Last week when I returned home, the television was crackling with life. My mom sat on the sofa, thoughtlessly, scrolling on her phone. As I trudged towards my room, about to close the door of this private space, I turned and stared at the colourful screen.
If your family member admitted to you about their “minority sexual preference”, would you accept them? Our audience is now taking a live vote!
I forgot the numbers now, even though I just watched four episodes today. The numbers, they don’t matter. What matters are mini-acts played prior to the voting, with the disclaimer of “based on real life examples”. The gay couple who faced such difficulty in renting a place to live, albeit being well-educated as a doctor and professor. The lesbian couple, rejected by their parents for being in love. The gay chef, so afraid to be outed in the kitchen because of the climate of machismo, then blackmailed by the female server. Finally, the high school student who felt himself when he dressed to be Juliet in a school play.
The LGBTQ+ community matters, because they exist and their feelings are real. They do not deserve careless disrespect and neglect, such as the comment made by Oxford’s vice-chancellor.
Speaking at the Times Higher Education summit, Richard said: “I’ve had many conversations with students who say they don’t feel comfortable because their professor has expressed views against homosexuality. They don’t feel comfortable being in class with someone with those views.
“And I say, ‘I’m sorry, but my job isn’t to make you feel comfortable. Education is not about being comfortable. I’m interested in making you uncomfortable’.
This is not the first time I have read that queer individuals thought it possible to be ‘cured’. Or maybe, “after 15 years of striving to be cured … for the next two years attempted to annihilate all sexual desire”. But it does not make the ‘psychological and emotional damage’, ‘spiritual suffering’ less valid.
Inside my room, my private space, I contemplated. I know I am inadequate to offer consolation nor resolution. Only that I must reiterate, all people matter.
Credits: Picture by Jerrit Peinelt