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User Name Thread Name Subject Posted
blt BS: major religions and homophobia (116* d) RE: BS: major religions and homophobia 20 Feb 01

In some of these posts, if the word "heterosexual" were substituted for "homosexual" or gay/lesbian,or the ever popular "they," a good deal of mystical logic would be readily apparent. Why is this topic painful and for whom? Unless this discussion is allowed to be fully aired, the words themselves become weapons--insults and epithets.

I understand and experience homophobia as a real concept, not a political construct, in the same way (with a very different history) that racism is a real concept. Politically, fear is useful no matter which stereotypes are harvested to serve an interested power and homophobia in these conservative times has been useful for some folks. However, that does not mean that homophobia is only a slogan. Those who wave their intolerance around like a flag often have no direct understanding of the pain homophobia causes, or refuse to believe that homophobia hurts other human beings. This is the function of a stereotype--it allows us to dehumanize others. Once the words "gay" or "lesbian" become attached to someone's face--a daughter, a son, a neighbor, a teacher, a minister--the stereotype stands a chance of being broken. Sadly, it's no guarantee. There are many stories of children being kicked out of their parents' homes for coming out of the closet. There are also many stories of parents learning about their own fears and changing. I guess I could put my father in the latter category, although it's taken him over 20 years to do it.

It's interesting that few posting to this thread identify their own sexual identity. At first, I thought this was due to a presumed heterosexual stance, like the use of the word "man" to mean men and women. It's safer to be heterosexual writing about what it means to be homosexual than it is to be homosexual writing about what it means to be heterosexual. And, just in numbers, there are more hets than homos, so there's some safety issues there. It appears easier to admit to being Christian, lapsed or otherwise, than it is to clearly state one's own sexuality, which is another very interesting thing. I'm not implying any judgement, I'm just curious what it means.

Personally, faith or the lack of it has absolutely nothing to do with being heterosexual, homosexual, bisexual, or transexual. It simply has no relevance. Codified laws and beliefs cannot change the fact that some men and some women will choose the same gender for primary relationships, some of which will be sexual. Not all relationships, gay/lesbian/heterosexual, are built on sex although this is the lens that fundamentalist beliefs seem to have glued to their brains. What seems to get lost in the shuffle of defensiveness and fear is that human beings need to be in relationship to evolve. I believe that this is a primary drive, perhaps even more important than sex. At the risk of sounding like a line out of The Lion King, it is what connects us to all life forms. That one aspect of this very human characteristic terrifies many people is, as I said in my last post, the price of change. We are evolving, whether George W. Bush, the Taliban, and the Army of God want to or not. It's bigger than they are, like global warming. It's happening no matter what the USA decides to do. We're (speaking as a US citizen)going along for the ride like small children, tantrumming the whole way, not able to grasp that it doesn't really matter that we don't understand. We can either open up a bit and grow or scream our heads off--the earth doesn't really care, she's a single mom and right now she's having a stressful day.


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