Being Gay – Same Gender Loving –
goes beyond ‘lifestyle’, ‘preference’,
or what I do and do not do with my ‘bits’.
Being Gay is part of my Human Identity.
It is part of my Human Beingness,
It is part of my Human Isness,
It is part of my Human Expression.
It is part of my Humanness.
Therefore to say that you love me, but do not condone
or accept me for being gay, is no different from you saying,
‘I love you, but do not condone or accept you for being Black’
‘I love you, but do not condone or accept you for being Nigerian’
‘I love you, but do not condone or accept you for being a man’
‘I love you, but do not condone or accept you for being left-handed’
‘I love you, but do not condone or accept you for having alopecia’
Whilst each of these traits do not individually define me,
collectively they form my humanness and
to reject me for anyone of them is to reject me.
As demonstrators in Amsterdam got ready yesterday
to protest President Putin’s stance
on the Russian anti-gay legislation,
a gay man told me that he did not know what all the fuss was about.
He told me that he did not consider himself any
different from other human beings
and did not see why gay rights had to be special.
I heard myself say to him ‘but that’s the point,
many people, including President Putin
do not see gay rights as human rights’.
We are not demanding that people see us as special.
We are simply letting people know that
being gay is part of our humanness.
He told me that ‘straight people don’t go around
asking for straight rights or need to ‘come out’ and
therefore why do we gays need to be dramatic about our sexuality’.
I explained that if those who came before us had not stood up
and demonstrated and demanded rights for women,
black people, those who were disabled
– and for the many other groups of people who were
(and continue to be) persecuted or disenfranchised –
then nothing would have changed for our generation and future generations.
I explained that ultimately I know that we are all One
and come from the same Source, but that in order for others
to connect with that Oneness within me,
they need to see the difference too.
They cannot bypass that difference.
For it is through my difference
that they will see and connect with our Oneness.
And so as I stood in solidarity
with the other demonstrators yesterday,
I know we were not only standing
in solidarity with our Russian brothers and sisters
who are being persecuted for being gay.
We were also standing in solidarity with our other brethren
in other parts of the world who are also being persecuted
by their governments, families, friends and cultures for being gay.
And we were also standing in solidarity with every other human being
who has been and continues to be rejected or persecuted for being different.
“It is not our differences that divide us. It is our inability to recognize, accept, and celebrate those differences.” – Audre Lorde