Saturday, May 7, 2011

Help Fight Homophobia

Philosophy of the Event
Few minority groups have been as discriminated against as the gays and lesbians. But major breakthroughs have occurred, and homosexual people are stepping out of the shadows. From the outside, it could be construed that all problems have been solved. The media are sympathetic, public personalities come out, television shows feature lesbian and gay characters in scenes of everyday life. Nevertheless, the reality is quite different. Many individuals are unable to live their sexual orientation, encounter difficulties if they do, or end up role-playing to protect themselves.

Despite these dire situations, the implementation of the International Day Against Homophobia should not rest on a “victimization“ philosophy. In fact, the Day may be seen as a great opportunity to highlight positive aspects of homosexuality and celebrate the contribution of lesbians and gays to society.


  1. I have been reading your blog but kept quiet. I have been writing my final paper every day and and at the end of a day I have the strength only to read. Things are going well. I feel that every day I become a more accepting person towards myself. There have been setbacks. Mostly caused by me not knowing exactly what to do with my life. But I am getting there.

    I thought about what are things that we can change and what we can't. Where do we cross the line when we say this is my true personality and something I should not change? For example, my logical thinking is quite bad. I can not change that. It is my individual characteristic. But this does not automatically result in me doing bad in my life. What I can change is my emotions towards myself. Katy Perry's song Fireworks is a great inspiration. There is nothing we can't do if we want to. The point is to differentiate the things that we can change and things that we can't change. How do learn this? I think that this ability comes with knowing more about myself or not?

    Doing things that are hard lead to to thinking about how I act towards my sexuality. My university town is quite opened-minded: there are activities that a youth gay organization organizes, for example, lecture series, skating, etc. But until now I have not found the courage to attend any of these. I feel like the moment I attend I automatically come out because Estonia is small and everyone knows everybody. This summer there is a LGBT week taking place in the capital of Estonia: different lectures, concerts, exhibitions. We have come far as a country, I think. But attending any of these events... seems like the hardest thing in the world. I still seems like if I would attend... Feels like when I was younger I felt extremely bad about masturbation. It felt dirty and not right. It was such a nice treat that I just had to give to myself. But when I did things to myself, it felt like a forbidden fruit. Same is with these events. I feel like I would like to attend but I also feel I would give something up, loose some kind of purity. I honestly have to say that reading your blog and feeling how natural, worm and supportive person you are, makes me think differently about myself as a gay person too. All the things that are said in the public about gay people are not always true. It gets better project portrays gays as living beings. They are alive. This is what I would like for myself. To have the strength to live the way I like. It is quite hard not to think about what other people think. I feel like the world is small for me, the chances are limited to me. Even though I know that I am the only one who limits myself. (OK, now I seem a little bipolar or multipolar to be exact.)

    Also what is overachieving: is it doing something outstanding in order to get respect from other people? My family thinks that gays are the best of us: most talented, most beautiful. A higher standard that a heterosexual person can not ever achieve. And therefore even that they are having sex with the person on the same gender being the best overrules their unacceptable desires.
    I used to believe I only did well at school because I needed the attention, respect. Yes in some ways being the best makes people forgive more easily. Now I think that I can not overdo with work if I need this work to make me emotionally functional. I can not live without education. Learning makes me feel good, makes me see that I live a life that has a purpose. And why not try to be the best I can and do the best I can because the other day I may be dead.

    Seems like all is about balance. Not too much, not too little. Elegant balance between things in life is the greatest. Trying my best but from time to time enjoying an evening for myself too.

  2. Part One:

    As always, elevencats, it's wonderful to hear from you again. I completely understand what it's like to focus your time and energy on writing your final paper and have no energy left to write anything else. Sometimes, that's how I feel after a day of writing, then facing my daily journal before I go to bed. By then, not only do I not have the energy, but I don't know what to write about. I'm just grateful you take the time to read what's going on here and comment when you can. Please keep it up.

    As I've read your comments over the past little while, I see what a transformation there's been in you, from that first time when you wrote a comment that sounded like you were in a dark place, to now, when you seem so confident and self-assured. I'm so pleased you're more settled with yourself and your sexual orientation. I know what it's like to be young and confused about what to do with your life. But you know what? You don't have to be young to feel that way. I feel confused about my life sometimes, too, and wonder if I'm on the right track. So please take comfort in that. You are not alone.

    On the subject of what you can and can't change about yourself, I ask you to be cautious about this. Lots of people say they can't change something, that it's part of their personality (that is, they were born with it). But there's almost nothing we can't change if we're aware of it and if we're not happy about it. If you're frustrated about parts of yourself (for example, as you point out, your logical thinking), then be aware of situations where you would need to use that skill. And force yourself to examine situations differently rather than fall into the same patterns. You'd be surprised what you can do if you're really keen about changing. In other words, don't hold yourself back from everything you want to be just because of how you think about it. Anything is possible. Anything.

    Please see Part Two.

  3. Part Two:

    Regarding LGBT week in Estonia, and whether you should attend the events, I don't want to offer you specific advice, because only you know what's right for you. I don't know the situation you're in, so I wouldn't want to encourage you to do something that could get you into trouble. That said, before you decide, you need to figure out what's the worst thing that could happen if you attend, and could you live with that. It's true, you are restricting yourself, and, at some point, you need to take responsibility for your life. But each of us can only do that in our own time. I encourage you to search your soul and make the best decision for you. I understand it would be a big step, but, in all likelihood, it could be the best thing you've ever done, too. (And thanks for the kind words about being a natural, warm, and supportive person, and setting an example for you. I appreciate reading that. It encourages me to keep writing, to keep trying to make a difference in people's lives.)

    About overachieving, elevencats, as I wrote in the post, there's nothing wrong with pursuing excellence. I respect that in people. But there's a big difference between that and striving to be perfect so as to be more acceptable to other people, just because you're gay. Do you see the difference? By all means, be the very best you can in all areas of your life. But don't lose yourself in the process. See your self-worth just as a human being, before you even do anything. Beyond that, everything is cream.

    Finally, based on what your family thinks about gay people being the most beautiful and talented, I'd say they will be very accepting of you when you come out. Sounds like they're getting warmed up to the idea that you could be gay, and this will help you as you move forward with your life. In most cases, families go through an adjustment period after hearing someone they love is gay, but they come around quickly and are almost always very supportive. From what you write here, I'm sure that will be the case for you, too.

    As I said, great to hear from you again. Please keep in touch. All the very best.

  4. The following was received from a reader:

    "I am reading this blog for the first time but I have to say, you guys are so brave. I appaud you as a straight male for the struggles you are going through and being able to deal with this prejudice in society. Keep your head up and know that I am touched by these postings."

    Thank you for your comment.