August 27, 2015

"AM I BACKWARDS FOR THINKING GAY MARRIAGE SHOULD NOT BE LEGALIZED?"

A couple of months ago, before SCOTUS made its ruling I posted a response on Quora.com to the question, "Am I backwards for thinking gay marriage should not be legalized?" The post, as far as I could tell, was taken down by Quora's admins because it violated their "nice" policy.


Gay marriage YAAASSS!!
Funny coincidence, but I had already decided on posting this on my blog yesterday, when a slip in Facebook privacy settings made an announcement that I am, indeed, engaged to be gay-married. So I suppose it's fitting to re-post this here today!

Yes, you are backwards.


And yes, the impression you're getting from people is correct. To quote you, "If you disagree with the legalization of gay marriage then there is no way you could be having rational thoughts about gay marriage."

Here’s a 3-step process for getting past your backwardness when it comes to accepting demands for rights coming from a group of people that’s different from you. Ask yourself these questions:
  1. Does anything about the group affect me personally? *
  1. Does granting the group the rights they want take away any of my own rights? ** 
  1. Am I so fucking special that my opinion of the group should hold back their human rights? ***
You need to get the fuck over yourself, princess.

** If you answered "yes", it’s highly unlikely your actual rights are being taken away. More likely, you’re feeling discomfort at having privileges you take for granted being called into question.
*** If you answered "yes", you're most likely a douchebag. So now you're not only backwards, you're also a douchebag. You're a backwards douchebag - the worst kind of backwards person, and the worst kind of douchebag.

I get backwards, too, sometimes.
If you answer “No” to these three questions, then you need to accept the group, accept that their demands for rights are reasonable, and then…


And listen - I know it's hard and uncomfortable to move towards acceptance. So let me share a personal example from my own life below. 


* Sorry, feeling “icky” about something doesn’t count.


I'm a gay man, and have been out for many years. I’d say I’m pretty accepting of most people (except for douchebags, of course. I hate douchebags.)

But for many years, I thought that transgendered people were mentally ill. I didn't understand them. They seemed "icky" to me. “We’re born as boys and girls. It’s that simple,” I thought to myself.

But then one day it occurred to me - does a trans person being trans affect me? No.

Are trans people causing harm to anyone else by being trans? Nope.

When a trans person gets to fully be a trans person, you know who it affects? Not me.

It affects them. Trans people getting to be trans people allows them to be happy, and free, and to live the life they want.

Why should MY discomfort and lack of understanding get in the way of another person's freedom and happiness?

I’d be a douchebag if I let this happen. And I hate douchebags.

So then I accepted trans people fully for the simple fact that they’re human, and they fucking deserve to be happy just the way anyone on this goddamn spinning rock deserves to be happy.

Until… Well, I started to read and hear from trans people about pronouns. Trans people were getting bent out of shape when people were using the wrong gender pronouns.

“Geez, what’s up with all the whining? What’s the big deal? Get over it and stop being so sensitive. It’s not MY fault I can’t tell whether you’re a man or a woman,” I thought.

And that thought freaked me out. I’m a gay brown guy. I’ve dealt with racism and homophobia my whole life. And I just thought the same thing about trans folks that I’ve heard straight people and white people say about gay and race issues. Do you have ANY idea how many times I’ve been told I’m being “too sensitive”? And here I was thinking the same thing!

So I did what I do automatically when I feel cognitive dissonance.

I reached for Google. (“Praise be to Google!”)

And I learned that as a cis-gendered person, I’ve been given an incredible privilege. My whole life, I’ve lived with the privilege of actually being the gender that society has labeled me as being. I was taking it for granted that people in the world see me as a man while I actually also identify as a man. Every day in the world, I was getting validation from society on a very core part of my identity.

Trans people are only just starting to get this now, in 2015.

So I saw that what people want to call themselves doesn’t fucking matter to me. All I want is for people to be happy being themselves.

Life on this rock is too goddamn short for me to hold back other people’s freedoms and rights just because of my discomfort with other ways of being that I don’t understand that don’t harm me at all.

So I told myself what I told you earlier:

“Suck it up, princess, and get over yourself.”