GLBT 2010 January Mini Challenge
January 4, 2010 § 9 Comments
The GLBT Reading Challenge 2010 is hosting the first mini-challenge of the year. For this mini-challenge, we are asked to write about why the LGBT challenge or issue is important to us.
(Believe it or not, I’m actually having trouble now, not knowing how to start, or what to write. And it’s not because I have a lack of reasons about why it’s important either..)
Maybe I should start by saying something about Malaysia. Right now, there is some sort of movement going on, about racial equality. More and more people are standing up and voicing their opinions, saying that racial prejudice and bias can only harm, and do no good, even for the race that gets preferential treatment. It’s only by being fair and equal without prejudice that everyone will gain.
I’m all for that. But what I don’t see is a movement of the same kind, speaking up for the LGBT community. Oh yes, sure the LGBT community exists. And of course, we have advocates of this community, speaking up and fighting for rights and recognition. But beyond that, the typical Malaysian doesn’t even speak about it. It’s like how the GLBT Challenge is also known as the ‘Challenge that dare not speak its name’. People typically do not talk about it, leave it at the corner, and pretend it isn’t there.
I believe that prejudice exists strongest when people don’t understand. The first thing that comes to people’s minds when we talk about the LGBT community is “their sex ain’t normal”. It’s all most people think about, and that’s what the community has been reduced to: sexual intercourse.
But so many people forget that the LGBT community is as much part of the social fabric as any other person. And there are far more similarities than there are differences. So a man loves a man, and a woman loves a woman. So what? Does that mean the love that they share is less significant? Surely it does not.
It bears repeating: Prejudice exists strongest when people don’t understand. And because they don’t understand, they got hostile. And it’s because of this hostility that so many LGBT decide not to come out. It is a real fear; people get shot or beaten up for saying they’re gay, daughters get thrown out of the house and disowned when they bring their girlfriends home, and suddenly all your friends just evaporate into thin air, just when you need them the most.
We always talk about love. Loving your neighbour, and your neighbour’s cat. Loving your friends and family. Loving your community. Loving your country. Your neighbour might be a gay person. Some distant cousin could be a bisexual. Someone from your community is possibly transgendered or transsexual. And most surely, a fellow American/Malaysian/Brit/(your country) is a lesbian.
Let’s just spread some love. We all need it, LGBT or not.