(Photo courtesy of Henri Sivonen on Flickr under CC license)
(Photo courtesy of Henri Sivonen on Flickr under CC license)

By MARYANNE RAFKA, Staff Columnist

Alright, I’m going to ask a rhetorical question; you don’t have to answer, but think about it. What is it with people (mostly white and male and religious) who think it’s okay to go around telling gay people that there’s something wrong with them? And why do they think that they have a cure to “fix” the gay person’s “disease”?

Seriously, I’ve been encountering this a lot, especially recently and here on campus. When someone finds out about my sexuality, they take it upon themselves to throw Bible verses at me and tell me they can “help me.” Well, here’s the thing: neither I nor anyone else needs any help for their sexuality. Often times, I have the urge to either quote Jesus back to them, or explain to them that their book, which is thousands of years old, was written by men, and that they can’t prove the existence of this god to me but I can prove that homosexuality isn’t a choice. And if it’s not a choice, you can’t change it.

Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m not bashing religion. I grew up religious and have faith. I’m bashing extremism in religion and people who use God as an excuse to promote their own feelings and prejudices.

Last week, I encountered a man – I won’t name names – who told me that it doesn’t matter how anyone feels about homosexuality because God has the final word, and God clearly states that He does not accept homosexuality and views it as a sin, and that there will punishment after death. He then tried to understand why someone would be gay – “Did something happen to you?” “Are you hurting?” “Was there something in your past that made you feel this way?” No, nothing happened to me that caused this; no, I’m not hurting; no, I don’t have any repressed feelings; no, I haven’t had any bad experiences with anyone of either gender; no, no, no.

Here’s the thing: nothing makes you gay. You are simply born gay. Radical concept, I know, someone being born a certain way, like with blue eyes or a penis. Your sexuality is decided before you’re born. You don’t choose who you’re attracted to; you just happen to feel a certain way about someone. The bottom line is: some girls like girls and some girls like boys and some boys like boys and some boys like girls and some people like both and some people like neither and someone people like everyone and some people like no one – and all of that is okay. It really is. Your sexuality doesn’t define you, it doesn’t change you, and it doesn’t make you bad. It’s just one aspect of who you are, and it’s something you can’t change. It’s something that we all have to live with.

And when someone comes up to me and tells me that there’s something wrong with the way I was born and that they have the cure for what I call love, it pisses me off. And when they say that cure comes through religion, it turns me off to religion. And the reason why there are people who think that a love different from their own is wrong will be something I will never understand. We’re not going to molest your kids or rape you or change your sexuality; what kind of awful person would try to change someone’s sexuality? Gay people only want a few things in life: not to be bothered by assholes who think they know what’s best for them; equality; to not be discriminated against because of the sexuality and relationships; and to live a normal life.

Does that sound scary? Does that sound bad? Or does it sound – dare I say – sane and normal? You know, the whole notion of equality, it’s not that radical when you really think about it.

What I’m trying to say is this: I don’t need fixing; and maybe, for someone who follows Christ, you should be a little more loving and tolerant. “Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God.” 1 John 4:7.

See, sir, I can quote it, too.

  • Manny

    Wow….You write as somebody who despises hate but you sure spew a lot of hate in your writing!

    The problem here is that when somebody believes something (this case being gay) they could be 100% completely wrong but if they want to believe it, they will no matter what anyone says.

    You also completely take the Bible out of context and blaspheme God. These people who show concern for you don’t hate you as a person but rather don’t agree with the lifestyle you chose. They certainly don’t hate you like you seem to hate them back.

    Finally, I fully realize that this article is under the opinion section of the paper but in all reality, this isn’t an opinion piece. This is a blatant attack and a cheap shot abusing your “power”. I lost a lot of respect for this paper after this “article”.

    • Manny, realize what you’re saying. While you may interpret her writing as hate, another may simply interpret her writing as a strongly opinionated piece of work.

      Her quoting the Bible is merely secondary to what she is trying to get at. She simply points out the fact that many people seem to quote the Bible in a way that can come off as rude and disrespectful to her as a person. While they may not directly hate her as a person, they surely do hate her lifestyle and view it as if though it were something wrong. They are entitled to that opinion, however they are not entitled to make her feel as if though she were less of a person because of it. I may feel that religious people are inferior to others, however I don’t go around telling avid Christian’s that they are “wrong” to believe in God. Why do religious people feel the need to voice their opinion in such an insensitive manner?

      Think about it – how would you feel to be constantly patronized for the way you live your life? Telling someone you don’t care for their shoes is one thing, but telling them you don’t care for who they love is a completely different ballgame… and that’s what I would compare this to. You act as if this is something rather minor and she’s just looking at it through her own “tunnel-vision” lens. Realize she’s pointing something out. This is not an attack, it is a harsh reality that many people, like yourself, choose not to face. It’s a touchy subject and something you probably don’t want to hear. But, journalism doesn’t always revolve around what the people want to hear. Without such intense dialogue, one would never get anything accomplished in this world. I’m sure she just wants to open a few eyes to a subject that hits home.