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THE RIGHT TO LOVE AND MARRY THE PERSON WE CHOOSE

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THE RIGHT TO LOVE AND MARRY THE PERSON WE CHOOSE

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As of now, Gay Rights and Equality are being debated all across the USA. To hear/read the words GAY RIGHTS in the same sentence as the US Supreme Court is something I did not imagine I’d live to see. I have many LGBT (Lesbians, Gays, Bisexuals, Transexuals) friends in Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand and United States. I have lost a few over the past years due to a variety of reasons. It is a real shame that they could not live to witness the changes sweeping all over USA right now.  I believe, this CHANGE will also impact the world over once the laws are effectively passed for the LGBT community in the USA. For this, I shall be celebrating. For this, I can gladly say that the rest of the world may look to the USA in order to MOVE into the right direction so that the rest of humanity can follow.

In many countries outside of the United States, LGBT RIGHTS are nonexistent or moderately tolerated. For example, in a Muslim country like Malaysia, there are laws against sodomy. Needless to say, their rights are “largely marginalised” in Malaysia. You can read more about LGBT Rights in Malaysia here.

Personally, I wish some of my LGBT dearly departed friends were still around to experience this long overdue recognition of their freedom to love and marry whoever they choose which is taking place in the USA as we speak. I say this with all my heart, because they have taught me a great deal about love, relationships, life and even marriage.

One of the most enduring and loving relationships/marriages I know is this LGBT couple I adore. If you see them together, you would never imagine that they could be a couple. One loves classical music such as Opera and Brahms. The other enjoys Country & Western. One loves outdoor sports and worships the sun like she is the solar system that revolves around it. But her partner would not be caught dead near a bush or a tree because she likes staying indoors, far away from the harmful UV rays, with her books, music and movies. However, to this day, they both continue to nurture, love and support one another despite their personal differences or preferences. And they have been doing so for over 25 years. They were married long before it was “allowed”. Their marriage has definitely outlived most heterosexual marriages I know of, including mine. Of course, they do work at their marriage. It is a constant work-in-progress, as they both grow and age together – so they tell me all the time. It is no different than any other relationship or couple on the planet. Their marriage is a living testament that when two people who are right for each other fall in love and work at staying together, it defines a blessed union – no matter how you want to label it.

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The many liberties that we (heterosexuals) take for granted on a daily basis, are callously denied of our fellow LGBT brothers and sisters in the community at large. In fact, I did not even see this until it was pointed out to me by my friend more than a decade ago. He told me that he and his partner had to be more “cautious” when going out to public places. They cannot be too “overly” loving towards one another. So, you can definitely forget about PDAs. They cannot even hold hands without other people watching them, or giving them the “evil eye”. Prior to his revelation, I myself had not noticed that all the simple gestures, and the licence to express ourselves which we, as heterosexuals, have been enjoying all along are indeed denied of the LGBT community in Asian countries. Hence, in Malaysia and Singapore, it is not uncommon to find that “they” had  to adjust themselves in order to suit us, because “they” did not want to  ”disturb” our sense of peace and order – as my friend kindly put it. It is was “they” who had to be “considerate” of our sensibilities.

Imagine if you had to modify who you are and how you behave just so you don’t have to “upset” the society at large. Imagine if you had to live your life in this manner and was not allowed to protest, because experience has taught you to bow your head low so that you do not bring any “unnecessary attention” to yourself and your “kind”. Can you imagine living in such a way? I didn’t think so.

In Malaysia or other Asian countries, some ignorant folks associate the word: “GAY” with derogatory meaning, HIV, AIDS or fear itself. It is used in jokes to belittle someone in schools, playgrounds, work place and etc. Recently in Malaysia, they (some “bright government officials and agencies”) thought that it was a disease that could be cured. Or that, dressing their children in a certain way could turn them gay. Or, that a certain code of conduct could infect one to become gay. Yes, there were all kinds of ludicrous remarks and assumptions made, and all of them even made the headline news in the Malaysian newspapers/media.

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This only proves my firm belief that ignorance is not bliss, but a real hindrance to progress for humanity.

I sincerely hope and pray that the United States set the way (and wave) to change the world into a far better place for my LGBT friends all over the world by first passing the laws in favour of GAY RIGHTS. It has been long time coming. They should never be “prosecuted” for being true to who they are in the first place. Above all, they are born with the right to love and choose as they please, just like the rest of us. No one should be denied or robbed of that birth right.

Love never did anyone any harm. Seriously. The most damage comes from ignorance, hate and discrimination. It’s time to end the negativity, and become a WHOLE community again. Only then when we call ourselves a civilised society, we can actually own it.

I dedicate this post to all my dearly beloved LGBT friends everywhere, and especially, to those who are no longer with us. May their hearts smile from wherever they are.

Spread the love if you agree.

Peace to all.

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About the Author:

Shirley Maya Tan is a Huff Post UK blogger and single mother living in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Her gorgeous daughter keeps her on her toes, good poetry makes her swoon and delectable desserts are her passion. Shirley's life revolves around writing, publishing and digital media. She writes about motherhood, Malaysian culture, traveling, sexuality, spirituality and her brand of fearless living. Shirley also writes short fiction and erotic poetry. Follow her daily on Facebook .
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