I sometimes wonder if I ask a lot of people to accept and understand me as a gay person. If I were not gay, would I be as accepting and as understanding of gay people as I expect straight people to be of me?
If I were straight, and I saw two men walking through Vancouver's gay village holding hands together, how would I react? Would I be as repulsed as I've seen some straight men are? Would I be sickened by the idea these two men go home together, and, among other things, have sex? Would I be obsessed and sickened by the idea of sex between men, what they do to each other, the very idea of it?
Or would I realize some straight people engage in similar forms of sex, too, and that nothing sexual is off limits to any human being? It's only sex, after all. So what. Big deal.
Perhaps I'd be less focused on the physical act of sex between two people of the same gender, and more on the feelings that typically go along with those acts. I mean, sex itself isn't always neat and clean and beautiful. Sometimes, it's pretty vile and dirty, no matter if people of the same sex or opposite sex engage in it.
I have no interest in looking at people I see on the sidewalk, or at the shopping mall, or in the library, and imagining them having sex. Just like I don't think anyone should look at me and wonder about the kind of sex I engage in either Let's just accept sex is a part of the human experience, we all have it in one form or another, it's a common denominator between all of us, and leave it at that.
So what does that leave us with? It leaves us with human emotional connection. It leaves us with feeling validated through the love we receive from another person. It leaves us with that which elevates the human species to a higher level, because, while we engage in sex, a potentially base act when you think about it, hopefully, we have intense feelings of love to go along with it.
All of us can relate to needing to be loved, and needing to love someone in return. That's a common denominator to the human experience, too. And, on that level, I can't imagine how any human being couldn't accept and understand the love between two people--of opposite genders or even of the same gender.
So, do I ask a lot of straight people to accept and understand me as a gay person? I don't think so. If you're a straight person, think about your wife or your husband, that person you love with all your heart and with all your soul. That person you can't live without, who completes your life, who's here to teach you what you most need to learn about yourself. That person who elevates you to a better version of yourself.
That's how I feel about my same-sex partner, Chris. What's not to accept or understand?