Tag Archives: LGBTQ

Same sex marriage in the eyes of a teenage student

By Kert

(Image via Wikipedia)

Last week I came across the news publication of the high school where I used to study and now where I teach (I’m teaching in high school and college this semester). There was an article entitled “Same Sex Marriage” in the editorial page. Naturally, I was very interested to read it — “naturally” because I am interested in LGBTQ issues being a lesbian myself. I wanted to know what the younger generation thinks about the issue of same sex marriage. I had all hopes that their perceptions have moved away from discrimination and bigotry since our country is becoming more globalized and exposed to the different realities in this world.

The things I read  though, came as  a full shock to me.

The writer, a third year high school student probably around 14 or 15 years old, starts the article by explicitly stating that she is vehemently against gay marriage. What follows is a set of tirades posted as “arguments” as to why gay marriage is wrong and should therefore not be allowed.

Argument #1: God only created Man and Woman. He did not create gays and lesbians.

Argument #2: God created Eve to be with Adam only

Argument #3: Gays have sex, which leads to AIDS

Argument #4: Same sex marriage damages the sanctity of marriage because there’s no assurance that their relationship will last forever. A corollary to this is: Gay relationships don’t and can’t last because gays can’t have children with the same DNA as theirs.

Argument #5: Gays don’t have moral values and respect for religion.

Argument #6: Because gay relationship is against morality, it may lead to the deluge of the world as the youth will be “pushed” to do bad things.

Argument #7: Acceptance of gay marriage is a step towards the crumbling of moral values.

There are so many fallacies in her arguments that I just want to facepalm (for a lack of a better word) so hard. I don’t have to explain to those who are in their right mind why the arguments above are just completely wrong. But for those uninitiated, I will give a response to each argument.

Response #1: I don’t see why Christianity or any religion should matter when it comes to a person’s sexual orientation. But for the sake of argument, I would point out that there’s nothing written in the bible saying that the “Man” or the “Woman” can’t be gay or bi or trans or queer.

Response #2: Again, there’s nothing in the bible stating that a person cannot love whoever s/he wants. But wait! There’s Leviticus saying “You shall not lie with a man as one lies with a woman”. Well, it’s not about loving someone of the same gender. Also, we’re forgetting the context of this passage. There are many things in the bible that are no longer considered right and may be considered downright oppressive in today’s standards. For one, the bible says that women should be subordinate to men or that rape victims should marry their rapists. Remember that the bible was written hundreds of years ago in a very patriarchal society. More than the voice of God, the bible is the voice of the culture, the social environment and the time in which it was written. We have to be careful not to take it too literally. Oh and a little trivia, there are relationships in the bible that can be considered almost romantic, i.e. David and Jonathan, Ruth and Naomi.

Response #3: Almost everyone has sex, even straight people. Sex between gays don’t result to AIDS all the time. Also, straight people can have AIDS too, not just gays. Being gay is not the root cause of AIDS, unprotected sex is (and transfer of blood from unknown sources or in the case of Kenshin the Battousai, getting yourself cut while slashing another samurai who has AIDS)

Response #4: There’s no evidence that gay relationships don’t last for a long time. A lot of gays have monogamous relationships that last for a lifetime. Also, having children isn’t the only reason that couples stay together. It’s love and trust. When those two things break, people usually end up separating. This is also the case for heterosexual couples.

Response #5: Seriously, this is ridiculous. For one, religion doesn’t have the monopoly on morality. Also being gay, doesn’t mean that a person has no moral values. Just because I’m a lesbian doesn’t mean I’m going to run around performing the most heinous crimes and the worst debauchery. I usually just sit on my chair, read, check my facebook, or check my students’ requirements. I am as boring as any heterosexual person out there. I wish I have a more exciting life, but that is how it is.

Response #6: Why should LGBTQs be blamed for the actions of miscreant kids? In my opinion, out LGBTQs are actually good role models for showing people that they can be themselves. Also, I cannot see the bad message in loving another person. What’s so bad about love?

Response #7: Accepting gay marriage doesn’t mean the entire world should run amok. It’s just giving the same rights that heterosexuals have to the LGBTQs who are also citizens of this country. Why must we treat LGBTQs as second rate citizens? We pay our taxes too and we’re serving the country no matter how oppressive it is to us.

