Rights vs Rights Part 2 – The Privacy, Publicity Preference

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There are some things that belong within a personal space and should remain private.  It seems social media has now opened doors for some people to think every possible aspect of their lives must be given to the public and failure to so do makes them misfits.  The designs of tailor made lives detailed to make existence seem exalted is the outlet social media sometimes serves.  Many of us were nothing like we are today before social media and that has offered as many positives as negatives, offering everything from the passively innocent to fanatic narcissistic tendencies.  Some things should still maintain privacy.  Sexual activity and preference should also maintain a place in privacy.

Public Displays Of Privacy
“We want to be treated as equal, live our lives normally, do what we want in the privacy of our bedrooms without the public or the law dictating who we love and be free to positively contribute to society like any other citizen” – quote from a gay Jamaican living in New York.  If this is the foundation of a gay agenda, it sounds pretty much normal and could be spread across many groups as a principle.

If you want to be just another average Joe or Jane why is there the need to publicly declare your sexuality?  If you don’t want an employer to ask it in an interview since that’s “discrimination” and your “private business” why place it in the public domain?  Isn’t that throwing your private life and activity in the faces of those who would otherwise not care?  If your character, integrity, friendship, professional competence are in check does “and I’m gay” add an element to any of these things?  Is it also important to state your religious, political and moral beliefs while deciding your sexual preference should outweigh your résumé?  People want the right to declare their sexual preferences as long as no one is asking, since declaring is “coming out”… asking is “discrimination”.  OK .

There are many public places made for preferences and although they might not suit all at the same time, reasonable conformity is expected.  I wouldn’t expect to be sitting in a Rastafarian celebration if I found the smell and smoking of ganja to be highly offensive…BUT…if I ended up there for some reason I’d have to conform and not curse about it.  I might attend Sting and want to see dancehall acts but be offended by possible bottle throwing and war…BUT…I can choose other stage shows or simply expect anything to happen.  I don’t expect to be in certain parts of India and demand the right to eat beef…BUT…if I want beef there are certain places I can go, or just concede and eat goat as a replacement… or find a different dish.  MAYBE it might be a little foolish to declare in the middle of those who worship the cow, “I’m a lover of beef!”.  Why would it be their business really since I’m not being forced to eat it and have a choice not to?  What is the point of a man who is not gay going to a gay club and ‘burning fire’ when he could choose several other places that suit his preference?  Would I go to a strip club and accept exotic dancers fully clothed all night?  Hell no!  There is a time and place for preferences.

If people wish to contribute to society then they should do so, not because their contribution is Baptist, student, lawyer, heterosexual or gay, but because the contribution is positive.  Is there a list of questions before persons can be good citizens?  Is there gay money, gay utility bills, gay mortgage, gay school fees or a gay salary cheque?  I doubt it.  Stand in the bank line and look at customers…is there a gay line for gay payments? Is there a gay line at the airport or gay immigration?  Are there persons walking around these places stating, “ladies and gentlemen if you’re gay please step aside”?  I doubt it.  So if equality and acceptance is at the foundation of the gay agenda why is there so much need to “stand up and stand out” from everyone else?

Preference Is Not Power
What’s this big deal about “coming out”?  If a priest no longer wants to be celibate he can leave the priesthood.  If a husband no longer wants his wife he can tell her and get divorced.  If a Rastafarian wants to trim he can go to the barber.  There is no need to come and tell the world what you’ve done or why.  If the world wants to speculate or claim to know, that’s their business, not yours…and it’s not the business of other people for you to share it either.  However if people do they should accept that many will have varying opinions.  If you are free to tell me in the public domain what’s YOUR personal business then I reserve the right to agree or disagree…but WHY are you telling me?  Does this revelation give you power?  Does it make you more competent or a better person?  What is the real point of “coming out”? 

The majority of celebrities who have done so claim, “all along I was living a lie”…so what?  In that case why not simply go live your truth?  If you stopped going to the gym would you feel the need to declare it?  Most times those in the public eye are pressured by partners to declare their gay relationship as a way to prove it’s authentic.  The same applies to heterosexual relationships.  If you need to declare sexual preference and a relationship in order to validate love you’ve got far more issues to contend with there than who you love.

Does declaring sexual preference lead to some form of power that I’m unaware of?  Maybe.  Maybe a boss who likes to sleep with secretaries and every other female employee can use his preference as a power tool.  Maybe a gay female boss can use her preference to force women to compromise or also risk losing jobs or promotions.  But THAT is not about their sexuality, that’s about power.

Should gay people be hired just because they’re gay instead of being best for the job?  Should they be retained instead of fired for being incompetent just because they’re gay because employers fear the great “discrimination” label?  Should people accept that a group that doesn’t seek anything greater than equality and acceptance wishes in many instances to subject everyone else to the whims and fancies of what they deem “acceptable”?  Lots of gay people find gay parades offensive.  Lots of gay people find some behaviour of other gay persons to be unfit for public consumption.  There are many gay people in Jamaica who work well with ‘straight’ people who not only know they are gay but are also anti gay in belief.  But they function well because neither seeks to impose personal preferences or sexuality on the other. 

Being gay, straight, Catholic, atheist, vegan, asexual or whatever else is YOUR personal preference and your private business.  No one has the right to demand to know and no one needs to be told by you either.  The sooner we focus on who we are in a wider society by character and not by what our personal preferences are the easier it will be for many with differences to coexist without physical or verbal conflict.  People who wish to impose their beliefs will always exist, but so will those who always oppose that approach.  A person doesn’t have to be angry to prove how black they are, preach the gospel to prove how holy they are, take a picture to prove how charitable they are or show and tell the world they’re gay to prove how gay they are…just focus on who you are as a person and not what you prefer or privately do.  Should President Obama be judged on being a good/bad black president or a good/bad president who just happens to be black?  Should Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller be judged on being a good/bad female prime minister or a good/bad prime minister who just happens to be female?  Let’s stop trying to use “gay” as a résumé or character reference.  It has no place there, so let it remain where it belongs….YOUR business.

Rodney S. O. Campbell ©

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