I never thought I would be writing on this topic. I find myself unabashedly heterosexual when I am not suffering from some form of Catholically-induced terror over the idea that someone might find out I have a streak of the deviant in my repertoire. It's just a streak, after all. Everyone has them from time to time.
Out of force of habit I like to take the position of those whose ideas I oppose and, as best I can, find out what feelings resonate in me as true, correct, valid, worth knowing or worth keeping around. When I lose an argument, the worst thing that happens, other than a bruised ego, is that I have a pearl of truth and wisdom in the aftermath. The part about not being thorough in the first place, as Catholic as that is for me, has been shunted to some place in my heart that makes me smile at the sheer neurosis of my upbringing. It is, after all, just a streak.
Seeing the other side of an argument can, depending on the depth of the disagreement, be very taxing. To suggest that dropping the trappings of one's own identity for the sake of an intellectual exercise is easy is to completely misunderstand the task. This very task used to induce madness in my mother, a madness that usually resulted in a two-week hospital stay, with or without electroconvulsive "therapy." I suspect this task of "worldview switcheroo" induces hysteria in people who do not know or believe that there is more to the human experience than the trappings of their own ego. It happens. Being a "successful minority" is a form of high art, which cuts the smaller ships of society completely adrift. Unfortunately, there are a lot of ships lost at sea in this world.
Forcing, cajoling, demanding, manipulating or coercing other people to adopt a perspective that accommodates your particular idiosyncrasies is an inherently selfish, narcissistic act. Such an act misunderstands the fear and terror induced in the human nervous system as one idea, viewed as fundamental to a person's identity, begins a process of "dying" and the foolishness of jumping off a cliff into the fog dawns on the mind of the fool in question. And yet, this is precisely what gay people are asking the homophobic in the heterosexual community to do -- just for them. Without any preconditions or firing a shot. Surrender, or be wrong. G'head. Jump off a cliff into the fog and we will catch you. Trust us.
This sort of behavior, while courageous when it occurs, can never be expected from anyone, by anyone else, at any time. On any side of the Proposition 8 arguments. Asking another person to change their mind, "for them," at such a deep and fundamental level is not a function that, "love," could even understand, much less accomplish. Not that such a request is uncommon among humans, just that if our apparent creator(s) had made these requests as commonplace as we humans do, we would have been deemed evolutionary waste long before now. One either loves a brother or sister as they are, right now, or they must move on -- in peace, if in sadness.
So -- bad gay people. Bad. Shame on you queers. Booga-boogah.
However, the remaining three fingers of fate must point back at the origin of the majority of the finger-pointers in California. And those fingers will always say, "j'accuse!" Or something equally dimwitted in English.
Congratulations to all the meditators in California who have stuck with their practice long enough to realize what the basic human problem always has been and where that problem must always reside.
Now I shall venture to empower the haspidulous, knuckle-dragging majority of Californians who voted in the affirmative for Proposition 8. No more mister nice guy. Captain Obvious to the rescue.
The current process of identification and communication with our fellow human beings does not work correctly, if it ever has. This process of identification that is so central to our way of communicating meaning amongst ourselves requires that I believe that I connect to you through my ego directly to your ego. In truth, this model may not even exist. The model seems to work, and has worked, when my world has been kept impossibly small and unreal, but it clearly does not work in the world at large. If you doubt my thesis, try holding an open and honest conversation among a group of heterosexual strangers about your sexual likes and dislikes. Go ahead -- instant intimacy, just add sex. One might as well add some vinegar to a jar of baking soda and close the lid really, really fast.
Moralizing or trying to control human behavior is a lot like wishing away the heat of a fire, the moistness of water or the dryness of a desert wind in winter. Back in the days of Leviticus, when the populations under direction were tiny by modern comparison, serious attempts were made to rid our world of deviants. As you may have noticed our attempt at controlling deviance, deviated. Far from achieving their oft-stated goal, we now have billions of deviants running around the globe like so many ants at an otherwise cheerful picnic in the woods.
