We keep being told that the Gay Movement is all about everyone’s right to be accepted for who they are. The movement has been successful because gay people are now recognised not just for their achievements but, more importantly, also for their identity. The latter is important because we now supposedly live in a society where being openly gay and being upfront about it no longer puts you at a disadvantage. Gay people are now able to assert their identity and still be able to accept fair treatment in modern societies.
It is therefore only fair that gay people, in return, be upfront about who they are. It is not right to conceal an aspect of the nature of one’s identity when said aspect is a relevant bit of information in a transaction. Banks require that you disclose prior felony convictions when applying for a loan. Visa applicants are required to present medical records before being approved entry into a jurisdiction. Priests invite guests in a wedding to “speak now or forever hold your peace” before pronouncing a couple effectively bonded in marriage.
If the object of your affections is clearly a heterosexual person, then it is only fair to assume that that person expects you to be a person of the opposite sex if he or she were to entertain your advances or invitation to progress a relationship. There is of course room to negotiate compromises. However, decent people understand that negotiations that yield the best outcomes are ones where both parties are upfront about what they bring to the table. If one party disguises or masks something relevant to said negotiation, he or she is inviting trouble.
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Billy Joel was wrong when he lamented how “honesty” is “such a lonely word”. The fact is, it is an overused word that enjoys lots of company. People drop the word so often that it elicits more eyesrolls than genuine awe. It is an ironic feature in the vocabulary of liars. Honesty is not a lonely word. It is a party animal.
The true lonely word is dishonesty. The word hardly ever gets used. Nobody calls out the simplest acts of dishonesty. In many specific cases making the news today, deceiving a prospective sexual partner about the nature of one’s true sex is never regarded as an act of dishonesty. Instead, the lying parties are excused because they are said to “identify” with the lie they play on the board in the mating games they join.
This is not to say “identifying” with a preferred gender is lying. The deceit begins when you turn the expression of that preference into a lie when pursuing or inviting a prospective partner to dance.
If we are to expect full acceptance and equality, all parties need to take personal accountability for the choices they make. Choosing to be dishonest has its consequences. Those consequences could be avoided if people are not deceitful about the choices they make and when society learns to to excuse lying under the guise of upholding inclusiveness. There is no excuse for lying. There are only consequences.
benign0 is the Webmaster of GetRealPhilippines.com.