Hate hurts: can I have hugs instead?

Warning: a rant with some strong language ahead. Must be of legal reading + age of majority in your home country to read this; have a sense of walking the invisible road as it unfolds, and, be able to listen to someone thinking out loud without taking it personally or needing to fix me it.

It is a strange day today. It’s silly to look for reasons because all or none could be in play: the four planets visible in the early morning sky exerting unheard levels of gravitational pull on everyone NOT wearing aluminum foil hats; mass uncertainty at the economy turning some people into snarling beasts, changing political landscapes; the dragon at the centre of the Earth waking up after being trapped there by a Sorceress eons ago. Goddess only knows. All I know is that it’s just a strange day with strange electricity.

I knew it was strange when I decided to ignore a juicy question that landed in my blog’s search term corral today: “how to ask a straight woman to have lesbian sex”. Now isn’t that a question just begging to be answered? Yes, but not today.

Also ignored was the other question grazing beside the juicy one, possibly even jucier that asked, “what are lesbian sexual practices?” Goddess give me patience. That’s just so silly: everyone who knows knows that practices are everywhere, all and any time, because with repeated practices come an exquisite mastery (or mistressy) although not so ripe that it rots, just enough to keep it interesting and flavoured with a savoury and constant desire for more practices.

I also knew it was a strange day when I decided not to delve into who could possibly be asking that silly question, because everyone who knows knows it takes a certain level of knowledge, intuition and lots of practice to fully grok that just because most women have the same movable parts, it doesn’t necessarily follow that all parts function in exactly the same way: every woman is different whether she’s straight, lesbian or bisexual. So yes, there are lesbian sex practices but no, I’m NOT telling and no, I’m not showing, either.

Maybe because it’s a strange day, I read things I don’t typically read. Bad move on my part. Maybe my day became strange because of what I read? Whatever the reason, instead of answering questions, I came away from some of what I read with questions of my own:

  • What possesses two young girls to beat up a transgendered or cross-dressing man (M2F) in a MacDonald’s restaurant?
  • What possesses someone to set a barn on fire — a barn with horses in it — because the owner happens to be a gay man?
  • What makes someone believe he has the right to scream hateful things at two young women in a small town who walked down the street holding hands; frightening them into retreat and back into invisibility, hiding their relationship, their affection for each other from the world to maintain their physical and emotional safety?

I tried to answer these questions, to understand such things still going on in the world. At first, I deconstructed the events as I read the details and as I imagined them, in that CSI kind of way to see if I could discern any meaningful cause and effect, make some sense of the behaviours that resulted in hate crimes against gays and lesbians and transgendered people. I did not get far. I ended up wondering what possesses people to do such things, because it’s inconceivable to me that anyone would do such things without being possessed by something dark and unthinking and destructive.

After a while, I stopped. In spite of all the psychology and biology and developments in neuromarketing we are still learning about human behaviour and don’t really know with certainty how to interpret the results because in the world of mind and behaviour, no result applies absolutely to everyone, even though results are generalized to everyone. In fact there is no definitive, straightforward answer to be found about why people do many of the things that they do — whether that’s a good thing OR a bad thing, although it’s tempting to think that a desire to be happy drives some behaviours, a desire to be a good person drives others and the desire to hurt, to bully, to feel powerful to be in control(?) drives asshole behaviours that are dangerously antisocial, sociopathic, narcissistic and off-the-scale fucking nuts. But I digress.

There are possible avenues to pursue that could reduce incidents of such acts, but that means focusing on oh, programs to educate people properly and effectively about the full range of sexuality and gender constructs, heterosexuality, homosexuality and human rights, as well as teaching self management strategies when around the ‘other’ whatever ‘other’ happens to be: gay, straight, transgender, transsexual, intersex, different religions, different cultures, different colour of skin.

