Our Readers' Opinions
July 30, 2004

Joe: What is it about gays that scares you?

Editor: I need to clarify a couple things from the last letter I wrote to you (published July 16).
A friend called me after reading the letter and pointed out two worrying ambiguities. I guess that in my passion to write the letter I got carried away and didn’t notice them. {{more}}
I’d like to say that in no way do I equate being gay with crime or sin. I do not think that homosexuality is wrong; I do not think that it is a sin. In my letter I said that: “God will love me no matter what, [even if I were] a murderer, rapist or both…” As my friend pointed out to me, some may take that to mean that I am putting homosexuality on a level with murder or rape. I am definitely NOT doing that.
I also made a comment on the nature of sin that may be interpreted as me believing that being gay is a sin. I know that the Bible denounces homosexuality, but I do not think that any expression of genuine love could ever be sinful.
I get frustrated with people who use the Bible as a yardstick for judging human behaviour.
The Bible, historically, lays out quite a number of rules and tenets to live by. All these rules are specific to the culture and time at which they were written. Many of them, in my opinion, are irrelevant or obsolete in today’s society – we do not live in biblical times, so why must we live by biblical rules? The early Jews had no safe way to cure and prepare pork, so it was outlawed in the Bible.
Today we don’t have that problem, so everyone enjoys their BBQ on a Friday night! Don’t judge me using the Bible, because I consider that judgement to be biased, flawed and irrelevant.
I would also like to make a few comments about the letter by Allan Palmer in last week’s SEARCHLIGHT entitled “Get Rid Of This Sick Sexual Perversion”. Here are some of the words that Palmer uses to describe homosexuality: disrespect [for] masculinity, foolishness, hideous, corrupting the innocent, contemptuous, unnatural, and inhumane. WOW! This guy really has a problem with gays! You know what I have a problem with? People who pretend to know what they’re talking about when really they haven’t got a clue. Until someone walks the proverbial mile in my shoes, (s)he has no right to judge me.
Palmer is entitled to his opinion. But his condemnations are offensive, narrow-minded and ignorant. In his letter, he asks us if we would encourage our daughters or sons to be gay. Obviously he is assuming that people choose a homosexual lifestyle. Mr. Palmer, do you know any gay people? Are any of your friends gay? Co-workers? What about family members? Have you ever struggled with your own sexuality? If you answered yes to any of these questions then you would know how wrong you are.
Last week, I wrote about my own experiences as a gay man. I will not go into it again except to say: I did NOT choose my sexuality, I was born this way, and it’s all I’ve ever known.
Palmer also said in his letter that homosexuality is an imposed or an adopted habit. How do you know that Mr. Palmer? On what are you basing this preposterous hypothesis? Basically, the entire letter is based on Palmer’s belief that homosexuality is a learned behaviour. I have many gay friends and they all agree with me that their sexuality is something discovered naturally, without being infected (Mr. Palmer’s word) by anyone else.
Basically, all I’ve been trying to say in my letters is this: homosexuality has existed since the dawn of human history. A bunch of fundamentalist homophobes and prejudiced, patriarchal heterosexists are not going to change that.
Gays are going to be around forever – don’t doubt that – so it’s about time people start getting used to the idea and realise that we are people just like you. We have the same needs, wants, desire for love, respect and acceptance.
I’m really interested in finding this out, so maybe someone can tell me: what is it about us that scares you so much?