To be honest, I was appalled with what I read. I can’t believe how much misinformed people are where I’m from. And a teenager having such bigotry at a young age, it’s just beyond me. A friend said it’s “learned bigotry”. It makes me wonder, what the hell are we teaching our children? Why would we teach them how to hate? It’s funny how Spain brought us medieval dogmas hundreds of years ago through Catholicism, but they don’t even take them seriously anymore. Now we’re stuck with them.

With the current state of the country and its adherence to religious dogma and traditions, the fight of the LGBTQs has a long way to go. I still hope though, that our social environment will change one day; that we will be accepted in this society no longer as deviants but just like any other human beings who feel and love.

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Around the Web

Forgive the absence of your humble moderator. I’ve been busy and sick since last week. “Busy” and “sick” don’t go well together.

As an opening for my return, we’ll start off with another issue of Around the Web.

Neurology

MIND in Pictures: Music to Your Brain

Here’s a fun illustration from Dwayne Godwin and Jorge Cham about how music affects the brain.

(Image via Scientific American Mind)

Ethnography

Instagram Ethnography in Uganda – Notes on Notes

Design ethnographer An Xiao Mina writes about how social media, particularly tumblr and instagram, can be used in ethnography. This way, interaction among people around the world regarding a set of issues is faster and easier:

” In my mind, the benefit of live fieldnotes is the conversations that they spark.  Inevitably, someone on my Tumblr or Instagram feed makes a comment or asks a question that helps me clarify my thinking.  Even a simple “like” from a number of people indicates a general curiosity about something I posted.”

Human Evolution

Genetic Keys to Human Intelligence Revealed?

Dr. Schahram Akbarian along with the team from Mount Sinai School of Medicine have found that humans have certain neurons, differently regulated from the neurons of primates, that might be the reason for our “unique cognitive abilities”. The regulation of the DNA sequence of these neurons are different from our primate cousins but similar to our closest hominin relatives, the Neanderthals and Denisovans. This may also give an explanation to the neurological diseases that only occur among humans.

“The key to the present study, led by Dr Schahram Akbarian of the University of Massachusetts and the Mount Sinai School of Medicine, was not to focus on the “letters” of the DNA code, but rather on what might be called its “font” or “typeface”. DNA strands of the genome are wrapped in protein to make achromatin fiber, and the way in which they are wrapped, the “chromatin state”, in turn reflects the regulatory state of that region of the genome (e.g. whether a given gene is turned on or off). This is the field that biologists call “epigenetics”—the study of the “epigenome”.”

LGBT

Lastly, an argument for gay marriage from Foamy the Squirrel. (Full disclosure: I completely agree with this squirrel)

What makes you a woman?

By Patty Sue

Note: This post can also be found in Patty Sue’s blog, thenyannyanadventures

You will all burn in hell. Mwahah! (Image via whynotcoconut.com)

”Homosexuality is not a sin, it is a lie from the devil. Do not be deceived. God loves gays and wants them to know the truth.”  -Miriam Quiambao

This is a tweet from the former beauty queen, Miss Miriam Quiambao. At first, I could not believe that she thinks this way of the LGBT community. I thought beauty queens are chosen not only for their beautiful appearance but also because they represented what is beautiful in humanity. But, what the heck, who am I kidding. I hate beauty pageants in the first place. Even if most people in society regard this as a significant event that seeks “true beauty”, I think it’s just a venue of parading women who live up to society’s expectations of beauty. In short, it’s more of an imposition of beauty rather than a discovery of one. My art studies professor once said that beauty pageants are no more  than sheep contests, wherein you pin a blue ribbon to the most attractive and well-bred sheep. You can’t really realize genuineness through a bikini, vital statistics, or long gown contest. The question-and-answer portion won’t suffice either. (I think we have been witnesses to that so many times.) So this makes me really frustrated and angry to hear such statements from a beauty queen.

Now, what was the issue that, Miriam Quiambao had to say things like this? Well, it all started with Donald Trump’s announcement that in 2013, Miss USA will allow transgenders to join. This decision was pushed to a finality after it was revealed that Miss Canada 2012 was actually a transgender. Although the it is still deemed to be problematic, LGBT sees this an important step to assert their identity and empower their community even more. Let’s face it, LGBTs are discriminated against in every social institution there is. They’ve been called demons and social deviants. They are stigmatized with stereotypes that are far from which they truly are. There have been several incidents of abuse and hate-crimes against the LGBT in the country. One case describes the burning of a gay person then stabbing him to death. All of these happen because of reckless words and unjust actions.

