Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Tolerance Does Not Require Approval/Support

Growing up in a Central American Catholic household, I was taught early on that being gay was wrong. Now, gays themselves were not bad people, but being of a homosexual nature was bad; it was a sin. Luckily I was only a Vatican fearing Catholic until the age of reason, at which point in time I decided that any God that could be viewed as benevolent couldn't possibly hate a human being for something over which they have no control. That would just be ridiculous and petty. As I found out, Ridiculous and Petty are religion's middle names.

With America becoming overly PC (Politically Correct for those of you that have neglected to turn on a television or read a newspaper in the past decade and a half), people are being led to believe that being tolerant of homosexuality means approving and supporting it. That is not the case at all. let me refer you to Webster's definition of tolerance: Toleration is "the practice of deliberately allowing or permitting a thing of which one disapproves". That's right, according to Webster's you don't need to approve of something, but merely allow it to occur. I know what you're thinking: "How can I tolerate something I do not approve of?". Well the answer to that is simple: Those who you are being tolerant of do not need your approval. They don't need your help and they don't need your support. They are simply asking you to let them do that they, as grown American adults, have the right to do: Pursue happiness.

Whether it's same-sex or interracial relationships, all that the people involved in such matters are asking is that you respect their right to pursuit of happiness. Nothing more. They're not asking you to march alongside them in a gay pride parade, they're not going to invite you to sailor night at the bar, and despite what you may think, that gay guy in your English class doesn't think you're hot and wants nothing to do with you beyond friendship.

Having said that, no one can force someone else to approve of something. Things just don't work like that. In the same manner that a group does not need someone else's permission to do something, that same group cannot force their beliefs on anyone else. I personally do not find drag shows to be all that entertaining, but I am in no way shape or form bothered by them nor do I think that they are an abomination and should be banned. I merely don't go to them, which by proxy means I don't support drag. I have a friend or two that do this, and although I support them doing what makes them happy, I just don't find it all that appealing. They are good at what they do, but it is not my type of entertainment, and they understand and respect my choice not to go just as I understand and respect their choice to partake in the theatrics of it.

America has made strides over the years in regards to their general attitudes towards what is different. Despite still being hit with the Bible Belt, America recently showed signs of rebellion on the issue of homosexuality when the repeal of DADT finally occurred. Regardless of what people say or how long it may take, progress will be made in the United States. We just have to remember that regardless of what we are told, we don't need to like or agree with something in order to tolerate it.

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