Yay for gays.

I’ve been – still am- sick with this weird virus that acts like a vampire and sucks the life out of you, but doesn’t make you all sparkly and sexy in return. I’ve been feeling all weak, but mostly just sorry for myself. I get man flu, you see. I am pitiful when I’m sick.

So I really don’t have much to say. Except, I have been having some really interesting, in depth conversations with my lab mates lately. Like about gayness, and gay marriage and you know, average stuff like that.

The labmates in question are two Chinese guys and a Pakistani guy. If you don’t know, the attitude towards gay people in both of these countries is fairly hectic. Ie. it doesn’t exist, except amongst perverted freaks or the mentally ill. It’s a Western thing. If gay people are allowed to marry, then marriage loses all meaning, and dogs may as well be allowed to marry.

Homosexuality is illegal in Pakistan. They believe romantic love cannot exist between two people of the same sex. Yet, as my colleague told me, young men who need to remain “virgins” until marriage have no problem releasing sexual tensions with their male friends. This apparently doesn’t not count as losing virginity to them, and they go on happily to get married.

So with that in mind, it appears that I am a left wing radical to these people. Actually the Pakistani had no problem with people being gay, here in the UK, if that is what they wanted to do. But the Chinese people, well they said some scary things. It’s just where they are from and what they know is so different to my background. I didn’t really push the issue, because we may as well be from different planets, but I made it known what I stand for.

I consider myself fairly a unradical, mild little seamonkey, but in context of our vastly differing backgrounds all I want to say is:

I am 100% for gay marriage, gay adoption, gay everything the same as straight. I am aware that some people in South Africa do not tolerate homosexuality, but one of the biggest reasons that I am proud to be South African, is that I could say to my colleagues that South Africa is one of the few countries in the world that allows full gay marriage and gay adoption. I wonder sometimes if this will last, but until it changes, it is one of the best things about our country. To really give equal rights to people of alternative sexualities.

My sister met a lesbian girl in China. Girls in China must be married by about age 24, or their lives are over. This girl is going to have to hide her sexuality forever more, she is going to have to marry a man, she is going to have to live a lie, one that her husband will live unkowingly too. Why is this a good idea? Because homosexuality “doesn’t exist” in these countries?

It exists, it is every where around you, in every country in the world, and it has been around since the days of Genesis, or of apes, whichever origins you prefer.

Love cannot be bound by our tiny categories. Sex and love don’t necessarily go together. There are so many ways to love a person. Why stop two consenting adults from sharing a positive emotion together?

Yay for gays!

I like this post by Maureen Johnson on the subject. She says what I would like to say, only much better.


16 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Damaria Senne
    Oct 28, 2010 @ 09:34:50

    Gosh Po, I ended up so absorbed in the comments in Maureen Johnson’s post, minutes went by. Thanks for highlighting the post.


  2. Po
    Oct 28, 2010 @ 09:51:46

    Damaria: I know, me too! I loved that 17 rasons why gay marriage is wrong, it was brilliant!


  3. Helen
    Oct 28, 2010 @ 12:35:59

    It scared me that as soon as I settle into a ‘the world has changed’ mentality I meet people or hear about people who believe such strange things.

    And it never fails to scare me when I see just how much indoctrination can affect people – you’ll meet lovely, kind genuine people and then hear some appalling bigotry coming out of their mouths. I still hear it from old generation souht africans sometimes. I wish governments didn’t know how to wield power in such a far-reaching, long-lasting way.


  4. T
    Oct 28, 2010 @ 14:07:41

    Yay for gays indeed! The interesting debates I continually get into over this subject is always fun, but you know what? I just don’t understand homophobia…it really does not compute with me, like…HOOOOW? Oh well.

    Love those 17 reasons too :D


  5. Shannon
    Oct 28, 2010 @ 14:19:24

    It’s another reason to divorce secular marriage and religious ceremonies–have a secular ceremony down at the courthouse that’s available to anyone and from which you get all the rights and responsibilities that go with marriage, and then let the religious communities marry whom they choose, but with no more legal bearing than a baptism or confirmation.

    I do think homophobia is a misnomer though when applied to all people who oppose gay marriage. It’s not all motivated by fear. For some people, there is a genuine wrestling with the theological precepts that goes to the core of what marriage is, what gender and sexuality mean, etc. My mom is one of those–best friend from the time she was 14 is a lesbian, gay coworkers, she’s totally cool with it–not “phobic” at all. Just can’t get there theologically. (She would agree with me though that she has no problem with civil unions, as they’re sometimes called in the US, she just can’t see her way clear to church weddings which are theological statements.)


