Friday, 15 March 2013

The Gay Agenda

Tonight, I have been reading a lot of other posts, by many fine bloggers. This is something I used to enjoy doing quite often, committing to a few hours in the evening to doing just that, but admittedly over the past few months, I have been really just posting, checking for comments and not much else. I have read this evening, a couple of posts from gay men like myself, who talk about campaigning for gay marriage and equality, how much it means to them, I have read other posts about homophobia, about identity issues and struggles.

I don't mean to isolate myself from my peers but some of these things, have not been something I easily identify with.

On Facebook, I read posts and status updates from my gay friends, expressing their outrage at government legislation that will not allow them to legally marry, or express their dismay that the new pope, has already condemned the gay community, less than 24 hours after taking position. I should be equally angered, dismayed and disappointed.

But I am not.

Coming out, is one of those rights of passage that all of us, as part of the LGBT community must go through, at some stage in our lives and it seems for the majority, this tends to be a time, rife with tension, conflict and confusion.

We read so much about suicide, alienation from loved ones and even violence. I have never encountered genuine homophobia, I have been called a faggot or a queer, usually as a generic tool of insult or good humored shade.  I have never knowingly encountered someone, who had real disdain or disgust. When someone goes through that, I can understand then, that gay rights are of paramount importance to them.

But, I didn't experience any of this. My coming out was an almost non event, there was no conflict, no alienation and no violence. It was just a fleeting moment in my life. I have not been defined by this grand gesture of taking ownership of my sexuality. So I can only surmise that the reason, that fighting for my right to get married or seen as equal in the eyes of the church and the law, are not that important. There is no fight in me for such causes. I don't much care what the church or the government thinks of me, or my choices and I have no desire to campaign along side my brethren for the rights we deserve.

Being gay, does not define me. In all honesty, its just a really small part of who I am. I have sex with other men and to me, and that's where it ends really. I think it's only a matter of time before it all comes together and we are all declared equal and I am happy to wait, I doubt I will even find it cause for celebration. It will just be another fleeting moment in my life.


Buddy Bear said...

That's great that you had such a smooth coming-out. Inspirational!

Mine was considerably more complicated as it happened at the age of 48, after 21 years of marriage and three children. But apart from those external factors, my coming-out was an exciting, joyful time for me.

But it was generations of gay pioneers who fought the fight which allowed you to live a happy gay life now. Had you been born earlier, being gay would have been classified as a mental illness and gay sex acts would have been illegal and punishable by a term in jail.

If I married a man now and then died after retirement, he would be entitled to my very considerable public service pension. But if Canada did NOT have gay marriage my husband (and any of our children)would get nothing and my pension would disappear.

Marriage brings this and hundreds of other advantages in many categories to everyone, LGBTQ or not.

Nate Oman said...

Great post.
I still have to get through coming out and I am hoping for similar experiences. When I started thinking that being gay cannot define me as a person, it suddenly seemed more manageable. I hope I was right.

Mind Of Mine said...

Buddy, correct me if I am wrong, but an employment pension, you can name a beneficiary if you aren't married and if you are married but not in the eyes of the law, you can still name your spouse (In name only). If not, then thats not sexual discrimination, because if that was the case, serial spinster Joan is getting jipped too.

I don't live a happy gay life now, I live a standard happy live. That was the kind of classification that I was saying does not define me. I just happen to sleep with men.

Oman - Thats exactly what I was referring to, If you have had a difficult coming out, I can certainly understand someone wanting to make sure that they aren't faced with the same kinda of traumatic experience again.

Sammy B said...

Hello Ian
I think, as you suggested towards the end of your post, it's just a matter of equality, and shouldn't be seen in any other light. No-one should be denied services, benefits, access to education or employment (or religion, if that's their choice), or anything else generally available to the majority, simply because of their sexual orientation, any more than people should be discriminated against because of their gender, race, creed, or for any other reason. We're all Homo Sapiens, ultimately, and that's all that should matter.
I'm glad that you haven't encountered homophobia - I swim in a cesspool of it every time I go to work, genuine hatred, in the case of some of my colleagues, and as irrational as any other phobia. Of course, in my case, if I was to fully 'come out', at work, or in 'society' at large, my position would be completely untenable, because although I've known I was gay since I was 12 or 13, I haven't been sexually attracted to a man in my life. But that's another story.

Love & best wishes
Sammy B

Buddy Bear said...

Pension plans vary considerably in their rules from one plan to the next and indeed, in different countries. But I believe you are CORRECT in your point about designating a beneficiary.

A common-law spouse is also entitled to a survivor's pension as well but this only applied to same-sex spouses when same-sex marriage in Canada became legal. Before, they would have just been two dudes living together. LOL.

The same goes for benefits; dental, extended health etc. A man has to be married (common-law or otherwise) to receive them from his husband's plan.

Anonymous said...

I don't think you have to jump in with both feet just because others think you should. Like you, I am not a "get in your face" kind of person over things like this, though I am glad there are others willing to do so since I honestly believe that we deserve the same rights as everyone else.

In this country, where you have to be careful about beneficiaries, etc. is when they are government provided (Social Security, tax related, etc.). If you aren't legally married, you could pay HUGE amounts of estate taxes if your spouse dies and the marriage is not recognized legally. There are over 1100 Federal laws defining rights, benefits, privileges, etc. bestowed on married couples. THAT'S why I believe in equal rights for all.

But, you don't have to be a campaigner, I don't post much stuff about it on Facebook, or retweet too much on Twitter. But if I'm with a group of friends, and it comes up, then it's a good opportunity in most cases to educate them if they don't get it...that to me makes as much a difference as waving signs at demonstrations.

You and I are definitely on the same page with this post. Perhaps I'm a tad more leaning towards some (mild) activism, but I doubt I'll ever be standing on City Hall steps chanting for rights.

Peace <3

daemon said...

An excellent first post to discover your blog with. I figured I would take a look at your words as well. I can understand your perception and reaction to many of the circumstances and situations you listed here. Thanks for checking out my blog as well.


Queer Heaven said...

It always surprises me when Gay guys say that being Gay does not define who they are. Of course everyone has the right to how they feel.
Since you read my blog, you know that for me... being Gay is the paramount trait of who I am. You are very lucky to not have had to deal with blatant homophobia like most of us had to growing up. I don't have that trouble any longer, since I live in a very openly gay city.
As for Gay rights and same sex marriage. Anything that makes me the same in the law an any other person,is just simple clivil rights.

Biki said...

Not everyone is built for banging the drum, thankfully for the rest of us there are people who love doing so. You are reaping the benefits of the drum bangers who have come before you, and are still banging away trying to secure our rights at the equality table, and to fight against lgbt hatred.

Hetero-Challenged said...

one things I noticed about coming out is that it doesn't really end depending on what environment you find yourself in.

I consider myself out but I notice that in a lot of ways, I'm still in the closet. And though the effect on me is substantially less ie the anxiety, stresses, fear, it's still very much a part of my life because I see it comparison to others, gay and straight.

So good on you for just living your happy life!