I just finished watching Milk,

Posted: January 19, 2009 in Uncategorized

starring Sean Penn and James Franco, and it got me thinking about gay people and people who hate them. And a whole lotta questions popped up in (what’s left of) my mind.

The movie is based on the life of Harvey Milk in the 70s, the man who started and made prevail the Gay Rights Movement in the US.

Do you hate gay people? Or do they atleast creep you out?
Because I know a lot of people in real life who would say yes to either or both of those questions. Conservative Sri Lanka is still far from having gay people being open about their sexuality; I mean, we’re still at a stage when out-of-wedlock sex isn’t really spoken about openly unless in the right sort of crowd.

Why, though? I understand that religion calls homosexuality a sin and whatnot, but is that a justification to all the hatred and creeped-out-ness aimed at gayness?
Of course, even for me, it’s a little strange to watch a same-sex couple kiss, only because I am not used to seeing it. But how does that unfamiliarity link up to expressing hostility to the thing that you’re unfamiliar with?

Fear of something that you do not understand? That which is alien and out of the norm is probably evil? Primitive notion, don’t you think?

I don’t even have gay friends. Not that I know of anyway. But just like any other individual right: to dress differently, to have a different point of view, to live a different lifestyle, rights that cause no harm whatsoever to other people, sexuality is purely just a human right no?

A religious conservative in Milk justifies shunning gays by saying that if everyone condones gayness, everyone might turn gay, and the human race will die out.
Uh… Dude. This is like, say, a preference in lifestyle: cosmopolitan urban livelihoods co-exist with rural ones, right? Then who says there can’t be a healthy number of both equally accepted gays and heterosexuals co-existing?

Fine, your religion says being gay is wrong. Your religion says you have to go to church on Sundays, or pray five times a day, or have a bar-mitzvah when you’re 13- you don’t go around forcing people of other beliefs to do those things you do right? Then why do we find people treating gays like outcasts, just because their religion says being gay is wrong? What happened to respecting what other people do or say with their own lives?

Why are people finding the stupidest excuses to wage war? Is it just, absolutely impossible for people to accept that other people are different with different opinions from their own?

Sometimes, I think organized society is afraid of variety. We have a poster-image of what is correct, what is normal, ordinary… and god forbid one should ever stray from that image!
Whether it’s to be of a different sexuality… or dress differently, talk differently, act differently, it instills a sense of insecurity in the majority entrenched in a sort of routine norm, all the way from the times of racial unrest to gay-hetero wars to modern-day cultural clashes.

How can the antagonism practiced unto anything that seems ‘abnormal’ (i.e. different from the usual) be explained in any other terms than some sort of primitive mindset that humans are yet to evolve out of?
Why are the masses fighting for such uniformity?
What are we afraid of?

  1. GanjaNinja says:

    Are you gay? nothing serious its just a question!

  2. Makuluwo says:


  3. Sabby says:

    I actually have friends who openly (and proudly) state that they are homophobes. But its funny how these self-declared homephobes condones lesbians. Isn’t that homosexuality as well. Schmucks!I actually have gay friends and I am fine with it. Sri Lanka might be a conservative country but this sorta discrimination happens everywhere.Interesting post, makes one ponder.P.S: James Franco is so oogle-worthy. =)

  4. Azrael says:

    I’ve also been wondering about the same thing about why people are afraid of something that is different from them, and as you say, it could be our primitive parts doing the thinking. I’m just speculating here, but I think this comes from an old protective mechanism, going back to the time when we were still making monkey noises. If it looks and smells different, it could be a threat, while if it looks and smells the same it could be a friend. If it is a threat then you have to protect yourself. You see it everyday in nature, in all animals. As for the question why we haven’t grown out of it, I have no idea, but then again, it’s very difficult to let go of habits dating back millions of years isn’t it? The question is, even though we have intelligence, are we civilized?

  5. DeeCee says:

    Good points azrael. hmm..i think we had a discussion on homophobia some time ago on someone’s post. My thoughts are on the lines of, ‘each to his own’. as long as it’s not a hindrace to society. gay people have the same amount of feelings and emotions as a straight person. If they find someone to love, good on them! :)I always empathise. Imagine if you were born gay? How hard would life be..?

  6. TheWhacksteR says:

    Maku – nice post, iv got a few friends who r gay and iv got no problem with em so long as they dont hit on me :p but seriously, homophobia or no, i asked the same question from the general blogosphere that the ‘religious conservative’ in Milk asked. Just out of curiousity and a biological point of view you understand. some interesting responseshttp://thewhacksterslair.blogspot.com/2008/10/heres-question.htmlwhat are people afraid of? hmmm, i think its just a concern of naturality. The instinct to reproduce is strongly inherent in any species. and in an advanced (?) life form like humans, society will be strongly infrained with tha instinct. So maybe homophobia is a manifestation of that societal instinct. a theory.

  7. TheWhacksteR says:

    p.s. this wasnt a ‘sad attempt at getting someone to visit my blog’ by the way. in case the Maharajah is watching Oo. :Dactually, that was exactly what it was

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