Assimilation, integration, or any other semantic
juxtaposition you want to use is the RULE of the
game. Yet, the gay community (as a whole)
continues to ostracize their differences amongst
the rest of society, then wondering why they are
perceived and treated as foreign products of
something they wish to belong to. I can accept
that our "tendencies" do create a barrier, but the
supposed "glass ceiling" our gay community
continues to solidify is attributed mostly to our own
misperception about the straight community. The
consistent attention the gay community draws to
that ONE difference of who we are as human beings
will continue to strengthen the barrier they so
adamantly wish to break down.

Unfortunately, the concept seems a bit conservative in nature, but realistically, it is the
nature of the beast – society - to focus on what is presented to them directly, rather than
by implicit means. Why draw attention to ourselves and our differences? Prove that you
are a decent, hard working, successful, and ambitious, American citizen before we
begin to highlight the things that make others question our character. Our character and
intention are always questioned, whether it is by fallacy or through personal biases.
When we admit that we are different, then as so we will be treated. Society, by definition,
is not a product nor is it driven by our sexual preferences. So, it is worth highlighting our
www.ambiente.us  APRIL | ABRIL 2009

by Vanessa Brito

Though it is the nature of individuals to exalt and draw attention to their differences, is it
really necessary to do it to the extent where this difference becomes the only thing that
defines you, and more importantly, the only thing that ostracizes you from the rest of

There is a Latin proverb that states, “...he lives well who lives unnoticed.”
Philosophically and spiritually, this is certainly true – live your life without imposing on
others or society. However, how can we gay folk propose to "live well" by ostracizing the
one human aspect that makes us the most noticeable? It is a great motto to live by,
don’t get me wrong. At the same time, it begs the question of whether we can fully be
ourselves in every realm of society without being coined the “token gay.”

It is a great feat to emerge as a successful GLBT member of society, but it is equally
gratifying to be a successful member of society sans the preference label. In the end,
does it at all characterize our professional merit, or is the label a mechanism used by
society to say, “Hey, look we don’t discriminate.” Although this is great, at one point we
need to be noticed for the other things that set us

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merit, rather than our differences all the time. We want our community to know and
embrace that we are more than just gay members of society, but that we are productive
ones as well.

The make-up and societal interactions encompass far more important human frailties
than with whom we make love. Unfortunately, our community believes society should
define us and perceive us through those lenses. That is why we find ourselves in this
predicament of misunderstanding and civil rights battles. I wonder if we could just be
ourselves without pushing it in others' faces or lives- if we can just co-exist, as those
who suffer from diseases without our cognition. Then would we be happy and fulfilled? I
know I would be.

I don't need people to KNOW or UNDERSTAND my sexuality in
order to be happy with who and what I am. They did not make
me gay nor do they pay my bills every month.

They will accept it once I have proved that my lifestyle difference is only a minute part of
who I am. The importance lays not in who I choose to sleep with, but in how I propose to
make myself and my career a viable touch on society. With that integration, my sexuality
becomes a non-issue. My sexuality alone does not define WHO I am, so why should I
fight and live solely on those grounds? Why doesn't the gay community march for
immigrant rights, or issues affecting other nations abroad? That's why we have
gradually and unconsciously created a segregated mold for us in society.

We seem to forget the innate part of human nature that lives within all of us - the one
thing that will always foster this separation. It is the idea that the more we draw attention
to our differences, the more others will perceive as such. No one forces us to deviate
from our lifestyle or beliefs, they only stagnate us because we are continuously
admitting that we are not like them. Fight for Civil Rights, not just GAY rights, fight for
Equal Rights, not just GAY Rights. There is no way to end
segregation by self-imposing a separation amongst society. It will never work - not
logically, not theoretically.

I'm sure this will anger most of my friends and other fellow gays, but in the end, it is
attempt to secure our own future and that of those I admire for their strength in this
struggle. Of course I want the right to adopt and marry, but to me, they are obtainable, so
long as we are dedicated to becoming an asset to society, not just lifestyle label.

There is a part of us (our sexual preference) that separates us from
society. Yet, we are equal in worth and distinction. Why not build
on the equality rather than the divide?

Integration and understanding is only possible when we show our desire to give back
as much as you wish to gain from others. We are not alone, nor must we propose that
all humans should be open and accepting to what and who we are. Without these
battles and discrepancies, our American values would be worth nothing; our diversity
would not exist; and our PRIDE forever hidden in the shadows of human selfishness.

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