Striving for liberty and the right to live their own lives, people have started a lot of revolutions, among them the sexual one. However, the social prejudices of all sorts are still taking their toll on people, making them subdivide the mankind into “norm” and “deviation”. Among the latter, the homosexuals take one of the chief places.
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In spite of the fact that numerous scientific papers have already stated that homosexuality is another form of sexual behavior, most people still tend to subdivide the ones surrounding them into “the normal” and “the pervert”, considering homosexuals belonging to the latter. Thus, at present heterosexuals set the code of conduct with sexual minorities.
Because of the fact that the opinion of the majority still plays a great part in the life of most people, the life of sexual minorities is shaped according to the principles of the heterosexual part of the population.
Although it cannot be denied that people’s sexual behavior depends on their own character in most cases, struggling with the society for the rest of one’s life is not the alternative which most sexual minorities choose. Thus, despite their natural inclinations, they are forced to shape their behavior and their needs according to the ideas of the people of different sexual orientation.
It goes without saying that imposing sexual minorities with the behavior which is absolutely unnatural to them results in further psychological disorders, neuroses and even depressions. Thus, it must be admitted that the situation needs consideration urgently. Being different from the others often takes too much forces to live a full life and not to be afraid of mockery and scornful glances.
Fighting for the Place under the Sun: The Heterosexuals
One of the standards which the heterosexual people impose on the sexual minorities is monogamy. Since it is natural for heterosexual people to be tied by a conjugal knot, it appears unnatural for them to lead the lifestyle which homosexuality presupposes, with its ideas of free love and with the lack of care for the hearth and home. Thus, Klesse (2006) notes,
Although polyamory is not essentially linked to any particular sexual identity, a significant part of the UK polyamory scene seems to consist of bisexuals or – as one of my interview partners put it – ‘heteroflexibles’. It is not surprising, therefore, that polyamory emerged as one of the most significant discourses on nonmonogamy used by bisexual-identified participants in my study. (566)
Marking thus that it would be a mistake to correlate certain type of sexual identity to certain pattern of sexual behavior, Klesse (2006) suggested that homosexuals are ore inclined to being polygamic, mainly because of the circumstances which they appear in due to their orientation.
Another proof that being different from the others triggers a great amount of problems, this statement sheds some light on the dramatic state of homosexuals. Neglected and scorned at, they seek every single opportunity to become happy again, which leads them to creating numerous bonds with various partners. Thus, it can be supposed that the polygamy of homosexuals has been dictated by the desperate state which they are in and the manner in which the society teats them.
Therefore, it can be supposed that the problem of polyamory among homosexuals is what troubles the society most. Trying to correct the behavior of homosexuals in a more conformist way, heterosexuals encounter the wall of misunderstanding and protest, which is quite understandable. Being forced to change their idea of love, sexual minorities are literally made to protect their “domain”. As Kipnis (2003) marked,
It is our culture alone that has dedicated itself to allying the turbulence of romance and the rationality of the long-term couple, convinced that both love and sex are obtainable from one person over the course of decades, that desire will manage to sustain itself for 30 or 40 or 50 years and that the supposed fate of social stability is tied to sustaining a fleeting experience beyond its given life span. (157)
Considering Kipnis’s arguments, the following conclusion can be drawn: the people of heterosexual orientation shape the life, both social and personal, of sexual minorities in such a way that they could not behave in their natural way. Made to regard the rules which have been designed to fit the others, not them, sexual minorities must feel quite uncomfortable and probably desire to change the situation.
According to the order which has been set for the heterosexuals, monogamy fully answers the needs and wants of this social layer. Helping people to flock in families, this structure allows the approach which will crate the integrated system of relations and will provide close bonds for the future.
Another important issue of the life of the so-called “ordinary” people is their children. In contrast to homosexuals, who cannot have children, heterosexual couples concentrate on creating the sufficient life conditions for their future offsprings, which makes the family ever closer and more intertwined into a single entity with its own rules, traditions and structure.
