10 December 2010

PE: I Wanna Hold Your Hand

First off, if you haven't heard Glee's I Wanna Hold Your Hand, its a good one. I wanted to share an experience I had a few months ago. I was in California with my significant other and a couple friends. He goes to school there. Anyway, they have a local farmer's market every week where basically the whole town shows up that we all decided to go to. Both of us are very comfortable with ourselves and, well, we felt like holding hands as we walked around... so we did. We weren't doing it to make anyone uncomfortable... we weren't making a show out of it. Actually, we tried to be as discrete about it as possible. You wouldn't know it though.
When someone realized we were holding hands, they'd tell the people they were with and everyone would stare, laugh, or make remarks. "That's disgusting." "That's so wrong." I noticed it at first, but then I just shut it out and just focused on enjoying time with him. Our two friends (a guy and girl) were behind us a ways and apparently they heard and saw a lot worse. I guess most people at least wait until they are out of range to make their comments or gestures. My friends were actually having a conversation about what they would do if someone decided to get violent. They must have been seeing and and hearing a lot worse reactions than I picked up on.

If you are straight, please imagine what that would be like. We were just holding hands. Imagine that every time you went out in public with your significant other, you faced this kind of criticism and hate. So much so that people you cared about sometimes feared for your safety. What would you do? I think most of us would not go out in public. We would meet our significant other in private. Away from the piercing glares that scream of hate. What would happen if you were a young person who only spent time with your romantic interest in private, alone, away from the eyes of any witnesses? Chances are, you'd have a difficult time staying chaste. This is exactly what happens to gay couples. And then society spits on them and calls it the "gay lifestyle" as if these people wanted to live like that. As if they would rather feel like they need to hide and meet in private settings instead of going out on normal dates like everyone else.

I hope for the day when gay couples can go out in public and not feel like they are disgusting in the eyes of people around them. That they would be treated and viewed the same way straight couples are when they go on dates. That no one even bats an eye. The day when, if a guy is on a date with another guy (or girl with girl) and one of them feels the urge to hold the other's hand, and they can muster up the courage to take that step, that they don't have to worry about what everyone else is thinking as an extra roadblock to making that first move. And if I wanna hold his hand, I do it. Why? Not because I want to make anyone uncomfortable, only because I wanna! That should be good enough reason for anyone.

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

Seattle is a really open minded place
You could also try San Francisco?

Gay Mormon said...

@Anonymous- haha, yeah... I suppose I could get up and move my whole life, but I'd rather not do that. Plus, I am at a place where I don't care what others think. I wrote this mainly to show what it is like for gay people to be open in public.

Gay Mormon said...

Oh, and a month or so later we were in Hollywood and there were not nearly as many stares or comments. Actually, there were a couple sincere smiles. =)

Too Hard Headed to Give Up said...

I hope for a day when you can love and show love, and people can behave themselves...

Boris said...

There are some places where it is possible for a gay/lesbian couple to hold hands without provoking such a negative reaction on the part of narrow-minded bigots around them. Like Too Hard Headed to Give Up: "I hope for a day when . . ." In the words of a great American (who was, at the time, pretty much hated or ignored by the Mormon hierarchy): "I've seen the promised land. I may not get there with you. But I want you to know tonight, that we, as a people will get to the promised land." May it someday be so for gays, lesbians, bisexuals and transgenders as well!

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