A friend got in touch with me the other day. She said that she needed to talk to me about something really important.
Apparently, she has a nagging suspicion that her eldest son could be gay. She asked me if I knew anything about homosexuality since she knows that I happen to like reading and doing research. She was wondering if her son might just be suffering from a severe case of identity crisis and if it is still “treatable”. She was also curious if they should seek the professional opinion of a psychiatrist.
The controversial and below-the-belt statement of Manny Pacquiao recently that same-sex couples are worse than animals (not to mention the international uproar that that insensitive statement caused!) made me analyze anew my views on Lesbians, Gays, Bisexuals and Transgenders (LGBTs), in general, and LGBT relationships in particular.
Let it be noted that I do not claim to be an authority when it comes to the nature of LGBTs. I have never had a gay or lesbian friend before – not because of anything else, but I just wouldn’t know how to act around them. They all seem to be in a constant state of euphoria, while I’m more of the contemplative type. I wouldn’t understand their colorful lingo either.
However, if there is one thing that I am absolutely sure of, it is this: Homosexuality is NOT a disease that can be cured, not even with a wonder drug. Neither is it an epidemic that should be avoided like the plague. It’s not a phase that one outgrows after some time, or a mental disorder that requires psychiatric treatment. It’s not also a lifestyle choice that one makes in a whim.
Homosexuality, I believe, is more than that. Much more than that.
It is one’s sexual orientation or identity influenced by both biological and environmental factors. Homosexual behavior is equally a normal aspect of human sexuality as is heterosexual behavior.
Sadly, though, homosexuals in most societies often become victims of prejudice and discrimination in the forms of harassment, violence and abuse. For many years, for instance, homosexuality has been considered a form of mental illness by mainstream psychologists and psychiatrists. Moreover, there are 81 nations today that implement anti-homosexuality laws and at least 10 that impose death penalty for homosexual behavior and same-sex activity. (Source: 76crimes.com) Can you believe that?!!! And, of course, there will always be people like Pacquiao who are hiding their homophobia and bigotry behind the cloak of Christianity.
Sometimes, I myself wonder. What if I happen to have a homosexual child? What will I do? Can I accept him for what he is?
And, the answers that I extorted from deep within my heart as a mother are these: I love and will always love all my children, equally and unconditionally, regardless of their gender or sexual identity. If one of them happens to be homosexual, I will accept him wholeheartedly. But, I would also try my best to prepare him for the cruel and harsh world that he would have to face outside of our home – the bullying, the censure, the verbal attacks, disparaging remarks and insults, the betrayal, the heartaches, the loneliness. The mere refusal of society to accept him! I would make him understand that a lot of people would reject him not because of who he is, but because of what he is. He would likely be judged not based on his credentials or personality, but on his sexual orientation. People who smile at him, laugh with him, are nice to him when he is looking may smirk at him, mock him, and even stab him in the back when he is not. Yes, people could be that vicious, especially to something that they could not fathom or relate to. Finally, I would try to instill in him the value of compassion, for it is only in being compassionate could he forgive other people’s insensitivity and heartlessness. It is only in being compassionate could he understand the love behind his family’s every decision for him. It is only in being compassionate could he see and be thankful for all the lessons behind his struggles. It is only in being compassionate could he accept and love himself completely.
Because I think that a homosexual’s – or anyone else’s for that matter – most bitter, most cruel and most unforgiving enemy could actually be himself.