I learned this week that I have no patience for people who are anti-homosexual. Part of the issue is that I just don’t get it. I just don’t understand why one person would have such strong feelings as to be “anti-” two women or two men being in a loving, sexual relationship. Why all the hating of loving relationships, people?
I had a conversation with someone who I respect in many ways who we’ll call L, who actually used the phrase, “Some of my best friends are homosexuals.” And I was thrown back to a time when white people used the same phrase about black people, when in fact they probably only new one black person who went to their church. I refrained from asking for a list of L’s homosexual friends so I could call and check up on their supposed friendship. Her opinion of gay people went downhill from there, and I am going to refrain from re-stating her bigoted, hateful words on my blog space out of moral outrage.
Because many of my friends actually are gay. Those who aren’t have generally gone through a process of actively figuring out their sexual orientation, and I think that’s healthy.
I was talking with a friend last night about a man who had married a woman before he fully acknowledged the fact that he was gay. Now the couple are divorced – and I know of other men who have ended up in similar situations. Or even more regrettable, the men who stay married despite being gay.
So I think it’s healthy for young men and women to attend to their sexual orientation. For example, a man I know assumed he was straight, but when the opportunity to date a gay man presented itself to him, he decided to expand his understanding of his sexuality rather than close it down. He went on a few dates, realized he really had no serious sexual attraction to men, and ended the dating relationship. He’s married now too, and no one has to worry about whether he’s going to suddenly come out of the closet one day.
So I realized during my conversation with L that I’m not sure I had ever actually had a conversation with someone about homosexuality who was actually opposed to it in a general sense. Because L is someone who, as I said, I respect in many ways and need to continue to work with, I changed the subject. Now I am trying to grapple with how to react.
Do I draw a hard line on this and refuse to work with L? Do I try and arrange the situation so that we don’t talk about this topic again?
I think homosexual sexuality and relationships have just as much chance of being emotionally and spiritually healthy as heterosexual sexuality and relationships, and nothing is going to budge me from that place. I suspect L’s position is similarly stationary.
So given that we will not agree on this point, but that L has the potential to be a powerful ally in many areas, what should I do? To what degree should her position on homosexuality be a deal-breaker for our working relationship?