Thursday, October 11, 2007

Small Talk

I’ve decided that it’s not just a desire to be vulgar or funny. It’s actual homophobia. The real thing. And yes, it is a real thing. Whether or not it’s a bad thing is debatable. I’m don’t want to debate it. Let’s define our terms and maybe we won’t have to. I’ve already gone over the gay slash homosexual thing. Philosophy slash behavior. Homophobia must apply to either. Of course the phobia suffix isn’t used in a technical sense. An actual phobia, of which I have several, is an avoidance behavior. It’s not about fear, it’s about arranging one’s life to avoid some certain anxiety. And while “homophobia” must contain an element of avoidance, or anxiety, that’s not what the term describes. Homophobia is a bias. In its harsher forms it is a bigotry. Well, we know there is bias and bigotry.

Is such a judgment merited? Private conduct, nowadays, is private. Public morality requires that one act with dignity in public. By this standard, “gay” behavior is just another lifestyle. We’re being objective now. If we bring our beliefs into it, the discussion must become religious. God -- my God, at least -- says those who have given themselves over to homosexuality are condemned. But that same God also says that those who give themselves to drug use and fornication are condemned. My fellas aren’t given to drug use. But they do, these fellas, live lives of fornication. By that standard then, they are as damned as the fags.

So their objections cannot be over some religious sensibility.

Nature? Sodomy is unnatural? Yes it is. But it is, apparently, not entirely uncommon in “heterosexual” relationships. We’ll take it as given that my fellas aren’t into it. And we’ll give them a pass on those other forms of sodomy -- you know, the ones that involve mouths. Cuz that’s included. Why would an anus be inappropriate and a mouth not? Just because? Issues of hygiene? Fecal material is surely not sterile, whereas urine is, but even so it hardly seems sanitary. Or natural. But as I say, we’ll ignore that.

So homosexuality is unnatural. So are tattoos. So are glasses. Spurious examples, given the context of judgment and morality, but they are indeed unnatural. It’s not about nature, then. The difference must be about gender roles.

It’s all game-playing then. It’s about what a specific culture has taught them to believe about how they should act. It has taught them bigotry, and a sort of hypocrisy. I expect the matter is largely unexamined. If it were examined, they would not be fornicators, or if they continued in their fornications, they would be silent about their bigotry. That would be nice. But then they’d hardly have anything to say to each other.

A few years ago -- more then just a few, now -- I lost two sons. Please do not respond to this. I won’t go into the specifics. They were not sons of my body. Sons of my heart. A foster son, and a court-appointed ward. I loved them with all my heart. You might have some idea of how much I can love. I write about it all the time. I grieve every day. Rage and grief. Still. After this long, I think it will never go away. I can live with it.

My brain isn’t wired along a standard pattern. I’ve been a little more open about it recently. I haven’t been explicit about coming from an abusive background. I’ve told some stories. They’re buried in the archives. So I was always a little odd. Too cut off, and too open. It’s kind of painful, always feeling other people's feelings -- their anguish. It's a bit horrific, having to see the images that thoughtless words conjure up. But there are good things about it too. If I were happier, it would be a good thing. Maybe someday I’ll be happier.

My point is that I don’t have a choice. Today a 14 year old boy shot up his school, wounded a few people and killed himself. I understand. I understand murder. I understand self-loathing and the need to destroy. Selfishness. Hypocrisy. I understand homophobia and homosexuality. I understand the corrupt things that people do because of the damage in their souls.

Understanding is easy. What's hard is forgiving. Small things are the hardest, because we can't feel noble about forgiving them. Big things are the hardest too, because they make us grieve for the rest of our lives.


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