GLBT 2010 January Mini Challenge

January 4, 2010 § 9 Comments

glbt2010mcThe 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.

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§ 9 Responses to GLBT 2010 January Mini Challenge

  • susan says:

    Michelle,
    Love your post. I’m with you.Let’s spread some love.

  • Amanda says:

    You know, my family is all very anti-gay, and they dont’ even realize certain members of the family are gay or bisexual. It’s so sad. 😦

  • Susan says:

    I agree with your post, Su. Love is important, not gender.

  • Sakura says:

    People are people. The most important thing is that you can love and be loved. You wrote a really nice post highlighting the fact that these issues are still pertinent and that there is still a long way to go until we reach total acceptance.

  • Eva says:

    I think it’s crazy how racial discrimination is viewed as something completely different from discrimination based on sexual orientation. I find it frustrating that in the US, it’s still socially acceptable in many circles to be anti-homosexuality, and no mainstream politician will say that they’re pro-marriage fore everyone (vs. ‘civil unions’). I think the next generation will look back and be as horrified/ashamed as my generation looks back on the racial stuff of the 50s.

  • su says:

    Thanks for the comments everyone.

    @ Amanda: I know what you mean. Sometimes it’s the people closest to us that don’t give us the support we need. But let’s hope it all changes with time.

    @ Sakura: People are people. Simple as that.

    @ Eva: I’d much rather the next generation look back and be horrified, than have them not look back because everything is still the same. But I definitely feel you on this one. It’s sad, especially when in some places, they make it criminal to be homosexual.

  • Stephanie says:

    “Prejudice is strongest when people don’t understand.” There is a tremendous amount of wisdom there! 🙂

  • what a great post. I still need to write mine. I think it’s going to be hard. It’s kind of a difficult thing for me to vocalize. It means a lot though. People should just love to love. Who cares what their gender is? who cares what their sexuality is? does it really matter? I think not.

  • Lu says:

    This is a really excellent post, thank you for sharing your story. I agree with you completely: well all need more love.

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