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Harmony Week 2005

Educate Yourself


Ten Questions You May Ask

Is being gay a choice?

My favorite answer to this question is something my friend said once when he overheard some people talking about gay people: "Why would I choose to be something that horrifies my parents, that could ruin my career, that my religion condemns, and that could cost me my life if I dared to walk down the street holding hands with my boyfriend?"
The answer is basic, heterosexual people don't choose who they're attracted to, and it's not any different for homosexual people. You are attracted to who you're attracted to whether it be someone of the same sex, the opposite sex, or both sexes.

Why do gay people feel they need to tell people they're gay?

On average most gay and lesbian people keep it to themselves. This can be risky because it can create a sense of living in hiding or feeling like you're carrying a huge secret on your shoulders. Due to this fact there's a high percentage of suicides, alcoholism, and drug use among gay people. Among gays and lesbians who choose to tell their family, friends, and colleagues do so for many reasons. The primary reason is to feel like they can be themselves and be honest, and because it can be exhausting to try and be someone you're not on a day to day basis.

Why are gay people fighting for the legal right to get married?

Homosexual people are fighting for the legal right to be married so they can have the same legal protections and financial benefits given to married heterosexual couples. These rights include being able to have their partner on each other's insurance and pension plans, tax exemptions and deductions, having the right to Social Security survivor's benefits, the right to inherit property and other automoatic rights of survivorship, legal protection in the event a relationship ends including an even distribution of property. Also partners are fighting for the right to automatically be granted legal next of kin regarding medical care and funeral arrangements. If a gay couple has a child or adopts a child most states will only allow one parent to adopt the child. This can cause a legal nightmare if a couple seperates or one partner is killed. There are many reasons gay people are fighting for the legal right to marry and you can learn more on the HRC website.

Why do people oppose gay marriage?

The most common arguements I've heard is "God created Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve," and "It will devaluate heterosexual marriage and destroy the American family." First, America is ruled under a constitutional democracy with a strict separation of church and state. It doesn't matter who God created because we don't live in a Christian state governed by the Bible. By encouraging stable gay and lesbian couple relationships it can only strengthen American family life. For people who believe gay marriage will never be granted I would like to remind them that until a 1967 Supreme Court ruling, marriage, sex, or procreation was prohibited between black people and white people.

Who plays the husband and who plays the wife?

My aunt asked me this once and I simply answered her question with a question: "Who in your relationship plays the husband and who plays the wife?" She got what I was getting at and responded, "We don't really have the traditional husband and wife roles. We both work, we both cook, even though my husband is better at it, we send out the laundry, and we both hate cleaning." It's just the same in a gay relationship as it is in a straight relationship. It all depends on the personalities of the couple, not their gender

Okay I understand gay people date, but who pays?

My girlfriend once gave me the best answer to this: "Whoever has money."

Why do some gay and lesbian people wear a pink triangle?

A pink triangle pointed down was first used by the Nazis during World War II. It was used to identify homosexuals in the concentration camp just as the yellow Star of David was used to identify Jewish people. People today wear the pink triangle with pride as a way of identifying themselves as homosexuals and to commemorate those who died in the concentration camps?

Do gay people have AIDS?

AIDS is caused by the HIV virus, not someone's sexuality. In most parts of the world AIDS is predominately a heterosexual disease. Anyone can have AIDS and with each passing day gay men make up a smaller percentage of the AIDS popualation.

What is a transvestite?

Technically a transvestite is someone who dresses in clothing of the opposite sex and is sexually aroused by doing so. Most transvestites are heterosexual men, and only secretly cross-dress.

What is a drag queen?

People who dress up in clothing of the opposite sex for fun or for a party are cross-dressing. A gay man who does this sometimes is called a drag queen. If a man dresses as a woman to perform professionally in public, then they are called a female impersonator.

"Let us build a home for the twenty-first century where everyone
has a place at the table and not a single child is left behind."

-Former President-elect Bill Clinton, January 17, 1993


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