Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Body & Soul

It's St. Valentine's Day. Women are wearing red and guys are busy spending bucks.

In Japan, it's a day for WOMEN to give men CHOCOLATES. Don't ask me why. Oh, wait, I think I heard once that it was a very successful sales campaign launched by Morozoff, a Japanese chocolate company created by a Russian émigré. And in a land of Men First (at least back then), you would only EXPECT women to give MEN presents.

On Valentine's Day, though, I'm not thinking of chocolates, or gifts from or to loved ones. I'm thinking of the great inequality in love. As long as people can't imagine that there could be love and commitment between anyone other than one man and one woman, there is a huge segment of the population that is denied one of the basic human rights: pursuit of happiness.

In many countries of the world, gay marriage is as accepted as heterosexual marriages. In many countries of the world, it's very matter-of-fact. Here in the US, it's still a hot topic that is constantly being debated on all levels, but at least it IS being talked about. In Japan, there's never been any serious discussion. At least not to my knowledge. I have trouble understanding why some people have such difficulty with non-heterosexuals. People can fall in love with each other no matter what their gender, no matter what their genitalia might look like. In fact, I don't think it even has to be between two people. I am sure there are as many variations as there are people. What's wrong with three people loving each other equally and enjoying life together? Or four or five? Or a male-to-female transsexual in love with a straight woman? Or a gay man in love with a lesbian?

Anything is possible and if it's love, it should be celebrated.

Okay, I've never quite understood hetereosexuality. Or, for that matter, homosexuality. It all seems so... singular. "Oh, so you're bisexual," you might say, but that's not it, either. My sexual orientation has nothing to do with gender.

I mean, when you're in love with someone, are you in love with that person's large breasts? Hairy chest? Maybe they are attractions, but not what you fall in love with. (Is it?) For me, bodies are just a vessel for the soul. If the soul is right for me, who cares what the body looks like! (Do you think there's a market for a movie about a woman whose partner gets transformed into a chimpanzee but she still loves him and now has to endure all sorts of humiliation -- from PETA to Fundamental Christians -- because of her love? Hmm, maybe not.)
It doesn't matter one bit whether this person has male or female genitalia or both or somewhere inbetween or even none at all! Why should it? If you can laugh together, talk together, learn together and grow old together, you can certainly find many satisfying ways to make love together.

There is too much pain and suffering and misery in this world for us NOT to celebrate love. In all of its many wonderful shapes, sizes and colors. But until the discriminatory marriage laws are changed, until there is equality in love, it just doesn't feel right celebrating this Lover's Holiday.

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