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Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Homosexuality

“God never made mistakes in creating human beings!”

The statement above was said by one student of mine several months ago when I asked the class to discuss homosexuality/transgender/transsexual. I cited a statement of one transsexual I found in a book entitled Transekssualisme: “I was trapped in a wrong body.” And then I asked the class consisting of college students to discuss in small groups. The background of the discussion was the ‘gossip’ of one celebrity in Indonesia, Krisna Mukti. (Absolutely I am not a fan of infotainment program. However, I was interested in discussing this gossip in my class since the movement of feminism is indispensable from the movement of LGBT—lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender. And I am an open claimed feminist as you can find in my blogs.)

In responding my student’s opinion (I directly realized that I was facing a group of students who would probably oppose my way of thinking that is pro to freedom of choosing sexual orientation), I had to do it very carefully and wisely.

Obviously I also do believe that God never made mistakes in creating anything; name it human beings, animals, plants, this universe. Human beings made mistakes though. In this case, including to limit human beings only into two kinds—female and male, and then decide that the ‘normal’ one is when female is attracted to male and on the way around, especially romantically, sexually, and sensually. Outside that, there must be something wrong. Strongly opining that “No one is supposed to think that he/she is trapped in the wrong body” is indeed narrow-minded because we view things only from one perspective, ignoring that there is another—even some other perspectives.

Based on researches done, anthropologists have classified human beings into at least four categories, in terms of sexuality:

  1. Male that is sexually attracted to female
  2. Female that is sexually attracted to male
  3. Male that that is sexually attracted to male
  4. Female that is sexually attracted to female

The strong influence of Abrahamic religions (read: Jewish, Christianity, Islam) narrowed the four categories into only two during the Victorian era, the first and the second categories, leaving the third and the fourth become unknown, and eventually they were labeled abnormal or against natural law.
The Dutch colonial government brought this influence to Indonesia; making some communities that used to give respected position to homosexuals (such as bissu community in Makassar, warok gemblak in Ponorogo, dalaq in Madura, shaman in Dayak Ngaju, etc) cornered and gradually disappear. Besides, the strong influence of two main celestial religions (Christianity and Islam) brought to Indonesia made the homosexual communities come to an end. While before, those communities were viewed normal, even respected.

Isn’t it time to start viewing things from other perspectives, to understand the way others think and feel, to be empathetic.

Irshad Manji (a feminist Muslim that claims herself as a lesbian) said, “Bukankah Tuhan sangat bisa dengan keMahaKuasaan-Nya menjadikanku untuk tidak menjadi seorang lesbian?” (JP number 58) and still she is a lesbian. There was God’s interference behind it.

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