87th Annual Academy Awards - Arrivals

Humanity” – the condition or quality of being a human.

When I was ten years old I was given a pet dog. This creature, this animal, this ball of fluff became one of the most significant things in my life for the next fourteen years. She was a playmate, she was a good listener and she was a great person to go on walks with. I could sit for hours telling her all my secrets, all my worries, all the things that bothered me about the world or even things I would never tell another human soul. And her reaction to everything I told her was to wag her tail frantically and lick my nose.

When I was about eighteen I told her something I didn’t think I was quite willing to even tell myself. It was a quiet Sunday afternoon and we were alone in the house so I sat cross-legged in the corridor and she obediently sat opposite me, shuffling around the floor. She was impatient and wanted to play rather than sit peacefully and listen to another boring Pip story. I remember holding her head in my hands and leaning in close to her ear and whispering “I think I might be gay.” For a brief second she stopped shuffling, her tail stopped wagging, she stopped panting and she just looked at me – into my eyes. Her hind legs raised and she took a step closer to me and licked my nose, and then that was it. She trotted off down the corridor to find a chew-toy and I was left sitting in tears.

It took me a further six years before I was able to whisper this secret to a fellow human being. Something in my heart always knew that if my suspicions about myself were true and I were to tell my parents they wouldn’t wag their tails and lick my nose. This upset me. For many reasons. It hurt that I couldn’t just be who I was inside and instead had to hide the real me from the world. This in turn meant I was denying myself a life, I was wasting time living a life full of lies rather than exploring the world and seeing what was out there for me. It frustrated me that something in the history of this planet had made humans regard me as someone to be ashamed of. Where had all this come from? When had this started? Who started this?

I recently watched a video from the very clever TheFineBros channel on YouTube. They are the smart guys behind all those “Kids React To…” videos. First of all can I just say what a genius idea that was – it’s so entertaining to see how the younger generations react to things like old cameras and 80s Children’s Toys. Will children of the future be shown an iPhone and have no idea how to work it? Will they think it’s absurd or an old fashioned microwave or something? Who knows, and that’s what makes these videos so interesting. I was watching a video of Ellen Degeneres the other day, nothing new there, and in the recommended videos below was one titled “Kids React to Gay Marriage.” I had no idea what to think at first. On which side would this video be leaning? Would it depict the children being shocked and appalled by the very notion of it? Or will it show them reacting as if this was just an everyday occurrence and as if all was normal? I was intrigued, so I clicked and watched.

I won’t go into the ethical or political reasoning behind creating this video – I don’t care about TheFineBros ideology behind homosexuality or how they came about to chose the randomly selected five-to-thirteen-year-olds in the video – but what I can say is that this video depicts everything that is wrong and right with the world today. Huge statement there.

The children are all from California, which is an American state that itself has legalised gay marriage in 2013, and is also an American state that is quite liberal in its thinking – it’s where all the movie stars live, come on! So when the children are first presented with a video of a man being proposed to by another man they portray the archetypal American/Californian “OMG” reactions. At first they think the flashmob style of proposing is awesome and unique, then they begin to realise it’s a same-sex proposal. Troy, aged 13, puts it bluntly: “Ok so, they’re gay.” But since this flashmob is taking place in the aisles of a hardware store his next thought is: “How do they get Home Depot to approve this?” I love this – it shows that Troy is ok with gay and that he is more concerned with how they were able to do all this in the aisles of a busy shop. Krischelle, aged 9, proclaims proudly that they are just “good friends“, which is adorable and actually a damn right statement. As one of the men gets down on one knee and begins to propose, the children’s reactions fluctuate. Maxim, aged 7, blinks furiously – can he really be seeing this? Samirah, also aged 7, blurts out that “this is crazy!” Jayka, aged 10, and Elle, aged 11, both say “that was so cute!

That’s what I wanna see a lot – gay and lesbian people shouldn’t be hiding!” Lydon, aged 11, hits the nail on the head. After being shown two videos of same-sex proposals (each of which took place in very public places) it seems that Lydon understands the purpose of this experiment. To show that for so long now same-sex couples haven’t had the right to get married, it just hasn’t been an option for them, but now that they are then please, as a message to all of you out there, don’t hide your love anymore.

