A Response to Those Who Call Being Gay a "Lifestyle"
I received a comment on one of my recent articles and deleted it. The reason? Even though it was partially a compliment for what I had written, it included the oh-so-homophobic phrase, "I don't agree with the gay lifestyle."
My question is, do these people truly not comprehend what they are saying? What is a gay lifestyle? If a gay person is living any kind of lifestyle, it's the closeted gays living a heterosexual lifestyle because they don't feel it is safe enough to be themselves. I can't think of too many heterosexual people who would willingly subject themselves to discrimination just for going out in public with the person they're dating because...they're of the same sex!
If you, the reader, are confused how calling homosexuality a "lifestyle" is offensive, let me break it down for you. I know it's a super complex concept—seeing different people as humans just living their lives—instead of harming you because they date the same sex. Perhaps, one of you could politely give me a logical explanation for how same-sex couples have any personal negative impact on your life.
By your definition, every sociological category is a lifestyle:
- The "white" lifestyle vs. the "black" lifestyle
- The "male" lifestyle vs. the "female" lifestyle
- The "rich" lifestyle vs. the "poor" lifestyle
Are you understanding, yet, why this lacks sense?
Daniel-Ryan Spaulding made a video titled "If Gay Guys Said the Shit Straight People Say." Personally, I love videos like these because they get to the heart of the problem in just a few minutes. It seems more likely that the lgbt community would find these to be humorous and intelligent, and less likely that the homophobic community would expand their minds by recognizing what they believe is nonsense, but these videos are no less significant.
Have you ever opened up to someone, and been told "I'll pray for you?"
I'm going to use an example of the time I "came out" of the broom closet to someone who is religious. Ordinarily, I wouldn't tell someone who is religious the truth that I am no longer Christian, but considering it'd make it easier not to pretend anymore, I took the opportunity. First, I was pleasantly surprised to find she knows of my Goddess Isis, obviously from mythology and/or history, but then she said, "But I'll still pray for you."
The majority of people I tell this story to attempt to comfort me with the point of view that it is "not meant to be offensive," but that's what it is. It's sugar-coated discrimination. It's a polite way of saying, "You're wrong, so I am going to try to help you become who I think you should be." Religious people who say things like this are probably unaware that they're doing it; otherwise, maybe, just maybe, they'd abandon church so they could think for themselves—which each person is fully capable of doing. Going to church and gobbling up everything a leader says is a choice; being homosexual is not.
Why do I bring this up? It's the same thing as, "You're gay? Well, good for you, but I don't support the homosexual lifestyle."
You know what I don't support? The lifestyle according to a book that contradicts itself because it's full of warped versions of ancient pagan mythology while claiming to be against paganism—and by the way, paganism is in favor of same-sex relationships. So, Happy Yule!...I mean, Christmas; even though Jesus wasn't born in the winter; meanwhile, there is nothing in the bible about Jesus' opinion of homosexuals, but he thought prostitutes and other types of diverse groups were fine people to hang out with; therefore, I guess it makes sense he'd be against consensual love between two people who happen to be the same sex.
In case you missed it, that was sarcasm.
Now, I have examined the reasons behind not using the term "lifestyle" to refer to one's sexual orientation. Either it will change the ignorant minds of those who use it or I have accomplished little more than getting frustration out of my system. If nothing more, I hope it makes some gays feel relieved, too!
- Six Things Straight People Should Stop Saying about Gay People -
Ten years ago, I would have made EVERY one of these statements out of ignorance or lack of relationship with gay people. My views were based on gay stereotypes, rather that relationships. I said: "the gay lifestyle"
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