Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Gay marriage: Love is okay, Attachment is not.

I feel compassionate towards gays. They call themselves "PLU", I think. They are one of the most misunderstood and discriminated people. Due to the hatred and discrimination of gays, many gays choose to remain hidden in closets, which to a certain extent is even more tormenting. If you are a gay - You will feel strongly attracted to almost every cute looking guys that your eyes set on, but yet you have to curb your inner desires and stay away. You will be often torn apart by conflicting emotional and moral issues. A lot of times, you wished you did not have those feelings and you wonder where all these came from. There is a wide believe that you are born with it if you are gay. But yet, is there a gay gene?  Is there a gay self? In this blog write-up, which is based on my own research, I will not be exploring gay genetics, but will try to give my views about this gay issue, including gay marriages, whether there is a gay self,  and rounding it up with some words of advice from a Tibetan lama.

I feel that marriages are meant for between a man and a woman only. Not between people of the same sex. But I completely understand their feeling of wanting to be together with their partners for the rest of their lives just like a normal heterosexual couple. But the truth is they are not a normal “man-woman” couple. I cannot as yet think of a better word for the gay couple. Perhaps “together-ness” ? Or, “vow of faithfulness”? Nah, no word seems to be the right one to describe the vow between gays to be together forever. But I opine that it is not “marriage”.

I feel that gays need not have the same type of marriage that heterosexuals have. It is because they feel they need to do so that there arises so many movements around the world to fight for gay rights (and also anti-gays). And when New York legalises gay marriage, they feel so happy, until they had to announce to the entire world. The recent announcement by the pastor Ou Yang is a case in point. The announcement obviously caught the attention of people who are not that friendly to gays and Malaysia being a muslim majority country, actions may be taken against them by the authorities if they go ahead with the marriage in Malaysia. It remains to be seen what will happen next. I still feel that gays should stay low key and not make any major headlines to announce their “marriages”. Actually gays do not need a marriage certificate, instead if they feel they need something to solemnise their "together-ness", maybe they just need a legal document to legalise their friendship and faithfulness to each other. Just get a lawyer to draft a simple agreement and signed by a witness for each party and that’s it. Then they can live together legally, but not as husband and wife. The latter words belong to only the heterosexual couple. As I said, marriage is only reserved for a man and a woman. For want of a better word, gays also use the word “marry” but I feel that that word is not suitable at all for gays. I have nothing against them marrying, it just does not make sense of them getting married. Why would they want to get married? Cannot they be satisfied with just being "together legally"? These two terms may seem the same but they are not. This is because the word "marriage" suggest procreation and gays cannot procreate. Period. At least that's what I think. So, gays should really seriously think what do they want to achieve by marrying? Cannot the same objective be achieved in any other way besides marrying?

Whether homosexual or heterosexual, both types of couple are attracted to each other because of love. Most recently Gelek Rinpoche, a prominent Gelug lama, had mentioned that there is a difference between love and attachment. There is a very fine line of difference between these two feelings. He asked, "Is it love that you have in your partner/spouse or is it attachment?" Rinpoche said that it is alright to love someone, and in fact, love should be increased, but not so, if we have attachment. Attachment is something negative and is one of the roots of suffering. I think this teaching makes a lot of sense. So, both gays and so-called “normal” couples must ask themselves this aforementioned question. Giving up attachment is not easy, especially if it is attachment to their gayness or heterosexuality. Both should be transcended. After all, you may be a man in this life but in your future life it is not guaranteed you will forever be a male. And the same is true for a woman in this life. So, do not get so hung up with being a man or a woman. It’s all impermanent. If a gay man approaches you or touches you or glances at you in a certain way, do not get so mad with him. Try to understand. You may be a heterosexual in this life, but if you get too attached to your girlfriend in this life, it is highly possible that in her next life, she could be reborn as a man and you also reborn as a man. At that time, you will not be able to explain how you are attracted to another man. It is highly possible due to your previous karma with that person. He was your wife in your previous life. Sometimes we carry over our bad habits (i.e. strong attachments and desires) from our previous lives into our present lives even though we have changed gender from our past lives.

With regard to gay issues, of course, in Buddhism there are opinions that gay sex is unnatural and against the law of nature, etc etc. I will not go into that. Enough being said on these elsewhere. But let us try to understand gays more. Let us be more tolerant and not be too judgemental on them. As for gays, I think it is often their (or our?) attachment to their (or our?) gayness that brings a lot of social problem unto themselves (or ourselves?). When love is mixed with attachment, there will arise unwholesome desires for oral and anal sex. I hate to say this but it is true that the penis is never meant for the mouth nor anus. Therefore, gays should stick to hugging, cuddling, kissing and maybe, hand fondling or hand masturbation. Eventually and over time, even masturbation should be reduced and given up. In any case, always protect yourself by wearing condoms! Human life is too precious to waste it by getting AIDS or other diseases. If your urges are too strong, try use a dildo instead. Or, get a real banana and suck that. And because of attachment too, some people may feel that they are a girl trapped in a man's body, or vice-versa. Then they go for sex change and all that painful procedure. Karma is never wrong. If you get a man's body or woman's body, respect that. Use it to benefit other sentient beings, instead of feeling attached to your gender. Remember that ultimately sentient beings do not have any gender. It is only the body that may have gender. Gender is impermanent. Gender is emptiness. If you can truely understand this dharma, you will no longer be so desirous to go for a sex change. Contemplate on the emptiness of the gender. There is no permanently gay self inside anyone. No one is forever a man or a woman, life after life. And that's the truth, that is, at least according to the Buddhist teaching on rebirth. I wrote about this before in a prior blog. Search for it.

Try to let go and loosen up our attachments, both of being gay and of being heterosexual. Remember Gelek Rinpoche’s advice: Love is okay, attachment is not. If you truely love your partner, whether you are gay or heterosexual, the way to show that love is to seek liberation from samsara. That is the ultimate love. Sometimes people wonder whether there is a gay Buddha or not. Well, Buddhas and Bodhisattvas are everywhere, and they manifest in whatever way suitable to liberate sentient beings. Perhaps this message comes to you out of inspiration from the gay Buddha? LOL!! Even though there are certain aspects of gayness that I feel strongly to, I cannot let it colour my judgement when I write this blog. This blog must be impartial of my personal feelings or prejudices or gender preference. May everyone be well and happy! 

Pic randomly searched from internet: http://fabulust.deviantart.com/art/Boys-kissing-coloured-74598128

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