There are a couple of very practical reasons as to why someone who chooses not to eat meat needs to notify others of this position and therefore chooses to adopt this label:
i) In order that those who are involved in the culinary preparation in catering for these individuals do not furnish them with something which they cannot consume.
ii) The rejection of meat is often not simply a preference but for moral reasons i.e they are against the killing of animals or because they believe that human beings are not designed to be carnivores (an argument I have heard before, although not entirely convinced by). Homosexuality is not usually a rejection of the opposite sex as such, particularly along moral or political lines. It is simply a preference towards the same.
Sure, there are some very militant vegetarians who use it as means of identifying exactly who they are and allowing 'vegetarianism' to be the defining factor in their life.
Many vegetarians use the term in order to notify others only in the event that they are asked or in relation to their dietary requirements.
There are very few, if any, reasons why someone who practices a homosexual lifestyle, ever needs to declare that they ARE to anyone. I understand the desire by some, and some of the historical reasons as to the pressure to do so and, in some cases even the necessity, to find an identity that accepts them. This is often also the same for some within the vegetarian fraternity, finding solace in those who think and practice the same. But the matter of sexual preference is really only relevant to those with whom you practice these sexual or romantic activities. Even then, the need to say 'I AM GAY' seems redundant. If you are doing 'it' (whether that be sex or another level of intimacy) with someone, it should become obvious unless lines of communication have become completely blurred. You see someone (which in this case will most likely be within an environment of people of a similar preference, although in no way does it have to be), you fall for each other, you take it to whatever level you are both comfortable with and do what you both enjoy. At what point does the enjoyment of acts of a homosexual nature ever have to be your defining identity?
If people are using the term "I am gay" loosely, simply for ease of conversation, for speed and to make their intentions at that time pretty clear, it carries few repercussions on the rest of us and on society at large.
If however, someone says "I am gay", in the sense that "this is who I am, what I am, it defines me and everything about me, what I like, what I don't like, what I wear, what I say" then this is where the identification and ownership of the term becomes hi-jacked by a small minority who, through their actions, ostracise, segregate and comparmentalise homosexuality into an exclusive, almost members'-only club, This goes against natural human sexuality and thousands of years of sexual pliability and takes away the ownership of this side of all our potential sexualities, This is in my mind damaging to our general acceptance and understanding of the ACT of homosexuality as something that is perfectly natural, something we can (although we don't have to and may not want to) all explore without the need for it to be a defining factor in our lives, except for the fact that we are, simply, SEXUAL beings.
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- Benedict Garrett
- Big Brother 2012 house mate, single Dad, actor, singer, personal trainer, stripper, adult entertainer, public speaker, activist, columnist, presenter and former secondary school teacher. Canadaphile, Francophile, atheist, fighter for freedom and tolerance, real child protection, sexual liberalism, European integration and abolition of the monarchy.