Daniel Gingras

Why does homosexuality upset so many heterosexuals? The answer is socialization. The most rigidly socialized people become the overt bigots. Not because there is anything fundamentally evil about them, but because they believe so firmly in what they are taught that the freedoms and feelings of others take a backseat to upholding their own ideals.

A perfect example was the lunatic terrorizing passersby in the University Union a week or two ago. Apparently his uber-socialization in the Bible-belt South left him thinking it was perfectly reasonable to accuse a man of being homosexual because he rode a bicycle, and that doing so was for the “gay” biker’s own good. His creed also included publicly informing the Jewish, Mormon, and video-gaming community that they could expect to burn in Hell. The boot marks of socialization were apparent: his own father was at his side and they operated as a philosophical team. I seriously doubt Frank formed those beliefs he was shouting about on his own, or from his own interpretations of the Bible. Rather, his father, and perhaps other agents of socialization indoctrinated them into him.

The funniest thing about socialization is that it can work with beliefs of unlimited absurdity. As a father, I could teach my kid that breakfast is meant to be eaten with the feet, or that death will come suddenly while sleeping unless one performs the sacred bedtime ritual before sleep, wherein one puts one’s underwear on one’s head and does the dirty bird for two minutes and 30 seconds while humming the “MacGyver” theme song. Granted, these practices will have no other social forces backing them, but depending on the child’s loyalty to his family, he might get in a fight about this at his first slumber party. As a community, we could force our schools to abandon widely-accepted theories of evolution and teach intelligent design. Whoops, that’s not hypothetical, that’s Kansas. Which is fairly close to Texas, where a man was dragged to death because of his “socially deviant” sexual orientation.

As an aside, I’m not saying that being from the South equals being a bigot. The South just happens to be a place with conservative social forces seemingly stronger than anywhere else. There are numerous positive effects of social attitudes in the south, such as excellent manners, friendliness and knowledge of Tex-Mex food. And so, the following sentence applies to all 50 states and humanity at large.

Persecution of the gay community is the bright red flag of imbecility.

Pursue the matter with someone who denounces gays, and you’ll find their reasons are usually reduced to feelings of disgust or a sense of inappropriateness. The same way it would feel inappropriate to my child that his friends don’t eat with their feet. And though the fact that being gay doesn’t make biological sense is often an issue in their persecution, there are so many other things much more accepted in our society that make less biological sense: casual sex, birth control, poly-amorous relationships, etc – Homosexuality is just like any other form of non-procreational sexual expression, and could be for love, fun, lust or any of the other reasons that motivate us as to act sexually as humans. The key to a society that accepts all varieties of sexual expression is now in our generation’s hand. If we can do our best to form fair, unbiased beliefs now and later teach them to our children, society will become more and more a place of equity and prosperity.

If you find yourself opposed to homosexuality, you should try abandoning that mindset, if just for this week of pride, to consider the real state of things. I encourage everyone to make a trip to Dexter Lawn and be exposed to some perfectly logical, but not commonly known, arguments in favor of equal rights for homosexuals.

For questions, comments or to hear about the ‘His’ and ‘His’ robes that Daniel once saw hanging in his gay uncle’s house, write to dgingras@calpoly.edu.

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