The Irony of Discussions in My International Human Rights Course

Ahh, summer session…an extra class taken up in attempts to get my graduate studies over with quickly.

We were looking at a summary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. One plucked out of the list was marriage rights, and the conversation quickly turned into gay marriage. And where one student claimed that it is an unnatural action, which in turn had me burst out “marriage is not a natural institution.” Which, after a few other exchanges, another said the “what if everyone were to turn gay?” epic fail statement. Which made me “come out” to pretty much defend my ass and the right to marry a woman (if I were to think that the act itself later on seems necessary for security reasons and important for symbolic reasons). Which made the professor slightly panic and lightly attempted to kill the conversation. Continuing on over the cautionary statement of the professor, the offender asked me “I can’t have a right to say my opinion, you’re going to force me to accept your view?” (which is not my “view,” but rather, my state of being). Which led me to state something to the effect of “no, I just asking you to accept me”…maybe, I’m not too sure at that point what I said. But, I sure as hell wanted to jump across the seats and knock people out. And yes, considering the respective commentators’ backgrounds, I should be a bit more understanding, but still, I primarily have to protect myself and my rights, so in those instances…fuck culture. Yes, I said it.

I just thought the shit was funny considering the setting of the conversation, again dealing with international human rights and what it is means, who’s entitled to it, what it consists of and how has it evolved over the course of a few centuries.

After class was done the woman sitting next to me told me that she felt bad about the exchange and was surprised about the way that the conversation went. But ehh, we are still in a society, and we still have cultures that are homophobic and view homosexuality as an abnormality (which again I understand as I come from one of those cultures, but still I do not, will not, accept that perspective at all). Yet before I exited the classroom, I was surprised: the “offender” came up to me and apologized. Even hugged me. I said what I wanted to say (pretty much paraphrasing): “I’m not unnatural, I understand (your perspective), but I don’t want be labeled as ‘unnatural.’ I am natural” (because really, who the fuck wants to be labeled as unnatural anyway?). Whether he understood or not, I can’t be sure, but the respect was exchanged.

I left a bit more content. I don’t anticipate people to drastically change their perspective on homosexuality/queerness/non-heterosexuality/ whatever. That’s not what I’m aiming for; that would be a never-ending battle. I just don’t want people to question who I am. I don’t want to be reduce to a deformity. I don’t want people to think that it is something that I chose, as years of struggle, attempts at erasure and “adjustment” only helped to leave scars and unresolved issues. Why would anyone choose to be condemned? To be rejected? To be devalued? To be a walking stigma? All I want is to be left to be…

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~ by Luci-Kali on June 12, 2008.

 
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