Let 2018 be the year of embracing gays

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Dear Sir,

The first time I realised that there are parents in this world who would prefer that their child was dead in the ground or a criminal, rather than gay, it became crystal clear to me that these people really don’t give a hoot about gay people.

They don’t give a hoot about gay relationships, gay love, gay health or gay families. To them, being gay is an irritation, something they wish would just disappear.

In 2018, we need to stop trying to convince this category of human that gay people are deserving of the same humanity and grace that they always demand for themselves.

Let’s do better at showing people who love us and our allies what healthy communities can look like when the LGBTQ community is accepted instead of just being tolerated. Let’s be explicit about showing the LGBTQ community where it is welcome and wanted.

Worldwide, the LGBT community continues to fight for the right to exist in peace. Some of the atrocities that historically have been committed against gay women and men range from “corrective” rapes, to conversion “therapy” — often involving attaching electrodes to male genitals to torture “the gay” away — to parents murdering their own children because of the community shame of having a gay person in the family.

Many similar atrocities still occur, but because Bermuda is not as bad as some other countries regarding their treatment of the LGBTQ community, our government seems to think that we should take what we get and shut up about it. This actually seems to echo opinions of many of the electorate and is ironically the opposite of the modern understanding of the word “progressive”.

Alas, it seems we don’t have to worry about the present government going rogue and being progressive on social issues any more than the previous government did.

When people say “love the sinner but hate the sin” — often used to justify tolerating gay people from arm’s length — what they are really saying is “I accept that you are technically human and worthy of love, but I am so disgusted by your love that I must qualify my tolerance of you.”

I wonder why those same people don’t use this passage to regularly distance themselves from other so-called sinners such as overweight people, divorced people or people who have children outside of marriage.

Why the double standard? I think I know.

In 2018, can we at least begin to develop our maturity and critical thinking in an effort to acknowledge our own hypocrisy? This does not mean that your opinion or belief is right or wrong; just that it occurs in contrast to your opinion or belief about something similar. For example: I abhor violence but love watching mixed martial arts bouts. I agree with speed limits but often drive faster than maximum — when I think I can do so without being ticketed.

Is this hypocritical? Yup. But I acknowledge that hypocrisy, I don’t hide behind ancient texts as a justification for it. Let this be the year that if you don’t agree with marriage equality, you can articulate why, using your own words, feelings and ideas.

That would be a very novel approach.

CARLA JOHN

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Published Jan 6, 2018 at 8:00 am (Updated Jan 5, 2018 at 9:55 pm)

Let 2018 be the year of embracing gays

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