The proliferation of cultural diversity is always heralded as a good thing. In fact, there isn’t one politician with the potential for democratic success that will dare to challenge this maxim of worldly life. Whether or not they mean it, of course, when they speak of diversity, or how they’ve chosen to define diversity is another matter entirely.
Diversity, in all forms, brings new ideas and different perspectives. We don’t have to agree, or feel that it’s right for us, but we have the privilege to make up our own minds, and we’re usually grateful to have had the opportunity to be challenged. After all, if our opposition to new ideas falls on its face, it’s probably time we re-evaluated our own worldviews. There’s always denial, but that is never a particularly sunny refuge for our scared and fatigued minds.
To put it bluntly, diversity stimulates. And a stimulated mind might not be happy (happiness can be overrated, boring, and even lazy), but it’s engaged and has a temporary sense of purpose. It’s a rush, and a panacea for the existential fog that is always ready to cloud our minds as soon as the caffeine wears off.
Now, perhaps the most important reason for supporting and promoting the full gamut of homosexual and transgender expression is to be had from the stand point of human rights and protecting the sanctity of individual expression and their right to self determination. However, it’s worth coming at it from another angle.
With notable exceptions, the expression of lesbians, gays, bisexuals, and transgendered individuals has been largely suppressed and denied. There have been explosive movements and great strides, especially in the arts and the literary tradition, but clearly there is still a long way to go before it’s universally accepted as a valid way of life with a legal system that is in full support and sympathy with the plight.
There is a turbulent, erudite, exciting, and stimulating cultural world that has been propagated by non-heterosexuals and transgendered people, looking to create a culture that allows the freedom of expression, not just sexual, but intellectual, too. The gender of the people that sexually attract you shapes your passage through life and will impact how you intellectualize your place in the universe. Becoming aware of the perspectives of others with a different sexual orientation can do nothing but put you in touch with the pulse of humanity – a force that is so much more dynamic than you and your world. If you hold knowledge acquisition as one of the highest virtues, the different perspectives of non-heterosexuals is a treasure trove of cognitive enrichment (not all life is ruled by eros, of course, two plus two is still four, no matter one’s sexuality).
I am aware that there is sometimes opposition to heterosexuals intruding on key aspects of gay lifestyle. This has been evidenced by disrespectful heterosexuals in gay bays, and authors that try to write from homosexual perspectives and fail miserably. I hope that I don’t come across as the latter. While I don’t agree with culture being entirely insular, I do think having respect is the first step to exposure. I can never ‘know’ what it is to be a gay man, but I can still enjoy being mentally stimulated by gay men, lesbians, and transgendered individuals, and I’m going to celebrate knowing that much more about life before my cognition doesn’t get another trip around the Sun.