General Writings

The Rainbow Connection

By Arveent Srirangan Kathirtchelvan


Arveent, you’re an idiot!

Oh hello there. I’m sure you’re probably right but why do you think so?


For supporting gay rights of course! It’s so unnatural, even animals don’t engage in it, what of humans? Disgusting!

Ahh well, thank you for your thoughts. Unfortunately, they’re wrong. Homosexuality has been found to exist in the natural world amongst over 450 species of animals. Homophobia, however, only in 1. Humans. Hence, the latter is more of an unnatural construct than the former.


So you’re equating humans and animals la! Rape, murder and public urination is also ‘natural’ what, are you condoning those as well?

Uhh, you’re the one who brought up the natural argument? So now we don’t need to follow practices that occur in nature when it suits you’re narrative? I agree with you though, we don’t need to stick to so-called ‘natural’ desires when it comes to living peacefully in a society.


Haha, society? You mean the normal, heterosexual one the gays are trying to ruin with their revolting ways? Why can’t they just go live on an island somewhere and leave us alone?

That sounds dangerously close to previous arguments involving black slavery in America or that brought against the suffragette movement. In fact, this kind of superiority is also behind such concepts as Orientalism and the White Man’s Burden, causing a depletion of resources of many countries, leaving their people impoverished. Just because someone is different to us doesn’t mean they are abnormal, it just means we are uncomfortable with their alien nature to us. Our bias shouldn’t be meted out to measure the acceptability of someone else.


What should be then? How about the dangers they bring to society when it comes to disease? AIDS is the gay man’s disease after all!

Well, while it is true men who have sex with other men and bisexual men are at a higher risk of getting AIDS through unprotected sexual relations and make up about 70 % of new HIV infections in the US, this isn’t the whole story. Take, for instance, the prevalence of the disease worldwide amongst heterosexual couples or how it can be spread through needle-sharing. It shows this disease is not spread through homosexuality alone. What’s more, with the correct usage of condoms and Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis drugs, the prevention can be as easy and thorough as possible. In fact, the number of newly infected people with HIV is dropping, though not nearly fast enough to meet UNAIDS/WHO targets, along with the number of people who die due to the disease per year. The proportion of victims getting treated with antiretroviral drugs is also on the rise.

The rub is only 12 % of new infections worldwide is caused by MSMs and bisexual men. Preventing and treating AIDS should be looked at as a global problem, though special consideration should be given to those at higher risk. It’s like this, if one wants to drive, he has to get a license so as to not bring harm to himself and others. Similarly, if one is at a higher risk of malady due to an activity, the preventative actions should be made known to him thoroughly so that he doesn’t cause more harm. Besides, all unsafe sex can cause the spreading of the disease, should all relationships be void then?


Of course not! Heterosexual relationships are important for the continuation of the species.

I agree, reproductively speaking, heterosexual relationships have an edge over homosexual ones. But if relationships are only meant for reproducing, what about other minority conditions like sterility or even a lack of desire for children? Should relationships with these elements be null and void? At the end of the day there are many reasons for two people to be together and the discrimination solely based on that fact is baseless.

Besides, it’s not like all heterosexual couples make the best parents. Abuse, paedophilia, promiscuity and criminal tendencies amongst others know no sexuality, the same with good parenting.


Ahh now that’s where you’re wrong, Arveent. It is a well-known fact children need both sexes of parents to develop into healthy adults.

That is a common misconception, the sex of a parent or biological links amongst family members are not as important for positive child development as one might think. However, this is not to say the experience of children from lesbian or gay male households is the same, rather it can be quite diverse. However, unique stresses are often due to societal stigma and discriminatory pressure, akin to that faced by all minorities.


Exactly, minorities, don’t you know an overwhelming majority of people in Malaysia disapprove of gay rights? Why should the majority bow down to the minority in a democracy?

As mothers everywhere seem to put it ‘If all of your friends were to jump off a cliff, would you follow suit?’ What is right or moral does not always come down to what is popular. A lot of people support the slaughtering of Rohingyas or the oppression of Palestinians, that doesn’t make it right, now does it?


That’s a totally unrelated issue. Are you equating the death and suffering of these people to some men who just want to have legal sex?

Both instances are gross human rights violations. The stripping of belonging from a people can lead to gross miscarriages of justice. And to some gay people, this is a matter of life and death. If one truly believes in human rights and that peaceful people should be left to live in peace without threats to their ways of life so long as it doesn’t hurt anybody, gay rights should be a given.


Oh peacefully living together is ok is it? What about incest then? Should incest be allowed?

Look, conflating two different scenarios just because they tangentially share a common ground doesn’t automatically make them equally valid. Sure, if one was to look at them at face value, the allowance of gay rights due to the argument of peaceful coexistence could be extended to incest very easily, it just needs to be between two consenting adults right? Sure, if a history of paedophilia or child sexual grooming can be ruled out. What’s more, there are even philosophical arguments on the child-parent relationship dynamic in certain incest cases. But these are incest’s problems, not gay rights’. Saying we shouldn’t have gay rights because incest is bad is like saying we shouldn’t drink milk because some people are lactose intolerant, it does not follow. In fact, the only characteristic incest shares with gay rights is the positive one of peacefully living together in society.


I don’t care what you say, my God says gay rights is wrong, so I will say so too.

Ahh so you have a personal bias against gay rights. That’s totally fine. I’m not here to convince you to be gay, or even to accept gayness as right according to your personal moral code. All I am saying is, in the bigger picture, you can live alongside gay people in peace. Look at the UK, Canada, Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Taiwan and many other examples that didn’t devolve into mass hysteria due to gay people.

Also you have to be aware of certain institutions and influential people who might be using you’re fear of the unknown to their advantage, bringing up religion, culture and even illnesses to unfairly demonise certain groups such that they may control you more effectively.

Besides, it’s not like everyone’s beliefs and practises are the same as everyone else’s. I’m an atheist, are my rights in question?


That’s not the same! Homosexuality is an aberration!

Look we can go at this till the end of time and still be arguing. I just want you to know one thing, I recognise your discomfort. I want to understand where you are coming from. I accept you even if I don’t understand you. If there are certain things you are involved with that may cause you harm, I want to make sure you understand all the risks. But I’m not going to judge your personal life to be inferior and try to change you. So long as we can live in peace and understand we can both belong in the same space, there is no reason for me to oppose you, even if you personally think what I believe in is an aberration. Can you not do the same?


What’s stopping you?


For more articles written by Arveent, check out #Liberasi :

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