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Remember a couple of years ago when I got into that e-mail exchange with the woman who hated gay people?  Well, after reading a news story about another ridiculous anti-gay effort, I decided to write to the head of the Capitol Resource “Institute”. (I use that “Institute” term loosely.

Below is the text of my letter. I’ll let you know if she responds!
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Dear Ms. England,

I read your comments about the “gays in textbooks” issue in California, and while I certainly applaud you for standing up for your ideals and beliefs.

I hope you will agree that other Americans deserve to be able to do the same.

As a gay man, I can assure you of this: I have ABSOLUTELY NO INTEREST in “promoting” my “agenda” to anyone, least of all children. Given how much animosity, hostility and humiliation we must endure from some sectors of society who believe we are “faulty,” I would not want anyone to “be gay” — unless, of course, that is how they were born.

I do realize that the idea that people are born gay is a difficult concept for people to understand. Just as I cannot conceive of being left-handed or being tall (something I sadly am not) or being Chinese or being a woman, it’s certainly equally difficult for someone not gay to understand that being gay is part of our genetic makeup.

But being unable to understand or empathize with an individual is very different from being able to respect and value that person.  I cannot imagine for a moment that you would want to instill values like hate, prejudice, hostility and intolerance in any child.  I hope you agree with me that the values we want to instill in children are acceptance, harmony, understanding and respect.  Why would you want to promote an agenda (and, yes, it appears that you definitely have one of those, just as you accuse “us” of having) of fear and ignorance, which can only lead to unhappiness and anger?

Can you imagine what the world be like if Michelangelo, Cole Porter, Oscar Wilde, Dag Hammarskjold, Socrates, Walt Whitman, Alexander the Great, T.E. Lawrence and Tchaikovsky had not been in it?  All of them were gay or bisexual, and just as YOUR most significant personal relationships have impacted your own accomplishments, theirs were informed and influenced by who they were as people.

Such important figures in California as Harvey Milk and Randy Shilts have impacted history far beyond this state and influenced the course of events around the world — and their very existence is the definition of modern history.  To not name them as gay, particularly in light of their accomplishments, would be like not naming you as a woman in a textbook in which your name appears.

I urge you to continue looking into your own heart to realize that California and the United States are founded upon the contributions of people from all walks of life, not just straight white people.

I absolutely PROMISE you that, unless s/he already is, not one child will “turn gay” because s/he has learned about a famous gay person; if it were that easy, I would have become a physician by learning about Dr. Jonas Salk, and I’m afraid I never even made it past basic chemistry.

My best to you,

John Singh

4 Comments

Steve Expounded Thusly:

Wow. Very interesting. My God, I hope she writes back! I can not wait to hear what she says.

And, for everyone’s convenience, here are the links to the letters to Linda Harvey.

Letter to Linda Harvey

Linda’s Response

Linda Strikes Back

To read other related posts that got John writing to Linda in the firt place, follow this link, which links to a post containing links to help link people to the posts.

Friday, April 7th, 2006 • 2:25pm • Permalink

Indranie Bhatacharyaa Expounded Thusly:

Hello Everyone

My name is Indranie Bhatacharyaa. I’m a 33 year old, straight, Indian woman writing in from the city of Pune on India’s west coast. I’m a Hindu-Hellene and a supporter of the rights of gays, lesbians, bisexuals and the transgendered, including the right to marriage.

You must be wondering what is a Hindu-Hellene? Well, Hellenism is the ancient religion of Greece, a pagan religion and is a sister faith of Hinduism. You see, Hellenism is a growing faith in the west with large numbers of followers in California, England, Wales, the European continent and in Australia. Greece itself has some 16 organizations devoted to Hellenism and I am a member (a foreign member that is) of one of these.

Right from adolescence, ever since I became aware of gender differences in the sexual perspective, I have wondered why so many people in India and abroad are allergic to homosexuals, bisexuals and the transgendered. Later, in my twenties when I tried to broach the issue of their rights with my fellow Hindus and also with some Indian Christians and muslims I know, the response was vitriolic. They were made out to be ‘abnormal’ needing medical treatment to correct themselves. However I joined the International Hellenic movement in 2001 and my understanding of Hellenism, Hinduism, the differences between the ancient ‘Earth’ religions and the Late Antiquity ‘Cosmopolitan’ paths like Christianity and Islam, have helped me understand why the world over people are either anti or pro Homo/Bi/Trans sexuality.

