In 2000, I wrote the following letter to the Editor of the Bendigo Advertiser. It was published a short time later. In light of the ‘No to Homophobia’ campaign launched last week, I thought I’d revisit this letter. This piece, ‘Being Gay’, can easily be about being ‘Bisexual’, ‘Transsexual’, ‘Queer’, ‘Lesbian’ and/or ‘Gender Diverse’. And it reminds me to stand up for being ‘Me’.
I recently had an occasion to need the assistance of a telephone counsellor. Despite her earnest desire to withhold judgement, and willingness to be a supportive listener, the female counsellor still struggled with her own beliefs and issues about gays and lesbians. In response to this counsellor, I wish to address this letter…
Being Gay is not a choice, belief of religion. Gay is not about uncontrollable urges, unnatural encounters, unrestrained promiscuity, or sexual deviancy. Gay is not irresponsible, irregular or irreverent. Gay is not a cult, a culture, or lifestyle. It is not a decision, an experiment or phase. Gay is not an adventure, a direction or undertaking. Gay is living. Gay is breathing. Gay is Being.
Gay is irreversible, irrefutable, and irresistible. Gay can be monogamous, loving, loyal and faithful. Gay can be good, spiritual and wholesome. Gay can be celibate or virginal. Gay can be passionate, provocative and untamed. Gay can be mysterious, beguiling and captivating. But Gay is not catching; it is not contagious. Gay does not infiltrate, propagate or procreate; it poses no threat and takes no prisoners. Gay is healthy – coursing through veins, flexing in motion, and beating in cardiac rhythms. Gay is Natural. Gay is Real. Gay is Being. Gay is being Me.
© 2000 Ben “Sam” MacEllen