Monday, August 19, 2013

For God’s sake (and ours), stay out of our bedrooms

One’s perception of his/her gender and identity, as well as one’s sexual preferences aren’t choices, nor are they something that can be ‘healed’

The transgender couple Jiyi Ng (吳芷儀) and Abbygail Wu (吳伊婷) won a major round in the road of freedom earlier this month when a committee of experts at the Ministry of the Interior overturned an earlier decision to nullify their legal marriage. But now that the government has done what is right, an ever more archaic organization is trying to rain on their parade — Christians.

In e-mails and call-ins on TV shows, conservative minds — many of them Christians — have felt it was their right (God-given, presumably) to decide how others should live their lives.

It usually goes something like this, and according to Abbygail’s Facebook page, that’s how it went: “I respect you [Abbygail and Jiyi] but …” The key is the “but,” which imposes a conditionality on the first part of the sentence. I respect you, but in order for me to respect you, you must live according to the rules established and/or upheld by me or my co-religionists. It follows that if one fails to meet such “standards,” he or she isn’t worthy of that respect.

Discrimination and rigid interpretations of the Book aside, this type of behavior also stems from ignorance or, equally likely, a closing of the mind and the heart. How often I have heard otherwise intelligent and kind individuals say of my mother (who is homosexual and legally married in Canada): “I love her,” “I would embrace her,” but I would also pray to God so that she can correct her ways, or “heal,” as if homosexuality were a disease or the free choice of a bad habit (why perfectly sane people would choose to “become” something that remains an object of such hateful discrimination simply boggles the mind).

Homosexuality, one’s perception of his/her gender and identity, and one’s sexual preference(s) aren’t choices, nor are they something that can be healed by psychologists, psychiatrists, witch doctors, faith healers, priests, imams, or the robotic repetition of texts written by frauds over the ages. Those are innate characteristics rooted in biology. If there were such a thing as a benevolent being above us, he/she/it certainly wouldn’t have allowed for the existence of alternative biological preferences that one has absolutely no power to choose at his/her birth. And surely, a person who truly aspires to goodness would embrace the variety of life in its fullest expression and not regard it as something to be loathed, feared, or “fixed.”

For God’s sake (and ours), please don’t force your prejudices and your religion (the two are often indivisible) into our homes … let alone our bedrooms. (Photo by the author)

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