Trying to be more man

12 months ago

What does it mean to be a man? Is it how you feel? Is it if you have the Y chromosome? Is it if you like girls? Is what society thinks of you? Is it your decision? Or does what is stated at birth remain indelible until you die?

We live in a society that still cannot manage issues of sexual orientation well. For most, it's just a box that should be checked depending on whether you like girls or boys, but  sexual orientation is much more than that. Unfortunately, however, we do not have the required education from a young age on how to recognize our sexual orientation. We reach the point in our lives when we need to choose our sexual orientation without being properly informed about the choices we have. Because sexual orientation is a choice, the choice to follow yourself in the direction you love. In reality, however, this is more complicated. The choices we know are only one: love of the opposite sex. But what determines the opposite? And while living in Greece, I still don't understand why society is limited to the barriers of xenophobia and homophobia. But what xenophobia are we talking about? I live in Greece, I study Ancient Greece and Byzantium, there is a whole field of literature with a homosexual content. And all of a sudden, while Greece could be one of the most liberal and liberated countries from the barriers of homophobia, our society has taken huge steps backwards. So the choice I had when I was a teenager and had to decide on my sexual orientation was one, only one! My teachers proudly boasted that they had successfully completed another school year, and my generation graduated properly from high school. Why exactly were they proud and why exactly are they still do so? None of us accepted the proper education for his sexual orientation, no one went a step closer to understanding what he really is, who he really is, to understand himself.

Thinking about all this, and because my future profession is likely to be a teacher in a school, I did some research on the curriculum of literary texts that I have been taught all these twelve years of education in Greece. My attention was immediately drawn to the obvious, and I looked for what I had learned from foreign language literature, mainly looking for a single name, Oscar Wilde. What I discovered was that I had only been taught a poem by the Irish poet about Greece. But then, reading the short biography at the end of the poem, the textbook barely mentioned the author's works and life and even used the word "unorthodox" to comment on his love life. In fact, we got this book one class before graduation.

Therefore, I had only one choice in mind, due to the lack of information from school, family and society. In fact, I had no choice. Many years passed without realizing that this choice imposed on me by society was wrong. Several years have passed, but not many. When I first felt attracted to a man it was four years before I graduated. But then I didn't think it was natural. I accepted this attraction as a sin, as a deviant behavior from the accepted behaviors of society, I felt that something was going wrong inside me, that I was not human, that I was not sane. And then my thoughts and feelings flowed like dominoes, so much stress and so much fear accumulated inside me that they could now, like a foreign body, like parasites, take over my mind and subjugate me. I think this is also a common reaction of an uninformed homosexual and that is why the members of the LGBTQIA community are more likely to experience depression or anxiety.

So I don't understand why a teacher has to get permission from parents or even the ministry to teach children that sexual orientation is not one-sided, but anything that makes someone feel happy and loved. I don't understand what age has to do with this. Why shouldn't we show our children pictures of same-sex couples kissing? Isn't that love? Isn't that normal? Why was only love of the opposite sex chosen by society as normal? If you are a parent and you believe that your child should not know about the existence of this community, are you not interested in your child? If he grows up and understand that he is a member of this community, then you will not love him? If he understands this, but has not been properly informed so that he believes that he is an unnatural and deviant being for society, leading himself to depression, will you do nothing to stop it?


Or does religion forbid homosexuality? But where exactly does this refer in the holy books? Does Christianity, Islamism, or Judaism forbid homosexuality? But hasn't homosexuality existed before these religions were even created? Why remove our children, the new generation, from a life with less stress and more happiness?

There are only the projected standards that every boy and girl should follow or, more correctly, copy. I have to follow the example of the man that society imposes on me, but if I am not that man, what should I do then? Should I try to be more man, to be like the projected man? Or will I not be a man? Or isn't there just one role model after all? Because in the end after all this coercion and pressure there will only be a society with oppressed members who pretend to be someone else and have no idea who they are, and if they don't know who they are and they are no different from others, if they don't keep their noticeable difference from those around them, then society will turn into a disoriented mass of people without purpose.

In addition, it is not just your child who should be aware of homosexuality and sexual orientation, as one does not make a difference. If I am free to choose to follow what my heart tells me, but those around me do not have that privilege, then no difference has been made. Because there will always be the fear of being different from others, or the fear of being perceived by those around me that I have chosen a different sexual orientation and criticize me. Because then this fear and the opinion of the people around me will push me to renounce myself and the choices I made even if I am informed. Because time matters! Our children need to be informed about sexual orientation early before pathogenic external factors can contaminate their views on homosexuality and fill them with phobia and intolerance.

In the end, the most beautiful feeling a person can feel is love. But it can end up being fear: the fear of whether I will be accepted by my parents, my friends, my relatives, my acquaintances, the world. And all this happens because almost no educational system on the planet approves of the correct and multifaceted education about sexual orientation. And if my article seemed big and with a chaotic theme and ideas, then you might at least understand the thoughts and emotional state of a teenager. Please do not let your children to experience this chaos of fear, anxiety, depression and isolation. Love is above all, don't you love your children?

This article is inspired and dedicated to Tim Ramsey, someone who should become your gay role model. The digital painting is made by me inspired by 13rw.