As I sit here and read, I come across an article about yet another young guy who has taken his own life. This person didn’t commit suicide because they had lost their job, nor was it because they had just been declared bankrupt. They did it because they were bullied, and they were bullied because they were gay. My mind wanders to a report about a man who was tied to a lamppost and sexually abused before being doused in petrol and set on fire, again because of his sexuality. These news stories focused around homophobia are becoming more and more regular, with a vast percentage of these tragic tales reaching us from America, the land of the free.
Being homosexual, bisexual or even heterosexual isn’t a part of our lives we have any control over, it’s an element of ourselves that is set and which no one can do anything about. It’s not the easiest time of someone’s life, realising your sexuality and growing anxious about a future where you’re potentially labelled as ‘different’. Hearing all these stories definitely doesn’t help. Some of these people must have gone through hell in order for them to feel that the only solution was to end it all. And for what? For falling in love with someone of the same gender? Now obviously we are all biased on this subject as LGBT individuals, but beyond our bubble, there cannot justifiably be claimed to be any reason why discrimination should follow from sexual attraction. It beggars belief that some individuals relentlessly pursue this end and actively make the situation even worse.
It takes an awful lot for a man, or woman, to come to terms with all that, even more so for them to be comfortable enough to ‘come out’. For me, I found it especially difficult, not because my family were homophobic (to this day I haven’t a clue what they actually thought of it all) but because of the society I grew up in. I tried to deny it at first and told myself over and over again that it was just a phase people go through. I’m not a religious person, but I did pray that one day I would wake up ‘normal’. I’m not one to be ashamed of who I am, no-one should be, but I did want to be straight.
Some critics say that homosexuals are a result of upbringing and environment. They theorised that a boy became gay because his father was cold and emotionally detached. Or a girl became a lesbian because she had an aggressive mother. But this theory is neither correct nor proven. Sometimes, I wonder if it really is a choice, why would any intelligent person choose a way of life that opens them up to hostility, prejudice and discrimination from certain quarters? Isn’t it easier to be straight?