like dolls. Seriously? Just think about that for a minute!!! It’s ridiculous). With so many things that we have to conform to in order to fit in, how can we possibly be ourselves?
So it seems to me that what causes so much anger amongst the many, is that those who dare to and have the strength to be different, are enjoying a freedom that those poor conforming masses can’t. And I have to admit if I couldn’t be madly in love with a partner who I accept totally for who she is and who completely accepts me, warts and all; if I couldn’t have my red hair as long as I like, wear no make up, live in jeans, enjoy sports, wear flat shoes, wield a power drill, do the things that make me happy in life instead of the things that eek out a living. If I couldn’t enjoy the small things, ignore people who tell me no, or I can’t do something, not worry about the peer pressure of status or having “things”, or if I had to have friends that were only “acceptable” and on and on…. then I would be miserable too. And actually I know that, because for years I denied my true self and tried to live within the rules. And I was so unhappy!!!
But the solution is not to damn the different. There are probably many other solutions, but one of them surely must be to change your life so that you can be who you are. If the masses were brave enough to start breaking some of these rules, self imposed and otherwise, there would be no minorities and the the true state of our humanity would reveal itself – that the differences are individual. That we are all unique, but also that we are all the same – we are all human. We all have the right to be who we are. We have lost sight of the fact that that rules should only be necessary to help apply the structure we need to flourish as a species. Like care and support services, energy and communication, the preservation of our planet. Not about power, control and wealth and not about who we are and how we should “be”.
I have to stop now, before I start swaying and singing John Lennon songs. And besides, I haven’t told my partner I love her for at least an hour and I need to plan a fishing trip and see if I can find some T-Cut to fix a scratch on my car…
P.S on the subject of John Lennon, heres an amazing version of Imagine by the awesome Pentatonic. Far better than me trying 😉