Being Gay

Activists

I see activists in the LGBTI world that are in the news and doing great work. Even the ones that I don’t really support are doing good things. Ok, what I mean by that is there are some like Dan Savage who has done some great things like the “It Gets Better” campaign however there are much of what he says that I don’t agree with. But to give him credit where it is due he has got the causes out there. Even people like Stephen Ira who isn’t comfortable in the media but does maintain a blog that has got a lot of attention does wonderful things. In fact it’s guys like Stephen that I prefer because they get the message out there in a genuine way relative to their own experiences. 

As was pointed out to me recently Australia doesn’t really have that. We don’t have the activists who are constantly in the media like a Dan Savage. Someone recently said we need a Dan Savage in Australia. I was thinking about this and I’m not convinced it would work. I know we need people fighting for the rights and we have organisations doing that at the moment but I’m not sure a single outspoken individual would work. Australians don’t respond to individuals in the same way Americans do. It’s difficult to explain but I suspect that if there was an individual like this they would be seen as someone who should just shut up. We don’t seem to respond to them in this country. However examples of individual support is definitely needed and Australian celebrity endorsements would go along way. But I think out individuals who lead by living their lives is powerful in this country. I think Australians respond to people they respect more than to people they hear. 

I still think there needs to me noise on the issues that are important, and we have organisations like Get Up and Marriage Equality Australia as examples of that. We do need more out sports people and celebrities adding their name and support to these organisations and to definitely get through the political bullshit though. 

With those Australian’s I have spoken with about this topic they all said they would like to see more famous Australian’s coming out and showing their support but none wanted a spokesperson. It seems in general that whenever one person becomes the poster child of a cause that you end up alienating a majority of those you are meant to be fighting for because the LGBTI population is so diverse that one person cannot make statements that work for everyone. I guess this is similar to my feelings about Dan Savage. Most LGBTI people I have spoken to don’t like this guy. They all state he has done some good things but his beliefs don’t reflect the majority and can cause people outside of LGBTI to think all of us support one set of beliefs which is just crazy. 

The key is to remember that we all are individuals and just like those outside of the LGBTI community cannot be labelled. 

Is the Tide Changing?

I grew up attending church and although I wouldn't consider myself a religious person I would credit my childhood including my religious upbringing as a good foundation for who I am and my values and morals.  

Unfortunately it's the extremists that have caused so much damage to the world over. The belief that being gay was a sin and that it was the responsibility of religions to judge has caused many a messed up gay person and in a lot of cases has directly been responsible for many deaths including suicides.  

Now whether it be motivated by a genuine change of heart or greed (which we know runs many religions), one of the most hated churches in the country Hillsong, may be starting to wake up. I don't know where this will lead but what I can say is that it is time that religions start to realise that we are not all bad people. The quality of our hearts is more important. Who we are is far more important than who we love. The one thing I have always believed is that those religious nutters who have judges us are actually in more trouble than those they judge. After all their own belief system dictates that they are not allowed to judge so it begs the question who is in the wrong.  

On Sunday 18 August 2013, a sermon, 'Scandal of Grace' was broadcast to all Hillsong church campuses around the world. Below is the relevant extract.

"The one elephant in the room for churches around the world at the moment is the gay situation. What would Jesus do? What would Jesus do? You need to pray for church pastors and leaders around the world because whichever way you turn the scandal is there. You can turn one way and you can tell there would be a great scandal amongst the Christian Church. You can turn another way and you would just cut off so many people. There's lots of hatred out there but in the middle of it all you know there are three things: the world of the times we live in; the weight we live with; and the word we live by.

Think about that! The world has changed quickly. The world has changed and so I'm not saying that the church ever should be ruled by the way of the world but the reality is we are in a world which is changing fast. Here in Great Britain the laws have passed. The world is changing. We've got the world we live in to consider.

We've got the weight we live with. You say what's that? Well it's the weight when a young person growing up in a church feels like they are confused in their sexuality. They feel like "maybe I'm gay" and they go to a youth leader and they are rejected. At that moment a great hatred comes in. At that moment some of them have gone so far with the rejection and gone to parents who didn't understand and ended up committing suicide - That's the weight we live with.

There's the world we live in. There's the weight we live with and there's the word we live by. And they don't all necessary align. With the word we live by, many people have various convictions. In the middle of it all know that Jesus when it comes to people would let nothing stop Him from breaking through a divide to help hurting, broken, everyday normal people like you and I.

Born This Way

I was recently reading an article questioning why we as gay men or woman have been using 'we are born this way' as an excuse or when having an argument. So I went away and started thinking about this and can see the issue. 

I know that this argument started when the debate was going on about nature vs nurture, but is this the right argument now. We have a lot of support out there but shouldn't the argument be about why is two adults who love each other wrong or I am simply who I am, rather than we were born this way. It almost sounds like we are saying if I had the choice I wouldn't be gay. It sounds like we are saying I was born with a genetic defect. What makes me the result of a defective gene. Are we encouraging those idiots out there to try and find a way of changing the gay gene, or should we just be loving who we love. 

The article by Cindy Zelman I read gave a few thoughts that are better articulated than I could ever write. 

1) Are we saying, "We are born this way, we can't help it, so accept us with our defective and other-than normal sexuality"?

2) Are we saying, "All you religious zealots who call us an abomination in the name of your God, we are born this way, so you can't change us to suit your homophobia"?

3) Are we saying, "If we can prove to the mainstream that we are born this way and didn't choose it, won't they have to accept us and give us our rights"?

