I never even knew what gay was until I was around eleven. A family friend pointed out some lesbians having lunch at the next table. I looked over and saw two heavy set women in shorts, t-shirts and Tevo sandals. They had short hair cuts and did not wear any makeup. One was wearing a fanny pack. "How can you tell?" I asked. She shrugged and said "You can just tell, I mean look at them." I looked at them again, and saw women that resembled every female gym teacher I had ever known, but nothing said lesbian, specifically.
Well, obviously things change as we get older and our ability to navigate the world takes on more layers. If that same friend pointed them out today, I would be less likely to question her assessment and more inclined question her need to point them out. In Los Angeles, that's like saying, "look, a heterosexual couple".
Our generation was raised much more liberally than the one before it, and our children's generation even more so in that department. My kid, Big, plays "family" a lot, with her girlfriends.When they cannot agree on who is going to be the mom or the dad, they choose to be two moms and have a fabulous time. I attribute this to her second year of preschool.There were four same sex couples in the class. I love it because it reminds me that hatred and intolerance are learned and not innate.
People who hate gay people for being gay are just stupid. They have been gravely misled by religion/their parents or have simply chosen to wear cultural blinders. People who hate gay people for being gay are shallow and unexamined.They swallow whole the contents of the Bible, which was written a really really REALLY long time ago before, well, EVERYTHING. Let's face it, the men that wrote the Bible were trying to do some serious crowd control, and they used fear and intimidation to get their point across.It is filled with morality tales and rules so that the people living in the dirt all those centuries ago kept procreating and did not die from eating food with the same hand that they wiped their asses with. It was a work in progress,edited hundreds of times. I mean, the shellfish issue is clearly an early public service announcement. On a few occasions, back in the day, some unsuspecting slave must have eaten shellfish for lunch.When his face blew up like a balloon, or his throat swelled up and he keeled over dead,the authors of the book of Leviticus took note, conferred, and the next chapter they wrote suddenly called shellfish an "abomination". Someone else discovered the "other white meat", didn't cook it enough, and died horribly.Voila, no more pork for anyone. I would be much more impressed if they had noticed how smart the pigs were and decided to ban their consumption for that reason.
It is all a little Orwellian for my taste, the idea that a few hypocritical people get to boss around everyone else and keep changing the rules as they go, especially with regard to homosexuality. It seems that many people who believe that the Bible is the word of God have clearly let some of its directives go because they are outdated and/or illegal.Here are some paraphrased examples I found from seiyaku.com:
Genesis 38:9-10 - death to masturbators, adulterers and those who practice birth control
Leviticus 18:19 - execution for a couple who have sex during the woman's period
Deuteronomy 23:1 - no entry to the church if you have had a vasectomy
Deuteronomy 22:13-22 - death to brides who are not virgins and death to adulterers
Mark 10:1-12 - divorce is sin
Mark 12:18-27 - if a man dies before he has produced a child, his widow should have sex with each of his brothers in turn until she bears a child
Deuteronomy 25:11-12 - a wife shall have a hand cut off if she grabs the private parts of a man who is fighting her husband
It is as if they let prepubescent nine year olds make it up as they went along. Rape, murder, incest, and animal sacrifice are also a little less popular today than they were back then. Things are a little more sophisticated now and adjustments have been made. Shellfish made a massive comeback from its abomination status-why not homosexuality? The Bible says that to "lie with a man as with a woman" was an abomination, but it is not why I thought. A website called Religioustolerance.org explains it this way: " 'To lie with a man as with a woman' violated the dignity of the male sex. Women were [considered] property but men were the direct image of God. To treat a man the way a woman was treated was to reduce him to property and, thereby, to violate the image of God." I was a little stunned after reading that. I knew the Bible wasn't exactly a girl's best friend but really? That is why gay people have been treated so horribly for all these years?Because assuming the role of a woman is so undignified? Because a female is such a disgusting wretched thing? How can modern people accept this nonsense as the word of God? I always thought that the condemnation of gay men came from sheer jealousy-the straight guys were just pissed about all the sex that the gay guys were having, without all the squalling children interrupting all the time. Evidently it has nothing to do with sex or even with homosexuals, really. It is all about misogyny. Unless,of course, the women want to have a three way-then it's cool to be gay.
