They are gay – so what?


What I resent, challenge and confront is the idea that one person or set of people has a right to impose definitions of reality on others

I live in a country that legislates morality; a country where the oppression of certain quarters of the society is institutionalized and where the law is used to police the personal choices of its citizenry, used as justification to intrusively enforce morality in the private lives of people.

I live in a country that daily wakes up to read of the most horrendous acts of inhumanity, shaking their heads as they sip their morning coffee and quickly moving away from the unpalatable story of the man who has raped his 3 month old baby to the cartoon section – thinking ‘what has this world come to?’

I live in a country that condones corruption, daily turning a blind eye to the cash exchanging hands between the commuter omnibus and the strategically placed traffic cop who will shrug off the guilt (if any) by reminding him or herself that survival supersedes any other moral code – he has kids to feed.

I live in a country where men and women make personal choices that impact on the lives of defenseless children, pursuing the thrill of illicit affairs, peeling skins off one another with scalding water, shedding blood with knife stabs and as domestic violence escalates society looks the other way or offers ineffectual sermons on the need to ‘seek counseling from elders, church, relatives or professionals’.

I live in a country where the bulk of the citizenry have the biblical log stubbornly lodged in their eyes and still claim a right to criticize the ‘speck’ in the eyes of the few who are seen as making ‘unnatural’ choices because (to their way of thinking) they have a right to dictate what grown up adult men choose to do behind closed doors.

Gay people in Zimbabwe (and yes they are there) have been victims of the worst social injustice in recent times – likened to animals, their human dignity has been torn to shreds by the vicious machinery of bigoted public opinion.

I am a sucker for social justice and to me, social justice rests firmly on the belief that every human being has a right to life, a right to hold autonomy over their body and a right to dignity (if you can’t respect their choices at least acknowledge that they have a right to their dignity).

So I ask myself, where is this social outrage, anger and vicious dissention when we need it most? Where are these chiefs (would-be enforcers of morality) when rapists prey on the frail grannies who are under their chieftaincy – where is this vehement and boisterous condemnation of such acts?

Why are these enraged defenders of morality silent where it matters most? Do they challenge the man caught in bed with a married woman, do they vilify the married man who’s having an affair with a school child?

Yet it is almost comical (if one can ignore the superciliousness) to hear how our intolerant society is up in arms against the gay community.

Those who still have breathe (after denouncing homosexuality by screaming themselves hoarse) often pose the question, ‘what are we going to do about these gays?’

Well, I was thinking – how about we leave them alone?

I’m certain being homosexual is not a contagion so we can all rest assured that there won’t be an ‘outbreak’ of homosexually oriented people.

Among the arguments I have heard made against recognizing the rights of gay people is that what they are doing is ‘immoral, unnatural and contrary to God’s plans’.

It is the latter that leaves me in stitches, because this tendency to brandish the bible like some tool of exorcism meant to subdue gay people into sexual conformity is what defeats the whole purpose of the exercise – the bible above all else teaches love, values tolerance and expressly appoints God alone as the judge.

How selective (not to mention hypocritical) of people to use an article of faith like the bible to impose their own beliefs on others and worse still to go on and enact it into legislation.

I think too many people in our society suffer from the fallacious thinking that gay people actually need our permission, consent or approval to exist, to be what they are and to have the sexual preferences that they have.

They don’t.

Gay people have nothing to apologize for; they don’t owe us heterosexuals any explanation and our refusal to recognize their right to privacy and dignity doesn’t change the fact that they have those rights by virtue of having been born human.

So while we can curtail the expression of the rights and liberties of the gay community by criminalizing their sexual orientation, using legislation to bludgeon them into submission and using other social institutions to victimize, terrorize and degrade them – gay people remain human, not animals.

They are gay, so what?

While the idea may repulse many; I think at the end of the day we have no right (moral or otherwise) to dictate the sexual lives of gay people in as much as they have no right to dictate to us heterosexuals.

I live in a country where there are too many loud prejudiced voices, standing piously on the moral high ground, their sanctimonious gospel of intolerance surpassed only by the blinding glare of their fake halos.

