Friday, November 17, 2006

Gay Penguins Are Harmless; Homophobic Humans Are Not

You know what? Knowing that penguins might be gay won't make your children gay.

An Illinois school has recently encountered controversy because in its library there is a picture book based on a true story about two male penguins that "adopt" a fertilized egg and raise the chick as their own.

Why is this controversial?
One, gay people exist.
Two, apparently gay penguins exist.
Three, loving couples often want to share their love with children (or chicks as the case may be). It happens. Children won't be damaged by knowing that it happens.

Every love song on the radio is about heteronormative love and desire. Being inundated with this music has not made me straight, not even a little.

For most of my life, every happy couple on television was always made up of a man and a woman. Seeing all this straight love didn't make me straight, not even a little.

My parents are married to each other, and they are one man and one woman. Their life-long union didn't make me straight, not even a little.

If swimming in a sea of heterosexual images doesn't make gay people straight, why would any rational person think that a few gay islands in that see would make straight people gay? It seems that we simply are what we are, and a zillion heterosexual penguins won't change the gay kids, and I promise a single gay penguin couple won't change the straight kids, not even a little.

There's nothing wrong with being straight, or gay. And, there is nothing wrong with change. But who we are sexually seems pretty fixed, so maybe we can all relax. Being told I "should" be straight didn't change who I am. Being told it's "OK" to not be straight won't change who anyone else is. Though, messages of acceptance might help the gay kids not grow up to be self-loathing hypocrites and the straight kids not grow up to be gay-bashing bigots, and that might prove to be a very good thing for our world.

Gay penguins are harmless. Homophobic humans are not.

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