I am, ultimately, a believer in a Utopian society where the world is equal and people can just live their lives and be free. Of course, Darwinism kind of prevents this, as there, apparently, always needs to be a weaker link. That is not to say LBGT individuals are weaker than their heterosexual counterparts. But, that is to say that humanity as a whole often revolves around the idea that there needs to be an "other" in order to be superior. To me, that's bullshit, and I'm working with people from all walks of life to change that. Until I, and people like me, succeed, however, it is the sad, unfortunate truth of our world.
This piece is meant as an editorial on why sexuality should not be as big of a deal as people--on both "sides" of the argument--make it.)
"The fact is, I'm straight, always have been, always will be, and I couldn’t be any more happy, comfortable with myself, and proud."
Can you imagine if someone that was "heterosexual" came out and said this? I'm sure that some people would take to Twitter and call this person a homophobe and say that they are rubbing their heterosexuality in the face of the world. It shouldn't be that way, nor should it be a big deal if someone comes out as gay or lesbian or transgendered or what have you. Our society seems to focus more on what a person does in private and not what they do for their communities, their world, and things like that. Hell, our society seems to focus more on the day-to-day lives of celebrities and others more than their own (which also plays a part in this discussion as well) Unless everyone is working in porn, it should not matter who they choose to love, nor should it impact their daily lives.
Gay people should be allowed to be gay and "do them" and not have to worry about two things: appeasing to those that are against homosexuality and/or appeasing to the LBGT community and being a walking billboard for their sexuality or for "the cause" as both have their shortcomings. Appeasing to the anti-gay community leads to frustration, uncomfortableness, and a general disdain for people. (Ed. note: I've had a few gay friends say to me that they feel as if every person who isn't gay is against them, which is not the case, nor should they feel like that) The billboard factor can lead to the same feelings. You may champion a winning smile and such, but it's quite possible that you may feel ostracized because of it.
To me, coming out is the equivalent of allowing a label or a stigma be placed on you. That's probably society's fault; again, we are a people that love controversy and love living vicariously through others. I get it: you want to empower your brethren, in a way similar to the Black Power movement of the 1960s and 1970s, the Women's Suffrage movement at the turn of the last century, etc. Ellen DeGeneres did so back in the 90s and Anderson Cooper and Frank Ocean, in some ways, are doing it today. But, I think that there are better ways to aid the LBGT community besides just saying "oh, hey world, I'm gay."
These include, but are (of course) not limited to:
* fighting for equality--and not just in regards to marriage (something that saying "hey, I'm gay" is only going to do but so much for)
* working with straight allies (as several, if not all, LBGT organizations do; I'm not an expert on this side of the issue, nor do I claim to be)
* not making a big to-do over your sexuality (live your lives, people; to be honest, there's a good portion of America will still look at you the same way if you're gay or straight. And, no, it's not just in California. You don't need to be the billboard for sexual equality, just like all black people don't need to walk around in dashikis and Afros screaming "POWER TO THE PEOPLE!" It will come. Patience and unity will make sure of that)
* not having an ounce of fear in your heart in regards to your sexuality. It's who you are. This goes back to bullet point three.
* further promoting--and refining--the "It Gets Better" idea. Here's where it gets tricky. Bullying is, and probably always will be, a part of our society. It goes back to Darwinism and the idea of masking one's own insecurities by pointing out something viewed as irregular about someone else. Bullying, in some ways, is needed to toughen the skin of our youth. We can't have a generation of people that are unwilling to stand up for themselves just because Bully Bob Hitskids scares the living crap out of them.
So, in that regard, I think that the IGB campaign is doing a great thing. It's empowering young people to say "hey, bully dude, screw you! So what? I'm gay, or short, or black, or skinny. I'm still an awesome person."
I'm pretty sure that most school counselors are trained in how to deal with bullying, but some aren't. Kids will pick on other kids, that's not the issue. The issue is how it's handled, by the students, parents, and administrators. We need not another Columbine to remind us that bullying, when taken too far, will be harmful.
So what is too far, you ask? That's the thing. There's no set barometer to say "oh, James has been bullied twenty-five times this school year. One more gay joke and he may kill himself or shoot up the school." Children shouldn't be afraid to go to an adult and say "hey, that Bully Bob Hitskids is teasing me to no end and I don't know if I can deal with it." They shouldn't fear saying "Principal Moss, Robert Ihatemyself is making gay jokes about me every day for the past month. I would like to beat the shit out of him, but I know that, if I do that, I'll probably be suspended." But, at the same time, kids need to be able to stand up for themselves. There won't always be an adult around. (Ed. note: I apologize for the rant-esque nature of this bullet point)
Now, again, I'm not gay, nor do I claim to be an expert on the LBGT community. So, don't shoot my ideas down as bigoted gobbledygook. This is just one man's opinion, in hopes that, ultimately we can all be happy and peaceful and live our lives and be free, as stated in the introduction to this piece.
And, to close, can all the "God Hates Fags" people just jump off a bridge? Seriously. I'm pretty sure that God hates a lot of things more than he hates "the gays." Worry about those instead of being a self-righteous asshole and damning people to hell because they sleep with members of the same sex.