Coming Out

It seems that not a week goes by that a celebrity or someone with status comes out as gay, lesbian, bisexual, or transgender. Transgender individuals, in particular, seem to be all over the media. So, why is that? Are there more LGBT individuals now than there were in the past?

Probably not.

What I think is happening is as our society becomes more comfortable and accepting of people who don’t fit into conservative boxes, more people come out. Whether that is someone’s sexual orientation, gender identity, or relationships preference, people no longer feel the need to pretend as much.

Celebrities, being wealthy and surrounded by generally liberal people, are in the best position to come out and provide a safer society for others.They provide an example that it sexuality and gender are not binary, that human sexuality and gender is more complicated than that. I do hope that someday none of this will really matter, that everyone will just be treated as individuals, but we aren’t there yet.

In fact, I think it is important to recognize that we aren’t even close to that point. Yes, it is easier for rich celebrities and, generally white, wealthy people living on the coasts to fully express their gender and sexual orientation, but that isn’t the case for most people. People of color, youth, and individuals who live in conservative areas face very real danger of being discriminated against, assaulted, or even killed because of who they are. Things are getting better, but we have a long way to go.

I expect we will see much more of this, and probably new terminology popping up until the point it is impossible to keep track of what all the identities and orientations mean. And maybe, just maybe, that flood of individuals seeking a word that most accurately describes them will make us realize we should just treat each other as individuals and stop trying to classify each other. We should respect and love each other for being true to ourselves. Instead of people seeing me as Peter (cisgender, heteroerotic, sexually fluid, monogamish) they will simply see me as Peter.

Someday, it won’t matter

I think (hope) there will come a day in our near future when someone’s sexual orientation and gender identity are no more important than their eye color or favorite food. Instead of classifying people along gender lines (or sexual orientation or race or a thousand other categories) we will simply see them as individuals. I hope we come to realize that there is no reason to control another person unless that person is harming you, and who someone falls in love with or how they identify harms nobody.

In fact, I bet we will come to a day when gender and sexual orientation is recognized as fluid in many (most) people and it can change depending on the circumstances. For some, this may be a slight change from a 0 to 1 on the Kinsey scale because there is one person in the world of the same sex that they find sexually attractive enough to fuck around with. For others it may fluctuate wildly from 0 to 6 throughout their life (or the week). I realize the Kinsey scale is imperfect, but I think it is good enough to explain my point.

We humans are complicated and fluid beings. We are a mixture of nature and nurture, and are constantly being bombarded with new stimuli from outside and within. It shouldn’t shock anyone that something as diverse and complicated as attraction (sexual, romantic, or otherwise) is that a binary system is inadequate for a species of 7 billion who live 70ish years. We don’t expect that from any of our other drives. Food, sleep, and sexual position preferences all change throughout the years as we are introduced to new things and our bodies change. Orientation and gender, for many people, change too.

I guess I just don’t understand the busy-bodies who act like the world is going to come to an end because people are free to label themselves as they wish. I guess some of their concerns are understandable… they don’t want children hurt… but their methods to alleviate that concern is wrong. There seems to be a pattern when it comes to children, parents will latch onto their greatest fears and pursue totalitarian policies that are ineffective and harm innocent people. There is no sacrifice too great when it comes to protecting your own children, even if it means treating the rest of the world terribly. Evolution is a bitch that way. We evolved in order to squirt out genetic copies, that is the biological meaning of life.

We should just let people be who they want to be. If someone wants to be called a certain pronoun (or hell, wants to be called a centaur) and it doesn’t hurt anyone then why not respect that? Who cares who they sleep with as long as they aren’t harming anyone else? It is not the place of government or individuals to enforce their morality on others. In fact, it stops becoming a moral action if you do it simply out of fear of hell, jail, or lynching by society. Something is only moral if the mind lines up with the actions, and no amount of force is going to change the mind of someone.

Anyway, things seem to be getting better and quickly in most of the US. Gender and sexual orientation is less important and fewer people are shocked when they meet a transgender or gay person. There is still work to be do, particularly in parts of the Fascist Belt (I refuse to call it Bible Belt anymore, there is nothing Christ-like about they policies or politicians they support, they are totalitarians, not Christians), but the internet is making things better, and the younger generations are comfortable with fluidity in life. I’m hopeful for the future in so many ways, society is becoming a happier, more peaceful, loving, and accepting place.