Take Away the Gay

7 Mar

Deafness and homosexuality are similar. The world sees these groups as handicaps. Sure there are pitfalls to being deaf, such as poor educational opportunities and not being able to hear alarms.  And there are disadvantages to being gay like the high rate of substance abuse and no marriage rights. Both groups are stigmatized or forgotten all-together. In this hetero-normative, hearing world, these minorities have to fight to be acknowledged. Both have in-groups that are wary of society at large. In order to protect themselves from harsh reality, the hearing impaired and the gays have formed tight circles of like people. Both groups have a tendency to not interact with people that aren’t in their group. And both groups would have an easier time if they could ad-hear to the standards of the wider society.

If some bigot came to me now, told me to pray the gay away–firstly, I would be angry. Not to mention that particular correction does not work. My sexuality is not deviant, it isn’t wrong, and it shouldn’t hinder me in any way. I do not need fixing. This is society’s problem–not mine.  I think it’s similar with being deaf.  The deafness isn’t the inherent problem–everyone in the entire world would be better off if they learned sign language.  It is a universal means of communication, that even babies can do.  People with no hearing eventually learn how to cope, and can manage fine.  Why try to correct it, when it’s really everyone else’s problem?

But what if someone (scientist or doctor) could legitimately make me straight? Well, I guess my answer would depend on the age at which I was approached. If someone came to me now, I would turn them down. My sexuality has made me who I am today. I found my soul-mate in Cool and wouldn’t want to lose that now.  Besides, I already went through most of the most horrible stuff that comes with being gay–Douche and questioning and coming out are at the top of the list, so changing would be pretty pointless.  I am happy in my life, and wouldn’t want to “remedy” anything just to appease society. If they came to me/my parents in infancy, and said later on I would have these different feelings, and have to deal with a harder life, and they could give me less worry, less headache, and fewer hardships in life–well, I think I would do it in a heartbeat.

And so, if I hadn’t already lived through the bad times, and hadn’t already made choices in my life–I would accept the correction to become straight. I would have had more dating opportunities–since 90% of people are straight. I would have had less depression. There would be less stigma in my life. I could post engagement photos without a second thought about who might get riled up and how much of a political statement it was.  I would be granted more rights.  Marriage.  Tax and insurance benefits.  All of the sickness/end of life stuff.  Why not take the chance for an easier life with more opportunity? Even at the risk of not appreciating gay culture. Having a bigger dating pool and less hatred would make ignorance of drag shows and trannies, dyke drama and AIDS well worth it. And just because I was straight wouldn’t mean I would have to neglect these areas. Just as a deaf person with cochlear implant could eventually learn sign language and educate themselves on deaf culture.

So there’s that.  If I had the opportunity to be made straight at a young age, before my life was so impacted by my sexuality, I would have taken it.  Because it would have granted me an easier path and more choices.  That impacts my thinking about the cochlear implant and deaf culture.  So after a break for Women’s Day, tomorrow, I’ll discuss my final thoughts on the issue.

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No Responses to “Take Away the Gay”

  1. lbqresearch March 7, 2012 at 6:06 PM #

    What a wonderful post, thank you for that, I think for people who are not part of the deaf community it really helps us to understand how offensive ableism can be!

    I’m a lesbian doing health behavior research in our community. This study is on gender presentation and substance use in lesbians, and we are looking for womyn (trans-inclusive) over 18 who self identify as lesbian bisexual or queer (LBQ) to take a 25 minute survey on http://www.lbqresearch.wordpress.com.

    I would so appreciate it if you helped my get the word out about this on your blog, email facebook or whatever!

    Research is important because health care providers use studies like this one to make decisions about our care.

    This study is approved by the St. Johns University IRB

    Cheers!

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