I was 8 years old when the Warrior sat me down and gave me the talk on the Birds and the Bees. I hit puberty really early and she felt it was the right time to talk about some things and to see if I had any questions. I had just one: where in the hell did these boobs come from? But she had already covered it before I got to ask. Apparently I was becoming this thing called a woman. Just like her. I didn’t fully understand but as long as having breasts meant I was becoming like my mother, I didn’t really see any downside to it.
It was fine. I was fine. It was all fine. In fact, I remember thinking afterwards that I found it a little bit funny how serious she was about the whole thing. She kept asking me if I understood what she was saying. What did she mean? Of course I understood. I wasn’t an idiot.
I went to a Church of England school. Sex education is required in schools here and it only happens when you’re in year 6 – so about 10 or 11 years old – right before you leave to go to Secondary/High school. It’s kind of awkward. You watch some videos (Li always says she remembers a cartoon of a man chasing a woman around with a feather. For years that’s how she thought sex worked), they ask if anybody has any questions, no one ever does and we all just move on.
Anyway, that’s not the point. The Warrior, when she sat me down that day, talked to me about men and women. That was fine. She talked to me about the body, the differences and similarities etc. Then she said it’s not always a man and a woman, sometimes it’s two men, sometimes it’s two women. She talked about transgenders. She covered a lot.
Perhaps that is why I feel like being gay, bi, trans, queer, intersex…whatever you are, is totally normal. She never once said to me that people who may or may not be different to me were abnormal. She didn’t know that I was straight. I didn’t even know that I was straight at the time. Truthfully, I had never thought about it.
Perhaps it was because she talked to me about it like it was just another conversation. An important conversation, of course, but she wanted me to know sex is normal and so is sexuality, whatever it is provided it’s not a crime. It’s a natural, wonderful and beautiful thing that we as humans are privileged to be able to experience. If it is different to me, it doesn’t make it wrong. Just different. And I was to never, ever treat anyone poorly for it.
So it makes me totally irate and upset beyond words when I see or hear of people who call anyone within the LGBTQI community a pervert. A pervert? A pedophile? A child molester? What? What?!
I don’t know what that is except inhumane, cruel, vicious and so beyond hateful that it literally takes my breath away. No, a gay man is not a pervert. No, a gay woman is not a child molester. A trans person is not a pedophile. No. No. NO. But I do now understand why the Warrior kept asking if I understood all those years ago. Because there are so very many people who just don’t get it.
I cannot, and will never, accept any kind of person who chooses to believe in, and then spread, this hateful rhetoric in my own circle. That’s my personal preference because I know that I can’t control what people think so I choose to not have those people around me. It goes beyond human decency to wish these people would die, to want to take away their most human rights – like marriage or equality at work or justice for being assaulted – or advocate for not wanting to give them any rights in the first place. Really? Being gay or transgender is so abhorrent to you that anyone identifying as such is less than human to you?
Take Pastor Roger Jimenez of the Verity Baptist Church in Sacramento, California. This sorry excuse for a human being decided to preach about all of the “perverts” who died in the terrible mass shooting in Orlando, Florida. The deadliest shooting the country has ever known took place, arguments over homophobia, gun control, terrorism, Islamophobia, you name it they’re happening right now in the US, and this idiot decided to say that the entire thing was the best thing that could have happened to the citizens of Orlando and it was just a pity the gunman didn’t finish the job. Because those who survived the terrifying ordeal didn’t deserve to live. Why? Because they’re gay. And, of course, they are pedophiles because they’re gay.
The company who leases the building to this church have since told them that they will not be renewing the lease when it comes to an end and would like them to move on somewhere else as they do not support organisations that promote hate speech. They also advised them that if they were to move out before the lease is up they would be glad to release them from any financial penalties this might incur.
Because that is what Roger Jimenez’s disgusting words are. Hate speech. No ifs, ands, or buts about it. It’s pure hatred.
Another example comes from Diane Teasdale in Australia, a wannabe Trump, whose post on the country’s fight to legalise same sex marriage in the country went viral. The town of Shepparton, where she is running for election (for what I don’t care) decided to give her a big fuck you in response, openly and unashamedly rejecting her idiocy and making it clear to Diane, the rest of Australia and now the world, that they don’t support her (stupid) ideals because yes, yes they do support gay marriage. She too linked being gay with child molestation and stretched it even further to drug abuse and suicide. I talk to my God and Jesus when I see these things, asking them to please just bestow some kind of feeling or sense of compassion onto people like Diane, Jimenez and those from the Westboro Baptist Church who picketed the funeral of one of the victims of the Orlando shooting. Because they seem to lack basic decency.
There are any number of reasons people abuse drugs in this world. There are also any number of reasons people commit suicide. Which doesn’t mean to say that I don’t think there is zero connection. Yes, there is a correlation between homosexuality and suicide. Because it is a sad fact that people like Teasedale and Jimenez make people so fearful of who they are that the only other alternative is to kill themselves because they can’t live like this anymore. Can you imagine what that must be like? To have so many people around you (sometimes your own parents) tell you that you are wrong? That there is something wrong with you inside? I can’t.
Teasedale also said that any support is down to women who are basically too soft on gay people. Oh, give me a break with that bullshit.
And these are just the most recent ones. There are hundreds, thousands, millions of posts, preachings and stories like these that subject actual human beings to this kind of abuse for no other reason than for being who they are.
I don’t understand homophobia. Nobody is afraid of gay or trans or queer people. You are not afraid because that is a stupid fear to have. I get more attention from gay women than I do straight men. No, I am not offended. No, I am not afraid. But that’s beside the point really. They’re not asking you to drop your trousers and bend over/spread your legs for them. They have a rich, vibrant and wonderful culture that is all about embracing everyone. They just want to be able to live their own lives without being abused day in and day out. And apparently it is too much to ask for people to treat each other as human beings. What is that if not legitimately being too gross beyond words?
I don’t see how what someone does in their bedroom with their own bodies, so long as it is consensual, is Roger Jimenez or Diane Teasdale’s, or anyone else’s business. Newsflash you idiots, it isn’t. It really isn’t. It’s all natural. It’s all beautiful. It can be for love or it can be lust or fun, whatever. What is it to you what people do with their bodies? It’s not unnatural. If I want to engage in any form of ass play as a straight woman, I can do that. It’s my choice. If I want to explore with putting on handcuffs or being flogged or visiting a dungeon, that is my choice. If I want to have sex with a man that is my business. If I want to have sex with a woman that is also business. If I want to have sex with both at the same goddamn time, guess what, I can do that too without it being your business. If I want to dress up like a donkey and be called Caroline it’s my choice. If I want to have sex with a black person, a white person, older than me, younger than me, I can do that because my sex and my sexuality is none of your business. Just because you don’t want to do it doesn’t mean I don’t. Just because you’re not gay, doesn’t mean others aren’t. Just because you’re not trans or queer or intersex or bisexual, doesn’t mean there aren’t people in the world who are.
I don’t care who you are. I feel sorry that you have no heart, no basic human decency. But just because you lack these things doesn’t make anyone else’s sexuality or gender identification your business. Support your fellow human beings and see them as people. I shouldn’t have to tell you this.
I really shouldn’t.