Everyone has the right to the enjoyment to life as long as it does not unduly infringe on others. Some may argue, at least from a limited mindset, that being gay causes undue harm to others, in as much that they have to see it around them. However, that would be a fallacy.
I remember when I was younger and I was so worried about what others thought, and in particular about gay people, people that to some don’t conform to the ‘norm’. But then that presupposes that if your not straight that you are ‘not normal’, and this is a statement that I have come across from an individual I know which immediately grates against my inner ideological system. What has to be remembered is that being gay is not a lifestyle choice, people aren’t gay because ‘its fashionable’, but because it is who they are. Being gay, and talking from my own perspective, is the same as DNA, you are born with it and cannot change it, just like your blood type group – you are what you are, and you aren’t what your aren’t.
The thing that I have found refreshing about being in London, and having been here just shy of half a decade, is the people and how accepting they are. They don’t label you primarily as gay, but instead its Ben he’s great at this, and so so at that etc. Gay doesn’t even factor in it, primarily at least, and this is something that I want to have replicated around the world. That isn’t to say that in the UK this isn’t happening, its just that certain fractions of society here have a problem with it, be this down to poor education, in built ideologies instilled from those around them or otherwise. It would just be nice to see people being accepting, rather than singling someone out purely on the grounds of sexuality.
It would be niave of me to make out that sexuality is solely the only area with which people suffer prejudice, as it extends beyond this to class distinction of people, and by this I mean the well off and the less well off, not to mention race, creed and colour. Indeed compare myself to those that are gay and from different ethnic backgrounds I am rather fortunate. I have a supportive family and a good network of friends that have been there for me through the good times and the bad. Others are less fortunate and my heart goes out to them, especially as I’d like to help them if I can, but how I do not fully know.
This desire to help as been raised over the recent period as I have been trawling through previous editions of ‘Gay Times’ and ‘Attitude’ magazines, and been reading through various stories from people around the world about being gay. It is horrifying that for some they have to spend a lifetime being trapped inside themself because if those around them knew that they were gay, then this could lead to violence, bullying and even death. The question I am stuck at is how do we get around this and address it, and even prevent this from happening? This doesn’t have an easy answer.
First of all I thought gay pride around the world can help, but then again I think this is limited. Is it really the case that such events bring about social acceptance, or is it more like a feature for people to go to, just like the Victorian period in which people visited what is known as ‘Bedlam’? Are we seen as an exhibit, something to go look at, or does it really achieve acceptance and make others think positively? I’d like to think positively and say that it goes a long way, but then again I have my doubts.
Secondly, I have thought yes, fantastic, soaps and dramas are bringing more and more gay characters in, but then again I find that it is one dimensional. They more often than not focus on the more seedy parts, people being promiscuous, rather than actually showing that gay people can and do have monogamous relationships. Whether this is done purely for entertainment value to hook people to watch is again, questionable, especially as it is similarly born out with ‘straight’ characters. However, if we continue down the path of focusing on this, then we only serve to build up people’s preconceptions that gay people sleep around, have many different sexual partners and have no moral social function. On the other hand, perhaps I am over exaggerating the situation, and me giving a bad name to the hard work that writers behind soap operas and dramas engage in. But I’ve said it to make you think.
Thirdly, we need more ‘good’ gay role models. Here I don’t just mean celebrities, but about people it large companies being more vocal about who they are, what they have achieved and to help others that are gay to be driven, even during periods where at the beginning that can question whether they have a future.
So leaving this post now, for a further update at some future point, the message I want to leave you with is, accept, live and enjoy life. Everyone has a right to enjoy life providing it doesn’t cause undue harm on others.