A tribute to the colors of human existence:
The 17th of May is dedicated to the International Day against Homophobia
This date has been chosen to commemorate the World Health Organization’s decision in 1990 to declassify homosexuality as a mental disorder.
According to the Journal of Homosexuality, “homophobia” is the pathological expression of negative emotions, speech, and behaviour against homosexual people or couples. It’s a prejudice, based on fear, ignorance, and lack of tolerance toward diversity. Such prejudices gain ground in and are grown in societies, in which heterosexuality is believed to be the “correct,” “normal,” and “accepted” sexual behaviour.
Fortunately though, no one is obliged to think and act according to “society” and the opinions of others. We are autonomous and unprompted beings. Whatever we hear or see while growing up, we are the ones who ultimately decide and choose consciously our beliefs and actions.
So when we’re masters of ourselves and free to choose for ourselves, we can help others to choose for themselves—without judging them. This applies to every aspect of our lives. Sexual preference, work, our friends…since we are not all the same, why should we all make the same choices?
Diversity is a golden opportunity to see life from a different perspective.
I have always been surrounded by people who were different from me. Which makes sense, since nobody is the same as everyone else. Some of them have a different sexual orientation than I do. This diversity has never kept us from being there for each other in moments of joy or sorrow. They always have a big hug for me when I am feeling down and they are always present to share my joy, wholeheartedly. And it’s the same for me, because they’re my friends. They are my loved ones—they’re bright, creative, really sweet, and I hope we can keep growing alongside each other.
I have seen them fall in love and live with passion. I have seen them hide from their family and neighbors. I have seen them cry when attacked and harshly criticized about their partner choice. I have seen them lose their parents’ support—or even their job—because of a personal choice which concerns nobody else but themselves.
I have been a witness to their pain and it was heartbreaking for me to see them falling apart. I have seen them, I see them now, and I will keep seeing them for what they are: humans, like me and you!
Some years ago, a good friend of mine introduced me as his girlfriend in order to rent an apartment because its owner didn’t want “perverts” in his house. Even earlier, his mother appeared really happy each time she noticed we were together. She thought we were “a thing” and she was content to assume it. Who would dare to tell her that her son was in a long-term relationship with another guy?
What does it matter if we differ somehow? After all, we’re still so much alike as “normal” people—we cry when sad and laugh when happy! Diversity provides us the means to build bridges and explore other magical and colorful worlds. Every person is a world within themselves, because each and every one of us contains a piece of the universe, a speck of God. We are all normally both the same and different.
We must honestly ask ourselves: which kinds of diversity do we fear and which kinds of normality do we defend?
Diversity is normal. If we embrace this fundamental truth, we will be able to accept ourselves and make choices according to our happiness and well-being, reaching the quintessence of personal and social freedom.