As every year today I’m going to the Pride Parade to support my gay friends and the LGBT community. Sadly, I have to say that Poland is not a tolerant country towards gays, lesbians, bisexual or transgender people. Every time I hear or read on the news that LGBTs are not human, that being gay is an illness and those people should be locked up makes my incredibly angry. I also wonder what the driver behind such bullshit is… mostly fear.
Love is Love
What is the difference between a heterosexual love and a homosexual love? There is no! Love is love regardless if a man loves a man, a woman loves a woman, and a man loves a woman. Everybody is attracted to someone and as a couple they try to make the relationship work. If it doesn’t work, they split up and try their luck with someone else. I do have gay and lesbian friends and looking at their relationships it’s not any different from the relationship struggles my heterosexual friends have. Hence, I don’t understand what the problem of some is to accuse gay people of being perverts. It’s not like all gay guys run naked around the town waving their cock in front of everybody saying look at me and my cock.
Lesbians, gays, bisexual and transgender people lead a normal life as everyone else. They go to work; they have their hobbies and passions. They definitely don’t start each conversation with the sentence – Hey I’m John Smith I’m gay, nice to meet you nor they have an exaugurated appearance like pink trousers and even pinker shirt. Please, the media did deform the image of gays and lesbians. Even my favourite TV series Sex and the City. The way Stanford and Anthony were pictured is a bit stereotypical, gently saying. I don’t want to discriminate anybody, but that media populated vision of a homosexual person is in the minds of people who never meet and talked to a gay or lesbian. Those people think that what is shown on TV is true and all gay guys wear trashy clothes and speak using a soprano voice. My parents had a similar thinking about LGBT… until my wedding. All my gay friends were invited to the wedding, without exceptions. Some brought even their partners 😀
At the wedding reception it was the first time my Mum and Dad meet a homosexual person. After all the festivities were over my conservative Mum said: oh, your gay friends are so nice, friendly and funny. If I saw them on the street, I wouldn’t think they are gay. Hence, I presume all those loudly shouting groups in Poland that LGBT is a disease, all LGBTs should be locked up and children should be protected from the diabolical influence of LGBT comes from fear as well as little or no knowledge about all those struggles gays, lesbians, bisexuals and transgender people go through. Not sure about you but I’ve never heard about a gay raping a child, not like some catholic priests… but let’s not go down the religion road.
There is a guy in the town where I grew up who is allergic to arguments. When I visited my parents two months ago, he came over for a coffee and there was some small talk. I deliberately said that I can’t wait to go to the Pride Parade. He instantly got red in the face saying papalapap LGBT rights they already have the right to live what else they want. Well, you could say the same about women’s rights in the 19th century – they already have the right to live and take care of the household. What else do they want… voting… don’t be silly. Look at the world now, women not only have the right to vote they also are good politicians. Germany’s chancellor Mrs. Merkel for example is one of the most powerful women in the world… voting right don’t be silly, right?!
Looking at Poland I wonder what is the problem in giving LGBT people the right to get married? Is it the catholic and conservative background, maybe? Only look at Ireland, also a deeply catholic country… they legalised same sex marriage in 2015 so why can’t Poland. At some point I do understand the deep bond with tradition in the polish culture but when you only look back you won’t see what’s in front and ahead of you. Two hundred years ago it was unthinkable to go on a date without a chaperone. Hundred years ago, it was unthinkable for a black person to become the president of the USA. Times change, customs should too. When I look at my LGTB friends, their happiness makes me wish they could legalise their relationship. Maybe as a compromise in Poland the legal bond wouldn’t have to be called marriage, only a civil partnership or something similar.
Point is that when a homosexual couple is together for let’s say 15, 20 years and has built a life together, the moment when something happens to one of the partners the other is left with nothing. It’s not only about inheritance. Imagine if worse comes to worst and one of the partners lands in hospital and a lifesaving decision needs to be taken asap? The other partner can’t make it as he/she has no legal right to do it despite the life they share with each other for years. That is sad and only shows the backward thinking of some Polish parliament representatives. Homosexual marriages are possible in other countries, why not in Poland?
Going one step further I’m seriously convinced that homosexual couples should be allowed to adopt children. That right should be available for everybody and not only for the rich who can afford it. Looking at the world around think that homosexual couples could be better parents as some heterosexual couples. Why? Obviously homosexual couples can’t have a child in the traditional way – women have an advantage here as we don’t a guy to get pregnant ;P Which means they try every possible way to have a child as they really, really, really want it. If you desperately want something you will care and cherish it. Heterosexual couple take having kids for granted and some even have kids just because they have too. You know social and family pressure to procreation. We don’t want kids, but we will have them so that the relatives are happy, and society doesn’t look at us as wiredos. I think that a homosexual couple give a child the same amount of love and attention as a heterosexual couple or maybe even more. Now we come to the eternal question, what kind of example would a homosexual couple for the child? They would deform the kid’s perception of the world. Hang on a second, who says that you need a man and a woman to teach a child to be good, kind and respect others? Although I don’t have any, my assumption is that this is the point of being a parent, to be the guide for your kid on the long path we call life. If so, what does it matter if a kid has two Mums or two Dads or a Mum and a Dad as long as they are able to provide proper guidance for the little one? It shouldn’t only it’s difficult for some to see.
Those are only two examples of LGBT rights but there is much much more beneath the surface. I heard stories from friends that LGBT people were harassed at the workplace just because of their sexual orientation. An ex-boyfriend of my friend who is a doctor was publicly called a faggot at the hospital he worked at. Nice and very mature huh?… as that came from one of the hospital’s head of department. Maybe I’m naïve but I do hope that one day LGBT folks will be able to take a glass of wine, sit down and laugh at all those struggles as there won’t be any more struggles.
Love just happens
In 2008 when I went to Indonesia with my bestie, we didn’t have much cash, so we couchsurfing. Something like Airbnb only couchsurfing hosts offered people a place to sleep for free. In Yogyakarta we spent two nights at a place where the host was a retired journalist from The Netherlands. During dinner he told us his story. He was a journalist at one of the Dutch TV stations and was sent to Indonesia to report on the 1998 riots in Jakarta which resulted in the fall of President Suharto. It happened that he met an Indonesian guy and fell in love. He described that as a stroke of lighting, and he instantly knew that this is the man he wants to spend the rest of his life with.
The story develops as the journalist was married already and had two kids. However, love was stronger. He returned to The Netherlands, got divorced and married his boyfriend in Holland. As he described the wife wasn’t surprised as she already suspected that something was wrong. The journalist, who is now retired together with his husband, lives in a large house on the outskirts of Yogyakarta, has two dogs and enjoys hosting backpackers. What is super nice, the ex-wife and kids sometimes come over to Indonesia for holiday.