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With such support as the basis for the family, heterosexuals can be more certain about their lives, their future and their goals. With the support of the society, heterosexuals feel more positive about their state of affairs and are more likely to take active part in the social life. Thus, they are less exposed to the danger of stress or depression, and are apt to maintain more or less constant mood.
One more important subject which must be touched upon is the issue of venereal diseases. Since heterosexuals tend to have only one partner, their risk of catching a venereal disease can be driven to minimum, whereas homosexuals are in the constant danger of catching a contagious disease which is extremely hard to cure.
Thus, it is a well-known fact that the number of people with HIV is growing among homosexuals, mainly because of their tendency to form short-term relationships and take the idea of venereal disease danger rather light-mindedly.
Because of the abovemntioned liability to venereal diseases, homosexual relationships are considered as potentially dangerous by heterosexuals, which makes the latter intrude into the life of the people whom they consider different and thus “abnormal”. Showing the latter’s idea of what sexual life must be, heterosexuals make gays succumb to the idea of monogamy which is unnatural for the latter.
Such situation causes great stress for the people whose will is being suppressed, which results in numerous complicacies in personal and social life. Such situation actually makes gays choose between being contented with their personal life or with the social one, making the combination of both impossible.
Thus, it can be considered that, creating a single pattern for sexual behavior, heterosexuals convince the world that, contrasted to the lifestyle suggested by them, the one which homosexuals lead is completely wrong, vicious and absolutely unacceptable. With help of such powerful armor as rumors and prejudice, heterosexuals create an impression of lecherous life, indulging into lust.
Even though the striking contrast between the two types of sexual orientation could lead people to the idea of their coexistence, the inertness of the social point of view inevitably leads to the idea that sexual minority cannot have their point.
Struggling for Happiness: Those Considered “the Reverse”
Despite the oppression which homosexuals encounter in the modern society, it has to be admitted that gays have already gained certain rights, among them the right to be considered as normal people. In spite of the fact that some people still cannot embrace the idea of homosexuality as another type of norm, the reaction of the society towards the homosexual love has greatly changed in terms of the way people perceive the idea.
As Johnson (2004) marked, it was peculiar that people took the idea of homosexuality as a norm for granted, almost unconsciously. A solid proof for that is the fact that people accept the idea of homosexualism as a type of love, yet they can never associate it with themselves:
When speaking about homosexuality, every person expressed the belief that ‘gay men and lesbians’ experience love exactly in the same way as heterosexuals: ‘love is love’, they often said. Such a belief relies on a series of changes in the construction of sexuality, but also draws upon the specific construction of an imagined universal essence of love (103)
Thus, it has to be admitted that the idea of homosexuality as something that has the full right to exist has never occurred to any of heterosexuals. People only accepted it as something inevitable, something that came into the ordinary life without permission and crashed the usual model of thinking. That does nit signify, however, the lack of tolerance – it is rather the signal of the unwillingness to understand the viewpoint of the opponent.
Therefore, there is no doubt that in the heterosexual background with its long-established morals and the patriarchal structure, gays and lesbians with their ideas of free love and the desire to live their life the way they want to look in the most unattractive and dissolute way. Not being able to tell sanctimony from genuine indignation, those who are still unsure about their position concerning homosexuals take the viewpoint of the people who seem the most righteous.
However, taking the approach which involves the idea of love as it is, pure and sacrificial, it would be possible to incorporate the ideas of homosexual love and the concept of platonic love, which will lead to the conclusion that love in its pure, unleashed shape, has nothing to do with people’s prejudice and morality:
In particular, love can be separated from morality and moral expectations. For the generations who have been allowed sexual freedom there is no reason to suppose that love cannot be immediate or fulfilled. ‘Galling in love’ has never, for those of us who live in the contemporary West, been erased. (Evans 2002, 105)
Thus, rising love to the heavens above, it is possible to understand that in its every manifestation can be considered as something magnificent and incredible. A gift from up above, it does not follow the conventional models of behavior and will never restrict itself to any rules – at least among those established by people.
