Today I’ve decided to write about a topic that is a major issue in society nowadays – the LGBT community. I’ve never discussed homosexuality before, simply because I never felt it was something that needs to be discussed. For me, it’s simple. Everyone should be allowed to love whomever they choose, regardless of that person’s gender. I’m generally quite good at seeing both sides of arguments, but not in this case. I honestly cannot understand why it bothers people so much, and therefore why it is still an issue nowadays. However, for as long as it continues to be one, we should all keeping fighting for equality and an end to homophobia. Sure, we’ve come a long long way from where we used to be, but there are still far too many people who believe homosexuality is something evil, and far too many people suffering because of this bigotry.
The reason I chose to write about this today was in light of Tom Daley’s video, where he announces his relationship with a man (watch here). Initially, I was so pleased for him and think that this is a great example for other members of the LGBT community afraid to admit it. However, I still question why we are still living in a society where people feel the need to announce things like this. It should be something natural and accepted. The need to announce it arises from the fact that it is still considered different and unusual to so many people. We assume people are heterosexual, unless they state otherwise. But we shouldn’t make any sort of assumption like this. Most of the people I know who are LGBT have never told me so explicitly, it’s merely something that has been dropped into conversation. However, I am not close friends with these people, and I imagine they’ve all “come out” to family and friends already. But at least they don’t feel the need to identify themselves in this way to everyone they meet, as they quite rightly shouldn’t have to.
What I really noticed about this video though, was the lack of identifying terms. Not once does he use terms such as “coming out”, “gay” or “bisexual”. He merely states that he is in a relationship with a man. He even admits to still fancying girls. And I liked the way he did this, as people shouldn’t have to label or identify themselves. Some people may wish to, and that’s fine, but we don’t have to try to stick everyone in a box or category. Sexuality is complicated and confusing. What we may think about ourselves could be completely disproved, if we happen to meet the right person. Some people only discover their homosexuality much later in life. Personally, I’ve kissed girls and have “girl crushes”, but would still generally identify myself as straight, as I’m primarily interested in men. But how am I to know that won’t change one day? It is said that people are born homosexual, and that cannot be changed. And while I do believe this to be true, and the people who try to “cure” homosexuality are complete idiots, I think everyone is a little bisexual in one way or another. Sexuality cannot be defined in one term for the whole of your life.
However, what has really prompted me to write this, is not Daley’s video itself, but rather the reactions it has received. While plenty of people have been nothing but supportive, there are many other who are not. This article shows just a few examples of the less encouraging responses he has received. This absolutely disgusts me. Someone else’s sexuality is none of your business. How does their happiness make other people so angry? I was particularly appalled by the message that said he shouldn’t be representing our country. This is complete bullshit. How does his sexuality lessen his sporting ability in any way whatsoever? I simply cannot fathom what goes on in these people’s heads. Everyone should have the same rights (I’m especially thinking of the marriage laws here), and be allowed to love who they want. In fact, “be allowed” isn’t the right term here. No one has to give heterosexuals permission to love, so why do homosexuals need it? They should simply be able to love who they want without being judged or hated for it. I won’t delve into the religious reasoning some people claim, as I could go on about that for a very long time. I’ll simply ask why people allow a book that is hundreds of years old decide their opinions for them. Times have changed a lot since then.
I could write a whole separate post about why bullying of any kind is wrong, and homophobia is a major part of this larger problem. We read so many stories about teenagers bullied about their sexuality to the point of suicide. This is just so completely and utterly wrong, there’s no other way to put it. No one’s life is worth any less because of who they love. It infuriates me that people can be so cruel over something which, in the larger scheme of things, is quite trivial. The entire issue surrounding homosexuality is just something that I wish was not an issue at all, but until that day comes, we need to defend this cause. But honestly, why can’t we just accept everyone for who they are?