What I resent and challenge is the idea that one person or set of people has a right to impose definitions of reality on others.

To paraphrase, Arthur Schopenhauer’s views, they tell us that (homosexuality) is the greatest state of insanity… that (homosexuality) is wrong; when it is quite obvious that there is nothing in the world to which every man has a more unassailable title than to his own life and person.

I don’t believe in homosexuality. But I also don’t believe that anyone has a right to take what is an article of faith to their selves and legislate it (or impose it on) to other people.

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13 thoughts on “They are gay – so what?

  1. Masvora says:

    Valid argument but the problem in our country is that there are people who are more equal than others. People who want to prescribe how people can live. People who would turn to the bible only when it is necessary. When it is convenient to advance their ideas but close the same book when they are on the wrong side of the law. Talk of hypocricy.

  2. robin says:

    they are human,yes, but the way they choose to live their lives is what is disturbing. how can a man have feelings for another man?its insane,unheard of.imagine your own father busy kissing and carousing with another man. its unthinkable.their rights seem to be infringing on ours so they can can go to the moon and stay there.its just not morally acceptable.its not hate or anything but kurongo!!!they are our friends but they must guqula izenzo zabo!!where in the Bible does it say gays are acceptable?if someone can provide readers wth the verse then maybe, they can be justified.

  3. Bridget Judah says:

    waze wayitshaya ekhanda Delta! i have a fulfilling friendship with a wonderful, enlightened gay man. it makes my blood boil that he should have to lead a clandestine love life because society deems it fit to oppress him and his right to choose. ngempela homosexuality is not contagious, and gay people have a right to determine their own sexuality and negotiate their own relationships. if it disgusts anyone, let them be heterosexual, live and let live.

  4. Mhlengi says:

    The gvt has the right to protect our morals. It is simple logic that if we fail to regulate ourselves legal instruments will replace ethical values that are based on coomon sense.
    Zooming in on the subject. I intimately align myself with earlier psychiatrists who described homosexuality as a sexual disorder. A condition requiring therapy. Sadly today someone with the disorder is being granted the ‘right’ not to seek help but to ‘infect’ society to pandemic levels.
    To give a scientific basis. The male and female sex hormones are derived from the same molecule through a gender determined variation of reactions. It is thus understandeable why certain feelings may overlap into the either sex. At this stage the brain has to intervene. In the event that the brain fails to intervene, a disorder prevails.
    Out of science into society. An Asian writer once said in a speech that ‘…the problem with (society) is that we exalt right above responsibility.’ Hence today some will stand against against the gvt taking responsibility over the justifiable protection of some aspects of our moral fabric using misplaced rights as excuse to unjustify an honorable stance by gvt.
    In short let the gvt take all its responsibilities in full and protect our morals. I have learnt to live in a society where homoxual is legal & do respect the laws of the land regarding homosexuality despite my disapproval of it. If Zimbabwe decides against them then let us live & respect the law of the land that is based on a majority vote.

  5. Bengani says:

    People talk of morals but a million dollar question remains whose morals are we concerned about at the end of the day.Let anyone be free to their sexuality and sexual preference think thats basic hman rights.

  6. Delta, you are so right.

    And people who want to tell gay people that they are immoral should stop lying, cheating, stealing, etc first before they cast any sort of judgement.

    One of my best friends in South Africa is gay and let me tell you, he is a nice person than many people I know. Judge a person by the content of their character and not what they are, or what society labels them.

  7. Gugu says:

    The hypocrisy, double standards, self righteousness etc are killing Zim. I don’t see how one’s sexual preference has anything to do with how anyone else exists. Live and let live. I suspect that at the heart of those who scream the loudest is the confrontation of themselves in a lifelike mirror and they think by terrorising those who personify their worst fears about themselves, they are squashing what they perceive to be the ‘devil’ in them. Deal with the demons in your closet and allow others to do the same. If you’re uncomfortable with who you are, you begin to make others uncomfortable about who they are. God is God alone, he deals with everyone accordingly, let’s not use him as an excuse for bigotry, he is a God of love. We should focus on humanitarian rights and bring to right our country, siyek’ukuzihlupha ngamadoda athanda amadoda.

