The aftermath of the Orlando massacre where at least 50 people were gunned down in a gay bar will inevitably bring up two debates – America’s attitude to guns and Islam.
While I’m not denying either, let’s broaden the scope. This was allegedly sparked by the gunman, (who I won’t name. He doesn’t deserve it), seeing two gay people kissing.
In society, young LGBTQ+ couples often express fear about holding their partner’s hand in public. They fear being stared at, or worse. LGBTQ+ people are often dehumanised – being reduced to an ‘act’ or ‘lifestyle’, rather than a red – blooded human being who happens to not (just) love those of the opposite sex.
I was watching BBC/ ABC2 documentary ‘Gay in Pakistan’, where a British – born Muslim went to Pakistan to examine the attitudes toward the LGBT. Technically, homosexuality is criminalised in Pakistan, but, apparently, it’s rarely enforced and prosecuted. That doesn’t mean that LGBT+ are safe. Hate crimes do exist. One thing that stood out to me. Most Muslims (at least that were researched), who condemn homosexuality are ignorant to the science of sexuality. They reduce gay people to the ‘acts’ they supposedly do.
That is the problem and it is a problem that happens again, and again and again. Sexual orientation is not about what a person ‘does’. It’s about a nixture of sexual and (usually) romantic attraction (or lack of). It is not an ‘act’. It’s (for the most part), the way people experience love and connection to others.
I’m not asking for anyone to change their beliefs in regard to same – sex marriage or same – sex relationships. I want the LGBTQ+ debate to change to acknowledge that we are talking about PEOPLE. Not caricatures. Not stereotypes. Not porn characters, real people. Then, maybe whatchappened in Orlando will at least become rare.