None of the ancient religions have discriminated against these people. It is well known that the ancient pagan world acknowledged it’s homo and bi sexual populations with the same respect that it did it’s straight people. Virgil, the Celtic poet who wrote in Latin was either gay or bisexual (I’m not sure which) but his sexual orientation was besides the point when it came to his poetry. Why shouldn’t it be so? How does it matter who our great figures mess their sheets with? Sexuality is a matter of our private lives and identities. How people judge great figures should be based exclusively on their public lives and work output, not sexual orientation.

Today, millions of Hindus the world over are homophobic (is this the correct spelling?). Hinduism (and by that I mean pure, classical Hinduism which lasted for only about 500 years before the rot set in, meaning when it metamorphosed into Brahminism) was no different from classical Hellenism in it’s treatment of people with an alternative sexuality. The pagan religions have an explanation for homosexuality too. We believe that there is something called ‘soul consciousness’. Till date, allopathic medicine has not been able to come up with an explanation for the state of consciousness. Pagan belief teaches that consciousness is purely a gift of the soul. It also teaches that the soul which is capable of living on it’s own as a free being in the environment, has it’s own SEXUALITY. It is either male or female. When nature brings life to a newborn infant at it’s first breath, she infuses a female gendered soul in a female infant and a male gendered soul in a male infant. But sometimes, mistakes do happen. As a result a female gendered soul is mistakenly placed in a male body and vice versa. The infant upon reaching adulthood, though a man on the outside meaning according to physiology, being of a female consciousness, develops attraction for men, quite naturally. The physiology including the sex organs are male, but the person has a female consciousness.

There’s an explanation for bisexuality too. Souls are the basic particles of the cosmos. They exist as the tiniest particles of matter. If the tiniest particle of matter is a ‘quark’ as physics has explained, then a soul is a quark. It must enter gross matter to give it life. The journey of the soul begins from the simplest forms of life as in the case of algae, where sexuality is not defined. How long a soul particle takes to decide and define it’s own sexuality, varies from soul to soul. Even after reaching the stage of incarnating into a human body (after having passed through the stages of learning about animal life after being incarnated into animal bodies) a soul may take a long time in deciding it’s own sexuality. It is during this phase that the soul’s entry into a body produces a bisexual.

Personally speaking, I have never come across a more whole explanation for the occurence of alternative sexuality. It is because of this ancient understanding that the pagan world had no issues with it. That Alexander was a bisexual is well known, as Mr. Singh has mentioned (though I don’t like him since I see him as a ‘man of the sword’, a conqueror).

Now the question – why then are so many Hindus anti-gay? Hinduism, apart from the degeneration from the inside (it occurred in the form of Brahmin monopoly over caste, turning it from a segregation based on profession, to a segregation based on birth and the laws invented by ‘Manu’ to subjugate women) it was, unfortunately, influenced by the Late Antiquity paths of Islam and Christianity from the outside. These paths have a very narrow understanding of sexuality and the resulting attitude among their followers, atleast the orthodox ones, is one of repulsion towards Homo/Bi/Trans sexuals.

Lesbos, the Greek island, in yore, produced some of the most beautiful lyrical poetry by poets such as Sappho. It was their hatred of educated women that made Christianity label the poets ‘Lesbians’. In time, the word came to describe women who loved other women. A derogatory way of reference.

I’m looking forward to the day when Hindus will follow the example of Hellenism and rid themselves of acquired traits from the Late Antiquity paths which have done us no good, including the hatred of people with an alternative sexuality. Right wing Hindu political parties protect degerate Hinduism, not classical, original Hinduism and this is why we have instances like the firce opposition to a film like “Fire”. I must mention something here. I liked the film but didn’t like perspective that homosexuality is ‘ascquired’. It is not. One is either born a homosexual or not. It’s not a disease. If a lesbian holds my arm, I won’t get lesbianism or something. How dumb can some people get? I’ve heard some people referring to homosexuality as if it was a disease.

Personally I have never had a gay friend (or maybe I did but never knew because the guy never told me) but I think I would be glad to have one. There are issues common to both of us.

