This is in response to Lois Eisenberg’s June 5 letter advocating for LGBTQ rights.
I recently wrote in The Signal how diversity can be a strength as well as a weakness, a vulnerability, that can be exploited to keep us hostile and divided (for whatever purpose). And although it is true that we are all equally “human,” we are also as unique and individual as fingerprints, and in that sense none of us are equal to anyone else. That being said I think it’s important to practice equal treatment as human beings while recognizing the fact that no two people are exactly alike insofar as their abilities are concerned. In the crudest sense, men do not have a uterus and ovaries and women do not have testicles, or to paraphrase John McEnroe, Serena Williams would be the 700th best tennis player in the men’s league. Sexist perhaps, but quite factual.
These material differences do not, however, in any way justify the unwarranted attacks and abuses that members of the LGBTQ community have suffered at the hands of those calling themselves “normal” people. As far as I’m concerned everyone is normal and yet nobody is normal. In reality there is no normal… there’s just us. But there is another problem here, and it resides in the category of “two wrongs don’t make a right.”
However wrong those “normal” people may be in the way they treat those in the LGBTQ community, I don’t see an equal and opposite backlash as being the correction of that injustice or a solution to that problem. Getting in my face is not going to make me accept you or like you for what you are. It is, in fact, going to make me resist you all the more. Consider this: I was once confronted by a gay man who asked me if I had a problem with him being gay. I replied that I didn’t, and in return I asked if he had a problem with being gay. Or, to use an analogy, I’m not saying it’s going to be easy to get me to eat, but I’d rather be offered the food than be force-fed. How’s that for “food for thought”?