"So, who's the guy and who's the girl here?"; Questions for Homosexuals That Shouldn't Exist

"So, who's the guy and who's the girl here?"; Questions for Homosexuals That Shouldn't Exist
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Submitted by a TNL reader (You Li-wei)

A couple of days ago I came across an article on Storm Media written by Huang Yiz-hong titled, “My opinion on the questions that drive homosexuals crazy,” and in the piece there was one particular question that caught my attention. It read, “When you are together, who is the man and who is the woman?” The concept of man and woman in a question like this can be interpreted in many different ways. For instance, who is top and who is bottom, who wears the pants in this relationship and (regarding appearance) who’s more feminine and who’s more masculine?

There are two reasons these questions are aggravating. First, the person answering the question is fully aware of what it implies, which makes it awkward to answer. Secondly, when facing a person who is totally unaware of the “technical difficulties” of answering this question, the respondent can only think, “The person merely wants to know about the situation between the sheets and this is merely a discreet way of putting it.”

From a certain point of view, the sexual behavior of heterosexuals is undoubtedly a standard model, but it does not guarantee people the right to learn about the sexual behavior of homosexuals. It’s like no one has the inherent right to know a person’s preference for certain sex positions. This might not be surprising; after all, the gist of the phrase, sexual orientation, resides in the word, sex.

But what’s really unsettling is that the person asking the question doesn’t show the slightest bit of concern for other emotion-related subjects. The “being together” of sexual minorities is only used to broaden the horizon of society. The question, “When you are together, who is the man and who is the woman?” implies, “To a certain extent, one of you has to be the man and the other the woman. Otherwise, how can you be together?”

Maybe the first question we should ask is what the phrase, “being together,” means to people. Will you think of inseparable classmates, the genuine relationship between parents and children, best friends or will you think of the one incredibly affectionate person who only thinks of another’s happiness? Or is the use of this phrase merely limited to the one holding you spellbound with sexual pleasures?

“Being together” literally means a relationship that continues to exist and will be maintained steadily. There is only one condition: the people involved in this relationship get what they want out of it. When the phrase is used in an emotional human relationship, isn’t it obvious that the love that flows between the two people is what they’re looking for?

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Photo Credit: TAPCPR

Up to this point, some of you might have already started to stomp your feet. Only when discussing these “it’s sacred because it is natural” family values are you allowed to bring up the word, “love.” How can one use it in such a frivolous manner?

The uttermost manifestation of love is often believed to come from the family and the unconditional effort of parents towards their children. I have no intention of denying that this sort of love contains abundant genuine feelings, but I also believe this monopolistic interpretation is exactly the obstacle that keeps people from better understanding love.

If what I say is true and people take marriage as the only means of attestation, this understanding of love is too narrow-minded. It is also where the unkindness of the society towards single people lies. No matter how content we are with our lives, once we pass a certain age and are still single, we are considered to be a loner. People will think we are living an inferior, depressing and self-destructive life. But because one has no intention of “settling down,” does it equate to a person’s incapability of love or incompetence in understanding love-related subjects?

The monopoly doesn’t only exist in one place. Currently, the only path of starting a family is through marriage and sex plays an inevitable part in this. (The law also maintains the idea that sex is an obligation of husband and wife.) “Capable of love -> building a family”, “building a family -> getting married”, “getting married -> sex.” The only conclusion you can draw from the coexistence of these three steps is that every person’s expectation of life should be a form of love based on (and connected through) sex.

Therefore, homosexual love, relationships in which love and sex are separate and platonic love are believed to be incapable of understanding sex (so there are people who think they can ask all kinds of inappropriate questions). As a result, these kinds of love are unacceptable. People then go on to stigmatize them based on an illogical figment of their imagination and place these relationships on the margins of society with a “what you can’t see, isn’t there” mentality.

In my opinion, this is merely replacing love with sex and hastily assuming our task of believing in love is completed. On the contrary, this responsibility hasn’t just been forgotten, it has also been mercilessly abandoned.

“What is love?”

For me, finding the answer to this question is worth a lifetime of searching and I am unable to provide a satisfactory answer. However, these words offered by Fromm in his work, “Escape from Freedom,” are worth reading. He writes, “Love is not primarily “caused" by a specific object, but a lingering quality in a person which is only actualized by a certain “object"… Love is a passionate affirmation of an “object"; it is not an “affect" but an active striving and inner relatedness, the aim of which is the happiness, growth, and freedom of its object.”

I hope from the bottom of my heart that there comes a day in this society where people can simply say, “Being together simply means we love each other.”

Translated by Stijn Wijker
Edited by Olivia Yang