I don’t agree with homosexuality.
We have all read or heard that statement at least once. Can you recall your initial reaction? My first thought was to wonder just how someone could argue about a sexual orientation. Someone may not want to respect a particular sexual orientation — say homosexuality or a homosexual person — but the orientation still exists. To which the response is usually …
Well, I don’t agree with that lifestyle …
I generally respond that it is a life, not a lifestyle, to which I am accused of splitting hairs … but am I?
Lifestyle: A way of life or style of living that reflects the attitudes and values of a person or group.
Life: The physical, mental, and spiritual experiences that constitute existence.
Based upon these common dictionary definitions, it is apparent that I am not just splitting hairs or playing with semantics. On the contrary, it appears that in referring to my life – my physical, mental and spiritual experience that constitutes my existence – I am being dismissed as having only a style of living that reflects [the perceived] attitudes and values of a group. More directly, my life, other than my sexual orientation, is but a shallow shell devoid of existence.
Can someone really believe that I have no life outside of the bedroom? How could anyone assume that because my partner is a woman, we think of nothing but sex? Or can those statements be anything more than a reflection of their own private thoughts?
Recently a man sent me a private message via the ICQ network, stating he was looking for people to discuss politics, religion and life – would I be interested? Looking for a little diversion, I responded to the message in the affirmative. Within just a few exchanges, he shared that he was experiencing marital problems, was a Christian, and though he found the thought of women together sexually a turn on, he did not approve of the lifestyle.
But what struck me about this exchange was not that it was any different from any other straight-male approach, but rather because I suddenly saw the parallels of the discrimination and hate I experience in real life. From somewhere he felt empowered to objectify me, judge me and condemn me. Why? Where had he garnered the right to place himself above me?
Well, I have been accused of splitting hairs over words, but I believe the misuse of lifestyle for life is the first step to the internal conceit and self-righteousness necessary to allow these people to feel they have the right and obligation to judge and condemn others. By that same token, I also believe it is time to strip away the curtain of illusionary power these individuals use against us. In order to do that, I believe we need to put a stop to the misuse of words they use against us. And even more importantly, we need to stop misusing these words as well.
There is no one lesbian lifestyle.
There is no such thing as in the life.
No one has the right or power to disagree with your life.
Until next time…