  6. Po
    Oct 28, 2010 @ 20:53:39

    Helen: I know it’s pretty scary. I am very fond of everyone in my lab, you know how it is, it’s like a family. But the stuff coming out of their mouths was terrifying. I know they are fairly open minded people though, at least they were comfortable talking about it. It was hard for me, it felt like I came from another planet. When I told the Chinese guy about my sister’s lesbian friend he said “oh yes well lots of Chinese women are scared of men.” How to respond to that??!! This girl had decided she was lesbian instead of bi after trying out men, so she was hardly afraid. Anyway. Apparently China is becoming a bit more gay friendly.
    T: I know! Well, actually I don’t get it in places like the UK or South Africa or the US, but in places like China and Pakistan where they are told some very “interesting” things about gay people, well I understand it. I don’t like it though, not one bit.
    Shannon: I agree about the homophobia thing. In the case of my friends it was most definitely homophobia, gay people disturb and disgust, and yes, scare them. That’s just the way it is in their countries. But I find many Christians from more liberal countries are not homophobic and are happy to have gay friends, it’s just the issue of marriage that seems to bother them. I guess it is so ingrained in us that marriage = reproduction, even though since cave times there were infertile couples who couldn’t reproduce. They don’t exactly do a test before you get married and ban infertile people now do they? But this standard applies to gay people somehow. The thing is these days it is accepted in more liberal countries that people marry for love, whether or not kids arrive, but the old prejudice is still hanging over. But I understand that if the Bible says homosexual marriage is unnaceptable and you are getting married in the eyes of God, well yes you could have trouble with that.


  7. poractacuscotts
    Oct 30, 2010 @ 06:26:30

    Excellently put Po!


  8. Paula
    Oct 30, 2010 @ 10:07:15

    Hmmmmm… most of my friends are gay. It was one of those: it just so happens to be thing. And I won’t lie it bothered me a lot at first. A pastors daughter et al. Anyway after a while I realized it was their natural inclination like me liking boys is my natural inclination.
    On the whole marriage thing. Well, even here it isn’t so much marriage as it a “civil union” – so it isn’t really marriage. And with the population statistics as they are. Even man-woman relationships are considering not having babies. So… yea.
    So my mom and I argue all the time on the whole homosexual thing. I’m not sure but apparently the bible is against sodomy which is in relation to the practice they had in those times to- as a soldier take up a “lover” of a younger soldier because of the culture of gods and stuff it was okay. But God didn’t like that. But again we are still debating and if I spent my time actually reading the bible I would know more. I just remember reading that in passing. There are apparently 3 verses in the bible with speak against “homosexuality” but when translated from the original greek/roman/arabic (I don’t like to fuddle) it could also mean sodomy.
    For me I’m not against homosexuality. It’s just the concept of marriage. Like if you do it it should be forever not a willy nilly thing. I take marriage VERY seriously. And this is with straight and gay. I wish people would just not rush into such a lifelong decision.
    Whats the strangest thing about this all is just under 5 years ago I was SO opposed to the idea of homosexuality and gay marriage. but it wasn’t really my opinion but a regurgitated concept of what I was studying at the time and where I was in my life. Which is really funny (weird) to me. Like what if I change my mind on this in a few minutes?


  9. Po
    Oct 30, 2010 @ 20:23:17

    Hey Paula, as far as I understood, in South Africa full legal marriage is allowed, by any willing religious leader. Am I wrong?

    The population thing is a biiiig problem. I know that if I were a good world citizen and a strong willed one I shouldn’t have my own kids, I should adopt. The problem is wanting to have your own kids is the strongest freaking biological drive in the world. It’s the magic of the mixing of the DNA and all the miraculous combinations of the two of you and blah blah. I mean, I don’t want kids now but I have read enough blogs that whether you like it or not for most women the desire kicks in and no argument can get them to change their minds. I have read so many stories of older women suddenly wanting kids and the heartbreak of infertility treatments. It’s just so hard to separate reason from desire in this instance. So people will keep on having em, and at least there are wonderful people out there, gay and straight, who do adopt some of the surplus, but the surplus is just too great.