  8. Mercy moyo says:

    Hi..its jus so strange how intolerant pple are..considering hw evry1 is human n noone is perfect..wat further boggles d mind is hw people dnt even hve d courtesy to ask..let alone bt judge frm assumptions.I hve yet 2 c an article on marginalised minorities..be it sex workers..smal houses!…jus any1 wu isnt deemed perfect..al i hve seen is articles castigating..its jus so strange how pple continuosly ignore thngs dat exist n bcme close minded..i fail 2 c how a gay person cn affect sme1 wu’s nt..wat wld it do 2 b frends wit gays..embrace them into our society?wld it make us sinners?cos at d end of it al its God wu is judge…with most of us its jus mouthing words n nt undastandin..nt knwng..total ignorence..!

  9. Mercy moyo says:

    Hi..its jus so strange how intolerant pple are..considering hw evry1 is human n noone is perfect..wat further boggles d mind is hw people dnt even hve d courtesy to ask..let alone listen bt judge frm assumptions.I hve yet 2 c an article on marginalised minorities..be it sex workers..smal houses!…jus any1 wu isnt deemed perfect..al i hve seen is articles castigating..its jus so strange how pple continuosly ignore thngs dat exist n bcme close minded..i fail 2 c how a gay person cn affect sme1 wu’s nt..wat wld it do 2 b frends wit gays..embrace them into our society?wld it make us sinners?cos at d end of it al its God wu is judge…with most of us its jus mouthing words n nt undastandin..nt knwng..total ignorence..!

  10. Lifaqane says:

    where do we draw the line? i have heard pple who support intolerance when it’s targeted at gay people and cry foul when its targeted at political opponents. intolerance is intolerance. it is failure to accept the differences that make us who we are. i dont have to agree with what you say, but i will die to support your right to say whatever you want to say and make whatever choices that you want to make. i do not have to agree with those choices. in any case u dont even need me to agree with your choices.
    what are we afraid of? that if we accept that homosexuals have a right to be then will we all of a sudden be attracted to pple of our own sense, if not whats the fuss about. what heterosexuals are saying is we dont want to have sex with people of our own sex and we dont want you do do so either because we do not like it. hello, we do have to like it! i think we have better issues to legislate than who does what in the privacy of their homes.
    i appreciate those who hve friends who r gay and nice and all, but the point is they do not hve to be nice for society to accept that they r attracted to pple of their own sex. i see a lot of heterosexual people who r downright nasty and unpleasant and it has nothing to do with who they sleep with. we dont blame their crankiness on their heterosexuality.

  11. Fred Matsheza says:

    Sorry Delta, but I just want to understand your last two statements where you say, ‘I don’t believe in homosexuality. But I also don’t believe that anyone has a right to take what is an article of faith to their selves and legislate it (or impose it on) to other people.’
    What do you mean when you say; you do not believe in homosexuality?? When you say you do not believe, you are actually saying you do not have faith, or truth, or confidence in the existence of something. If you do not have faith in the existence of homosexuality, why write those arguments in support of its legalisation. Clearly it’s a subject matter you do not have the truth of its existence, so its something you do not understand then.
    The other thing is I don’t think that ‘homosexuality’ in Africa is only ‘an article of faith’. By faith, I suppose you mean religious grounds. Homosexuality cuts across all religious, philosophical, and moral ethics. Although sometimes it’s difficult to demarcate between religious and moral issues, the reason why homosexuality finds so much resistance all over the world, even in America it is because it’s something which is deemed abnormal by normal reasoning. Its not about homosexuality itself as an entity, its about the future of our children and a society which we would like to make for them. Well, I would not like to defend someone’s right to have sex with another man like him, or another woman like herself as it is. This is just about a right to have sex, no reproduction, nothing.

  12. Muzi says:

    you have set the cat among the pegions Delta. Im listening.

  13. […] matter are neatly summed up in an article I wrote last year in which I posed the question – they are gay so what?. I am yet to get a satisfactory answer to that and am very open to persuasion regarding how […]

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