Richard Ammon. GlobalGayz.com
January 11, 2010
Someone recently reviewed my website, GlobalGayz.com, and thought it was not focused well. Was it a gay site? A travel site? A human rights advocacy site? A political site? A news reports site?
My reply was short: being openly gay at the turn of the 21st is a political act that invokes human rights activity and generates much news around the world.
I wish it were not so but so be it. Being born with a certain hormonal/genetic propensity—that has nothing to do with behavior or environment–toward same-sex attraction has always been a physiological occurrence within the humanoid species, like it or not. Just as left-handers or gregariousness or mental brilliance or genital endowment arise out of the mysterious ooze of prenatal fluids, tissues and embryos.
As these few ‘different’ people (aren’t we all different?) get to be five or nine or thirteen or twenty-seven and start to feel distinct from most others and realize their sexuality is askance they quickly realize that this is not just another difference, like freckles or red hair. This one comes with a lot of opinions and attitudes from others. This is a difference you are not supposed to have because it’s “sinful or illegal or diseased“, so naturally we learn to hide it—until we can’t.
Homo or heterosexual desire (sexual orientation) is not like desire for dark chocolate that’s controlled with willing choice, prayer, medicine or threat of jail time or threat of getting hit or rejected or fired from work or killed.
Coming out as gay or lesbian is not the same ‘ripening’ that happens to heterosexual youth where a guy or girl catches your eye and you giggle or gossip with friends about it hoping for a date and then reviewing it afterwards (maybe including the intimacy that ‘just happened’, or didn’t).
Coming out is a political issue like it or not. It brings a lot of baggage such as social discrimination (rejection), unconstitutional inequality (no marital rights) and violation of privacy (i.e., mockery, presumptuous jokes about sex positions or gender roles) and unfair treatment under national laws. Sexual differences polarize people into attitudes that lead to very different behaviors, some of which are against the law (aggression and assault) but justified by religious or social conditioning. Witness the fierce stigma against people with AIDS which is still considered a gay disease by those committed to homophobia.
Gay travelers, domestic or abroad, face social problems if they show even a modicum of affection in public or aboard a non-gay cruise ship or at a straight resort. They are told not to ‘flaunt’ it or be ‘out’ in front of others.
Hence the development of the gay travel industry (ships, resorts, websites, booking and tour agencies, guidebooks) that ‘protect’ LGBT people from such ostracism as well as help them to enjoy world sites.
GlobalGayz is a member of this industry. It is a travel website. It is, necessarily, a political travel website. And to prove it, on this site are thousands of News articles and Reports that chronicle the worldwide political circumstances–the good, bad, ugly and brave, in which LGBT tourists often travel and negotiate around or through in order to avoid hostility or injury.
As this is being written, gay, lesbian and trans travelers, some knowing, others not, are weaving their way among countries and states that criminalize homosexuality and would be happy to deport or incarcerate those same travelers. Fortunately, in most cases, one’s sexual orientation is not outwardly visible so most return home safely from such gay-toxic places as Jamaica, Iran, Serbia or Uganda.
Christian Africa and the ‘mid-global’ Islamic countries are the most virulently anti-gay regions in the world. Fundamentalist religions in these areas have spread poisonous misinformation about gay people and nurtured exaggerated distortions and false witness about sexual orientation. Some LGBT activists as well as non-gay citizens in these places have been arrested, attacked or killed for being gay—or being suspected of such.
The most recent crime was the murder of Honduran gay activist Walter Trochez in December 2009. (photo right)
Yes, being gay is very much political and so is gay travel. So is GlobalGayz–gladly.