Every one of these sounds like we are still trying to say we are not normal. This is where I have the problem. Wouldn't it be better to believe in the diversity of life. 

I believe that sexuality is a scale similar to the Kinsey scale. We are all sexual beings but where we sit on the spectrum is different for everyone. I mean otherwise you wouldn't find a guy at college fooling around with a guy but eventually marrying a woman, and another guy fooling around with a guy and then marrying a guy. Then there are other guys who have never fooled around with a guy and others who have never fooled around with a girl. The spectrum is simply human diversity. People are not all the same. We don't say that people who are born with red hair aren't normal (well not most of the time lol). We don't label people who choose to stay single and not have kids their whole lives as not normal because they chose not to produce babies. 

It just seems odd that there are people out there who are trying to stop two people who love each other having the same rights as anyone else. It's strange that there are straight people out there leading this yet it actually has no impact on them or their lives at all. It's almost as if they are saying if we don't let the gays get married we can still pretend they aren't normal or equal to us. I don't get it. 

We may be a minority at somewhere between 3%-10% of the population depending on who you listen to, but we are perfectly normal. Who we choose to love or be with doesn't affect anyone else, doesn't hurt anyone else and hasn't as far as I know caused an apocalypse. We are who we are and we are here to stay. You may not have been as used to seeing us as part of every day life but that doesn't mean we were there because we were. Remember we are all equal and eventually we will have equal rights whether you like it or not, so it's time to accept it and move on with your life. My thought on this is if you are focussing on us you are either one of us or your life is so shitty that you need to focus on someone else. 

 

Nice Guys can Win

I find it difficult when I see nice guys questioning their position as nice guys because they constantly get trampled over when dating. Recently a friend write this post HERE

I wonder sometimes whether there are a lot more nice guys out there who after repeated emotional beatings go through this and end up adjusting their own personality to compensate or protect themselves. Then like any human conditioning it eventually changes who you are and your behaviours. Do we lose nice guys to these experiences? 

In my experience it is a truth. I have seen it happen over the years and it's very disheartening. I've seen the sweetest most beautiful people change into the thing they started out hating more than anything. I think what happens is the walls start going up over time and many just resolve themselves to the fact that this is how things are. For me in the past I recognised myself taking on some of these traits simply because I was constantly being used and taken advantage of. Even though I fought these behaviours and in my opinion most of them are gone, every now and again I see certain things pop up there head to shame me into waking up to myself. Luckily I chose to believe that nice guys can win and stuck to that throughout my life. 

So now when I see people struggling with this it saddens me a little, because I see the potential for a loss of someone beautiful. Those of us with some experience know that the reality is there is a reason for everyone's behaviour and then this morning another friend posted this quote on Twitter which is a good reminder of this fact. 

I always say to people not to forget that no matter who you are there are people who love you and appreciate the person you are. There is no reason to put up those walls. That is easier said than done but remember that if you are a nice guy than if you are strong enough to stay that way eventually good things will come. I have had my fair share of not so nice guys but I refuse to let those people change who I am. If you are faced with these situations then gain support from people who know you and care about you. But do your very best not to change. I know there are people out there who will disagree with my view but the key for me was to realise if I changed I wouldn't like myself and that was something I wasn't prepared to live with.  

Do you fit into the gay world?

Do you ever feel you don't fit into a particular world? We go through life where people are trying to pigeon hole you. It's a natural human condition to stereotype, not a great condition but one never the less. My life has always focussed on a pretty normal existence. 

You get up in the morning, feed the animals, go to work and work hard in a job, come home, crash on the couch with your animals and /or partner, eat and go to bed. You value your spare time with your family, spending as much time as possible with them. I know more about cars than the latest fashion and would much rather watch a good scary movie rather than the latest chick flick and I can't stand Madonna. I don't get involved with the scene but generally live a great life with a quality existence. To make it worse I believe in total monogamy. The only thing is it doesn't seem to fit with the stereotype of being gay. 

This always meant I didn't ever feel that I fit in. Mainly due to the fact I didn't fit into the stereotype of not only what others thought I should be but how I thought I was meant to be. Yet in some respects I am not that masculine and do like some things that would be considered stereotypical. 

For  a very long time I felt alone, like I didn't fit in to the gay world. I think this is also what caused my confusion early on in my years. After all, I was seeing that being gay meant you were into clubs and whoring around and dressing outrageously. So I questioned what I was feeling often. Before completely coming out I did the progression going from confused to more confused calling myself bi. I had girlfriends and some experience with guys but just didn't know. I then just remember waking up one day and realising I was gay. 

Then I had to go through this feeling of not belonging and even when I found my first boyfriend who was much more into the scene I still wasn't sure where I fit. This was made all the more difficult and lonely by the fact that every time I came out to someone they just said "really" or "but you are so normal". It wasn't until I started meeting people by chance who had nothing to do with the scene that I realised there was more out there like me. In fact what I have discovered over the years there is in fact more out there like this than I could have imagined. In fact estimates and studies have shown that about 90% of the gay population are leading everyday lives away from the stereotype. Unfortunately though they are harder to find. 

Over the years I have had a number of guys in my life, most of which really do fit the stereotype and although that's not a bad thing it didn't work for me. It's a completely different culture that can lack a lot of the values and beliefs that I hold dear. But luckily for me I also found those that didn't fit into that world, just like me. For me I am lucky and have found my place in the world. I really do feel fortunate and feel that being someone with values and morals isn't a bad thing but rather it gives me the strength to lead a life that I can feel proud of.