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The responses to ‘For the Gayness’ on kottu and the aspects debated have been interesting and even amusing, considering the diversity of the elements stemming from the topic, as well as in the ardour of the respondents. Genetics versus environmental conditioning, morality, norms, reparative therapy, ‘us’ and ‘them’, pedophilia, bestiality, (even Koko the gorilla made an appearance), are some of the aspects that have been trashed out, with Indi in stalwart defence of his position that “homosexuality is natural and normal, and science is proving that more and more”.

Both Java and I have many gay folk we count among our close friends. Some of them are open about their sexual preferences and don’t particularly care who knows about their sexual orientation, considering it to be none of anybody else’s business. Some of them prefer to keep their ‘gayness’ to themselves and to the coterie of those in their ‘inner-circle’ of friends and (maybe) family. We are also aware of friends who we suspect are actually gay but who are not willing to step out of what is euphemistically referred to as the ‘closet’. We also see that our gay friends are as ‘normal’ as our ‘straight’ (let’s get the terminology established here) friends are ‘normal’. That is to say, some of them are ‘campier’ than others (for a variety of reasons), some ‘play the game’ in public so that ‘identification’ isn’t apparent, some are just being themselves without any attempt to either attract attention or to deflect it. They have many of the attributes our straight friends have – humour, creativity, appreciation of art, music, theatre, some are into sports and some are not, some are vegetarian whilst others love their meat (sorry about that!), some love to be out in nature, some are city-folk and prefer the rush of the metropolis, but in the end all our friends, both gay and straight, are pretty decent folk. Of course we share many of the same values – hence the friendships, but in the end we find no ‘difference’ in their make up – except of course for their sexual preference and orientation. So the question in our minds is, “what’s the big deal?”

Remember dat cat dat brought up da queschun of gay couples raisin chilren, maaan? Seems to Java dat dere be sooo many fucked up kids bein brought up by straight couples dat dis issue too be pretty much of da same sheeet. Da difference be dat da ‘modder’ figure will be male and da ‘farder’ figure be female – an dis be somting dat more research could shed light on in da long term, but as society be right now, we be seein sooo many modders an farders we tink be not fit to raise kids dat it seem to be possible dat in som instances some gay couple jus could be better dan some straight couples in raisin chilren. Who be we to judge dis on individual cases if we don know all da nitty gritty sheeet bout dem?

Granted. Some of the twisted individuals that we see around us in society today – and we don’t need to look too far, have been brought up by their hetero-sexual parents – hardly a commendation on their methods or their sexual orientation. So what could be so ‘out of line’ with two men or two women who really want children and who are willing to go through all the strictures set up by their respective societies to attain their ambition with regard to raising a family? For sure, many of them may prove to be unfit for this major responsibility, but again, many of the straight couples have also proved to be totally unfit to raise children. However, they are able to do as they please in this respect. So who is to judge? And by what or whose value system? Many of the primitive laws denying the rights of individuals to have sexual relations with members of their own sex have been thrown out by the societies that have a more democratic and enlightened perspective of the freedom of the individual. Unfortunately for us in Sri Lanka, the hypocrisy is such that these outdated laws set up by the British and their Victorian ethical values of the period (that’s a whole other can of worms that deserves a separate discussion!) are still in force and although not strictly enforced, could be used to harass and incarcerate.

Dats right on maaan. We be talkin recently bout dose extreme mahfuhs an also dose on da fringe dat will pull out dere pet peeve to vent dere venom on – an it don matter if it be to do wit religion, etnicity, color, sexshual preference or any odder sheeet dey have in dere little minds – dey will find it in demselves to state dere case wit all da venom dey could summon up. Remember what yo be sayin bout dose extremists? All dat macho postchurin an puttin down what dey state is an ‘aberrashun’ might jus be a front to deny da latent urge dey have widin themselves. Hear where I be commin from maaan?

Whatever the opinions we may have on issues like this, it does appear that in the end it all boils down to a question of values.So why not ‘live and let live’ and allow freedom to prevail – just as long as we respect each other’s space and each other’s individuality? And, as far as Java and I are concerned, to hell with the repressive assholes who deny the freedom of individuals to choose a lifestyle that they consider suitable for themselves.