But before we go for the can of poison or shout, "kill them all!" we might want to consider a more eco-friendly approach. Just consider it, wholeheartedly, for a few brief moments. The closer to one's heart we take this information, the more generally applicable the process becomes and the higher our resulting quality of life. Our world will be able to accommodate a larger and larger contingent of our fellow humans and our cup will runneth over.
No, this does not mean that Charles Manson will make our Christmas card lists, but he could if we wanted him to. Gone would be the reflexive, gut-reactive aversion for the kind of strangeness that, from the perspective of the universe, barely scratches the surface of potential diversity. No longer would we make up our minds and then go on a quest to rationalize or justify our beliefs in the snap of two fingers. We would be truly open to our fellows and to any new information they might have to offer us.
We would no longer be reactive, but responsive. We would be able to make new choices in our lives, rather than fighting back against the awareness of an experience of being in a prison of promises kept and promises broken. Our world would instead be a reflection of our true freedom, rather than the misunderstood and misinterpreted common sense of a different time.
To simply accept for a few brief moments the possibility that your creator (whomever or whatever that is for you) created absolutely everything in this world that is either meaningful or is as yet unknown to you. If the meaning is, or will be, relevant enough to make your personal "to-do" list, then let us assume that your creator respects how you feel, or will feel, about it, or towards it.
Would your creator demand that you love someone or something that you could not possibly love in any way, at any time? Rest with these thoughts for a few simple moments.
Now you can freely choose to arm yourself and drive around in your broken-down pickup and yell, "kill the queers!"
But will this conduct, in the end, be a real choice that we would be making or would it be a pre-recorded script from "central casting?" What if these human beings we so fervently believe to be, "not of us," actually are, "one of us?" Do we not all occupy the same speck of cosmic dust in the midst of an unseasonably cool nowhere? How much more obvious does our apparent unity need to be? Do we need words to express something so apparent?
Any residual anger that might exist with respect to our feelings of affront can be resolved by finding fault with those of us who choose to make a "sale" of every conceivable human transaction -- every last one. For those among us who would coerce and sell us on the pleasures of false economy, they choose to use sex, sexuality and "sexualness." First, they must establish our identity to ourselves as something or someone other than it truly is so that who we think we are can be assailed and weakened. And it is these same merchants of what simply cannot be true who will then sell us their solution for our feelings of weakness and vulnerability that they implanted within each one of us in the first place.
This was a brilliant idea for conquering the world without firing a shot, but it is nevertheless insane. A thoughtful strategy completely void of any consideration for one's fellows. To summarily train a world of innocent children to view an unimaginable hugeness as something small and capable of ever being under their personal control would be as cruel as sending a soldier to a foreign land with an incorrect map and a failing compass. And yet this is precisely what we do to one another when we even attempt to suggest that the magnificence of our personal conceptualization of our creator(s) could possibly be encompassed with a few simple words on a scrap of paper.
And so it is that we have been trained to identify, and therefore communicate successfully, only with persons who represent the largest market for the sale of goods and services that only someone else we do not know can supply to us. Would it not be better if we could communicate successfully in the "market" from which all things that are already ours already come?
Should we not be grateful when one among us cries, "foul," on those who have hijacked the development of the brains of small children, convinced those vulnerable minds that their identity is defined outside themselves and, further, that their sexual identity is inextricably tied to their value as human beings? And all of this to steal their wholeness from them, that it might be sold back to them, repeatedly, for a few pieces of silver.
If you would choose, then, to risk loving those who seem most foreign to you, release your identity as a sexual being for just a moment and try to see your fellow humans as their creator might see them -- perhaps even as your creator might see you at your best. For that is what we will do, anyway, without a word from me one way or the other.
Our conflict, then, moves to where it should be: which creator(s) would we choose to invite into our world to structure all that we would see, for that is what we will see, anyway, without a word from me one way or the other?
Full circle we come then, from the simple hatred of one we think attacks our meaning to ourselves, to an enlarged sense of what makes an abundant universe whole. From a single one come the many; from the tiniest piece of the hologram does the whole picture still shine. Our problem has never been that we have gay or lesbian people who want equality; our problem is now, and has always been, that we believe we are less than the magnificent creatures that we actually are.
Before we add the joys and pains of any particular gender identity.