Nov 15, 2012

I support gay rights, but I'm not gay, seriously I'm not gay

I support gay rights, but I'm not gay, seriously I'm not gay.......As if there really is such a need to mention that last part. But most of the people in Bikini Bottom (the non-logic country) that is Albania do not come out and say it that they support gay rights, because they are afraid that if they do so, people will think they are gay. Why else would you talk about such a controversial topic if it doesn't personally concern you, right?

It is kind of difficult to believe that the US still has issues with being gay, so I shouldn't be surprised that my country, which is literary in the end of the world, doesn't really give a damn about gay rights.
When gay rights issues were discussed on parliament some time ago, because well it's one of the issues that EU has thrust upon us if we will be considered to join the dying International "State", politicians would giggle, and make fun of whatever was being said. When the LGBT group of Albania decided to do some sort of Parade, actually just a gathering, every other topic like corruption, economy, unemployment were thrown out of people's minds, and everyone was so concerned with this embarrassing parade. They were afraid that Gay men would circle around town dancing to Madonna and Lady Gaga, in pink thongs or something, even though the LGTB group had stressed more than enough that the parade was going to be just a peaceful gathering to talk about this important topic of recognition of human rights in our country. A politician proclaimed on the telly that if his son would happen to be gay he would shoot him. Very controversial stuff!!!

The public opinion in a country with a very family (ancient family) oriented culture, a culture so obsessed with the social notion of "shame" that can't simply do anything to go forward, is pretty much impossible to accept such "advanced" issues as gay rights. Very few people have come out to the media, and very little support has been given to them. The notion of shame is very important in this culture. One cannot simply express what they think, what they want, what they love, or who they love in this culture, for fear of what the family, or the neighbors might think. If the young people do not care about the social convention of "shame", their parents most certainly do, so if they want to live freely, they will have to be separated from their family. The social conventions of family and shame are way too important in this culture, therefore the gay phenomena in Albania is trapped under a very intricate spider web.

Of course the fight deserves to be fought. In the US very recently the "Don't Ask Don't Tell" rule of the military that required gay people to shush about their orientation if they wanted to join the troops was repelled, and the President proclaimed for the first time in history that he was pro gay marriage, and lastly, we see companies like UPS, pulling out of the Boy Scouts that to this day continue to have a version of the "Don't Ask Don't Tell". In the US when Ellen Degeneres came out of the closet, there was so much controversy about it, today, she is the new Oprah, one of the most beloved people of day time TV, and one of the most influential people in the US. When she came out in the late 90s, people were infuriated: "Do what you want to do, but don't be public about it". Now the controversy has calmed down, and the opinion has shifted. There were so few gay characters on TV, first Ellen, and later Will & Grace (who were also controversial at the time). And now we have  Glee, Modern Family, The New Normal, Grey's Anatomy, Gossip Girl, to mention a few. Even Anderson Cooper, one of the most beloved CNN reporters suddenly came out. The public opinion has largely shifted in the US. Remember the film Philadelphia, with Tom Hanks, what people used to think about gay people in those times? Well, the times they are a changing, to put it in Dylan words. So why give up, why not talk about these topics in Albania, or in any other country where it's so impossible to believe that the public opinion would ever shift? If the very religious US is so close to winning the gay rights war, hey maybe in 20 years we'll be there too. So even though the public opinion is really awful in Albania, I am sure that one day it will change.

So yes, if you are at least a little human, why not come out of the closet, and I am not talking about the coming out of gay people, I am talking about coming out as gay rights supporters. Stop being afraid that people will think that you are gay because you support gay rights, and stop stressing and mentioning a million times, that you are not gay, we know it and we don't care.

The last time I went to a gay rights event with a friend my father freaked out, thinking what will his friend think about me if they find out. You know what? My life is really easy since I was born to be attracted to people of the opposite sex, as the society in which I live in preaches. My friends who do not have the same privilege, who have been even forced to take hormonal remedies by their families to be "cured" do not have the same luck. So I am once again not afraid of a little bit misunderstanding. I have been supporting gay rights from an early age and I always will. Just because it doesn't concern me personally it doesn't mean that it doesn't concern me. Would you say the same thing to a German of the 1930s, "hey you are not a jew, so why would you support jews, and try to save them from the Nazis?" It is the same thing. We live in a world of hatred rather than in a world of love, and the world will not change until we speak up and come out and say:

I am a gay rights supporters, Are you?

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