You may have heard that “homosexuality is against nature” but it is traditions created by men that made it against the norm.
A thread on Twitter was used as a reminder of how homophobia may be perceived as mere dislike towards someone and not a deeper, more upsetting aversion to a certain group of people. This particular thread could be used here as an example, on Voicing Realities, but the thread is francophone and might not be understood by the majority of our readers. Plus, we believe it is not exclusive to this person or to one language and must have been witnessed countless times in many different countries.
It is not about pointing fingers here, it is not about blaming one particular person of narrow-mindedness and objectionable beliefs. It is about responding to a comment that keeps popping up in this arguing over the matter of homosexuality, that homosexuals are acting against nature and that, therefore, the Bible condemns them.
Religion was created by mankind to have something or someone to put their faith into. It is perfectly fine to either believe or not believe in a greater voice, a greater presence, a greater guidance. However, it is not fine to take advantage of biblical texts written by men thousands of thousands of years ago to become the supreme judge of what is right or wrong.
You may decide you do not like a homosexual because as a human being, his values are questionable. Maybe said person is driven by violence. The moral of their sexuality can only be questioned if it is harmful and damaging to somebody else. This aspect of sexuality, however, is relevant to all kind of sexual beings no matter who they are attracted to.
Now, why is it one may think that being a homosexual is morally wrong? Because an ancient text says so? Because it is “against nature”? Let’s talk about nature for a bit, then. If we follow the reasoning behind this belief, it probably has to do with reproduction. And, of course, reproduction ensures the durability of mankind which seems to be the sole purpose of coming alive into this world.
At the very creation of this world, men and women came to realise that their nature of sexual beings could create life, the circle of life. Many different creatures (mammals, amphibians, etc.) do not have the same reproduction system in this circle of life — it is not the subject here, although it tends to show that things are never black or white. Men and women copulated. Come of age, young women would be made available to men for reproduction. At this primitive stage, the idea of love was about possessiveness and protection and survival. Reproduction was about building a territory, maintaining authority and empowering your position. It was about bringing about heirs and carrying out lineage. Later on — way later — reproduction and coupling shifted to a more human, spiritual approach of it rather than just bestial. But by then, tradition had already cemented its place in people’s lives. Reproduction and coupling were specifically made for a man and a woman in the binding of matrimony as marriage was institutionalised.
Have you ever heard the phrase “bad habits die hard”? Probably. It has occurred to us that what one calls “against nature” was in fact always a way of control over the circle of life, denying people of their attraction and feelings as time went on, because it could potentially be the end of mankind. Homosexuality is not something new or a trend. It is not something to be feared or something to be critical about. It is not a flaw that will ruin people and lead them astray. It is not a disease that can be caught if you don’t put on a scarf on an icy Winter morning. It is not a choice that people make to be different and cause trouble. It is a sexual attraction that people have had to renounce because of threats, retaliation and shaming. It is both a feeling and a trait that were made to be silenced. But it was always there and it was never an anomaly. Being a homosexual is not against nature, is not a trend, is not a flaw, is not a choice. Being a heterosexual is being a normal human with one kind of sexual attraction. Being a homosexual is being a normal human with another kind of sexual attraction. And the list continues with other types of sexual attractions.
This is precisely why using the terms “against nature” to describe the union of two beings who can’t reproduce together is inaccurate, insensitive and irrational. If homosexuality is wrong, in that sense, then what words would one dare use to qualify a woman or a man who is infertile? Would you say it’s a tragedy, not their fault? Of course, it is not. It’s life, nature. What about men who decide, willingly, to get a vasectomy? What would one call that? Is that against nature to stop the process of life? What about women who choose not to have children of their own accord? Doesn’t History tell us that women only come into this world to carry the children of men and perpetrate their legacy?
What do History and old texts tell us? History and texts tell us that Black people were made to be slaves, that Jews were to be slaughtered, that farmers were to pander to Monarch’s every whim, giving away their land if necessary, that spouses were to obey their husbands in any circumstances, and so on and so forth. All of this is against nature.
The fact that one may entertain the idea that homophobia doesn’t exist is a reason why it exists. The fact that one believes homosexuality is against nature but does not consider him/herself a homophobe is the reason why we need such a term to shield homosexuals from harm and hatred. The fact that one doesn’t like someone based on their sexuality doesn’t make homosexuality wrong, it only comes to show that men who follow tradition without ever questioning it are like the herds of sheep that follow their shepherds at the ring of a bell or the bark of a dog.
Just because tradition — set thousands of years ago by less sophisticated societies — tells us that only a man can marry a woman doesn’t mean it can’t be modified to fit in with the modern world. Just because two men or two women cannot produce children together doesn’t mean it is against nature and it doesn’t mean it will cause mankind’s downfall. And just because one was taught homosexuality is inappropriate doesn’t make it wrong, it only makes one turn a blind eye to understanding, modernity, compassion and support.