Monday, August 14, 2006

Brokering gays

Here's some logic that's guiding the rules on gays these days.
  • If homosexuality is a disease, it is not an intrinsic part of a personal identity and can't or shouldn't be the basis for civil rights discussions.
  • If homosexuality can be changed (or "cured" depending on the political spin you choose), then similarly it can't be compared to racial or gender-based civil rights arguments since it is not an intrinsic part of an identity.
  • If homosexuality is biologically determined (either genetically or environmentally), it might be comparable to race and gender for civil rights arguments even if it can subsequently be changed.
So, really, whether or not homosexuality is a disease has vast political consequences. And nobody is going to concede as long as a scientific opponent can be eviscerated, a religious group slandered, or a gay-rights activist lambasted for their "agenda". Everybody get those bumper-stickers that say "if you're not outraged, you're not paying attention" and then cluster in groups to strategize how best to vilify your enemies and promote your respective love-motivated agendas. But most of all, don't forget to put your best efforts into amassing your arsenal of gays that exemplify your view.

I feel like a commodity. Here I am trying to live my life in a self-actualized sort of way, making choices that are consistent with my values, working to build a family based on love and commitment, and battling my unique set of personal demons, when along comes medical societies, special interests, and churches trying to define the issues and filter my access to information and resources. They want me and my case to be a piece of evidence that promotes their goals. They want me as one of the cards they can play to trump the other side. I sort of get the feeling that my happiness doesn't interest people as much as how I can be used.

I wish people would acknowledge that it doesn't matter whether homosexuality is a disease or not or whether it is biologically determined or not. What matters is that I, as an individual, would like to make informed decisions about how best to live my own life. But all the finger-pointing, moral superiority, and declarations of an objectively scientifically backed view all conspire to decay my confidence in any information I find. And without good information, it's hard to feel informed. I feel like I have to be a pioneer and figure out everything for myself if I don't hop on some particular ideological bandwagon.

But, I'm trying to stay off the bandwagon regardless. I'd rather not be reduced to a chunk on someone's side of the scale. I'll just walk by myself.

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