With such vision of love, it can be admitted that the society is ready to fold homosexuals in their arms. However, being realistic, it is necessary to admit that the current state of affairs is far from being ideal, and the idealistic thoughts concerning the freedom to love and the freedom to choose can be left way behind – at least, at the present stage of the mankind development.
Although the social tolerance towards homosexuals has progressed greatly, one still can feel the impact of the distrust which heterosexuals used to have for homosexuals. It is obvious now that the opinion of the most conservative heterosexuals is still considered as the cornerstone for nourishing distrust towards the latter.
It seems that the reframing of homosexuals’ minds is still in progress, despite the convincing proofs that such sexual orientation id no deviation, but another possible variant of loving. Applying their ideas to the examples from Bible and making accent on Christianity as the glue which holds the social morals together. Though the reasons which are given by the opponents of the “peace theory” cannot hold water, the antagonists of homosexual relationships are more than persistent tin their attempts to take the lost sheep to the pastor:
“In some cases God gives grace to be celibate. But since marriage is a good gift, and God’s pleasure is toward Christian marriage, former homosexuals whose mind and hearts are renewed will find pleasure in the same thing that God does. (Welch, 2000, p. 35-36).
Such claims raise serious doubts whether the mankind is mature enough to accept the changes which the world is undergoing at the moment. Although the issue of homosexualism has existed since the times immemorial, starting from the Ancient Greece and Rome, the people of XXI century seem to be inclined to believe that this is the phenomenon which must be eliminated.
Such state of affairs can signal only about the immaturity of the mankind and its unwillingness to think in the way different from the conventional one. Supposing that there could be another way of loving than the one which they have been practicing seems unbearable for them. Thus, it seems that the thing which needs changing indeed is our own world picture.
Setting the Standard of Being a Man: The Influence of the Heterosexuals
In site of the fact that heterosexuals position monogamy as the best way to arrange one’s personal life, there is one big “but” about the theories of the opponents of polygamy. Namely, this is adultery. No matter what individuals might say, statistic shows that the level of adultery among the spouses hits potentially dangerous mark. Thus, the hypocritical accusations of homosexuals concerning their frivolity can be considered too far-fetched. As Kipnis said,
Adulterers aren’t just ”playing around.” These are our home-grown closet social theorists, because adultery is not just a referendum on the sustainability of monogamy; it is a veiled philosophical discussion about the social contract itself. The question on the table is this: ”How much renunciation of desire does society demand of us, versus the degree of gratification it provides?” Clearly, the adulterer’s answer, following a long line of venerable social critics, would be, ”Too much.” (Kipnis 158)
In other words, it can be considered that the accusations of heterosexuals sound no longer solid, and their protestations of the saint lifestyle are no longer trustworthy – or, at least, no more trustworthy than the ones of homosexuals. Another thing which is worth considerations is the foundation of their own lives which is shattered into pieces as the abovementioned theory is sounded.
Although some people could consider such approach as an attempt to accuse the conservative morals, to cast a shadow on the settled idea of love and marriage, it is obvious that Kipnis is merely trying to give equal rights and chances to both the representatives of the traditional sexual orientation as well as gays and lesbians. Anyway, it is clear now that both opponents have the right to live a full life.
Evaluating the Situation: The Way One Must Love
Despite the attempts to blaze their own trail to follow, gays are highly subjected to the outer influence, which results in numerous restrictions and living the life of someone lese. It goes without saying that something has to be done to improve the situation, yet the necessity to coexist with the society which makes these people swallow the objections as they are supposed to twin off the only correct road.
We, the people and the public, are therefore now allowed into the worlds of minor royalty and successful entertainers. Moreover, we are invited to assume that our lives are their lives, in the sense that we all, rich and poor, share the common goals of a successful partnership (generally, but not exclusively, heterosexual), a ‘beautiful home’ and photogenic children. (Evans 2002, p.106)
Therefore, the primary goal of the modern society would be not to inflict the wrath and curse on those who do not look like us and behave in different mode, but to try to conceive what these people are longing to. With a more humane approach heterosexuals will be able to understand the woes and miseries of the homosexuals. It has to be admitted that the rights of all people must be recognized, no matter who these people are and what lifestyle they lead.
