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homosexuality overview

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 wider society.

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.



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