Today’s blog post originally featured on our Campaign Director’s own blog, but with all the media attention surrounding Kim Davis the message rings true now as it did when it was first posted.
I’m having an absolute crisis of faith this morning. Not faith of the religious kind, but faith in me, who I am and what I’m doing. And it’s you who’s causing it. You people who think it’s ok to tell me I’m less of a person because of who I love. I’m gay. I’m in love with another man and for you that’s disgusting, abnormal, an abomination against God and anything you think is morally right and acceptable.
You are entitled to your opinion, of course. But have you ever stopped and thought about the effect your opinion and how you put it across is having on me and everyone else like me? Have you ever stopped and really questioned your opinion? You talk with such authority on the subject, like you have a God-given right to know that your opinion is the gospel truth – but I guess that is how you see it which is probably the problem. Any reasonable person will always consider an argument from both sides to weigh up the possibility that there might, just possibly, be flaws in their argument. I challenge my thinking every day. I try to put myself in the position of seeing things from the other side of the argument, so I can test my logic and make sure I’m not talking out of my arse. When do you ever do that? Don’t you ever wonder if there’s a chance I might not be mentally or physically ill? That perhaps the men who wrote the scriptures (that you love to quote when you are telling me that homosexuality is a sin) were wrong, or misinterpreting God’s word? It’s funny how you pick and choose what to believe from the bible. Ever considered that you might be being manipulated or taken for a fool? Religious leaders, politicians and company CEO’s all manipulate you based on what they want you to do. Only the stupid will follow unquestioningly like sheep.
I really struggle to see how any kind of God would allow me to be this way if it was that much of a sin. For a start, if you believe in God, then you must believe He created me. And He created me gay. I didn’t choose to be gay. I was born this way. Believe me, I tried so hard not to be gay for many years but it was never going to work. There were many times when I wished for a pill, injection or operation which would make me straight, but I eventually realised that even if that was an option it would remove so much more of me – all of the stuff that makes me who I am. Being gay isn’t a lifestyle choice. It’s a natural part of my make-up, my personality. You could no more remove it than you could remove my soul – but then you probably don’t think I have one of those either.
Let me ask, are you choosing to be straight? Because if you say you are, that implies you don’t have to be, it’s a preference rather than a set in stone thing and you could also choose to be gay. For many years I chose not to eat smoked salmon – just the thought of uncooked fish, the texture and what I thought it might taste like made my skin crawl. And then one day I tried some and really liked it. So here’s a challenge for you. If you honestly believe this is a choice, and you haven’t tried it, how do you know you wouldn’t like it? If you really believe being gay is a choice, then perhaps you should give it a go and just make sure it isn’t for you. I tried being straight after all and I can tell you that wasn’t for me. I lived for 30 odd years as a straight man in straight relationships. I’d love for you to try living as a gay person and see if you still think you are choosing to be straight or if you would then see that being straight is who you are and that your sexuality isn’t an option.
As I said earlier on, you have the right to your opinion – but so do I. I can back mine up with science, biology and history. You back yours up with a book written thousands of years ago, translated by others, rewritten by others still to suit their political wrangling. It makes it difficult for me to really see your side of the argument.
But what makes it worse? What makes your actions totally and utterly unacceptable? The fact that you then start treating me as a second class citizen, someone who doesn’t deserve the same rights and privileges as you do. You think it’s ok to deny me service because I’m gay or because I want to be treated equally. I’m not asking you to give me anything more than you have and take for granted. I’m not imposing my gayness on you any more than you impose your straightness on me. I am no less of a human being and therefore whatever you are entitled to, I should also be entitled to. If I want to marry the person I love (just like you can) I should be able to. If I want to eat in your restaurant and hold hands (just like you can) I should be able to. That’s all there is to it. Do you realise that by treating me differently you are oppressing me in the same way that the blacks and jews were oppressed? Did you find their oppression acceptable? If you didn’t, please help me to understand why this is different – I really would like to know. If you did – well there’s nothing anyone can say which will change your mind and I pity you.
The sad truth is that you won’t even read this letter. You probably won’t get past the first paragraph where I tell you I’m gay, because you don’t think anything I have to say is worth listening to. It’s people like you who make me feel worthless. How would you like it if the shoe was on the other foot? What would the world be like for you if being straight was seen as immoral and wrong? You’re lucky that it’s this way around, because I’m not insisting you should be like me or criticising the way you live or who you love – I’m just telling you I can’t be like you. Why can’t you understand that people can be different, but still be treated equally? It saddens and depresses me that we can’t all live together on an equal basis – that’s all I want. Is that really too much to ask?