Volume 92, Issue 72

Thursday, February 4, 1999


Tips from the mayor of Dumpsville

Another sticky situation

Dirty bagel

Sexuality program should help beat ignorance

Sexuality program should help beat ignorance

Re: Wrong alliance, Jan. 20

To the Editor:

I applaud Western's attempt at the implementation of a sexuality studies course. With an emphasis on homosexual orientation, it should help students still hurting by ignorance and deeply rooted prejudices to accept and appreciate those who are merely different from themselves.

The response to the letter by Dave Theobald proves the urgency of a higher form of "sex ed." than most receive in their earlier years. His letter did, however, bring up some interesting points of which I feel I am in a far better position to address than him.

First, are we gays "born this way?" Let me yawn before I attempt to help people like Dave comprehend what I meant by this phrase. Simply put, I have known from my earliest years that I was "different." At the onslaught of adolescence, this "difference" translated into sexual and emotional attraction to the same sex. Put even simpler, I and every other homosexual person, discovered his/her sexual orientation no less than any "straight" individual.

Secondly, is there a "gay gene?" Whether such a question is relevant, I must confess I didn't deserve Dave's congratulatory tribute. The credit really belongs to such outstanding scientists as Roger Gorski, Laura Allen and Simon Levay.

The famous "Twin Studies" by Pillard and Baily further state that, whether gay or straight, a strong genetic component is undeniable. These studies are by no means conclusive but I suppose if there is a "gay gene," there must also be a "straight gene." So what! Only those who have a problem accepting us need to formulate a "cause." We exist and have always existed side by side. Accept that and move on!

Thirdly, is more debate really needed? How Dave could ignore the explosion of media coverage and political debate is beyond me! Does the "Vriend case" that brought the rednecks of Alberta to their knees ring a bell? The Rosenberg case that rewrote the Income Tax Act to allow for same-sex spousal pensions? Bill C-33? And there is more.

Launched by the Foundation for Equal Families, a massive lawsuit will finally challenge the federal government's 58 laws which still discriminate against same-sex couples. I'm not so sure we'll need any more "debate." Maybe "discussion" might be a better way for us to be understood.

Dave includes himself as those who "in good conscience" could never defend the rights of homosexual persons yet, "adamantly defend the rights of racial minorities because the two are so fundamentally different." Really? I don't suppose the murderers of James Byrd and Matthew Shepard made any such distinction otherwise the former, who was black, would have been spared!

After all, the killing of a gay man can be justified, even sanctioned because of people who in "good conscience" could never stand up for the rights of a minority because they fall in love with their own gender! I have to wonder if such people who can advocate the rights of some minorities but not others have any informed conscience at all!

I have to sympathize with homophobes. It must be very difficult for them to contend with ordinary, unstereotypical and, at times, conservative homosexual people living openly in society at large. One would think they would spend more time evaluating their own "heterosexual lifestyles" of broken families, wife and child abuse/neglect, alcoholism, date rape, unwanted children, etc..

Hell, they can't even enjoy themselves at their "straight bars" without carrying knives! Perhaps Dave and others ought to worry about themselves and their own "lifestyles" and not forget to enrol in the new sexuality studies program – they might learn something!

Peter Collins
Bachelor of Education

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Copyright The Gazette 1999