However, I’m not sure such education is a priority with any administration of any level of government where these events took place, in a country that’s divided, in a country that’s battling about sex education, in a country funding wars, in a country where in March 2011 a goat died from asphyxiation while (and I am being polite) engaged in (forced?) sex (how can it be called sex??) with a human male — because bestiality is currently NOT against the law where it happened, a place known for voting irregularities.

Which is not to say that bashings and hate crimes against the LGBTTIQQ2S don’t happen in this country, because sadly, they do. They are becoming less frequent as the laws grow stronger, as the police take complaints more seriously and predictably, as gays and lesbians are more mainstreamed.

In truth I don’t know how to think it. What makes people go deep into their reptile brain and cease to be a better human? Fear? If not fear, is it evil and hate? And if it is, do I have to be understanding of evil and hate? I don’t want to be understanding.

But I can’t ignore it, can I? All of the world’s myths and religions and philosophies try to explain good and evil, this dichotomy we hold. I suppose it is part of the human condition. But does it have to be? Is there a good maturing of a society? Of humanity? Do we become socially wise?

And yet, what about the people who do these things? An eye for an eye and the whole world goes blind. That is my rational, compassionate mind and self. I want to believe that people are simply misguided and that they can change, become educated, become progressive enough to support a civil society so that we have a society that is on-the-ground accepting of diversity and difference, (tolerance is insulting) to accept that there are homosexuals in society who have every right to be here, to go to the prom with our same-sex date, to hold hands wherever we want, to be affectionate with a lover, to get married, or to avoid commitment and date forever if we want to.

On a more emotional level, I’m thinking about punishment to fit the crimes. I sure as hell hope they catch the bastard(s) that torched the barn and killed the horses and after his/their court case (A jury of peers? Seriously? People with no conscience?) put him and all that he cares about in a room with the man whose property he destroyed. Then put him in a circle of relatives of the horses he killed, horses who know what he did.

As for that hateful guy that yelled and frightened the lesbian couple, I hope he loses his voice AND his testosterone and is magically turned into a goat in that state where it’s still legal to … well, you know.

The young girls who attacked the transgendered or cross-dressing man is troubling on several fronts: issues of race, class, oppression. I suspect that girls beating up a cheeky transsexual in a women’s washroom was not something that the feminist movement imagined ever having to deal with.

The world IS changing for gay men and lesbians and for intersex and transgendered people. Slowly, slowly, it’s changing. But not fast enough. Someone else is going to be hurt …

There are no words I can find to help me think through this clearly. When there aren’t words to be found, I’m thinking it’s a signal for hugs, cuddling up and getting safe in that “suddenly compact universe of skin and breath and hair…”

Sending out hugs; warm, close and cuddly moments to remove the chill of hate.


About FS

Toronto, Canada. Writing about slices of life, the moments and minor details of which come into awareness or out of imagination and the spaces inbetween. On hiatus from writing ... at least for now.
This entry was posted in being a lesbian, lesbian life and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Hate hurts: can I have hugs instead?

  1. Laurie says:

    No amount of education can teach love. Both love and hate come from inside, from the heart, and from experience with the same.

    **** not that I am trying to fix or to imply you don’t know this, I’m just saying…****

    • fs says:

      Laurie; 🙂 You are very true…in fact, just in the NYT is a piece about a 10-year old boy who killed his father, a notorious American neo Nazi, white supremacist, not nice kinda guy. However, I wasn’t suggesting teaching love. I was suggesting teaching/showing that in the circle of life, living on this planet with others, there is room for difference and diversity and ongoing dialogue between various tribes. I’ll leave it to others to discuss the boundaries of that, but where it concerns human rights, I do think we are on our way there. Education helps move a society forward, gives people tools to think: not for everyone of course. There are many well educated yet ignorant people. But education helps to raise the lowest common denominator. Have you heard of the Canadian organization, Roots of Empathy? It’s having an impact in your country and in mine, one child, one person at a time. And um (((hugs))).

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