For some this last question might not seem that important. After all, in many people’s minds gender and sexuality are interconnected. And both of them are connected to one’s sex. People who are born “male” are supposed to have “male sexuality” and “male gender”. Which basically means that men should be sexually attracted to women and act “manly”. Hence, all the anxiety about homosexuality, and all the pressure to “man up”. And women, of course, are supposed to be attracted to men and act “feminine”, whatever that means. I strongly believe that sex, sexuality and gender can and should be separated. Seriously, there are no good reasons to put them together. Nobody should bully, or hate, or fear, or be suspicious of somebody because there is no correspondence between their sex, sexuality and gender.
I think I have intuitively come to this conclusion as I was growing up. And I grew up in Russia. For those who don’t know, Russia is quite a homophobic country, unfortunately, and recently things have been getting worse. I remember having conversations about homosexuality with some Russian acquaintances, and being quite disturbed by their homophobia. I just could not understand this fear and hate. Two adults love each other, so what? Oh, they are of the same sex. Well, who cares? It’s love, so be happy for the couple!
And here, I believe, I am getting to one of the main reasons why I started to study gender and sexuality. I just wanted to understand, why one group of people can tell another group how they must love and be loved, without any good reason. For me, love is something of great value. In my opinion, love is the most powerful force in the universe. No kidding. So when I hear that somebody is appalled by the love between two people who are old enough to clearly understand what they are doing, I get seriously mad. Everybody has the right to give and receive love. It’s that simple.