What started out as ‘the gay thing’ when I was growing up in the 60’s and 70’s, then ‘gay rights’, and now LGBTQ rights has been a growing movement in the world. It is an outcoming and an outpouring of a significant portion of our society (8 to 9%), combined with an in-your-face revealing of people, clamoring to tell the world who they really are. And who they really want to be.
And I am all for it.
I grew up in a small part of the world (Newfoundland) where small town values existed, rumors spread, and warnings were issued (by your elders) about ‘that guy’, and homophobic jokes and gags were pretty much the norm. And much of it still going along with what society accepted as normal.
It was not hatred, but it certainly was bias. And most certainly was discriminatory. Later in my 30’s and 40’s, we already saw a massive ‘coming out’ of the LGBTQ community, and you finally realize that enough of your high school friends and people you have worked with and hung around with were gay or bisexual.
And maybe some ‘precaution’ still existed inside my feelings… not because of some preconceived notion of what was right or wrong – mostly not having any idea how to react to it or deal with it.
Of course, that assumes that somehow ‘we’ must deal with ‘it’ to satisfy some inner reconciliation, or to satisfy some preconceived notions about other people. As if it is any of our business…
And since my 40’s and now into my 50’s, to be honest, I have gone from ‘uncomfortable inner caution’ to ‘who cares?’ when it comes to whatever or whomever you want to be in your life. I think a lot of that simply comes from my own life experience and exposure to more and more people of varying walks of life, doing what they do, and being who they are.
So here we are today, living in a ‘free’ country and only a couple years ago did we finally address the issue of whether same-sex people can marry. In hindsight, it seems so many decades late, now that the decision has been made.
And here we are, with transgender, queer, bisexual, cross-dressing, gay, experimental and even neutrals, and the more I look at it, I cannot even conceive why government should be involved in defining or bothering with it at all. If there ever was an issue that requires NO government intervention, but certainly requires government PROTECTION, it is the idea of being a ‘gender’, or no gender at all, and being whatever you want to be.
The more I think about it, the more I think it fundamentally defines freedom, and individual freedom at that.
The choice to be who you want to be should be no different than what clothes you want to wear on any particular day.
I am not even sure if the government needs to be in the business of marriage at all – other than to protect the rights of people to marry or not.
Granted, I can see (through my old previously biased eyes), the difficulties with developing policies around this, and hence why many conservative officials might not even want to approach the issue. But the difficulty of addressing an issue should have little bearing on whether it is the right thing to do. The USA has surmounted many great obstacles in the past. The best thing we can do with LGBTQ rights is to not treat it as an obstacle, but to treat it as another opportunity to allow yet another freedom to its citizens.
Bottom line? I don’t care who you are or who you identify as, or who you want to marry, live with, or hang around with. I simply don’t. It has no bearing on me or my life.
Anyone that claims that your sexual orientation and gender identity somehow negatively affects their lives is simply being disingenuous. Their bias is where my bias used to be. I have a message for them:
Grow up and get over it.
And I have a message for the LGBTQ community, my friends and colleagues (there are more and more every day):
Go for it – I got your back.