Different Preferences, Same Values

Kate Ginley, Opinion Editor

The LGBTQ community has stepped out from the shadows it was once forced to hide within. However, while gay marriage was legalized this past summer, other sexualities like bisexuality and asexuality remain misunderstood and often discriminated against.

Understanding and accepting people who are gay was one big step for the heteronormative world we live in, but progress beyond that seems unlikely in the current social and political climate.

Recently, I was discussing my love of Dan Howell, a famous British YouTuber, with my friend. I jokingly told my friend I wished to date him but that since he’s bisexual, the competition for his affections would be fiercer than if he were only open to romance with women. Her response was sharp: “Why would you want to date someone who’s bi?”

While her voice had hardly raised an octave, the meaning of her words were difficult for my ears to endure. They were like an electric shock to my brian.

I didn’t respond for a full minute. It wasn’t that I didn’t want to, I just physically couldn’t. I talk so much, and yet when the time came for me to be brave, my mouth sealed itself up. Finally, I said in my typically eloquent manner, “What?”

My friend repeated the question.  She seemed confused as to why I would ever suggest the idea. She went on to claim that being gay was fine but bisexuals needed to pick a side.

In that moment, I realized that gay marriage might have been legalized this past summer but the LGBTQ community has a long way to go to gain real respect and acceptance.

Think about Isaac Newton who discovered that the laws of gravity on Earth are the same in space. Now replace “gravity” with “love,” and “Earth” and “space” with “heterosexual relationships” and “homosexual relationships.”

It’s the law of love, and preferring a gender or having no preference doesn’t make a difference.  The emotion is consistent, regardless.

Like the Scientific Revolution of Newton’s time, there always seems to be those unwilling to accept change. Today, certain people cannot wrap their heads around the LGBTQ reality.

You would think that in the 21st century, we, the human race, would be more accepting of differences. We messed up with slavery and other manifestations of racism. We messed up with gender discrimination. Yet we seem to insist that history can’t teach us a thing.

Why is it so difficult? The world would be such a better place if people were accepted regardless of their race, gender, or sexuality. The United States is a union of heterogeneous parts.  The character of our country depends on variety and difference.  Different shapes and sizes, different colors, different beliefs.  And yet, we contend that we all share the same values.  Values like respect and compassion.

No matter what their sexual orientation may be, every American deserves respect and compassion.

So when my friend asked me again, “Why would you want to date someone who’s bi?” I responded, “Because I think being bi means you like that person for who they are, regardless of whether they are male or female. Whoever is the one is the one.”