A straight man (figuratively) writes, or wades into the debate, where there should be none.
So, the Equality Referendum takes place tomorrow. And there are perhaps many voters who are undecided. I would ask them to consider the following:
Gay folk are just that, folk. Sexual orientation does not define who we are as people. Over the course of my lifetime I’ve met many people, each of them very different. Some were positive, some were cynical, some were introverted, others were extroverted etc. etc. However, for me, the KPI (Key Personality Indicator) has always been whether someone is a good person, or just a complete arsehole.
It must have been tough to be gay growing up in Ireland in the period I formed my world view (late 80s/90s). I hope it’s different nowadays. I have faith, and seen signs that it is. Somebody more than twenty years my junior recently told me that the captain of their football team was gay – and told me with a nonchalant shrug. This is how it should be of course. Back when I was that age though. The idea would have been inconceivable.
I suppose what I’m trying to say, in my own inimitable clumsy fashion, is, when you’re young and the very first time you come across someone you know to be gay. You may or may not like them on a personal level – but it isn’t because they’re gay. As a heterosexual you may not know a huge group of gay individuals. If you did, you’d see that they are society, not a sub-section of society. You’ll enjoy the company of some gay men and women, and not have time for others – just like all members of Irish society.
I once overheard a conversation where a gay person was protesting that straight people should not be attending gay nights, pubs and clubs. A stupid, stupid comment – especially when we’re aiming for societal inclusiveness. I’ll give them the benefit of the doubt – knowing how hard it is to meet a partner when you’re not gay. Imagine how difficult it must be to meet someone special when those who you desire may or may not be of the same sexual orientation.
I really dislike the oft heard comment,”10% of people working/living/travelling here are homosexual”. Maybe so, but who gives a shit. It’s almost spoken by design, intended to shock, or something to that effect. The ‘a child needs a mother and father’ tack that the NO campaign is espousing is groundless. A mother and a father could be uncaring, violent lunatics. A gay couple might be two wonderful, compassionate human beings, or the other way round.
Equal rights for all, Vote YES, and let’s move on.