Homosexuality was never discussed ‘back when’. Americans ignored the issue. Some men were obviously ‘effeminate’. Often they were hairdressers, designers and such. But society seemed to accept them as part of a diverse world. They contributed. They were unique. And if same-sex couples shared residences, no one made an issue of it. ‘Live and let live’ had become an American mantra. How else to deal with so many races, colors and creeds? A fairly healthy, accepting attitude prevailed … especially in big cities.
But inevitably the mass media began focusing on gay lifestyles and problems. Television and movies depicted characters reacting to prejudice. During the 1970’s there was Archie Bunker’s naiveté and shock when faced with this heretofore unmentioned sexual proclivity. What to think of Lionel now. And gay pride parades marched into peoples’ living rooms. A reality was saying “hello”. Then came HIV and AIDS. Some saw this as retribution for amoral activity. Others rallied to fight this scourge. But notwithstanding the travails, the cohabitation of same-sex couples had become a topic for debate … often eliciting vile intolerance.
Today many condemn homosexual behavior. They consider it aberrant and ‘sinful’. They site religious teachings to support their view. A ‘union’ especially marriage should be between a man and a woman. Only natural. Gays, lesbians … they should be discriminated against and castigated. Not allowed to participate in important activities less they taint others. Keep them out of the military. Do not allow them to teach. And of course abrogate their civil rights. Gay couples should not have protection even recognition under the law. No recourse when evicted. No joint insurance coverage. No probate court acknowledgement. No legal marriage. No justice.
Why such a vehement, exclusionary attitude towards gays? Are they such a threat? Do they undermine the moral fiber of a nation? Are they responsible for the rampant sexual hedonism in the heterosexual world? This ten percent of society that prefers same sex sex? And has for thousands of years.
Yes, there are predatory homosexuals. They have corrupted minors. They can be promiscuous. So? Their numbers pale against the countless abuses by ‘straight’ men and women who do have protection under the law. But fortunately in the ‘Western World’ persecuting a whole group because of the maliciousness of a few is condemned.
The reality is: There will always be some who want to feel superior. They will condemn others in order to bolster their self-esteem. They will even justify a virulent hatred. Genocide is one horrific example of persecuting an ostracized group. Homophobia with its diatribes is another. Consider Adolph Hitler’s slaughter of homosexuals during World War II. Arrogance and puffed up self-righteousness will always seek out and exploit ‘differences’. “Look at that f**, look at the way he’s dressed.” Certainly many gays are unique. And this poses a threat to societal ‘norms’. Cannot tolerate people who defy prescribed activity especially sex. Emotions can run high when power seekers spew invective about ‘deviant’ sex. Some will concur and join this condemnation. What a ‘heady’ feeling to be had … with this power to condemn others.
What a tragedy too: When one scorns tolerance,
a prerequisite for ‘peace of mind’. For there is no room for
love in a heart where hate reigns. Where concomitant ignorance
obsesses on some outlandish ‘gay’ behavior and fails to
appreciate the countless contributions made by homosexuals. The
most obvious being in the world of creative activity. Try making
a successful movie or T.V. series without them. Not possible!!