Sometimes it has happened that when I spoke vociferously about the rights of such people, the listeners have tried to insult me by calling me a lesbian. However I don’t see it as an insult. If someone asked me if I was an extrovert (which I am not) would I get angry and defend myself? No. I would calmly correct the person telling him/her that I’m an introvert. To me and to everyone else, extrovertedness and introvertedness are simply two different states of being. Similarly, should it be for sexual orientation. If I react angrily to being called a lesbian, it would show that I think there’s something wrong with homosexuals. Therefore I tell the ones that attack me, WITHOUT anger, that I am straight.

One more thing. I’m a huge fan of Dag Hammarskjold. This is the reason why I came to this site. I was looking up the yahoo searchlist with his name on them. I had quite a crush on him till I read that he was gay (some places categorize him as bisexual though). It made no difference to me except that it broke my heart. LOL. If I was living back in the 50s and he had been straight I would have married him for sure. It’s heart breaking to find out that a man you have been admiring in a romantic sense (apart from his achievements for which I have immense respect) was gay.

I think Dag’s biographers should be honest about his sexual orientation and the public should accept him for what he was, without hiccups.

Hammarskjold had said – “I was so busy with government work that I did not want anyone to suffer as my mother had from the long absences of my father on public business”. It’s really sad. He should have been given the freedom of being able to come out in the open about his sexuality and take a male lover too, if he so wished.

About the issue of homosexual marriages I have something to say to people who are against it – If you have noticed, the female reproductive system is the ONLY COMPLETELY dispensable system in our anatomy. You may get a kidney removed but you can’t get the other one removed too. However in the case of the female reproductive system the womb can be done away with for the rest of a woman’s life. This may be a sign from nature herself. The womb bears the baby. If mother nature herself deems that the womb is not necessary for a normal life, then why should we oppose homosexual marriages on the grounds that these are ‘barren’ marriages?
We should encourage such marriages for another reason. There are many homosexuals who love children. Such couples go in for adoption. This not only provides homes for orphans, such children grow up with a balanced view of sexuality.

For people who oppose adoption by lesbians, on the ground that it is against the concept of motherhood, I have this to say – In that case, wouldn’t the child have 2 mothers? Then how is it supposed to be in opposition to motherhood?

The worldwide Hellenic movement have a large number of gay/lesinan/bi/ and transsexuals. It’s no wonder, why. The sense of freedom they have here can’t be found in any other path.

To people who think homosexuals shouldn’t have rights – Even criminals don’t have their rights terminated. Rapists, burglars, murderers or swindlers. Infact upon release from jail they have been given the right to live with dignity in society. Then WHY deny homosexuals THEIR rights? When we have no qualms about living with people who have been destructive to society, why deny the rights of homosexulas who have done us no harm and who mind their own business?

For folks who think alternative sexuality people should live only discreetly with their lovers – Discreet living is for people who have communicable diseases. As I said earlier, alternative sexuality cannot be acquired. It can’t be pursued as if it’s a ‘fad’ either. This is a condition by birth. Period.

Looking around at a world filled with lechers, molesters, sexual harrasers, wife beaters and misogynists who define the genre of straight men, I sometimes wish the male population over the globe would be made up of only the number of true gentlemen we have among straight men and the rest of the men should be gays. We’ll have a better world.

I would rather be in a fulfilling platonic relationship with a gay or bisexual man than be in a love relationship with a straight guy who mistreats me.

Thank you
Indranie Bhatacharyaa
Pune
India.

Saturday, October 7th, 2006 • 3:36am • Permalink

Indranie Bhatacharyaa Expounded Thusly:

This is me, Indranie, again. I came back to add another point, Steve.

There is a popular misperception among people that gays are pansies. This is incorrect. A gay is as ‘man’ on the outside as any straight guy. The added advantage is that they don’t conform to the stereotype of maleness.

Thank you
Indranie.

Saturday, October 7th, 2006 • 6:01am • Permalink

The Wren Forum » Campus Crusade for Contempt Expounded Thusly:

[…] arguments. (See, once again, John’s corresponence with Linda Harvey. Follow the links from this comment.) As the evidence for the genetic seat of homosexuality begins to accumulate, this final point of […]

Friday, June 1st, 2007 • 11:41am • Permalink • This is a Pingback

 

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