I started this blog with the intention of creating a community of sorts where people of different beliefs and values could discuss them without all the animosity we usually see on blogs or articles about touchy subjects. So far I would say that we are doing a fine job of that here and I love everyone of you who reads and participates no matter what your views are. There have been surprisingly few trolls here and I think it is because of the environment we have created here. In the process there have been several people who have been surprised that a lesbian liberal hippie nerd has the same values and concerns as straight conservative religious people. On the points where we disagree – we have done so like adults without the name calling and abuse to one another and have tried to actually communicate and I am amazed everyday at what has come from my posts.
One of my readers commented on one of the posts, “I cannot believe how much two women who are so seemingly different (I’m hetero, long time married, 3 biological kids) have so much in common. Every time I read one of your posts, I’m like YAY, someone else feels this way!” and her comment got me thinking… (I warned her that her comment may lead to a blog post).
Now as a gay person I am subjected to all kinds of preconceived notions about what and who I am. Some people think lesbians all run around worshiping the moon naked, some people think all the gays are pedophiles. Some people think that gays and lesbians have no faith or that we lack morals. People think that allowing homosexuals to marry will ruin the entire world as we know it. Now I have only recently truly come out and have been vocal about my sexuality. I mean between my church time and my Army time – I always had to be very selective about who I came out to and when -even though I have known about and been comfortable with my sexuality since I was a teenager. The fact that I get to talk about it now and be an active part of changing those false notions people have about us is much more rewarding then I ever imagined.
So to have one of my readers ditch the notion of sexuality and just appreciate that we think a lot a like about many issues we face is a personal victory for me. It also proves the point I have been trying to make for years – we aren’t different from you in any way except in who we are attracted to and decide to spend our lives with. Just like my reader – I am in a loving and committed relationship, I am concerned about the world around me, I have my faith, and I love my Country – so really, aside from the gender of my partner, how different are we?
The point is that my sexuality does not dictate my beliefs, character, or morals. I wanted to use this blog as a way to change perceptions and that is happening as more and more diverse people start following my writing. Since I write about pretty much anything – I do have a very diverse group of readers. Some of you are here because of my social views, some like the Army stories, some like the politics or rants. Some of you ignore the fact that I am gay altogether because it isn’t an important issue for you, some people though are learning that they like what I have to say even though it comes from a gay person – because much of what I write about has absolutely nothing to do with sexuality at all. Some of you are here because I am gay and am unashamed to write about it and the issues I face as a gay person.
When I write about things – like the post about Angelina Jolie, I am writing about women’s health issues, not about sexuality. Basically, any woman should have been able to identify or read that post without my sexuality being a factor. Gay or straight doesn’t matter – women’s boobs can be a death sentence, they can be a food delivery system, or they can be a burden. Everyone with boobs should relate to that – all women are the same when it comes to our bodies, our self esteem, our health. The only reason my sexuality was even in that post is because I have decided at some point that I never want to give birth and so will never use my breasts for the reason they are there – however there are tons of straight women who choose to not have children as well (and they still have to worry about their boobs as much as I do). When it comes to women’s issues – how different are we?
World affairs and politics effect everyone regardless of gender and sexual expression. Now some of those politics are directly linked to my sexuality, like the right to marry and the right to not be discriminated against and I write about those things – but how is that so much different than African American people, or immigrants, or any other group that is discriminated against because of fear and bigotry? For those of us who struggle for equal rights – how different are we?
I think the answer is easy – we really aren’t different at all. Every person has differences from the person next to them. It could be a difference in faith, sexual expression, gender, political views, values and morals – but that is just the joys and pains of being human. We find people who think like us to associate with because like speaks to like – but at the same time, even though we have differences we don’t always have to judge each other based on what is different – we should spend or time nurturing what is the same. We are all human beings. We all have issues and problems. We all have beliefs and values that are dear to us. We all want the same things for our lives – no matter how it is that we pursue those things. We all want to be happy, we all want to be free, we all want to find that ‘special someone’ to spend our lives with, we all have an interest in our politics and the direction our country is going and where we have come from. Just because you are Muslim and someone else is Christian – doesn’t make you so different from one another at the human level. You just have different belief systems.
So the fact that one of my readers (she hasn’t been the only one by the way – just the most recent) was surprised that even though she is straight and I am gay that we would share so many views and think a lot alike really shouldn’t be all that surprising – but I am thankful that she said what she did because she proves that perceptions can be changed. Maybe she never thought about it before; the question, “What could I possibly have in common with a lesbian?” has probably never crossed her mind in such terms, but whatever preconceived notions she had about gay people are melting away because she values what I write and relates to it, no matter who authored it. Our difference in the gender of our partners does not need to determine how or why we interact with each other – she likes it here and I like having her here and that is all that matters. We are more similar than different.
Sometimes I think we need to spend time with those we judge because they are different from us. I mean I ditched mainstream religion not because I am gay, but because I spent a lot of time talking to all kinds of people from all kinds of different religions and I determined that no matter what God you follow – we aren’t that different. We are all looking for the same answers – we just found them in different places. When you can strip away the prejudice and actually talk to people – you will always see a bit of yourself in that other person. There is always a commonality that can be found – and that I think is what we as humans need to focus on. Not our differences – but our similarities.
So think about it – think about someone you normally would have nothing to do with. Why? Is it because they have a different faith, or their sexuality? It is because of their age? The job they have? Their wealth or lack of wealth? Is it their race or gender or political views? You could be missing out on a great person or friend because you think your differences are greater then your similarities – I can tell you that they aren’t. You have much more in common with the people you judge than differences. If we can work on understanding those similarities rather than our differences – I think our world would be a much nicer place.