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It's just not healthy

Posted in: Living Well, Politics and Religion, Features
By Chaz Harris - 7th September 2012

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After I read Jim Wallace’s comments on smoking being healthier than gay marriage, I got to thinking. I used to get angry about this kind of thing, I’d write with a passionate sense of outrage and frustration at what was said and I realised that it’s just fighting hate with the same negative emotion.

Jim Wallace is making sweeping statements that have no basis in truth and simply don’t apply to all gay men, for I am gay and I do not take drugs, I’m not overweight, I don’t drink to excess, I don’t sleep around at all and I’ve a pretty healthy diet. I’m a little eccentric at times, but I’m a creative person, we’re all like that! And at the end of the day, I believe I’m just the right and healthy amount of crazy to make life enjoyable. Maybe I’m a black sheep in the pile, but I can’t be the only one out there like this, can I?

The point that was made about suicide not changing in areas where gay marriage has been legalised is not really a worthy one; change doesn’t happen overnight. It takes years for that kind of thing to permeate society and change the way people think and behave towards those who were previously marginalised, but at least they’re equal under the law now.

Maybe that’s where the motive for all this lies - fear that there will no longer be an excuse to marginalise. There will be no law to hide behind and then it’s just obvious that it comes from fear and insecurity about difference and a failure to understand and accept others. That says a lot more about the person showing this behaviour than those they are trying to make feel bad or inferior.

Anyone can say smoking, drinking, promiscuity or anything else will shorten someone’s life and that gay people do such things, and for some that could be the case. However, the same can be said for many heterosexuals but this was overlooked, a blind eye was turned to that because it doesn’t support the argument or point Jim Wallace wanted to make, that it’s unhealthy to be gay.

I personally believe that no matter how long your heart beats for, hate is the one thing that shortens your life the most. Getting angry or hateful towards him isn’t helpful when the man obviously has something driving him to say or do such things without the correct knowledge to back it up. It could be a bad experience, insecurity or denial but it is undoubtedly a belief or behaviour that has been learned. I’m not religious at all, but a famous quote of religious origin has never felt more appropriate lately: “forgive them, for they know not what they do”.

Jim Wallace’s words do appear damaging, but I think we should remember that they’re only damaging if they’re to be believed and believe him I do not, and nor should anyone else.

“No one can make you feel inferior without your consent” ~ Eleanor Roosevelt


Chaz Harris - 7th September 2012

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