Homosexuality has been associated
with more negatives than positives
By Majid S.
March 12, 2004
First, Afsaneh Najmabadi is overly critical of the first writer's
use of "us" versus "them." [See: Don't
straighten the queers] As a Black
Iranian (my father was Black), I am surprised and shocked at her
Please ignore my second sentence, as it is false.
I just wanted to point out that we ("we" referring
to all human beings!) all belong to different groups which
we do not mention, unless it needs to be mentioned. For instance,
the first writer [See: Being
straight on queers]
is assumed to be heterosexual, and she is allowed to use "us" as
to suggest heterosexuals. We ("we" referring to all human
beings!) all do this everyday.
For instance, Najmabadi felt that she needs
to mention where she teaches because she felt that such
information would increase the credibility of her views (I
am using third person pronouns..what a crime!), and that such information
could not be deduced from her article.
Of course teaching at Harvard
doe not necessarily increase the credibility of one's view
but I can not think of any other explanation for her mentioning
that. The messenger is not the same as the message and I do not
need to mention where I was educated to present a logically coherent
But I digress. "Us" versus "them" also
has to do with what constitutes the majority. "Us" typically
refers to the majority, and that means heterosexuals. Only 1-2
percent of people are homosexuals, and that's a fact. I would be
quite surprised if the readership of Iranian.com was much different.
Najmabadi also takes issues with the use of the
word "normal." I
don't like using this word as "normal" can be interpreted
differently, meaning "average," "typical," and "in
accord with social norms." If "Normal" refers to social
norms, then Najmabadi is right in saying that "none
of us are born normal." (she forgot to define "us"!)
However, if Najmabadi refers to what is typical or
average, then some of us ("us" meaning all human
not. Homosexuality is an infrequent sexual orientation, and
we ("we" refers to human beings!) are cognitively
programmed to accept such things with much more difficulty. That's
human nature for you.
So instead of all these circular arguments
about tolerance and how tolerance is in fact intolerance, and getting
bogged down in
semantics, maybe Najmabadi should try to explain why
the first writer should accept homosexuality in its variety and
not the version presented in the media.
Homosexuals are not normal and that's a fact
based on how we
define "normal." But then again gifted children and extremely
tall basketball players are also abnormal (here normal meaning
typical and also average).
However, homosexuality has been associated
with more negatives than positives ... such as AIDS (anal
sex in heterosexuals is also high risk behavior for spread of AIDS
but less than 20% engage in such behavior and only occasionally). The
gay lifestyle is misunderstood and blind tolerance is
as bad as blind intolerance, in gaining a better understanding
Najmabadi should not take issue with someone's well
intended article, even if a simplistic emotion reaction to
all the media hype, if her response is another version
of the same blind tolerance.
Let's be honest, certain values
are important to most human beings, such as being in a committed
and fruitful relationship,
and a good marriage is a version of that. Wanting to get married
is not only a sign of being normal... it is a belief in important
values that define humanity. After all, how accepting is
Najmabadi of a pedophile? Is a rapist rejected because he is not "normal?" How
does she feel in regards to "honesty" versus "theft?"
Najmabadi can not say let's understand homosexuality
on its own terms when she does not know those terms. At present,
should be judged on the same terms that we (i.e. heterosexuals)
are. Values such as honesty, commitment, positive contribution
to the community, etc, are important to most human beings.
disgusted and angry with a homosexual who is with a different partner
every night, and does not use protection, the same way I am outraged
and appalled by a heterosexual who engages in the same highly risky
In summary, blind tolerance or intolerance belong
to the uneducated well wishers. As one of my friends, a pediatric
mentioned (I paraphrase), "ignoring the cognitive differences
between boys and girls in the hopes of eliminating sexism,
is wrong, wrong, wrong! Girls ARE different than boys, and instead
of ignoring these differences, we should celebrate the positive
genetic ones and work on improving situationally acquired weaknesses."
Majid S., is a very important
person and has taught at Yale, Harvard, and Stanford. He enjoys
spending time with his family, and misspelling words ocasionally.