The Chosen Ones

Wyoming Sunrise: Greg Westfall

Once again, ‘religious’ people are standing against our right to marriage. No news there. And yet again they are busy bandying the word ‘unnatural’ around. I don’t think they understand what it means.

Some spout the virtues of  “the natural family”, by implication labelling ours “unnatural”. Others talk about unnatural desires, unnatural behaviours.

I don’t want to rehash all the arguments around homosexuality in nature. Let the homosexual chimps, dolphins, giraffes, penguins, swans and the rest of the Lesbigay Zoo sleep in peace this time. Let’s just point out that it’s everywhere in nature, which, by definition, makes it natural. And we are not just natural. We are very special indeed.

Dineshraj Goomany

Among all animals, including humans, it’s true that all Mom and Dad have to do is get together, do the do, and nine months later, there’s a baby. What could be more natural?

That’s a very great privilege. No matter if they’re too young, immature, poor, homeless, unemployable, criminal, addicted, depressed, whatever, they can make babies. By accident, by design, by subterfuge; planned or unplanned, wanted or unwanted: baby-making is not a problem. LGBTI people don’t have that privilege. Those of us who yearn to be parents have to work extraordinarily hard to have a child.

We can suppress our natural desires, deceive a member of the opposite sex, marry and have a family. Live a lie. That, in essence, is what the godly would prefer us to do.

We can foster and maybe later adopt their rejects. The ones they abused and had to be rescued. The ones they can’t afford. The ones they threw out like trash for whatever reason.

Sometimes we need the help of a good friend or a relative, with egg or sperm donation, or surrogacy. And sometimes we have to use commercial surrogacy. That may not be quite as ‘natural’, but that doesn’t make it bad.

Babies only come when we can afford them: there are no ‘happy accidents’. But however our children come, they are always wanted. Which is natural.

As to our very existence being ‘unnatural’, ponder this. As far as we can tell (which is hard when so much of our history went unrecorded, or was erased), we have been around for ever. We have been accepted and respected, even honoured in some cultures, reviled and shunned in others.

Amsterdam Torture Museum : Sandeep Singh Thukral

We have been tortured, imprisoned, flogged, starved, burnt to death, stoned, thrown off buildings, hanged, beheaded, impaled on spikes, beaten and murdered with impunity by soldiers, police, by normal, natural ordinary citizens. In parts of Africa and the Middle East it’s still happening. In Russia and Eastern Europe. In the Caribbean.

Read any news site and you can still read stories of LGBTI people being mercilessly beaten, stabbed, set on fire, and murdered, in the USA, in Britain, in Scotland, France, Germany, Australia. Often in the name of some deity or other.

The heterosexual majority have been doing their best to exterminate us for millennia, and some are still very hard at work trying. Yet here we are, and here we have always been.

Evolution is supposed to proceed by natural selection: traits which have no survival value simply die out. But we appear to be outside the process of natural selection. Most of us do not breed. When we do, our children are no more likely to be straight or gay than any others. Yet nothing has been able to exterminate us. We always return, despite being unable to reproduce.

If I believed in a deity, I’d say that was pretty compelling evidence that he or she wants us to play an important, even crucial role in the human family. As I’m not, I’ll settle for saying that the blind forces of evolution seem to demonstrate a deep and abiding drive to keep homosexuality in the mix. Whichever way you look at it, only a fool could argue that we are in any way unnatural.

In fact, the evidence points the other way. Our continually renewed existence against incredible, impossible odds argues that we are very special indeed. You could make a good case that we are the true chosen people of the world. That LGBTI people, not Christians, are here to be the light and salt in the world, the yeast in the bread. Now there’s a thought.

Best Unicorn Ever: pic, Eric Gunther

Best Unicorn Ever: pic, Eric Gunther

About the author

Veteran gay writer and speaker, Doug was one of the founders of the UKs pioneering GLBTI newspaper Gay News (1972) , and of the second, Gay Week, and is a former Features Editor of Him International. He presented news and current affairs on JOY 94.9 FM Melbourne for more than ten years. "Doug is revered, feared and reviled in equal quantities, at times dividing people with his journalistic wrath. Yet there is no doubt this grandpa-esque bear keeps everyone abreast of anything and everything LGBT across the globe." (Daniel Witthaus, "Beyond Priscilla", Clouds of Magellan, Melbourne, 2014)