Being gay has allowed me to look objectively at the world. Since my nature is perceived as “other” I have been relegated to the margins of society, and despite all the work that has been done politically and through the media to make homosexuality acceptable to the masses in an effort to mainstream it and ultimately sanitize it for wider consumption as a thing, an object to be gazed upon and controlled in that manner, the fact still remains that homosexuals will never be wholly welcomed by the majority across cultures and geographical spaces. Society looks down on those with different voices and perspectives, those of a more liberal, progressive bent and vision. Let’s face it: those in power have always been in favor of a more conservative, regressive view of the world. In order to maintain their wealth and power, the rules must be written, beliefs and laws dreamed up and institutionalized that make the human heart, mind, and body as obedient as possible so that the animal in man rarely asserts itself and makes its presence known through the ever-increasingly vile and catastrophic acts of violence we see more and more of each week now.
I did not choose my sexuality, much to the chagrin of the ignorant and the hypocritical self-righteous who exist everywhere among us. Being gay is a part of who I am, not all of who I am. What I find most fascinating about homophobes is their preoccupation with gay sex; homosexuals could pretty much care less about the sexual activities of straight people. What do I get out of pondering the subject? Absolutely nothing, hence I don’t do it.
Being gay, and finally I come to what I want to address in this post, is in a way a blessing in disguise. Since society has identified me as “not normal,” as a deviant, because I am a man who loves other men and engages in sexual intimacy with them, I am socially an outsider, I cannot share in the heteronormative culture that society has set upon an altar and sanctified throughout the history of civilization. I cannot automatically partake of the rights and freedoms one is granted in being heterosexual. But, in turn, I also do not have to be bound by the unspoken cultural norms and obligations that come with being heterosexual. Herein lies what I see as the blessing in disguise that being gay is. I also believe that the other blessing that comes with being gay is that one has a much more critical eye on society and its norms than straight people do, throwing the many rigid, antiquated, and one-sided ideas society’s institutions peddle into relief whenever and wherever anyone is willing to listen.
It is a beautiful feeling knowing that I do not have to get married and have children; I do not have to push and be a party to society’s fairly well-hidden agenda of bringing more human beings into a world that has become so ugly that I would fear for my children’s safety and worry over their mental and emotional fortitude every day of my life a thousand times more than I would in a more stable society and culture. I do not have to give society yet more bodies to work at slave-labor wages without health care or equal rights and freedoms if by some chance they are deemed different like their father. There are more than enough unthinking, self-centered sheep walking the ground to the slaughterhouses kept perpetually operational by the elites and the stupidity and complacency of the herd itself that I do not need nor do I want to add to their number. I do not need to have a family that I would have to give up my identity for, for whom I would have to work tirelessly to feed, clothe, and shelter, burying myself under a mountain of debt to do so because my salary will never be adequate enough to provide for a family otherwise.
You may think me cynical and sad, arrogant even, but I see this as one of the many deep truths that the majority of average, “normal” human beings has given little to no thought to: how the wealthy, power-hungry elite has structured our lives through our institutions in such a way as to limit our freedom, our happiness, yet praising the wonderful freedom our history and culture has given us, to keep themselves in power and society running for the sake of their own profit, seemingly moving forward in the name of progress, which is nothing but a shameless lie to keep us standing still when we’re not going backward, the latter of which we have been doing at warp speed in the last decade alone.
As a gay man I embrace and cherish the freedom that my ”aberrant” sexuality has bestowed on me in not having to abide by the game of society in this particular instance. If there is one thing I have learned from being gay, one thing I have learned from being the outcast since I was twelve, it is that our natures and identities do not always fit into the box that society eagerly wants to shove us into and that is where our freedom truly lies—in our not always being able to fit the mold set down for us, a mold that benefits society and the privileged, powerful few, not necessarily ourselves. And it is what we do with that freedom wrought by our unique, “unconventional” identities that matters and makes all the difference, for ourselves as well as all of humanity.