Presence in dialogue
Gay people tell you we cannot change our orientation. Do you accept our testimony, that it is true at least of the people who say that, if not of others who claim otherwise for themselves?
Second, if it were not “clearly God’s will as revealed in the Bible” that gay sex is wrong, is there any independent moral argument that two people who so swear that they cannot change their orientation should not form an exclusive loving and sexual relationship?
Is it possible for this other to see my point of view? If the other says that I tell myself comforting falsehoods so that I may continue in my sin, he has me neatly boxed. But then, I say that he has a false idea of the nature of God, so I have him categorised too, in a particular idea of the basics of his Christianity.
Why those questions? The first, because we cannot change, and if you do not accept that you cannot see us- but more, because the idea that with only a little more self-control I could be a married man with children gnaws at me even now. I know that is not true, and if I sense an echo of it in another’s judgment, the anger and fear of it grasp me again from within. I have unhealed pain from before.
Um. I have no respect for them. They cling to something worthless because of their stupidity.
What of the “radfem”, who can’t stand my kind? I might enter imaginatively into her perspective. She grows up with a constraining ideal of femininity which she does not fit and which restricts her life choices and chances, and by great strength and some luck overcomes it. Then she finds men, the privileged ones, who pretend to be women, and caricature the worst aspects of the femininity she despises.
A tool of her rebellion and self-acceptance is the knowledge that gender is a social construct and that femininity is defined by patriarchy. Her loyalty is to women, that is, people born with female sexual characteristics, because that is the only thing in which, for her, differentiating male and female is not an oppressive lie. She cannot hear me say “I am born feminine” without derision.
That rebellion I can respect. The “Christian” who does not rebel but becomes an oppressor himself, I despise, but the feminist whose rebellion cannot take account of me-
Oh! I despise the Christian because I did not want to rebel, I wanted to fit in and be normal. I rebelled because I could not do otherwise. It still feels in part like the slippery slope down, not climbing a mountain. I despise in him what I despise in myself.
I could say that if one of them speaks of me, it is her stuff not mine. And vice versa. It shows me what my baggage is.
Can I sympathise with a person-
-who still has baggage?