In surfing the Web the other day, I found an article by a somewhat well-known gay man, who wrote about how important it is that we, as gay people, understand, accept, and love ourselves–a subject near and dear to my heart.
Below the article were reader’s comments. One was no more than a single line, but it caught my attention for the wrong reason. The reader said something to the effect of, when did the writer of the article not love himself?
It struck me that the tone and the intent of the comment was inappropriate (in gay male parlance: bitchy). And I found myself asking the question, instead of perpetuating the putdowns that have been directed at all of us at one time or another, why can’t we say something nice? Or, if we don’t have anything nice to say, why can’t we keep it to ourselves?
I liken this to a parent who's always ready with a disparaging comment for his child, because it's an automatic reflex, and because the parent wouldn't want the child to get the idea he's more important than he really is. I hope this feels as wrong to you as it does to me.
My point is, haven’t we been through enough? Can’t one gay person support another gay person, without thinking that doing so makes the other person look better? Can’t we put our petty jealousies aside? Can't we build each other up, rather than cut each other down? Can't we recognize the struggle we've all been through to accept and love ourselves, and support each other in that regard? Can’t we be there for each other, in a way that society in general often isn’t?
If you’re a gay man, and your schtick is to cut someone down with petty, snappy comments, think before you open your mouth. Or before you leave a comment on a website. Nobody needs, or deserves, your negative energy.
If we can’t love and support each other, who will?