I’ve just come back from a camp with the University Christian Group that I work with.
And during the camp, we looked at the issue of ‘Identity’.
We explored how in today’s modern western culture, a person’s sexuality is now considered key to who they are.
It’s been a great eye-opener.
We saw that our world has changed.
And it has changed remarkably.
When I was a uni student (“back in my day”!), in the mid – late 90’s, yes, sexual politics was alive and well (as it had been in western society since the 1960’s).
But unlike today’s 18-23 year olds, I didn’t have to think about terms like LGBTQIA, transgender, transsexual, intersex, and cisgender (to name but a few keywords).
In the mid-late 90’s, gay marriage was barely even on the horizon, and as it came onto the national scene (in the English speaking world), it was (initially) met with overwhelming disapproval from both wider culture, and both sides of politics (think of the Federal bi-partisan amendment of the Marriage Act in 2004, where it was made explicit that marriage is between one man, and one woman).
In 1994, my HSC year (my, where does the time go?), then US President Bill Clinton signed into law the ‘Defence of Marriage Act’ (aka DOMA), where the US Federal government defined marriage as between one man, and one woman. (This was the same President that at the time was openly supportive of gay rights, even so far as taking on the might of the US military to push through the ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’ policy, allowing gay people to serve in the US military, albeit not openly).
And yet, even then, things were changing.
In 1995, I was in the Australian army, and the ADF had just opened up it’s ranks to openly gay soldiers/sailors/airmen (an even more liberal outcome than what Clinton achieved in the US). Although I do distinctly remember that the Army staff at Basic Training were not exactly thrilled to have openly gay soldiers serving in the military.
Now fast forward to 2014, in barely the blink of an eye as far as human history goes, and we’re told that gay marriage is inevitable.
Many people, if not the majority of people in the English speaking world (we are told) support gay marriage.
Left Leaning political parties have gay marriage as official policy, and the Conservative Party in the UK has recently pushed through a bill legalising gay marriage.
Australian military personnel proudly march, in an official capacity, in the Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras.
Earlier this year, Brendan Eich, the CEO of US Company Mozilla, was pressured to leave his position as head of the company, for merely believing that marriage should remain between one man, and one woman.
In the US, Wedding Bakers, Wedding photographers, and Florists, are being (successfully) sued, for being unwilling to provide services for gay weddings/commitment ceremonies (even in states where gay marriage is still illegal).
In Germany, a government ethics panel has recommended making incest between adult siblings legal.
And schools in the US and the UK are being told that transgender students must be allowed to use the other genders change-rooms/toilets.
Something has changed.
It has changed remarkably.
And it has changed at blinding speed.
Why has such change happened, and at such speed?
Well, I had one of those ‘Aha’ moments as I did some thinking and research on this topic of Sexual Identity.
And over the next few days, I’d like to share that with you.
Suffice to say, we’re in the thick of a full blown Sexual Revolution.
The train has well and truly left the station.
And where it will end up is anyone’s guess.
But one thing’s for sure: what was unthinkable 20 years ago, is now considered to be mainstream today.
And over the next few days, we’ll explore why.