My own partner said something to me while we were out for dinner one night, and it made everything clear and blew my mind. Personally, before coming out, I had a very stereotypical view on male gay life. I thought every gay man was promiscuous, they all slept with whoever and there was absolutely no monogamy in relationships. This went against all my self beliefs. I am a man who, if in a relationship, is dedicated solely and monogamously to my other half. That’s just who I am. This was always another huge reason why I hid my own feelings for so long – I didn’t want to be part of a sexuality who were so promiscuous. I was so naive and so stupid for feeling this way – I myself was a backward thinker for viewing homosexuals this way – because this isn’t true. Not all gay men are like that – however… When I told my partner how I had once stereotypically viewed gay life, he told me that the reason for some gay men in the past to be like this was because they had been denied the right to marry. The fact they weren’t allowed to proclaim out loud their love for another person meant they didn’t stick to one person, because if they couldn’t make their love legal or binding or public then why bother? Mind = blown.

When asked how the marriage proposal videos made him feel, Lucas, aged 5 (the youngest of the children), said he felt “sad” and that “gay was bad for you“. This just makes me wonder where he got that idea from? When I think of all the things that I know are bad for me (poison, drugs, sitting on cold surfaces) I only know them as being bad because my parents told me. “Now Pip, never sit on a cold slab for too long else you’ll get piles!” I remember Mama Petrie telling me… So does this mean five year old Lucas was told gay was bad for him by his parents? When TheFineBros ask him why it was bad, he replies that he doesn’t know. This seems to me, seeing as he has no logical reason for it, that its just something he has been told rather than knowing any hard facts. My own parents never actually told me that gay was bad for me, but I remember they stopped me watching “Eastenders” when they introduced a gay character to the show back in 1996. Maxim, the seven year old blinker, didn’t even know what gay was – and when he was told, had no reaction other than to ask where the name “gay” came from. The answer is, it came from the word meaning happy. How can a word that is meant to mean happy cause so much confusion and hatred in the world?

Which brings me to something Elle, aged 11, said: “I don’t get why all this stuff has to be illegal?” This simple question made me think and also realise that I too have no idea why all this is illegal in the first place? So I searched back through time…

In 5000BC the Mesolithic people created cave art that depicts male homosexual intercourse. This is the first account ever in the history of the world of homosexuality. In the 2nd Century BC it was perfectly natural for adult males to engage in same sex activity. Many ancient cups, vases and pottery depict homosexual acts. However in the year 390, only 1625 years ago, several Christian Emperors declared homosexual sex to be illegal and punishable by death. This was the first account of making homosexuality illegal and since then it has grown and grown from the the 16th century when The Holy Roman Empire made sodomy punishable by death and over in England, King Henry VIII created the lovely titled Buggery Act of 1533, which held the same penalty as our Roman counterparts. It seems that all this stemmed from the Christians, but why? Because of this – lying with mankind as with womankind: it is abomination” Leviticus 18:22. Because of one singular sentence written in a book the whole population of the world has gone crazy over the history of the Earth. Countless lives have been taken, so much hatred and hurt and heartbreak has been caused by one singular sentence. I have a sentence for everyone – who the hell cares who you lie with: as long as you are happy.

I can’t even go into the whole Religion vs. Homosexuality thing. It tires me. It drains me because it is so frustrating to see something like Religion which is meant to comfort people cause so much hatred, angst and pain in the world. That is no religion to me.

I do not care if you are homosexual, straight, bi, black, white, ambidextrous, dyslexic or boring. To me, everyone is a human. Ask anyone who knows me and I call people either by their name or a human. Just the same way I called my pet either by her name or I called her a dog. I never would say “Oh there’s Lucy the lesbian” I would say “Oh there’s Lucy the lovely human.” I hate that we live in a world where five year olds grow up thinking gay is bad for you, in a world where we have to fight to make something that is a human freedom (love) legal and in a world where I even have to write this damn article because its become such a huge issue.

I also hate that I’m about to end this article with a quote from Adam Levine, because he is an arrogant human and is far too good looking for his own good, but he makes a hugely interesting point and a very valid one…

“Maybe we should make straight marriage illegal. It doesn’t seem to have a very high success rate.” – ADAM LEVINE