Differentiation of people, no matter what it is based on, the color of skin, the sexual orientation or the specific hobby, will still remain discrimination, which must be taken into consideration as well. Despite the fact that homosexuality is rather an inborn specific trait of one’s soul, there is certain evidence that some people can resort to homosexual relations as a result of a childhood trauma, as Welch (2000) admitted, which means that choosing the correct approach to people could determine their future life.
Because of the fact that most people consider homosexuality as a form of psychological deviation, gays and lesbians become assured that they need certain treatment, and that their idea of love is shameful and dangerous; thus, the environment for depression and stress can be easily created. Being under such pressure for several years, these people will not be able to handle the situation on their own, and it is only the help of a qualified specialist that can provide them with the comfort which they lack so much.
On the one hand, sexual freedom has suggested that each person can make choices on his/her own, creating the most comfortable environment fro hi-/herself, both in the public and personal life.
However, it seems that the sexual orientation is not the thing which requires detailed discussions; thus the most reasonable way out would be not to advertise one’s sexual orientation. No matter how hard it could be, as long as the situation does not harm one’s mental or physical health, such intimate issues are preferable to keep to oneself, otherwise various conflicts are highly probable.
It is quite understood that personal comfort could be achieved only when being completely open to the people around; yet it is important to distinguish the ones who are worth trusting in and the ones who are not. Excessive sincerity has never been the most precious quality; at certain period, it can be considered rather stupidity.
That does not mean though that one must lead the life of a hermit. Enjoying the life as it is, with every breath taken, it is still possible not to expose one’s sexual preferences to the others. Appreciating the other people’s feelings is of great importance, either.
According to the analysis of the contemporary state of homosexuals, it can be concluded that the sexual minorities are maltreated quite often. Due to the prejudice which people believe most when mentioning gays and lesbians, it can be stated that even modern people are apt to believe the widespread and absurd myths about sexual minorities. Thus, trusting in the false information, people keep distanced from sexual minorities and make the latter follow the life pattern designed for heterosexuals.
Because of the peculiarities of relationships between homosexual couples, the rules and laws of heterosexual communication cannot be applied to them. Thus, they suffer when seeing that they are unable to find the beloved man or to socialize with the rest of the world. Becoming socially isolated, these people start degrading, which adds you the feeling of distrust of the heterosexual part of the mankind.
One of the chief differences between the two types is the way of searching for the partner. Preferring the patriarchal style of keeping the family, heterosexuals have established the rules which homosexuals cannot fit into. Thus, searching for another means of finding their beloved, they are forced to choose unconventional and often forbidden paths.
Thus, unless the communication between the two opponents begins, no possible improvements can occur. It is only the mutual understanding which will lead the people out of the dark into the sunlight of the brand new day, when both the heterosexuals and the homosexuals will be able to find a common language and not to scorn each other anymore.
It must be kept in mind that once the humane approach is applied, numerous difficulties will dissolve at once. However, like every other revolution, this change will take some time. Thus, all what people can do is to become a bit more tolerant and sympathetic. Perhaps, things will change then.
Evans, M., (2002) Love: An Unromantic Discussion. Oxford: Polity.
Johnson, P., (2004) ‘Haunting Heterosexuality: The Homo/Het Binary and Intimate Love, Sexualities, 7(2): 183-200.
Kipnis, L., (2003) Against Love: A Treatise on the Tyranny of Two in Suzanne LaFont (ed.) Constructing Sexualities: Readings in Sexuality, Gender and Culture: 156-161.
Klesse, C. (2006) Polyamory and its ‘Others’: Contesting the Terms of Non Monogamy Sexualities, 9 (5): 565-583
Welch, E. T. (2000) Homosexuality. Speaking the Truth in Love.