Originally, this was going to be a defence of David Laws. It had links, stats and comparisons in their plenty pointing out the differences between rules and law, definitions of words, hypothetical situations and every kind of boring word you can think of.
But, I deleted it all.
Because no matter how much I tried to avoid the personal, it kept lingering in the background, finding its way into an otherwise factual (and rather good, if I’m honest!) post.
Besides, people have made up their own minds on whether he’s guilty/unfortunate/the Devil incarnate by now, and I’m hardly going to change that.
So I’m going to throw this out there instead.
The first line is how I was hoping to start the last section of the essay/post, and what led to the rethink.
Do you know what the most depressing thing about this whole saga is? The hatred and prejudice I have witnessed – because that is what it is – from within the LGBT community aimed at David Laws.
The man didn’t want to come out. Yes, it’s sad he felt like this – but it was HIS choice. His personal life, his choice. Just because you found it easy, and think the world should follow your view of how the LGBT community should act, doesn’t mean it’s right.
Ivan Massow’s column in the Evening Standard – which I won’t link, because quite frankly it’s horrific – talks of how he still hates Stephen Fry for not coming out sooner, and includes the absurd line:
“…what the point is of being a Lib-Dem at all if you can’t be open about being gay?”
Oh, I’m sorry Mr Massow, I didn’t realise that your political party controlled every aspect of your life. Once you sign up, it doesn’t immediately override your ability to think or change your emotional responses. If we’re going on pure stereotypes alone, fancy telling all openly gay Conservative MPs that, actually, would they mind awfully getting back into the closet as they aren’t conforming to aforementioned stereotype?
Because, you know what? Not everyone is comfortable with their sexuality or aspects thereof. I’m not. There, I said it. Do I want to talk about it? No. My reasons are my own and no amount of people saying I can or I should are going to change that in the foreseeable future.
But, just because that is my decision, I wouldn’t presume to force this upon anyone else.
What people fail to understand is that emotions? Aren’t rational. What you feel and what you think are not always related, and telling people they are wrong/stupid/it’s easy is hardly going to help.
The feeling of wanting to do or say something but being unable to is stressful enough, dealing with your own hypocrisy is painful enough, without having to add the pressure and weight of disappointment complete strangers throw at you because they think they know best.
I believe everyone has the right to be treated equally – and this everyone also happens to include those who don’t want to come out. You don’t tell heterosexuals they simply must be open and embrace their straightness publicly, at all times – so why so different with those who identify as other?
This ridiculous notion that if everyone came out there’d be a better more accepting community is absolute bullshit. Did abolishing slavery get rid of racism? Has decriminalising homosexuality stopped vicious – sometimes even fatal – homophobic attacks? Like hell it has.
You are happy and comfortable to talk about your life. Good for you; that’s encouraging and I applaud you for it.
It’s actually (a bit) reassuring to know that you aren’t wrong, or alone, in not wanting to share your experiences with the world. That not everybody is this perfect little example of how people think you should be in this day and age.
In my mind – emotionally and, more importantly, logically – David Laws did the wrong thing for the right reasons.
You don’t have to agree, and I suspect most of you won’t, but just remember that we are not all the same.