I write now, from Italy. A country where in the last two years acts of violence against people because of their (sometimes imagined) homosexuality have became more visible. One of the last of these acts occurred at Como, not far from where I live:
These aggressions seem to form a blood-stained thread, rooted in the depth of our society. We Italians still remember the rage barely perceivable under the fierce debate on a law proposal granting non-married couples a basic legal acknowledgment and protection - and the hatred openly dripping from many people words: the acknowledgement would have regarded also same sex couples. The enraged, ideological fight on de-facto couples had a major role in fostering the irreconcilable divisions in the centre-left coalition, eventually leading to prof. Prodi's government fall in 2008.
The case of Uganda goes a step more, but in the same direction: homosexuality seen as a moral sin - so important a "crime" to justify life imprisonment and, under some circumstances, death!
Of course, of course! None of this is acceptable!
We live now in the 21-th Century, we all claim being civilized women and men. But may we support this claim with facts, if we imagine that all inevitable?
We need a more tolerant World - and as far as I see, realistically, we may have only if we build it "ourselves".
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Hatred and resentment always have reasons, although not necessarily rational.
I see homophoby and misogyny two (of the many) strongly related faces of a single core problem.
We constructed "sex" and "gender".
As the little I know of scientific discoveries and personal experience, these categories are much more social conventions than we might imagine / desire. Sure if we focus on large group averages we may find "differences" between men and women.
But individually, what a woman is? A man?
Less clear even: what is a homosexual? A heterosexual?
What "normality" means in a natural population, like human kind is as a whole, where variation is the actual only norm?
That of sex (more precisely, maybe, gender) is, I realize, so much entwined and fundamental in the way we modern humans define ourselves. No special wonder: it is somewhat related on the reproductive strategy of the species. The word "sex" comes from Latin, "sexus", meaning divided. But the clear-cut barrier among the sexes assumed by this term blurs, as we deal with individuals. And these individuals are the real-world inhabitants, not abstract averages or ideals.
Two, or three, or any small integer N greater than zero genders are a cage. Imposed as an act of domination, a show of the evil power to "give things a name" - and reduce them to an abstract "essence" only the current "priest" know.
Between 6 and 7 billion genders -as many as us humans to date- seems to me quite more acceptable (and am not sure of this, too: it does not consider we all grow and change, nor the people who is no longer with us, and neither the life forms who preceded our race, as ancestors or interacting).
Acceptance of homosexuality as normal may be related to just that: accepting, more generally, that categories of sex and gender are not absolutes, nor necessarily desirable.
And shift attention to what really makes us humans unique, and so precious: the ability to love, the will to explore, the need to share.
Thanks all (and sorry so sloppy)
Take action! This post was submitted in response to 16 Days of Activism Against Gender Violence 2009.