I was not going to weigh in on this particular debate initially and have been biting my tongue but now that most of the fracas seems to have abated, I can bite no more. Mainly because my tongue is beginning to swell and my jaw is aching.
So “the gays”–let me quickly interject and say that I use this term very affectionately because I have many gay friends, whom I love dearly–Elton John and David Furnish had a bit of a tiff with Messers Dolce and Gabanna recently.
If you have been under a rock or perhaps are not on Twitter or Facebook (which is really the same thing), the ubër designers came out in support of heterosexual marriage, heterosexual families and natural conception vis-à-vis gay marriage, gay adoption and IVF babies.
I am not opposed to children conceived by means of IVF. I have friends who have IVF babies, beautiful little creatures, every inch as human as any other child, obviously because that’s exactly what they are.
Chatting to my mom about this D&G thing and about the “plastic children” remarks, she remembers the day news broke of Louis Brown, the very first baby conceived via IVF.
Initially, she recalls a lot of people with raised eyebrows and unsure expressions, mutterings and conversations filled with “You know it’s not natural” and “It’s a little bit too much like playing God” even.
And then you know what happened? Louise was born and pictures of her started to circulate and no one looked at her like she was any different from any other child, because she wasn’t. What people did see though, was hope.
I can scarcely imagine the utter horror of a miscarriage. It shakes me to my very core to try and conceptualise it and I have friends, and a family member who have struggled through a miscarriage and in some cases, multiple miscarriages. How that has not devastated them and their marriages is just beyond the scope of my understanding.
To say that I have the utmost respect for them as women and as couples would be a gross understatement.
What IVF did for the few couples I know who chose to go that route has been utterly joyous and wonderful and looks a lot like a miracle, to me anyway because I believe in miracles.
Then we have the comments that Dolce & Gabanna made about how they support the traditional family. A bold statement, apparently.
Am I in agreement? Yes and no.
Am I condemning homosexuality or homosexuals? No
I am a believer in Christ? Yes
I am a Christian but there are so many of us who have it so wrong that I almost don’t like being called one. However, that’s another story*.
Personally, I have always felt a much stronger pull towards adoption of a child who has no parents and no home rather than bearing my own children because I see the children who have no parents as my first responsibility. There are so many vulnerable and at risk children who need love and care and before adding to the tally of people on this earth I would rather take one of the children already here into my care. And there are other people who feel the same. Those other people happen to be gay. Okay. Surely the child benefitting from a home and love should take precedence? If you agree, okay. If you don’t, that’s surprisingly also okay.
And here comes the clincher, gay men who don’t support gay marriage. Gay men who don’t agree with gay parents raising children. As one can imagine there have been boat loads of people who have taken umbrage with their views and have taken to social media to share (spew) their distaste (utter hatred) and voice their disagreement with (condemn) Dolce & Gabanna for their opinion.
Many have gone as far as to boycott their fashion label and products, an action which I initially laughed at, but then I recall Asher’s Bakery and Sweet Cakes and the smile fades from my face because I find it disconcerting, to say the least, that people who speak of (march, protest, picket and demand) tolerance and acceptance of their different way of life cannot put their money where their mouth is, frankly.
Not everyone is going to agree with what you like, what you believe or what you want and guess what? That’s ok because, by your very own standards, people who preach tolerance should be tolerant. Honestly, I think this entire issue reeks. This issue is not about tolerance. It is about militant acceptance of the views, beliefs and life choices of other people.
I absolutely do not in any way condone the harming, bullying or otherwise treating unfairly people who do not subscribe to your way of life, your world view or practices so long as your way of life, world view or practices do not cause harm to anyone either. Seems fair right? Right.
Well then, why was it not within the scope of possibility for Elton John to just ignore them? The D&G views are in no way affecting the fact that John and Furnish have a family and they are happy.
Why was it not within the scope of possibility for Rachel and Laurel Bowman-Cryer (in the Sweet Cakes debacle) to just say, “Fine, we will take our business elsewhere” because there are plenty of bakeries who would be only too happy to have their business.
Why was it not within the scope of possibilities that tolerance was extended to people who had values that differed from Elton John and David Furnish, and Rachel and Laurel Bowman-Cryer? Isn’t that exactly what you want for yourself? Well then, be the change you wish to see in the world.
I find it unacceptable that Sweet Cakes were shamed, humiliated and threatened with harm for having views that differed from the views of someone else. Do you see the pattern?
I have known gay people who have been bullied, called names, shamed, belittled and had their businesses and lives threatened because their view, lifestyle and practices differed from others’ and do you know what I do not find acceptable? Doing the very same thing to someone else, over a cake or a comment about plastic kids.
Dolce and Gabanna don’t support IVF or gay marriage, I’ll hazard a guess that they are not going to get IVF or gay married. They told people their opinion. Great. If you are offended by it, ignore it.
At any rate you won’t change their opinion and I dare say their business is not supported only by Elton John and his friends. People are so fickle that their desire for a pair of Dolce & Gabanna frames or handbag or t-shirt is going to overshadow the fact that Elton John asked that people boycott the designer duo.
Companies like Asher’s Bakery and Sweet Cakes however are not so fortunate. I hope the people who insulted them, sent death threats and had a hand to play in their business closing feel proud of themselves. Do you see the pattern here too?
When you insult, shame or threaten to harm you become the person/people you hate. Instead be loving, be tolerant, be kind to the people who are not because they need it the most.
Thank you for reading.
*One day I’m going to have to actually get to these other stories I keep talking about and perhaps one day I will.