Wednesday, November 23, 2011

The Center of the Universe (pt. I)

I’ve heard people- straight and gay- say that the problem with gay people is that they’re self centered. They think they’re the center of the universe and that everything revolves around them, and everyone must change who they are to accept gay people. And every political debate, and every parade, must be about gay people.

I can’t speak for anyone but myself, but here’s my perspective on a communal level. The gay community does not see itself as anything special. The gay community is just full of pride. To better understand, many gay people have felt rejection their whole lives. They’ve felt unaccepted and pushed away from friends, family and loved ones. So given the opportunity to build and be part of a community that accepts who you are, will develop a sense of pride and strength, to finally feel “normal” and “accepted” like everyone else.

So that’s step one. Pride, and parades, are about being part of a community with love and respect for each other, as opposed to the hurt and pain so many have suffered. Secondly is the political level. Are people self centered when they sue for discrimination against company who doesn’t let women or African Americas make over a certain figure, and only allows white people or men into the upper-echelons of the organization? No, of course not. In 2011, everyone is equal. And gay people are as well, but the government has yet to recognize it. Gay people fight for discrimination policies in the work place, and the right to legally partner with someone they love.

So why are these rights, afforded to every human being, women ~100 years ago and African Americans ~50 years ago, make the gay community self-centered when we try to achieve them?

Come back next week for a more personal narrative on being “self-centered”.


  1. Well, think of it this way: When people see a minority group (which is essentially what the gay rights movement is) taking up a disproportionate amount of the political and general discussion, there is an appearance of "hogging the spotlight." I'm not really sure whether that notion is right or wrong, but I think that's where the stigma of self-centeredness comes from.

    Also, I don't know if you changed the font or layout or what, but this page is very hard on the eyes.

  2. I very much agree with the sentiments of the post. It astounds me that anyone should think gay people are just trying to get attention, or are being selfish for demanding the same respect and dignity owed to everyone.

    I think the single biggest problems with intolerance are a general discomfort with what is foreign or the inability to empathize with that which is different and unsettling. It is not so difficult to imagine why a straight person has trouble relating to someone of the same gender who has opposite sexual preferences from oneself. What is harder to understand is why, with a little effort, such people cannot realize that a gay person's desires are no different than one's own, just inverted the same way as the desires of a straight person of the opposite gender. Yet, however confounding it is, once there remains that lack of empathy, it makes sense that someone would think that the gay rights issue is some form of demand for unequal, unnecessary privilege.

    However, I will point out that Anonymous is correct, please change the font! :)


It Gets Better- Gay Orthodox Jews