Not too long ago I was told by a friend I should not support the gay lifestyle choice people chose to lead. The reasoning I received is like most I have heard my whole life, which is that God does not believe in such a lifestyle and that there are verses to prove this fact. Before I could even remotely filter anything that came out of my mouth I said Why would I not support my friends? I do not judge my friends. This friend of course stared at me and later on tried to explain that she did not judge people and that she had gay friends, but does not support their lifestyle.
Every time I hear this sentiment, I realize I don’t agree with it. Friendship is not one sided. Friendship means you support that person for who they are and all their ventures. No, you might not agree with something your friend does, or did, but you support that person because you care about them. Some would argue that by merely listening and offering the service of being there for someone they are supporting their friend, and sometimes that’s true. To me though support is also more than that. Support is not judging them for their actions or who they truly are inside and outside. To not do so, even if that is in private or among other friends, is judging that friend.
I am also a person who believes that people are either born gay or they are not. Plain and simple. There is not some special society that lures you into a back room somewhere and whispers Hey I got some gay on me and proceeds to ask if you want some too and ta da you are now a member of the homosexual society and agenda! Congratulations! There will be confetti tossed and a parade held in your honor. How people conjure up these ideas I have NO idea, but sadly they exist. That is just one of the reasons why conversion therapy places exist and people think that others can be cured of their gay like one can be given antibiotics to get over an earache. No, just no.
Sadly not everyone feels this way. And I say that because while I know I cannot change people’s minds in this case I wish I could. I really do. I remember while ago a friend of mine walked over to a demonstration on campus and was told because she wore pants she was a lesbian, or as close as she could get to being a lesbian. The saddest part of this to me was discovering there were little kids in the presence of these people spreading these words.
If every woman who wears pants is a lesbian then I would venture to say the majority of the female population is a lesbian by that definition alone. They also told my friend that in the art building there were orgies in the bathroom and that everyone in the entire building was gay. Two strikes against me. After all, I am a female art major who wears pants. Let me lower my head in shame and beg for their forgiveness. Wait, this just in…extremists who say such have no power over me and should not over you either.
This is not the first time I have heard something completely absurd though. There was a time period where I was in a church and one of the women stood up to explain why masturbation makes a person gay. Yes, you read that right. Bare with me through the explanation. This woman insisted that if anyone chooses to masturbate that means they are gay because they are having sex with the same sex. She then encouraged no one to commit this sin for that reason alone. No sex. No self pleasure. No anything. All because this is the first step down to the dark side where they have sex toys and condoms for when you choose to explore yourself and safely explore someone else.
Again, what truly bothers me the most about the two aforementioned moments is that kids were involved. Kids listened to this. Kids are being taught these beliefs. And those are the same kids who are going to grow up and eventually either continue to believe such or will be judged for having a different opinion as they decide they believe otherwise. These kids are going to have potential friendships instantly ruined because of beliefs they have had shoved down their throats since childhood.
Granted, not everyone is like this. There are not extremists on both sides. My only issue are people who want to convince me that what I think is absolutely wrong and go on about how myself and my friends are going to hell because of our beliefs. If I am not forcing my views down your throat and telling you that you must change why would you do such to me? I think at this point, this delves into human rights. And we are all human at the end of the day. And to me to deny someone a basic right based on any reason is absolutely insane. It makes me feel like we are forever going to be in a civil rights cycle that does not break and is not willing to bend in any sort of tolerance or acceptance.
Maybe I have a different perspective on this because I have been called a dyke and listened to lesbian rumors about myself. For some reason we throw around these terms as if they are a bad thing. This awful label to have bestowed upon a person, even if a person is or isn’t gay. And for some reason once we reach a certain age if we have not had those 2.5 kids and live inside the white picket fence we are clearly gay.
That’s not always the case though. That’s not my case anyway, but I have come to let people believe what they want to believe about me. If being called a lesbian is the”worst” thing ever said about me then at least I know from my friends I’m in awesome company. But honestly, these words are not harmful to me because they are not bad words. I do suppose those people who believe I am will be shocked when and if I finally get a man in my life, but that is their problem not mine.
Ultimately, my point is no matter who you are you should be yourself. Even my nanny once told me if I was into girls she was cool with it. She took me more off guard by being cool about it than I should have been. And I feel that’s because we should all be cool about someone’s sexuality. We should not let someone define us. Life is far too short.
And I write this because I want others to know that there are people out there who will support you no matter what. I’m one of those people. I’m also here to tell you not to let anyone make you feel different or that you do not belong. You belong, you are awesome, and I am here for you, period. I’m thankful for you all.