Some of the most compassionate, funny,fascinating people I know happen to be gay.I genuinely would not want to live in a world without gay people. It would be a terribly boring, uneventful world. I am not outing anyone here-the internet afforded me the opportunity to remind us all exactly how awesome and influential gay people have been and continue to be:
In light of Target's ridiculous biting of the hand that gives it style, I will start with fashion-practically non-exisistent without the brilliance of John Bartlett,Zac Posen,Perry Ellis,Jean-Paul Gaultier,Halston,David LaChapelle( fashion photographer),Bob Mackie,Isaac Mizrahi,Thierry Mugler,Todd Oldham,Willi Smith,Andre Leon Talley,Gianni Versace,Alexander McQueen,Christian Dior,Cristóbal Balenciaga,Domenico Dolce,Giancarlo Giammetti,Giorgio Armani,Norman Hartnell,Rudi Gernreich,Stefano Gabbana,Valentino Garavani,and Yves Saint Laurent to name a few.
Sports would have suffered for it -Martina Navratilova and Billie Jean King;David Kopay(football player);Greg Louganis, three-time Olympic gold medalist in diving;Glenn Burke, Ex-Major League baseball player;Dave Pallone, Ex-Major League baseball umpire;Bruce Hayes, Olympic swimmer;Bob Jackson, professional bodybuilder;Babe Didrikson Zaharias, professional golfer;and Tom Waddell, Olympic decathlete, to mention a handful.
The world of music would be a vastly different place without Elton John, George Michael, k.d. Lang, Melissa Etheridge, Boy George, Ani DiFranco, Brian Epstein, Liberace,Rufus Wainwright, Aaron Copland, composer,Johnny Mathis, Iggy Pop, Janis Ian, Michael Stipe, Joan Baez, Cole Porter, Leonard Bernstein,Paul Rutherford;Emily Sailers, musician (Indigo Girls);Amy Ray, musician (Indigo Girls),Peter Tchaikovsky,Josephine Baker, Benjamin Britten,Bessie Smith,Dave Navaro, and supposedly,David Bowie.
The written word would be a lot less interesting if not for Willa Cather,Radclyffe Hall, James Baldwin, Andrew Sullivan, Edward Albee, Sir James M. Barrie, Armistead Maupin, Rita Mae Brown,
William S. Burroughs, Gertrude Stein,Walt Whitman,Tennessee Williams, Hans Christian Anderson, Malcolm Forbes, Somerset Maugham, Sappho, Oscar Wilde, Marcel Proust, Emily Dickinson,Gore Vidal, E.M. Forster,Virginia Woolf,Alice B. Toklas, Edna St. Vincent Millay,Henry James,Sir Francis Bacon, Lord Byron, Allen Ginsberg, Noel Coward and, my personal favorite, James Kirkwood.
The large and small screen would be ever so much more mundane if not for the talents of Rock Hudson, Ellen DeGeneres, Gus Van Sant, Allan Ball,Kelly McGillis,Sandra Bernhardt, Siegfried and Roy,Dick Sargent, David Geffen, Jane Lynch,John Geilgud,Lee Daniels,Simon Callow, Michael Jeter,RuPaul, Sir Ian McKellen, Tom Hulce,Marie Schneider, Lily Tomlin, James Dean, Pedro Almodovar, Montgomery Clift, Clifton Webb, and Charles Laughton to name the few who have come out.
Art might still be religious bas reliefs if not for Andy Warhol,Jean Cocteau,Michelangelo,Georgia O'Keefe, Frieda Kahlo,Leonardo da Vinci, Francis Bacon,Keith Haring,Robert Rauschenberg,Herb Ritts,Jasper Johns,Maurice Sendak,and David Hockney.
In mathematics, a special shout out to Alan Turing, who, after being convicted of “gross indecency” for being gay, committed suicide in 1954.He was responsible for helping crack the German codes during World War II-most importantly, the Enigma coding machine.
There are too many to list, and obviously there must be countless millions who suffer(ed) quietly in their closets, too afraid to be who they truly are(were) because of some bullshit pages in an antiquated book written by egomaniacal power hungry idiots whose agenda resembles our Afghan brethren, the Taliban, a little too closely.