Sunday, December 26, 2010

Passing Judgement on Sexualities

An MI6 agent, Gareth Williams, is suspected to have been murdered, but all his friend can think about is to 'clear' his name from 'allegations' that he might have been gay. Talk about having her priorities straight.

There are no accusations or allegations that need to be cleared in this case. First of all, the only thing that has been said about Williams is that "detectives suggested the 31-year-old may have died at the hands of a mystery bondage sex partner he met on London's gay scene" (from article linked above). There are no speculations whether this was just a one time sex connection or if it was something Williams did recurrently or if he was sexually curious or bisexual or homosexual. There are no speculations about the man's sexuality, just a speculation of what happened to him and how he was connected with the person believed to have murdered him.

Secondly, even if he were gay, does it matter? Being gay is not something negative, not anything one needs to clear one's reputation from if it is false. The fact that this woman feels she has the need to go to media and set the record straight (pun intended) is absolutely ridiculous. First of all, she doesn't know everything about this man's sexuality or sexual feelings, no one knows, apart from him when he was alive. He might very well have had sexual encounters with other men while he was alive out of curiosity, because this was what he wanted, or perhaps he was doing research for a new identity. No one knows, and it doesn't matter. He chose not to talk about it, so neither should anyone else.

Talking to the media about the man's sexuality and trying to 'explain' that he was, beyond doubt, heterosexual is nothing but passing negative judgement on homosexual men. To feel the need is there to actually explain who this man did or did not sleep with is saying that homosexuality is below heterosexuality, that Williams was being accused of something, and an accusation, as we all know, is associated with making a wrong. Love or sex between two members of the same sex is not a wrong, but William's friend clearly believes it to be so. To flip the coin, would she, or most people, talk to media about a homosexual person allegedly having sex with a heterosexual person? Most likely not.

Many people claim that they have no problems with love or sex between two members of the same sex (or gender), but the rhetoric tells otherwise. If people keep on trying to 'clear' a supposedly heterosexual person's name of speculations of sexual or emotional relationships with members of the same sex (or gender), it is no different from saying that heterosexual people are more worth in the eyes of the society. This is not so surprising, perhaps, considering that the norm is heterosexuality, and as many of us know, breaking norms is not always viewed favourably. Just because something is the norm, however, does not mean that it should be, or that other groups, thoughts or people should be marginalised or feel forced to justify why they are the way they are, why they think what they think or why they hold certain opinions.

Feeling attraction to someone of the same sex is just as valid as feeling attraction to someone of the opposite sex. Furthermore, love is love and can be just as beautiful, loving and caring no matter of the sexes or genders of the people involved in the love, no matter how many people are involved in it. Being heterosexual and monogamous is no guarantee of a 'better' relationship (if there is such a thing) and statistics of domestic violence can testify of this. The fact that domestic violence occurs in heterosexual monogamous relationships tells that it is not necessarily the most optimal form of relationship for everyone. Being in a heterosexual relationship is no guarantee against being hurt, abused or stuck in a destructive relationship. Being in a homosexual or polyamorous relationship is not either. Love is love regardless of who is or isn't involved in it, and it can be constructive or destructive regardless of who is involved. That someone therefore should have to have their name cleared from being able to love in a way that strives from the norm is absurd. Norm-breaking love is no less valid than any other form of love, and there is no need to make excuses for love, as long as it is consensual.

I will never make excuses for my friends' or family's love - their love is just as valid as mine, regardless if it is between people of the same sex, people of the opposite sex, people where one or more genders are undefined. They need not have me or anyone else make excuses for their love. Neither did Gareth Williams. He lived and he loved, it should have been left at that.