In many societies,
homosexuality is still classified as a sub-culture. In some
states of Australia, for example, sex between gay men, even if consenting
and in private, is against the law. Lesbianism is not illegal
as it was never listed in the original statutes because Queen Victoria
refused to believe it existed.
Regardless of its social
and moral implications, homosexuality certainly exists in Australia
and, in fact, Sydney has one of the highest gay populations in the
world. The Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras that's held there each
year is the homosexual community's way of bringing its culture into
the mainstream streets and demonstrating 'gay pride'. Whether
or not this helps to bridge the gap between prejudice and understanding
is debatable but I believe that we should all be proud of who we
are, and that includes our sexual choices.
Mystery surrounds the
origin of sexual preferences. Are gays born or made?
I've always tended to believe that there are two types of homosexuals
the ones who know by the time they reach puberty that they
are sexually attracted to their own gender, and those who choose
earlier or later in life to be with their own sex and/or live a
gay lifestyle. Psychotherapists have taken the line that homosexuality,
as such, is decided within the first three years of a child's life,
which suggests that it's learned behaviour but, even as I write
this, the discovery of a 'gay' gene has been announced. If
it could be proven scientifically that being gay is a genetic condition,
perhaps finally it will gain some acceptance and tolerance in the
I have never understood
why people get so het-up about what others are doing in bed.
Sex is a private matter unless we choose to share it, and none of
us should be judged solely by our bed partners or sexual practices.
When AIDS was first discovered, a lot of people saw it as a retribution
against gay men because it was believed to have been mainly spread
through anal sex. Despite the fact that this theory has been
largely debunked, it's still used as a weapon by homophobics, and
other intolerant members of the community, as an excuse to spread
hatred and misinformation.
All prejudice and intolerance
is wrong. There are no exceptions. It's difficult enough
for most gays to face up to the fact that they're always going to
be 'different', that they have the choice of hiding and being accepted
in society or living openly and risking rejection, let alone having
to put up with abuse, discrimination, 'poofter-bashing', and so
on. It's no wonder that so many gays choose to stay 'in the
closet', which means keeping their sexual preference quiet
sometimes, even pretending to date members of the opposite sex in
order to allay suspicions of family and friends.