"There are two sides to everything." This might be true, but it's wrong. We MAKE everything into two sides.
A recent painting I finished about an elopement, and the time spent viewing and pondering the newlywed couple's photo albums, made some things clearer to me than ever before. This was combined with some interesting discussions with Dearest about a very funny JC Penney ad (Beware the Dog House) and how people understand the messages it contains about sexuality, relationship, romance, love, and gender.
We have an awful lot wrong with our current "normal" views of these things. And a lot of what's wrong is due to dividing things into only two "sides."
Let me take a small tangent and discuss another "two sides" item - American politics. We complain regularly about the limiting aspects of a two party political system. It polarizes everything and the two views end up skewed and providing little balance about issues. I know very few poeple who think about issues who felt that either party represented their views. Most people I know have spoken for decades about election of the lesser of evils, or, at best, a disappointing compromise. People don't seem to be running for office - parties are. And parties aren't human - they're machines. George Washington warned against much of this in his departing speech...
Well politics isn't the only part of our social landscape that is mapped wrongly and divisively because we artificially divide it into two camps. The same is true of gender and sexuality. Battle lines seem to be drawn, with the resulting misunderstanding of the "other side" and ourselves, between male and female. Men and Women.
And I suddenly realized that the deep loss caused by Proposition 8 is not just for Gay and Lesbian couples, it's for ALL of us. We have limited our view of sexuality, gender, and love to two sides - and the results are militancy, misunderstanding, and the oversimplified shaping of young minds into molds that don't function well for happiness, love, or relationships. We need those other views and definitions to be welcomed, fully accepted parts of how we see PEOPLE - how we see sexuality and gender, love and attraction. PEOPLE are being hurt every day by the oversimplifications - and I'm not just talking about Gay and Lesbian people. Because the two sides we define everything into now don't work, and with just two sides there is no real hope of making the model more complex, more realistic, more human. Our compulsion for seeing only two sides, and for using labels, is causing great harm. We are unable to properly understand OURSELVES.
If you think this is about tolerance for the "other side" it is - but it's even more about misunderstanding your OWN side, and your own self, with dire consequences for mental and emotional health.
The Bible, referenced for much of the ammunition in one side of this struggle, says "Male and Female God made them." Eve came from Adam and is bone of his bone, flesh of his flesh. Aren't we reading this wrongly to oversimplify this and think it means something about the separateness of men and women? You're either male OR you're female? Doesn't it make a lot more sense to think these words mean that we're ALL male and female? Think about it - look at those words above. And polarizing everyone the way we do means denying that everyone is more complex - it means denying parts of ourselves, denying attractions for and relationships with others that are more complex than just X and Y chromosome. It hurts everyone, not just those attracted to the same physical gender.
All of us. All the time. We need those additional perspectives on human love and sexuality. We need to see them lived all around us, for our mental and emotional health. We need gay and lesbian couples - they are part of the healing we will all receive for our personal view of our own sexuality, our own gender, our own emotions, ourselves.
We need the plurality. If you believe in the Trinity, then you believe that even God is more complex than just two... It's not that simple.
So how is your rejection of another viewpoint impoverishing your own view? Clouding it? Twisting it into the "other side"? And whose view is left out entirely?
Think about it. It's important. For you.
>>>> Appendix de Grenouille <<<<
Perhaps les Grenouilles can offer a good example for our human friends? Mating only once a year, reproduction is not on le brain amphibienne for most of the year. Reproduction seems to humans to be a grande part of la vie grenouille, because that is when you hear us, and that is the continuation of the circle of life. Oui, Biologistes study that reproductive cycle and courtship among frogs, but mating itself is but a small part of our story, and many frogs never mate. The story is about ALL frogs, is it not? Not just about those who reproduce? And what, then, can be said of those who choose not to mate, or are not chosen by another for that feat? And what of the tres jolie rest of the year, when there is no difference between these frogs and those who do mate, or even between male and female? That time of year when we are all sunning, swimming, catching and eating insects délicieux... Or when we are sleeping quietly side by side on the bottoms of ponds? All are here, all are frogs, all are important. Do you see us creating a class system among frogs or among l'amours de grenouilles? Do we decree that the bedding down for the winter must only be boy, girl, boy, girl?