    I think if I end up infertile i would consider adopting for shor. I sometimes wonder if you could have one of your own and adopt one but unless you are one of those people who oozes endless love I think that dynamic could be very problematic for everyone involved.

    I also agree with you about the marriage thing. The thing is I really understand the true concept of that life long commitment. It’s a state of mind. It’s something that clicks in your head one day, and it’s like oooooh. So that is what it means to acutally want to be with someone, no matter what, through the good, but also if they hurt you many times or if something terrible happens and you need to stand by them, or if they cheat on you etc etc. It’s a hectic hectic thing to accept and I am pretty sure that the majority of people who get married have not had that thing click in their heads before they get swept away by the excitement of the whole huge event. Which is why there is so much divorce, once the enormity of the real commitment sinks in.

    There are times in the Bible where sodomy is condemned. But I would like to know how many hetero couples do it, cos I know it happens to be a lot. It really just seems to be the love part that really bothers people, even more than the sex, the fact that two men could be in love. For some reason it causes meltdown in some people. But I understand the Bible says what it says. I personally believe that theBible was trying to guide people atthetime, when a woman needed a man around to help her look after the baby because she would be very vulnerable. If a man went off and slept with other men, there would be no new babies in a time of low procreation, and he could potentially have sex with a woman and then run off with a man and abandon the baby. These things are still a problem today but women do have slightly better support systems, to raise a baby on their own if they have to. Also that idea of the wonder of life, it is strongly tied to God, ie making children being God’s gift. Well, I think no one would argue that today that view is ahuge problem. A really big one that has to change. The world is coming to the end of it’s capacity. The Bible was very relevant to life at the time it was written but there has been a bit of a population boom since then.


  10. Po
    Oct 30, 2010 @ 20:25:06

    poractucuscotts: thank you. Did you read Maureen Johnson’s post?


  11. Spear The Almighty
    Nov 02, 2010 @ 12:23:14

    Well said Po.


  12. Dora
    Nov 07, 2010 @ 10:07:35

    Wow, until I read that, I didn’t know that my life has been over for quite some time! Boohoo!

    I’m not sure I agree that Chinese women are afraid of men. Though for sure it is still a very male-dominated sort of culture, I don’t think I’ll use the word “fear” to describe it.

    If it makes it any better, I do see and know more than a few lesbians in Hong Kong. It’s one of those things where it’s not openly spoken about or openly acknowledged, but they’re certainly out and about and most people I know don’t really give a shit. Live and let live.


  13. Po
    Nov 07, 2010 @ 10:55:13

    Dora: nooooooooooooooo, but is the attitude the same in Hong Kong? Do you have the same pressure to get married?I’m guessing its only like that in the more rural and out of the way parts of china, where my sister was working. I know a few PhD students here in the UK from China who are not married and are older than 24. Also I do see signs of an open gay community from Beijing. But my colleagues are highly intelligent, well educated, quite open to all the permutations of Western culture that they are exposed to here… but their attitudes towards gay people are well, as I said. The don’t really accept it. Yet. I have a feeling that if they spend more time in the UK they might change their minds a bit cos there area gay people everywhere here. Out and proud of it.


  14. Dora
    Nov 08, 2010 @ 15:17:19

    Sad to say, but I think instead of 24, the number here is 30.

    If you’re not permanently with someone or married by 30, you’re SO screwed.

    Unsurprisingly, it applies to women only. Men are fine, for some reason.

    There’s been panic about career-minded, smart, successful women in their 30s who can’t find a date/boyfriend/husband.

    The papers talk about men being afraid of smart women. Women having to play dumb to find a man, etc etc.

    Laughable on a good day. Fucking outrageous on a bad one.

    Lots of women aren’t married by 30 these days, it’s just that the local media likes to put out these portrayals that perpetuate in people’s minds these days, which is sad.

    Yeah, I agree that the acceptabiliy of gays, like many things, gets better with more exposure.

    On the other get, tolerating them and embracing them are two different things.

    I’ve lived in Bangkok and another town near Pattaya in Thailand, both massive tourist destinations, also infamous for sex and ladyboys. Gays and lesbians abound and everyone are used to seeing them. But that doesn’t mean they’re wholly embraced and treated equally openly…


  15. Winnie
    Dec 25, 2010 @ 08:13:33

    Chinese are too GAY!!


  16. Winnie
    Dec 25, 2010 @ 08:14:25


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