Dom is the gay boy in my Grade 5 class in Thailand. His personality shines as bright as his toothy smile, and he remains at the top of his class in both popularity and academics with his ability to charm and his quick wits. It’s not uncommon for Dom to burst into song and dance, thrusting his hips and pouting his lips, in between his times tables and language lessons. When I divide the students into two teams, boys and girls, for a game of hangman or another English activity, the sides would be uneven if it weren’t for the students hollering, “Teacher! Dom is a girl.”
I no longer ask such stupid questions, but I can’t help but wonder why so many people do. Are gay people born that way? Isn’t it bad for a child to be raised by a gay couple? And the most pertinent: Should gay people have the right to marry?
We shouldn’t need more examples of humans being human, but we do. Dom is just one of thousands worldwide who’s proving that homosexuality is more than just a sexual preference. At only 11 years old, Dom is comfortable being ‘different’ because it’s who he is. He hasn’t yet had to consider what this means for his future. Even in Thailand – a country of 95% Buddhist followers who believe his rebirth into a male body is just a part of his karmic reincarnation – gays are respected, but they cannot marry.
We shouldn’t need one more person to say that the right to marry a loved one is a basic human right, but for some ungodly reason, we do. If you think it’s wrong to enter a heterosexual marriage, then don’t. You’re entitled to your opinion, yes. But so are they.
We shouldn’t need anyone to explain that a child raised by two loving parents is better than that child bouncing between foster homes, or growing up in some other unstable environment, but we do. Many people still argue that children need a mom and a dad, but couples (gay or straight) don’t adopt children who already have parents; they provide a loving family for those who don’t.
Fortunately, the world does appear to be catching on. Just this month, France became the 14th country to legalize same sex marriage, and in April, New Zealand hopped on board, joining 12 other countries (Canada, Spain, Netherlands, Belgium, South Africa, Denmark, Iceland, Norway, Portugal, Sweden, Argentina, Uruguay) that legally acknowledge courtship between gays. At least 10 more, including the U.S. (12 states already do) have proposed legislation to do the same.
It seems we’re finally on the right path, and in the words of Kate Pickert for Time, “thanks to a massive shift in public opinion, gay marriage went from inconceivable to inevitable in less than two decades.”
I believe, in time, the skeptics worldwide will begin to open their minds, to see the changes for good and to answer their own stupid questions with the obvious answers. One day, when Dom is old enough to marry, I hope he too will be able to do so, with whomever he chooses, and without question. I’m optimistic that America, in particular, will persevere, and be the example it set out to be all those years ago; an example of things we do need – equality for all.
- An Indian Wedding in Varanasi
- Teaching English (and Gossip!) in Thailand
- Teaching English in Thailand
- Are there scientific reasons to oppose gay marriage? | Dean Burnett (guardian.co.uk)
- Oprah Believes Same Sex Marriage May Help HEAL The Divorce-Plagued Institution Of Marriage! (perezhilton.com)
- How Gay Marriage Won (swampland.time.com)
- Marriage In India: Grooms Required To Prove They Have A Toilet Before Marrying (huffingtonpost.com)
Gay Marriage From America to Thailand