How is More Love in the World a Bad Thing?

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This post has been fermenting in my head for awhile now. With recent news headlines about the sexuality of Elena Kagan, whether gay actors can realistically play a straight character, and the pope once again denouncing gay marriage, I think it’s time for it to see the light of day.

Some songs have more personal meaning for me than others. We often associate memories of events with songs playing at the time. Other songs have melodies that grab us and take us to a place where we can forget about everything else and just be a part of the music. Lyrics can make us laugh and cry. There is one song that I tend to put on repeat when I want to listen to it that does all these things for me. I have a very specific memory of where I was and what I was doing when I first heard the song. The melody and lyrics tell a story and convey feelings that for me are poignant and heartbreaking. The song is “The Origin of Love” from the movie Hedwig and the Angry Inch. If you have never seen the movie, I would encourage you to rent it. I won’t go into plot details here, but will instead refer you to IMDB for more information.

If you believe in such things as fate, you could say that I heard this song at a time in my life when I needed it most. I was struggling with my own sexuality, torn between staying in a marriage that just wasn’t working because it wasn’t right for me, and finally admitting that I was gay and taking control of my life so that I could be me instead of what I thought people wanted me to be. I was taking a class in literary theory and we watched films each week. This particular week we were covering gender theory and Hedwig was our film. I had also met my now partner in this class. We had become friends and were spending more time together. My feelings for her went beyond friendship and though I didn’t know it at the time, she felt the same way. Sitting next to her in the dark, watching a movie that so beautifully portrayed how I felt about myself and my life in many ways, I felt like I was being hit over the head with the answer to my struggles. But then I started thinking about telling my family, all the changes that would come, how I would handle it all. I was scared and overwhelmed. Then “The Origin of Love” came on and I suddenly felt like a weight had been lifted.

The song is about love and sexuality. It tells a story that I certainly can’t do justice to in this post, so I’ll include lyrics and a link at the end of this post. In this song, love is love. Period. Love between men, between women, and between a man and a woman. It’s all the same. We are all creatures seeking love in this world. Yet there are so many people out there who would deny others this gift because it doesn’t fit into their personal beliefs about love. I have a difficult time understanding how one human could deny another the ability to have love in their life. Isn’t love a good thing for this world? To those who find homosexuality so abhorrent, let me ask a question. What is it that you really fear? Do you fear that there’s a small part of you that also feels you could love someone of the same sex? Do you fear that if you admit that you’ll go to hell? Have your religious beliefs been so warped by propaganda that you are now convinced there is only one “proper” form of love? Do you fear that if you admit you’re wrong about this issue, that all your other beliefs will come tumbling down? Deep down, it’s all about fear.

Because fear is what hate feeds on. Denying love to humans is hateful behavior. Fear is what insecure and small-minded people use to convince others that they are right and the Others are wrong. Look around the world right now and you’ll see examples of fear and hate everywhere. We don’t need more fear and hate in this world. We need more love. We need more acceptance. We need more understanding. How does my love of my partner impact your life in any way? It doesn’t. How is having more loving, stable relationships in the world a bad thing? It isn’t. Don’t tell me that gay marriage and homosexual love is what is going to bring down society. Society has already fallen because we so often choose to spread hate and fear. If we want to see our children grow up and become happy, successful, well-adjusted adults, we need to teach them about love and acceptance. How can more love in the world be bad?

Lyrics for The Origin of Love

When the earth was still flat,
And the clouds made of fire,
And mountains stretched up to the sky,
Sometimes higher,
Folks roamed the earth
Like big rolling kegs.
They had two sets of arms.
They had two sets of legs.
They had two faces peering
Out of one giant head
So they could watch all around them
As they talked; while they read.
And they never knew nothing of love.
It was before the origin of love.

The origin of love

And there were three sexes then,
One that looked like two men
Glued up back to back,
Called the children of the sun.
And similar in shape and girth
Were the children of the earth.
They looked like two girls
Rolled up in one.
And the children of the moon
Were like a fork shoved on a spoon.
They were part sun, part earth
Part daughter, part son.

The origin of love

Now the gods grew quite scared
Of our strength and defiance
And Thor said,
“I’m gonna kill them all
With my hammer,
Like I killed the giants.”
And Zeus said, “No,
You better let me
Use my lightening, like scissors,
Like I cut the legs off the whales
And dinosaurs into lizards.”
Then he grabbed up some bolts
And he let out a laugh,
Said, “I’ll split them right down the middle.
Gonna cut them right up in half.”
And then storm clouds gathered above
Into great balls of fire

And then fire shot down
From the sky in bolts
Like shining blades
Of a knife.
And it ripped
Right through the flesh
Of the children of the sun
And the moon
And the earth.
And some Indian god
Sewed the wound up into a hole,
Pulled it round to our belly
To remind us of the price we pay.
And Osiris and the gods of the Nile
Gathered up a big storm
To blow a hurricane,
To scatter us away,
In a flood of wind and rain,
And a sea of tidal waves,
To wash us all away,
And if we don’t behave
They’ll cut us down again
And we’ll be hopping round on one foot
And looking through one eye.

Last time I saw you
We had just split in two.
You were looking at me.
I was looking at you.
You had a way so familiar,
But I could not recognize,
Cause you had blood on your face;
I had blood in my eyes.
But I could swear by your expression
That the pain down in your soul
Was the same as the one down in mine.
That’s the pain,
Cuts a straight line
Down through the heart;
We called it love.
So we wrapped our arms around each other,
Trying to shove ourselves back together.
We were making love,
Making love.
It was a cold dark evening,
Such a long time ago,
When by the mighty hand of Jove,
It was the sad story
How we became
Lonely two-legged creatures,
It’s the story of
The origin of love.
That’s the origin of love.

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