Monday, 7 June 2010

Love is all

Back in the 1980's when AIDS first entered the popular consciousness the main television channels played their part by running a number of prime time awareness programs. Those I recollect featured an assortment of pop stars talking about safe sex. The irony escaped me at the time but the reason I remember was that half way through one of these shows, after various demonstrations of how to put a condom on a banana, I think it was Jon Moss of Culture Club who made a remark to the effect that the most important element in a relationship was love. I will always admire him for that.

Some years later I saw a documentary on transgender reassignment and if I am to be completely honest I didn't find it comfortable viewing. But again it was one particular comment that stays in the mind; a woman having undergone a procedure tearfully hoping for nothing more than to be loved for who she was. It sounds a bit 'Richard Curtis' but I'm embarrassed to say it was only then that I was able to properly connect. I've thought about that moment a lot. I hope she's O.K.

Despite being a term apparently in use for over a decade it's only in the last year I've heard the initialism LGBT, referring to Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender people. Perhaps one reason for my lack of awareness is that it never occurred to me to group people in such a way. It's not the exclusion that bothers but the negative inference. Sexual orientation seems a completely separate issue to gender identity; the commonality appears to be based on what people are not, rather than who they are. In truth I am uncomfortable with any form of segregation, no matter how well intentioned, but that's an easy stance for a white heterosexual to take. So I tell myself that the need for such organisations is as much a failure on my part to embrace all that is different and wonderful as it is an instinctive search for identity.

Nevertheless I look forward to the day when we generalise, if we must, not according to physical preference but the content of our hearts, and I propose a new alliance based on the following three principles:
  1. It doesn't matter what sex a person wants to be.
  2. It doesn't matter what sex a person wants to have.
  3. Love is all that matters.
That's right I said "love" - I don’t want to make it too easy.


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