Tag Archives: homophobia

“Won’t somebody please think of the children?”

Think-of-the-children

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Marital rights have finally been granted to same-sex couples in America. It’s about time. While this is awesome news, there are some people out there who try to masquerade their intolerance towards the issue. They masquerade it by saying things like- “I’m all for gay marriage…but I just don’t think that gay couples should have children”. For me this kind of sentence is the same as saying: “ I support gay marriage, but actually not really…I just said that so you don’t think I’m homophobic”. It’s kind of like those people who say “I am not racist, but… [insert something racist here]” It also reminds me of one of my relatives who said “I personally have nothing against homosexuals, I just don’t want them around my children” (Refer to my post titled “Russian homophobia”)

The sorts of things I have been hearing from these “kind-of” supporters of marriage equality, is that we shouldn’t allow same-sex couples to have children, because (1) its not natural or physically possible for them to do so, and (2) their children would have a difficult time being accepted by society. Firstly, lets close down all the IVF clinics…if you can’t have a child naturally, you don’t deserve to have a child at all. Need I say more about point (1)? As for concern (2), instead of changing our outdated, backward social values and perceptions, we should just make everyone assimilate and adhere to them, because that’s the best thing we can possibly do for the children.

Perhaps children of divorced parents are in some way disadvantaged, should we make divorce illegal? Perhaps children of single mums or single dads are disadvantaged, should we make it illegal for single women or single men to raise children? Perhaps children of deceased parents are disadvantaged, should we make it illegal for people to die? The list of rhetorical questions is endless.

Clearly, the underlying issue is the intolerance and xenophobia in our society towards many things that are outside the perceived norm. But, instead of dismantling that intolerance and xenophobia we just come up with some Band-Aid solution. Instead of addressing the issue of WHY children of same-sex couples would be disadvantaged and how we can prevent that from happening, we just won’t let same-sex couples have children and avoid that kind of issue all together. We’ll just cover up our xenophobia and intolerance by “thinking of the children”.

It would be like my husband and I choosing not to have children because our kids might be bullied and disadvantaged for having parents with differing cultures, nationalities and religions. Yeah, our kids might fall outside the scope of what is considered “normal” by society, but we shouldn’t have to forfeit our parenting rights, we should instead challenge the social concept of what “normal” means.

I remember reading a Facebook post about a little boy who wanted to wear pink shoes to preschool. His mum was warned that he would be teased and bullied by other kids. The easy solution is to prevent the child from wearing the pink shoes, but the right solution is to challenge social norms. Instead of adhering to social norms to prevent our children from being bullied, we could just teach our kids not to be bullies. Instead of making everyone “fit in”, we could just dismantle the negative and destructive moulds that society has set up for us to squeeze into.

The real issues at play here here are xenophobia and intolerance. These are the issue that we should be addressing directly. We need to stop creating solutions that pussyfoot around the core of the matter. Precluding same-sex couples from having children will only exacerbate the very xenophobic and intolerant views that need to be eradicated from our society.

So what would it actually mean to “think of the children”? Make the children adhere to social xenophobia and intolerance, or create a society in which xenophobia and intolerance do not exist?

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Although I am new to the blogging world and am completely incompetent at using technology (I only recently learned how to make hyperlinks), I believe that my message of peace and tolerance needs to be heard. To learn a little bit more about my background please read my post titled “A little bit about myself…”. To learn more about why I started this blog, please read my post titled“Introduction…”.

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Russian Homophobia

According to Wikipedia, “Public opinion in Russia tends to be among the most hostile toward homosexuality in the world—outside predominantly Muslim countries and some parts of Africa and Asia—and the level of intolerance has been rising”

If it wasn’t already clear in my prior posts- I’m heterosexual. However, the reason why I want to address this subject is because I am Russian and I have relatives in Russia who I love very much and who are very good people, but unfortunately they are SO blatantly intolerant towards homosexuality that it kills me. By no means am I trying to suggest that all Russians are homophobic. I am sure there are plenty of people living in Russia that are tolerant towards homosexuality. The purpose of this post is simply to discuss the homophobic sentiments I witnessed my relatives in Russia express.

The problem with my relatives is that some of them are in denial about their hostility towards homosexuals and that’s just half of the issue. Exhibit A-

“I personally have nothing against homosexuals, I just don’t want them around my children”

By saying you don’t want homosexuals near your children, you inherently have a problem with homosexuals. How is that not obvious? The sorts of people you don’t want around your children are paedophiles, rapist and murderers and that’s because they’re dangerous and abnormal. But homosexuals are not criminals, nor are they dangerous or abnormal; and I can’t reconcile within myself how a person I love and respect can be so hostile towards something so normal.

Unfortunately, above was the nice example, now here comes the harsher one. Upon telling one of my relatives that I teach Latin and Ballroom Dancing and have competed in dancesport competitions, he (my relative) asked me if my Husband ever gets jealous of my dancing partner (I also have an issue with this question, but I won’t go there…for now). I responded by saying that the dancing partner I had is gay so there was no reason for husband to get jealous. The look he gave me was the sort of look I would expect a Holocaust survivor to give a Holocaust denier. He was shocked and appalled by my answer and I was shocked and appalled by his reaction.

My relative then went on to say that he finds gays repulsive and that the mere thought of homosexuality disgusts him, that it’s a disease, a virus that needs to be beaten out of society. I replied by saying that his opinion is a product of the society in which he resides. I went on to tell him about the documentary called ‘Hunted’ which depicts heterosexual Russian men luring, abusing and to the best of my memory even killing homosexual men and posting the footage online. My relative denied that every occurring and said that no one in Russia actively goes out of their way to hurt homosexuals, the majority of the population just simply think homosexuality is wrong…because, somehow just thinking it’s wrong doesn’t hurt anyone? It definitely hurts me.

I honestly do believe that these sentiments are a direct reflection of the environment in which my relatives live. I think that if they moved elsewhere, their views would change accordingly. The reason I feel this way is because basically all the Russians I know in Australia (I know I’m a hypocrite for making this generalization but nonetheless) are not homophobic, or at least much more tolerant towards homosexuality than my relatives in Russia. When I was about 14, I recall my Mum exhibiting intolerance towards homosexuals…but that all changed when she actually met a person of a sexual orientation that differed to hers.

It scares me to think that had my parents not immigrated to Australia, I along with my parents would now be just as homophobic as my relatives in Russia.

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Although I am new to the blogging world and am completely incompetent at using technology (I only recently learned how to make hyperlinks), I believe that my message of peace and tolerance needs to be heard. To learn a little bit more about my background please read my post titled “A little bit about myself…”. To learn more about why I started this blog, please read my post titled “Introduction…”.