Sunday, July 06, 2008

Talking homosexuality

Somebody says: "These days' people love to talk about sex but talking homosexuality puts lock on their mouth".

To some extent, that is so true. Not many people I know want to talk about it. They even manage not to mention the word "gay" or "lesbian" in their own language for fear that they may be considered to be on the same boat with gay men and women.

Well, I myself am quite open to discuss this topic because I think it simply is not a crime talking homosexuality!

I have been asked many times that who my idol is and my answer usually goes: "I admire the Pet Shop Boys, Anderson Cooper, and Elton John for their talents, enthusiasm and bravery". Pet Shop Boys is a British pop band the two members of which are gay. Anderson Cooper is a CNN anchorman who is gay, too. And Elton John, as everyone knows, is an openly gay pop legend. Then am I gay? 'cause there have been people telling me: "If you like the Pet Shop Boys you must be gay".

The truth is you DON'T have to be gay to like the Pet Shop Boys, Anderson, Elton or any artist who "happens to be gay". I admire them and I'm totally straight.

As you know, I'm living in Vietnam, a socialist beautiful country with deep-rooted cultural traditions and strong beliefs, of which I feel so proud. However, there have been several issues that, whenever brought to light, often arouse in me feelings of disappointment. One such issue is homosexuality.

Although an outsider, I'm feeling a bit depressed at the fact that now in my country there still exists a very strong prejudice against homosexuals. The gay community here is nothing like those in London, Los Angeles or anywhere else in the world. It's far from being accepted by the society. It is a closed world, a very closed world wrapped inside the fantasy world of straight people who don't ever like to talk about it. This situation causes gay men and women to be isolated from the public and thus, it's extremely hard for them to actually "come out". In fact, some have chosen to live in despair while others pretend to be happy family men and women.

Life seems a bit easier for gay artists. It's very likely that they receive more sympathy from their families and admirers than not-so-famous gay people. However, since the society still holds a biased view towards their sexuality, it often takes them a long time before they admit the truth. Ironically and bitterly, being openly gay, some time they may either be praised by the media for having a "courageous" action or be ostracized by other people for not "fitting in".

As for me, their sexuality doesn't have much to do with their profession. They make music, write books, or produce films not just for gay people but for everyone who wants to enjoy good works of art. That's why I strongly disapprove of homophobia. Too bad Eminem is (or once was) one of a kind, who included verses against gay men in his famous songs.

In my personal view, among the gay people out there, many have virtues that hardly can be found among the rest of us.

Has anyone brought politics into music so gracefully as the Pet Shop Boys? Has there ever been a reporter like Anderson who risked his life in Afghanistan, Sudan, Congo, Cambodia etc. to send his audience the "dispatches from the edge"? Has any artist been so dedicated like Elton who has made tireless efforts to fight for the rights of the poor? I guess not.


Anonymous said...

I agree. They deserve to live a happy life like anyone else.

Linh Bui said...

You're right.