No, not John Carpenter’s Thing. Awesome movie, but well beyond the scope of this entry.
No, this is where I talk earnestly and honestly about Gay people, seeing as in my current envronent, I live around several gay guys of varying degrees of awesome for 5 days out of the week.
I am, at my core, a person who strives to be understanding and nurturing at all times– I want to bring out the best in others, and in so doing, bring out the best in myself. But, the brain is what it is, and I am not perfect. I am overwhelmingly in favor of equal rights for gays, bi’s, and transsexuals. Nobody should be left behind the march of progress. But that being said, occasionally I derp. I have a moment where I am slightly amazed I wound up thinking that.
Case in point. There is a gay boy in my dorm, typically very nice (though he has had more than a few cases of chronic backstabbing syndrome, Mean Girls style), but he looks so masculine yet behaves so effeminately that I cannot ever help but be creeped out a little. It’s a completely subconscious response; the mind simply is not programmed to deal with feminine behavior from a masculine individual.
This is, I think, a key part in society being so slow to adopt equal measures for gays– on a fundamental psychological level, the connection, the subconscious link humans form between appearance and behavior, is skewed AGAINST gays, because straight people cannot understand gay people the same way. We can learn to accept, and we can learn to support, but we cannot understand because our brains simply don’t process things that way. I can understand how I might see an individual man as attractive, but not men as a general rule.
This is, believe, at least partially the result of generations of societal training. I doubt the Athenians of the ancient world would have had such a strong reaction to witnessing that, given that male prostitutes (that we would consider underage to boot) were common and for the most part an accepted fact of society– popular, even. The picture that is painted of ancient Athens was one where gender roles, for whatever reason, were played a little faster and looser than current civilizations.
But this is not the ancient world. This is NOW. This is a world where “equal rights” means so much more than it did in Aristotle’s time, or Caesar’s time, or even in King Edward the Seventh’s time (early Twentieth Century for those who can’t stop gaming long enough to read a history book). Society hasn’t embraced homosexual relationships the way it did in Athens or ancient Rome in hundreds of years, if not nearly a thousand. And yet, we are aiming even higher. In Rome, one of the most liberal societies in human history, there were still not equal treatments for gays like what we now pursue. We are aiming higher, and more assertively, than ever before.
I used to be anti-gay marriage. I’m not proud or ashamed of the fact– I regard it simply as a thing that “was” at one point, and isn’t anymore. When I embraced paganism, a lot of the barriers to that support that I’d constructed using Christianity as a flimsy excuse sort of bled away and died, and I was free to choose to support it or not support it, but this time on my own convictions, and I looked at the evidence, the hard facts– I looked at the people who wanted to live a happily married life with a person they loved and cherished more than themselves but couldn’t because some guys in a government refused them that right. I couldn’t stay against it. I couldn’t stay on the sidelines anymore. Out of curiosity, I went and made a few gay friends, and I can honestly say, except when they get all flirty with me (seriously dudes, barking up the wrong tree there), they’re just like me. They’re blokes who want what I want: videogames, comic books, a steady romantic life and a good job.
They shouldn’t be denied anything because of one difference which as genetic as hair or skin color.
I’m with you wonderful guys and gals all the way, even when I get creeped out a little because of my stupid brain doing stupid things.