Friday, November 4, 2011

Soapbox: Two Straight Guys Talk About Malaysian Homer-Sexuality

So after a long but fun day, I went to have Thai food with one of my close friends.

We're both straight, but somehow the conversation turned to Seksualiti Merdeka - Malaysia's premier gender and sexuality equality rights movement.

Friend: So, this Seksualiti Merdeka thing.

Me: Yeah?

F: What do they want?

Me: Gender equality, I think.

F: You mean, feminism?

Me: No, I mean, well, maybe feminism too, but more like sexual equality.

F: Like what?

Me: I dunno, dude, I'm not gay. I am perhaps reflective of straight ignorance of LGBT struggle.

F: There's a struggle?

Me: I think so.

F: But you started STRET - Straights Towards real Equality and Things - in support of gay rights. What do these gays want?

Me: I'm not really sure, but I support them all the same. Why are you so interested? Are you gay?

F: No, but our friend M*** asked me to ask you.

Me: Why? Do you guys think I'm gay?

F: No, but, you know, you have more gay friends than I do. Are they oppressed?

Me: I... think so. I believe that their plight is more implied. More psychological, more administrative, with some outbursts of physical stuff.

F: Like what? Were they beaten up?

Me: I believe that the chances that some were is very high. Though since there has been no credible research that has been made public, that I know of, I really can't say.

F: I never read about them in the papers.

Me: Look, you're an atheist. Do you feel oppressed? From our majority God-fearing community?

F: Sometimes.

Me: Okay, now I believe that it is not fair for us to assume what the LGBTQWERTY whatever community is up against, since we are not them.

F: Well, they did get Ambiga... which seems fishy.

Me: Why? That they turned to someone who recently made a successful commotion?

F: But why would they want a commotion? Why do they want attention?

Me: I believe that their stories are not getting enough exposure. If I was in their shoes, I'd get everyone, PLUS Ambiga.

F: What's the story?

Me: Maybe that's what they're trying to tell us.

F: You don't think they are just trying to force people to accept them?

Me: I don't know, dude.

F: Lots of things you don't know.

Me: To be fair, I haven't even heard fully what Seksualiti Merdeka - a subset of the LGBT community - is really complaining about. And maybe that IS their point - to put across their point. To people like us. Who don't know what they want.

F: I don't give a shit whether they're gay or not. They get the same treatment from me as everyone else.

Me: I'm sure.

F: What do you think they want? Gay marriage?

Me: Maybe later? I think it's just awareness and creating a support system, not turning straight people into gays.

F: Yeah, that turning people gay thing is bullshit.

I left for home feeling uncomfortable. I believe that everyone should be allowed to express whatever they want, IF THEY WANT TO. Seksualiti Merdeka does not represent the entire gay community, IMHO. They represent a people, trying to express their freedom of speech. Above all else, I believe in freedom.

I am increasingly asked by people concerning Seksualiti Merdeka. I am not sure why. I must state that I am STRAIGHT. Yes, I do watch musicals and am in touch with my emotions, and I am straight.

I do not agree with some of the thinking behind some people, who believe that fighting oppression and discrimination will make it go away. It simply, IMHO, makes it stronger and for the lines dividing us easier to see.

However, if that is the message that any group wants to convey, then I believe we either should help, or get out the way.

The problem with freedom of speech is that you must also allow and/or protect the kind of speech you don't agree with.

I believe that there are more things that make us similar, that binds us together - in a non-liberal way - than things that keep us apart. I believe that everyone and everything is connected. That winning and losing are two sides of the same coin.

And that ultimately, if you are aware and awakened, you will understand that the weapon to end all wars and hatred is not ego or emotion, but acceptance of the world and the nature of the people that God has created.

I hate liars. I hate racists. I hate insecure people. I hate idiots. And if I am strong enough, if I am wise enough, I will find myself in them and open my hearts to them.

But seriously? Fuck Apple zealots.