Not just “those people”

When people speak negatively of gay couples, they almost exclusively paint a picture of nameless, faceless people who have nothing to describe them except their genitals. Sorry to be crude, but there it is. They don’t see a person, they see a set of genitals. They don’t realise that these are real people with real lives who have something to offer. They just see “male genitals + male genitals” or “female genitals + female genitals”. Therein lies the root of much of the bias and prejudice.

A couple of weeks ago, I met up with Mum in a shop. I’d just seen that Julia Gillard had been outed and Rudd was back in, and I was excited, and expressed my excitement. The shopkeeper saw fit to comment, and a discussion about politics ensued. That was all fine and well until I mentioned that I don’t like Rowan Ramsey (local politician) because he has ignored the wishes of the people he is supposed to represent, and stated that he will vote no on marriage equality, regardless of what the voters want.

The shopkeeper (who doesn’t know I’m gay; I don’t advertise the fact) saw fit to announce that he has no problem with “those people” as long as they didn’t hit on him (I hate the assumption that gay = predator!), and that they shouldn’t be allowed to have or raise children.

I asked why. He said,
“Because it’s wrong, that’s why.”

I asked how he felt about single mothers, and he said he has no problem with that, because they’re straight. I asked how he knew that they’d be a better mother than a gay woman, and he said ‘they just are’.

I can usually respect other people’s views, but this kind of view is the reason people like me can’t marry, and the reason there’s so much stigma about us raising children. I was raised by a straight couple; my biological father raped me multiple times when I was a child. But hey, he’s straight, so he’s a better parent than a gay guy *rolls eyes*

I ended up walking out of his shop.

See, the thing is that I am not “those people”; most gay people aren’t. I am a woman who is attracted to other women, but I have a name and a face and hopes and dreams and a past and a future. I am somebody’s daughter, somebody’s sister. I have been a mentor to several young folk who refer to me as “Aunty” or “Mum”, folk whose own parents (oddly enough, they were straight) let them down in varying degrees. I am not just a set of genitals.

Gay people are people, just like you. Who we are attracted to does not define who we are.

Rant over.

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2 thoughts on “Not just “those people”

  1. maeganb1971 says:

    This is a well-written, well-thought-out rant. And I totally agree with you. I don’t understand why gays aren’t more accepted and given more legal rights as couples.

    • KittyChile says:

      It comes back to prejudice. It’s precisely the same mentality that saw “blacks” as “lesser people”, and forbade mixed-race marriages. It’s the same mentality that considered Jews to be lesser people, to be gotten rid of. Etc etc etc.

      What it comes down to is a person’s inability to accept that people are different, and what works for one person doesn’t work for another.

      The reality is that most people who hate gay people don’t actually hate gay people; they hate they insecurities that these issues arise in themselves. People who are comfortable in their own sexuality (religious fanatics aside) rarely have an issue with gay folk (or queers or bisexuals or pansexuals or transexuals, for that matter), because they’re secure in themselves.

      And then there’s religion. Because the Bible says “man shall not lay with man as he lays with a woman”, people interpret that as “God hates gays”. The reality is that was a cultural law for a specific group of people, as evidenced by the surrounding text. It was the law given to the Hebrews, right there with the laws about bacon and shellfish and cutting of hair, etc. It s conveniently taken out of context to support the prejudice of the religious leaders.

      Sorry for the rant within a rant LOL

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