Fear Factor

I’m struck by the reaction to HB2, and I guess by the reaction to LGBT issues in general. This is apparently a very polarizing topic and I’m really, really trying to understand why.

I grew up in the community theatre environment, where any number of people involved were gay. Perhaps it’s because I was introduced to the idea as a young person, but I’ve always just accepted that they are who they are, just as I am who I am. It’s never upset me, never confused me, never disgusted me, and certainly never scared me.

Now, many years later, it’s becoming commonplace for the LGBT community to be more open about their choices. They’re hiding it less. I think that’s awesome. I think anything that helps people be happier is a good thing. A GREAT thing, even. Help me understand why it’s not, please.

Those who are gay, lesbian, bisexual,or transexual are not trying to get me to change my mind about my own sexuality. They’re not trying to convert anyone. They just want to live their life just as I want to live mine.

I look at it this way: some people love the mountains. Some love the ocean. Some love to snow ski. Others choose to hike. Still others like to lie in the sun all day. They all do their own thing and it doesn’t affect those who aren’t into those activities. The skiiers aren’t out there trying to convince the beach bums that they have to choose a downhill slalom, and the sunbathers couldn’t care less that the hikers would rather rock climb. Each does what makes them happy.

Why is sexuality so different? And why does it MATTER? Why does it strike fear in some of those who live a ‘straight’ life? If you can shed some light on that for me, please do so. Help me understand. Because for now, I’m not seeing it.

Now please excuse me. I’m going to go sunbathe.

8 thoughts on “Fear Factor

  1. I’m also a ‘theatre child’ and felt the same ‘So What?’ way. Later in life I did see and hear the other side being so against anyone not like them, and the reasons were many. Some believe that same-sex relationship were against ‘God’s Plan’ because the Nature made us to procreate and the plumbing was set up a certain way to do that. Some people believe it isn’t so much about being ‘Born this way’ but a Choice they are making for mostly Hedonistic reasons. Some people believe that even if born a certain way, then it is a defect, and we should find a cure so everyone is only desiring to be in hetero relationships.

    The list goes on. And how the same people treat LGBT is just as varied. Some want to hurt or even kill, some ‘tolerate’ but certainly wouldn’t want anyone they know or anyone in their own family to be Gay, and some just ‘don’t want to know, don’t want to think about what THEY do in the bedroom, don’t want to talk about it, etc.’ Some people don’t want their children seeing LGBT as ‘normal’ because they fear their children will think it is ‘normal’ and might also become Gay, similar to someone watching people smoke and might then start smoking.

    It is a complex issue, even though it seems so basic for everyone to just do and be the way THEY want to be and let others do and be what THEY want for themselves. No, much more complex than that. It seems more likely that everyone would believe in the same religious beliefs around the world than have the same feeling about LGBT.

    As for me, I’m still learning new things about how some people feel that I never came across before. My own mother believes that AIDS is ONLY a disease affecting Gays. I tried to explain differently, but I know inside she believes what she believes, regardless of the facts. A person the other day said that their biggest complaint was the ‘T’ in LGBT, and that they felt it wasn’t a ‘thing’ and you should just become male or female, regardless of how you were born if that was what you wanted, but not be ‘transitional’ or if you were, then you shouldn’t have the same ‘rights’ as a ‘Transsexual’ than people who made the decision. (I’m not sure what the same people think about ‘Bi-sexual’….)

    Wow. I suddenly found another entirely different thought process out there! So, I clearly haven’t uncovered or considered the way everyone thinks. And maybe that is a good thing. Maybe what is needed is a real dialogue to bring the facts out in the open. So many distortions of the truth out there.

    Churches are wrestling with their own Dogma, trying to ascertain whether Holy Matrimony is a Sacrament that should be expanded for same-sex couples, or whether only ‘marriage’ should be for same-sex. An act of the Supreme Court still hasn’t settled that issue.

    And now the push-back against LGBT has taken a new form, in the ‘birth-sex matching the bathroom sign’. So ridiculous to me that anyone is wondering about someone else in the bathroom that has private stalls that anyone can use and what they have is only their own business. But, we have a huge issue over it. I imagine the final solution will be for ALL bathrooms to be entirely Unisex. We will see an end to opening one door and seeing 6-8 stalls and/or urinals. Each will have their own door, or a door to a large room with sinks and compartment stalls with Unisex signs on each stalls. Regardless, there is always a solution out there that can be a compromise for everyone if we just work together.

    As for the ‘right’ of a store owner or restaurant owner or anyone to discriminate against someone because the existence of that person and their ‘lifestyle’ is in conflict with their own religious beliefs? Ridiculous! That argument could be made to refuse service with someone who isn’t in the same religion, not just an LGBT issue. Surely the Supreme Court will put a quick end to that, otherwise you can expect ‘We only serve Jews/Blacks/Gays/etc.’ signs to start appearing everywhere. Talk about ‘Deconstructing the Melting Pot’! No, that is just a ‘knee-jerk’ reaction by extremists. But it shows just how far and how varied the thought process on this and so many other issues that divide our country (and other countries…we aren’t the only ones facing these ‘growing pains’.

    200 years. I think we will need at least another 200 years before we are truly One country/One world in most ways.

    And then it will all start over with either Robots or Aliens seeking Equality…….

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    • Wow, what a well-crafted response. Thank you so much for taking the time to read and comment, and to bring new insights into this. I had not heard or thought about the “T” in LGBT, for instance, being an obstacle simply because someone hadn’t fully committed to an operation. Interesting. And I couldn’t agree more for with you regarding your statement about “there is a solution if we just work together.” Sadly, we have proven lacking in that area, but there’s always hope, right? Let’s move toward “One country/One world” together, Steve. With me?! Now if those robots will just mind their own business 😉

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  2. I think we all need to be reminded that those who are really at risk here are the ones who are choosing to live their lives as they were truly intended to be. The real fear is that of being emotionally, and/or physically beaten down for simply LIVING ones life instead of watching from the sidelines as other people are allowed to be their authentic selves. The real issue is the person who has to have a dialogue with their self before even THINKING about entering a public restroom. The person who doesn’t go out in public anymore, just to avoid this thing we take for granted. The real fear is behind their loved one’s eyes every time they take just a half a second too long washing their hands or checking their hair in the mirror. Is that what we want for a transgender person and his or her wife/husband/mother/father or CHILD for heaven’s sake?

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    • Your comment “the person who doesn’t go out in public to avoid this thing we take for granted” just brought tears to my eyes, Jennifer. How awful. How sad. And how totally avoidable. I hate that we fear one another for any reason… whether it’s fear of attack, of persecution, of ridicule… or anything else. I truly long for a day where we can see past skin color, religion, sexuality and even clothing choices to what’s in each others’ hearts. That, right there, would be heaven on earth. Love. It should be all about love.

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