LOVE-WISDOM FROM DR. LOU
I have been thinking about something that has been heavy on my heart. Listening to the news, it shows us as a country that is heavily divided, and violence is on the rise. We have segmented people according to race, economics, and sexual orientation. Today, I want to focus on sexual orientation because people have been killed because they are different as though they had a hand in the design of their birth.
As my great, great aunt used to say: “If I had’a made myself, I’d be the prettiest wo’man walking on dis earth.”
So, let’s start with – had I made myself.
Because science and medicine play such a key role in this society, we tend to feel we can change things. If you are born with a big nose, lips that are too thin, or your boobs are too small or too big, you can go to the plastic surgeon and have the doctor to fix it. In fact, Turkey, the Dominican Republic, and Colombia, South America have made it an industry to change what we perceive as physically undesirable. And my goddaughter has gotten something sniped or tucked in each one of those destinations and for less money than the procedures cost in the United States.
But some things you cannot change. I was born short, female, and my skin is brown. I may be able to change the color of my skin with cosmetics, but I am certainly not going to grow any taller.
I am bringing this to your attention because according to reports from the Human Rights Campaign and the American Civil Liberties Union, there has been a significant rise in the murders and ridiculous policies in our nation against people who are gay, transgender, gender-nonconforming, lesbians and other people who were perceived to be born different.
It is ridiculous to me that ten laws against homosexuals were passed in 2018, and 283 in 2023, and the year is not even over yet. Education and health bills have focused on not saying “gay” in schools and altering sex education classes as well as denying health care services to people who have affirmed their sexuality. We must ask – What’s going on and why the sudden upturn in the number of laws against people who belong to the LGBTQ community. Why is it such a threat?
I decided to do my research on this phenomenon called gay and gay rights. Let me share some of what I learned:
First – homosexuality is not new. Same gender attraction simply means men loving men and women loving women and that is their preference. The responses to it vary from country to country and from one historical period to another. Ancient Chinese and Japanese literature recorded many incidents and stories of male homosexuality, and it was generally accepted. Ancient Greece had the practice of older men having sex with younger men. Before Columbus and other Europeans arrived on what is now known as the North and South America, the indigenous peoples had a special spiritual and social roles for homosexual and bisexual individuals. They were often called “Two-Spirit” and even today continue to have a prominent role in their communities. Unfortunately, male homosexuality has been treated more kindly than female homosexuality, but all have gone through some form of persecution from public beatings to death.
In ancient Africa, it has been reported by anthropologists that women in Lesotho could engage in long term special friend relationships and it was acknowledged publicly. In the Congo, warriors took boy-wives who had the role of taking care of their warrior in much the same way wives are expected to perform. On the other hand, women could take on female lovers to seek pleasure. There was, however, no punishment metered out until Europeans began to take over African countries.
I will repeat – homosexual expressions are not new; it has been around since the human species. But what I want to focus on are two things:
One, God made all that is on this earth. While human beings of all races are similar, everyone is different. There will never be another me – someone similar, but not just like me. Even twins have something that makes them just a little different from each other.
What makes living an exciting experience is learning from each other and appreciating the differences because we each have something special to share. If we have a society that does not separate and vilify each other, and does not punish because of differences, we will have a rich and harmonious society. The US will be a place where equality is a real concept and not interpreted for just the few.
Secondly, if we examine history and the rise of fascism, this is how it starts.
Initially, differences are identified and exploited. For example, during World War II, the Hitler regime started persecuting people who were gay, prior to the full onslaught of the persecution of the Jewish community. The underlying thought was – that nobody really cares about people who are gay, so we can punish them and not have to be accountable.
Historians say that before 1933, homosexual acts were illegal in Germany according to the German Criminal Code. Because the law was not enforced, there was a thriving gay culture in most cities. When the Nazis took over in 1933, they shut down all clubs, publications, entertainment, and organizations of the gay and lesbian communities. By 1934, they began to persecute homosexuals and lesbians because they were trying to create what they deemed a perfect Aryan race. The police made it their priority to seek out and imprison people who were considered gay. They were put in jail or taken to concentration camps.
The Nazis were even more harsh against lesbians. While German law was not specific about women, they used other identities such as political attitudes, social class, and gender norms to arrest and imprison them. They were classified as political prisoners or asocial.
In my opinion we as Black women are vulnerable to facing similar political, social, and economic disenfranchisement. Therefore, it is critical that we protect our gay and lesbian brothers, sisters, and children. Not only do we need to protect them, but vigorously protest their murder and other violent acts against them. It is critical that we vote out the lawmakers who are making these laws that discriminate against the LBGTQ community. They had nothing to do with how they were born, just as you had nothing to do with how you were born. If you look around the corner, just as the Nazi Germans started a campaign against homosexuals and lesbians, there is a similar pattern starting in the USA. As important, we must always remember what James Baldwin said, “If they come and get you in the morning, they will come and get me at night.” I say, no matter one’s sexuality God loves all of us, because God made all of us. Therefore, we should love all of our people and fight for the rights of everyone no matter their sexual orientation.
Until next time, I wish you love, strength, and wisdom,