I remember sitting in a tour bus in San Francisco when the driver cum guide suddenly announced that we were in the part of Frisco where everyone was happy. I looked out the side window of the bus and saw a couple of men holding hands while crossing the road.
I wonder if such remark tantamount to prejudice, but it goes to show that even in a society where homosexuality is acknowledge, there are those who cannot readily accept such lifestyle. I have gay friends, both men and women; and although they are more out in the open than they used to be a few years ago, almost none dare to openly declare their homosexuality especially to their immediate family. Even in this company I work for, we had to inform contractors not to allow gay personnel offshore.
I can only imagine how life is difficult for them, especially in the Malaysian society where expectations are everything. You’re expected to live within the norms of the society and not transgress that border. You are expected to get married by a certain age, by which, if you are not, you will be tagged with unkind labels, be you gay or otherwise. We can always place into effect the standard escape clause: career, but even that has a time-limit. If you are a single woman and you hit 30, automatically you are labeled a spinster. For a man, he would be deemed gay if he hits 40 and has never married. Such is the thinking that this society has that we often find gay men get married for the sake of being accepted by the society. Often they marry submissive women, would usually have one kid and that’s it. In some cases, they would also have their gay partner live-in together with their family and you would see the partner play the supporting role, managing the family, than the wife would. I don’t know how it feels, being gay and loving someone of your own gender. I am pretty sure it feels like falling in love with the most wonderful person you’ve ever met, but happens to be the daughter or son of your father’s worst enemy. You love the person very much and feel elated about the whole thing but you can’t tell anyone about it.
The problem with society is that we’re judgmental, never ready to think out of the box and we always want to play God. I am not trying to get people to condone homosexuality, but more to accept those who practice as human beings too. It’s a weird thing for us who are straight, but love is love no matter whom you love. And if we think them as freaks, then we would be condemning God as Cruel for making them as such, when we, the supposedly more pious and conforming to God’s prescribed way of life believe in how Compassionate and Merciful God is. To me, life, death, marriage, divorce, sins, punishments and rewards, heaven and hell, are all God’s privilege. All we as human beings can do is to educate, and leave the rest to God as how He has often mentioned in His book. It is never up to us to say that God will punish non-conformists because we’re not God’s equal to be able to read His mind to know if He’s pissed at or happy with us.
If we are to think slightly out of the box and learn how to accept others and their shortcomings, this world would be a happier one (not necessarily gay) and believe me, there would be lesser babies ending up in toilet bowls, rubbish bins, or floating in rivers.