Thursday, 24 May 2012

A Matter of Love and Respect

I really like that Portraits of Perseverance shed light on the transgender community (by highlighting the lives of Nisha and Sulastri)  - their struggles and how they persevere through tough times. Their stories echo not just their own plights, but that of the whole community's uphill battle against discrimination.

Their community seeks love and the right to live without persecution.

Just a typical day for Sulastri Ariffin.

A little religious debate sparked on the joke website, 9Gag (Just For Fun - really?) as protests to legalize gay marriage rocked the United States and the media feed recently. A 9Gagger commented something along the lines of, "Christians are such (expletive). Why do (expletive) Christians hate homosexuals? Did Jesus (expletive) say 'Hate homosexuals!'? Christians, get your (expletive) facts right!"

Well, he should get his facts right, as well. (Touche) I can answer that, "Christians do not hate gays." But who can blame people for being so defensive about the whole thing?

As a Christian, I can tell you that there is nothing in my religion that encourages hate towards the LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transsexual) community.

It doesn't teach you to hate anyone for that matter. In fact, I strongly believe that any peaceful religion in the world would not propagate hatred for the LGBT. But there will always be people in any religious sect who misunderstand and take these teachings to the extreme.

As a Christian, I am aware that there is a stigma linked to the Christian Church. People tell me straight in the face that Christians are judgemental and rigid. Honestly, some can be this way. But those are the bad eggs. Don't let them ruin the whole batch of fresh ones.

Should the world judge the whole country of France just because Zinedine Zidane headbutted Italy's Marco Materazzi during the football World Cup in 2006? And even if they choose to, they should at least hear both sides of the story. I hope you see my point in comparing these two situations.

Zidane giving Italy's Materazzi a piece of his mind, using his head, and aiming it at Materazzi's tummy.

If a religion disallows homosexuality, certain people of that religion might take it to the next level by not just disallowing, but condemning homosexuality AND homosexuals. LGBT activists counter by holding protests or demonstrations.

Relationships between these two parties become strained. With the world already being torn apart by different political, social, and religious ideologies, I don't think it needs any more assistance.

The world has its share of extremists. And I mean that in an everyday sense.

Accepting a person's lifestyle is one thing. Accepting who they are as humans, is a different thing altogether. Some people may be in support of the LGBT lifestyle, some may not be. That's one case. But what I feel is this -- what really matters is that people accept someone of that community as a person and as a friend.

Nisha Ayub of the Pink Triangle Foundation.

Certain people may not agree with the LGBT lifestlye. Similarly, a transgender may not agree with a Christian lifestyle. Both parties have the rights to their own ideas and principles. Neither can impose their beliefs on the other party.

So what if one person's 'straight', while the other isn't?  Does that mean one is superior to the other?

Not at all. We're human, one and the same. It all boils down to a relationship of respect.

I cannot make a friend eat barbecued meat with me if he's a vegetarian. But would I hate him for it? People have different ways of life, and different ideas about things. It doesn't mean we should shun that person based on his beliefs or lifestyle. 

Should different viewpoints cause persecution? Should that cause hatred?

I don't see why it should!

In the same way a Chelsea fan and a Manchester United fan can watch a game together at the local mamak stall - each staying true to his beloved club without condemning or rejecting the other - I dream that the world will be this way one day.

Transgender or not, we have the same ability to feel, love and value one another as human beings. This world would be a happy place if we could love, value and above all, respect one another.

By Junmey

1 comment:

  1. Interesting topic! Thanks for sharing this one.