‘This is not a gay column’
I always like to get a general consensus of how the The Verm is doing by asking varieties of sources — young or old, student or staff — what they think. Lately, I’ve been getting word that we boast too much of an (gasp) LGBT agenda.
Yes, a few editorials (read: opinion) have been run in our tenure discussing issues that affect the non-hetero community. We’ve talked about irreverent Macklemore lyrics and disproportionate treatment of homosexuals in the National Guard, but that’s about it.
Of course, this column I’m preaching from does run every week, but not always with an LGBT agenda.
This is not a gay column. This is not even a sex column. This is a sexuality column, and unless you’re asexual, then sexuality absolutely affects you.
This column is an attempt to shine light on topics that won’t be discussed by the Catholic-rearing community of South Louisiana.
But why not? Why are we so afraid to talk about these things?
Weeks ago, I encountered a UL Lafayette staff member who didn’t outright insult me, but glared at me when I told her I worked for the paper, stating The Verm has good and bad, but the bad stems from a “difference of opinion.”
Simple deduction led me to believe this difference of opinion would certainly not refer to our political columns, because we represent both liberal and conservative sides, and it couldn’t be our news pieces, because they’re meticulously unbiased.
Thus, we are left with what I’ve heard many refer to as “the gay column” –– which I can only assume is me, unless they’re pejoratively insulting our other columnists (yeah, right!) –– and this inaccurate title is almost always delivered with a hint of disgust in their breaths.
Lest we forget, though, a difference of opinion is what got the U.S. out of paying ridiculous taxes to our British rulers in the 1700s. A difference of opinion is what separates one religion from another. A difference of opinion is why the U.S. goes to war with other countries.
A difference of opinion gives the ability to seek out what makes you happy and to follow that feeling in your gut until you feel right. And that, my friends, is how I’d define sexuality, which comes in every size, shape, color, packaging, scent, feel, tone and texture you can imagine.
Sexuality is like a snowflake: What one person enjoys in terms of his or her physical attractions cannot possibly be the same as anyone else’s on this planet. The variations and intricacies run too deep. Each individual is completely unique.
And that’s a beautiful thing, don’t you think?
What if you were allowed to eat only oatmeal every morning? You don’t really like oatmeal, but still, because of societal constructs, you’re shoveling insipid slop into your mouth day in and day out.
As humans, we crave variety. We’d go nuts without it. And variety is what builds this colorful country we live in.
Protesters reject infringement of their gun, voting, abortion and religious rights, but don’t take serious the fact that some couples –– because of their orientation or partner preference or whatever you feel comfortable calling it –– have their rights infringed every day by not being recognized as members of a legitimate union.
The fact is simple: You like what you like. No one else can tell you what you’re supposed to like, what/who you’re supposed to find attractive or how you’re supposed to lovingly engage with another being.
That decision is entirely up to you. And it’s no one else’s business what you choose.
If you’re among those who dislike the existence of this column, but somehow you’ve not flipped to another page by now, I appreciate you. I truly do.
Although you may not agree with anything I have said or ever will say, you’re still reading. You’re still curious about what you’ll find here, regardless if it frustrates you.
So, I thank you, and I encourage you to keep spending time with me every week. Writing this column has given me the opportunity to research and explore so many topics that I would have never known about otherwise. I know I’ve learned from it, and I hope you have, too.
My goal is and always will be to promote the solidarity of mankind, and for that I’m not sorry.