After last week’s column I received a barrage of comment, for most of which, thanks. The rest — you know who you are. Some people have no sense of humour.
That leaves the one who accused me of fomenting division in the community, rather than working for unity.
But there is not, and never can be, any unity. We’re not a community, with a common heritage and culture, we are a disputatious multigenerational family, a squabbling coalition.
Some of us want to be accepted by our churches, mosques and temples. Some want to tear all the temples, mosques and churches down.
Some of us want to get married. Some want to recognise different kinds of marriage. Some of us want to be parents. Some of us reject the whole idea of societally approved relationships.
Some of us wish the homo-oligarchy would shut up about marriage and concentrate on anti-discrimination law. Or hate crime. Or health care. Or aged care. Or sex ed.
Some of us are men who love men; others, women who love women.
But overall, we are not defined by what we are, so much as by what we are not. The ever-growing acronym — the latest version, from Canada, LGBTTI2Q — is a list of people who are not quite the same as ‘us’, but on the other hand, are more like ‘us’ than ‘them’.
I’m not sure if this (yet) includes MSM — men who have sex with men but don’t identify as gay, and their female counterparts. Or SSA — attracted to the same sex but not necessarily doing anything about it. But the acronymic family keeps growing.
We are diverse, not unified. We are male and female (born and made), old and young, left and right, multi-hued, multi-nationed. We are the non-straight, the sex and gender non-conformists. We are The Different. We are defined, not by what we are, but by what we’re not. And hence, forever disunited.
But the idea that we should ignore internally divisive issues and push forward only with what we can agree on is a recipe for impotence. We need to think less like a political movement, and more like a family.
We need the attitude that loyalty to our divided squabbling family comes before loyalty to church, employer, state, ethnicity or political party.
We need to say to each other, “I disapprove of what you want, but since it’s important to you as a member of my community, I will work with you.”
In other words, what we need to progress and prosper are good old-fashioned family values.

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