Now back to Miriam Quiambao. Okay, she has her own opinion on this issue. I respect opinions but I abhor imposing your opinions on everyone else. Aside from her tweets, she also had a number of interviews on TV where she was seated with transgenders. Of all the arguments which were laid in the discourse, Miss Miriam used one of the ‘most used’ and rather ‘misused’ of them all- religion. Roman Catholicism to be exact. I am Roman Catholic but I don’t persecute or humiliate others using my religion as a front.

Miss Miriam Quiambao should have been careful in choosing her words. Although I understand where she’s coming from since she is a former beauty queen and tradition has also been a huge and great wall to break in our country, it still does not justify her saying that homosexuality is a lie from the DEVIL. She should have realized that she is an icon in the country and very much part of the media so anything she says will make a great impact or influence on the audience. And to use biblical passages to defend this, if I must say, is insulting to those like me who loves LGBTs and GOD. I have to be honest by saying that since I was little, I didn’t mind interacting with LGBTs, considering my father is a homophobic. I guess it has a lot to do with my mother who’s always fair in treating people (that’s why I love her so much!) I studied in Christian schools and I’ve met with the most stern and horrific nuns and school administrators. Posing a question in class that leans on going against the Scripture was actually a taboo. You questioning their authority (and assumingly God’s) will either make you a troubled child to be sent for counselling or a real troublemaker that needs to be silenced. I was a ‘good’ girl back then and I basically conformed to everything that my teachers said. There were a few mentors whom I can confide with and few friends who share my sentiments.

Everything changed when I went to college where I befriended beautiful and wonderful people who aren’t straight. most of them are my best friends now. And I tell you they’re not any less lovable or respectable as any of my straight friends. When you attach labels, you create a division that isn’t supposed to exist. Furthermore, if it’s reinforced in institutions which are supposed to protect you, it creates an atmosphere of hate based on opinions which are strengthened through force and enculturation and without much enlightenment. I mean, really. Hearing Miriam Quiambao hurts my ears so much and makes me think how the hell does she deal with gays in her everyday life? The most talented fashion gurus and stylists are gays and considering her line of work, she must have dealt with a lot of them. Does she judge them while looking at them? Does she bat her eyes and say thank you whenever they make her look beautiful, while deep inside she thinks that they are lies from the devil?

Aside from her tweets, (which now turned to apologies with matching biblical quotations) there was one particular interview that also got on my nerves. It was when she asked a transgender, “What makes you a woman?” Well, it could have been just an inquiry for the sake of shedding light in the issue but I recognize a malicious tone when I hear one. So what did the transgender say? She told Miriam that she knows herself probably more than anyone and that being a woman is not only determined by your biological characteristics. ”Beauty is not in the vagina,” said JC Tejano, former chairperson of our college student council. I wished I could have shoved this statement right on Miriam’s mouth.

Well, what makes a woman, a woman?

In beauty pageants, one of the most popular question would be, “What is the essence of a woman?” A lot would say it’s having children or when you have an education or do things that men could do. These could be valid answers but I think it all boils down to having a choice. In other words, whatever you choose to define yourself with, people should respect that and recognize that you are empowered in what you’re doing. In fact, I’d like to take this to the extremes by citing that some Japanese porn stars find pornography empowering for them since they are in control of their bodies. I won’t go far from home and say that my mother, who is “just a mere housewife” for some men and women alike, take pride in being at home and taking care of me and the rest of the family. Our society will always have the notion that successful womanhood entails only those women who have a high-paying job and a prestigious career. In lack of a better reaction to this, I’ll just say that it’s completely BS. :)

How do I end this blog? I guess, I’ll conclude it by saying that Miss Miriam Quiambao is irresponsible and insensitive in her statements. To apologize on how she said it but not on what she said is an even greater insult to the LGBT community. To say that she didn’t expect that her statements would cause an upset is a presentation of complete ignorance of the dynamics of human discourse and ethics. To limit womanhood and beauty to a biological woman is a grave assault to the LGBTs out there who live and express their lives, their whole being, to what they believe is right. To use religion and to preach in God’s name to spread animosity instead of understanding is a sin against the basic commandment of God that all “preachers’ tend to forget: love one another.

People are people, Miriam. You’re crazy to judge others just because they’re different from you.