October 20, 2014 by Cláudia
So far, it appears I have ideas to write posts when I’m in British Council. Probably both because we discuss issues and we do it in English.
So I was having a class called “Current Issues” and we were given a list with many bullet points for us to express our point of view. I don’t really remember everything but it was something like:
1 – Death Penalty
2 – Legalizing Marijuana
3 – Prisioners being able to vote
4 – Zoos
5 – Assisted Suicide
6 – Gay Adoption
7 – Beauty Contests
I could actually write one post for each one of them.
But anyway, when some young girl said she agreed with death penalty, I immediately blocked her out of my possible friendzone. It didn’t matter why she thought that or how great she could be. She was blocked. It didn’t matter that I knew it isn’t right to reject people because of their ideas. But she was rejected.
She asked me why I didn’t agree that people should pay for their mistakes but I only explained heatedly and briefly how I thought that people deserve a second chance I believe in rehabilitation and that life is the ultimate value. I could have built up a very elaborated speech about my beliefs but I just didn’t. I believe in some things so strongly that I am arrogant enough to act like they don’t need an explanation. Death penalty is wrong. Period. No need to explain that.
As the debates continued, I continued to direct my anger to people and not their ideas. I got angry and hurt. I didn’t want to be in the same room as someone who thought it is right to have animals locked up for our own entertainment. And this is one of my biggest flaws. I am not tolerant. I feel some opinions as personal aggression, as if by thinking one thing, someone is hurting me directly.
So I preach a lot of values, especially tolerance. I despise all stereotypes and I desire equal rights for everyone. But I am, in fact, intolerant. I am intolerant towards people who don’t agree with me. I am very open minded in a sense, but I can’t accept some opinions that go against mine. I am, as a matter of fact, intolerant against intolerance. I have not been able to create connections with people who have different views on important matters to me. I have even had that feeling of incompatibility with my mother because she doesn’t agree that we are all the same and looks with disgust to the dirty homeless on the streets. So, my point is, I am difficult to be friends with. Or rather, I am difficult to become friends with. I must be less inflexible and remember I haven’t always felt this way about things.
We were divided into two groups: one pro and one against gay adoption. And, as usual, I took that very seriously and personally. I made a tantrum inside my head because I heard the typical anti gay arguments and I didn’t speak my mind.
“Having gay parents makes the child gay.”
“Children with gay parents will be bullied at school and be psychologically damaged.”
“Living in a gay environment is toxic and unhealthy for the children.”
“Children need both a male and a female role model.”
Listening to these statements hurts my feelings so I can only imagine how gay people feel about them. I didn’t speak then but I will now.
1 – Growing up with two gay parents won’t make the child gay. First of all, because the relation parents-children isn’t sexualized. You don’t “learn” your sexual orientation from your parents and, in fact you don’t “learn” or “choose” your sexual orientation at all. It is proved that it comes with you (and it is your choice to embrace or repress it). There will be no more gays because of gay adoption. It is also wrong to think that today there are more gays because society “accepts” them. Truth is, there are more people who let themselves be who they really are because society accepts their sexuality a little bit more.
2 – Bullying is a serious issue and causes serious problems. But it is unfair to connect bullying with gay adoption and state it as one of the reasons why we shouldn’t accept it. In my personal experience, there is nothing really “wrong” or “bullyable” about me and still I was bullied. Bullies pick on weaker ones. Bullying is damaging but it is not associated with sexual orientation.
3 – Another thing that it is a myth is that homosexuality is associated with promiscuous behaviors or unhealthy relationships. I have grown (and know many other people who have as well, or even worse) in a truly toxic and unhealthy environment so I strongly state that all types of families can be either toxic or healthy. Gay parents are, just like conventional couples, two people who are or are not in love, who can or cannot have a healthy relationship and may or may not provide a stable environment for a child. Plus, unlike conventional parents, they can’t have children the natural way so they have to go through a long process to tell if they are fit for purpose.
4 – The time when only unconventional families were accepted is over. People marry, remarry, raise their children alone… We see people who were raised by both parents, only one of them, who have stepmothers, stepfathers, who are very connected to their grandparents… The more balanced and healthy child is not forcefully the one with both a mother and a father. I have both and I have been going in and out of depressions for seven years. I don’t think good role models have anything to do with gender, but with quality. Moreover, it is not true that there are things that only mothers or fathers can understand. Neither my mother nor my father understood anything at all.
So these are my counter arguments. Agree with them or not. I have exposed them, something I don’t usually do because I don’t want to hear those things that hurt my feelings. But, on the other hand, I feel like if I can change the mentality, even if just a little, then I must expose my point of view.