But Some Of My Friends Are Gay

1:00 AM

A few weeks back, a minister came into one of my family's establishments. As is normally the case, we started to talk about business, politics and life. In the middle of the discussion on politics the minister brought up the topic of why the US is doing so bad. He then went into a tirade about why homosexuality is wrong and immoral and yada yada.

Now being a part-time student in etiquette, I chose to bring the subject around to a safer topic. Instead my sister said:
"But some of my friends are gay."
I'm sure that is what some heterosexual people think whenever people go on and on about homosexuality. Some of us have friends, family members, neighbours or co-workers who are gay and we are not comfortable with the negative discussions coming from those who are opposed to same-sex loving.

In my life time, I have had gay friends, for instance Chad. A guy from Hawaii who was sooo endearing, I remember his big smile and his open heart. I remember going to his dorm room to watch Auntie Mame, one of my favourite movies and it turned out to be one of his favourites. He would tell me about his boyfriend and we exchanged CDs (He borrowed my Erykah Badu and I borrowed his Bjork). Although I wasn't the best friend to him, he always welcomed me into his world wholeheartedly. We lost touch but I always remember him fondly.

Then there was Khalid. Oh, such a hot mess, but an exciting, hot mess. He lived down the hall from me in my Sophomore year and we met during a floor meeting. He was from Saudi Arabia and according to him he had to have a beard and act butch when he was there. Although New York was a great place for a young gay man, Khalid didn't feel the vibe and was quite timid, he wanted to return to Florence, Italy. There he had more fun and was truly in his element.

He did return to Florence, the same year I went. It was like night and day and the energy coming off of that man was amazing. He would dress feminine yet masculine, he wore his eyeliner with pride. It was no wonder he was chosen to be photographed for an article about the college.

I even had a gay roommate. This was a dark part in my life because I became quite the monster. Let me take a moment to apologize to him. My behaviour at the time was more a result of my not being true to myself and instead of directing my anger towards myself, I turned it at him. I am truly sorry for that.

There have been other gay men and women who have passed through my life and I don't always view them through the portal of their sexuality. The best way I can explain this is by referring to a family friend.

Growing up, my family were friends with another family. Through my mom, a lady knew the mother in the family. One day the lady asked about "the Indian lady who is our friend". Indian lady? Who is she talking about? Oh yeah, that lady. The more I knew her, the less I viewed her through obvious descriptions. To me, she was not an Indian lady, she was a mother, a wife, a friend, she goes to the gym, she has hopes and fears, she is always smiling.

When I think about the gay people I know, I see them as a whole, all their interesting parts. Then I got to thinking, now all these people who have a problem with homosexuality because they can't get past the sex part, do they think about heterosexuals having sex? Let's try a little experiment, get comfy and ponder the following people having sex:

  • Your parents;
  • Your siblings and their significant others;
  • Your best friend and their significant other;
  • Your co-workers;
  • Your next door neighbours;
  • The next person you see today;
Imagine them hot and sweaty and in every position you can imagine. 

I think I've successfully ruined the first part of your week. It has been a pleasure. But back to the topic at hand, if it disturbs you think of the people closest to you having sex, why would you want to think about a gay person having sex. For one, it's none of your business and two, really, do you want to have that image in your mind. 

Personally, I think it's not something that should be brought and put on the table the first time you meet. Of course, there are some gay people that you can tell from a mile away that they are gay, but even in those cases, accept it and move on. Homosexuality is just one part of a bigger picture, and if you can't take the time to see that bigger picture why bother focus on that small part. 

So the next time someone jumps on their high horse and starts to condemn homosexuals, I will simply tell them that some of my friends are gay and I will proceed to change the subject. That negative discussion will end there and if they insist on returning to it, I will simply walk away. Life is too short to deal with negative people. 

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