Very Early in coming out I learned not to expect, because a person is gay, that they are a person on my side of an issue. These lessons were not learned with the un- or ex- or inactively-gay crowd, but with the more radical elements in my crowd, such as the folks mentioned here. Being gay simply does not mean or imply you are bound in any way to be in a certain camp, even on gay issues, perhaps especially on gay issues ;-).
So, if we’re all deserving of our own conscience and choices here, why do gays in conversion therapy, and gay men marrying women and choosing celibacy sometimes feel treated like traitors by the gay community?
Certainly, because they are, sometimes and significantly, treated as traitors. It happens, and for nearly every case unjustly and with that certain cruelty that comes from dehumanizing “them”.
I believe the source of this is an imagined insult or threat.
Not as dramatic, but bear with me; vegetarians get this all the time. A fellow grad student and friend of mine was a vegetarian, for his family’s particular sort of Hindu faith. The first time we ate together that fact came out. He quickly went into a whole speech regarding how vegetarianism is the choice for him, as a result of his religion, and that he didn’t think it wrong if I ordered the animals off the menu. I was going to anyway :-) and assumed as much, but he’s right to worry. People do tend to react badly if they feel they’re being judged by another’s choice, particularly if that other believes they are acting for moral reasons or for the supernatural’s command. It’s tough to imagine people will treat you justly in tangible ways in this world when they think you’re going to their Hell anyway. I believe something very similar often occurs when gay men encounter gay men who’ll not meet their attraction in action (vegaytarians? Eh…).
But, if I’m merely promoting that vegetarian choice as the one for me, one not to be forced on or coerced into others, by lowering them or elevating myself by law or social pressures, certainly I could not be said to have any harmful intent.
For whatever portion of the gay community’s hostility that represents, it’s absolutely wrong and regrettable. If in the inactively gay man’s shoes, and with their beliefs about the way the supernatural works, such a choice might seem reasonable to all gay men. Besides, another’s personal choice for their life is simply not an editorial or assault; if it were I’d be worlds more offensive than I already am ;-) by the human pleasures which just don’t please for me.
I simply hope, with what I’ve learned by frequenting the blogs of gay LDS, I’ve been and will be helpful in quelling the mistrust and fear within the gay community. There are people worth knowing, supporting, and respecting in both their camp and ours.