Neutrality is perfectly possible. But is it synonymous to indifference? I'm not quite sure.
I have my own beliefs and philosophies, yes, but I'm rather accepting and tolerating when it comes to other people's views. The reason? Respect. I'm a devout Catholic but it doesn't mean I can't indulge in a relationship with a non-Catholic. Or, being pro-life doesn't stop me from being best friends with someone pro-choice. Or, the fact that I marry for love won't hinder me from having coffee with someone who marries for money.
Mutual respect. That's what everything is about. Unless of course, one commits a deed perfectly sinful and immoral… like molesting children (for one). Then we're painting an absolutely different picture here.
A few weeks ago, I was getting dinner takeaway from one of the food courts near my flat. There was this old Chinese man standing in the middle of the food court, perhaps deciding what to buy, and he was wearing a bright yellow dress adorned with lovely bright flowers. And he was sporting oversized and trendy glasses. He didn't seem femininely kept though. His hair still shaped in a manly fashion, short and cropped, and his legs still were still covered with curly hair. It was as if he had no intentions of passing himself as a lady at all. Odd? Yes, terribly. Wrong? Not at all. I told you, I respect everyone's philosophies — and this includes self-expression.
I spotted a few kids nearby sniggering at the sight. The old man remained untouched and stolid. He was probably used to it. A handful of men were talking about him in Mandarin (“Hen qi guai de lao ren”)… I knew enough words to actually decipher it. And some people were calling him gay.
This is where I think people got it horribly wrong.
Gay or homosexual people are people who are attracted to their own gender. They have no qualms about being a particular gender though. Transexuals are people who feel very strongly about being the opposite gender (just being trapped in the wrong body). Their issue isn't about gender orientation (not always anyway)… but it's more of an internal conflict. An identity crisis, if you may. The old Chinese man in a yellow dress is a cross dresser; there's no assurance that he's gay or not. He may or may not like men; he simply enjoys wearing women's clothes. He gets a natural high from it… the same way that I get a natural high from wearing gorgeous stiletto knee high leather boots.
I've been to Bangkok a few times — the transexuals capital of the world. This is how scary it is: there are some women whom you wouldn't think were men once. It wouldn't even occur to you! They've gotten the process down to a science over there. Some of them even look better than real women, for chrissakes! I noticed, however, that not all of them were attracted to men. Not all of them were even looking for male partners (of course, there are the quintessential cases where they go through the operation so that they can earn money with their bodies). It's more of a self-fulfillment thing. They feel happier, they feel more confident. And they should! They're eff-ing gorgeous
Anyway, my point is, instead of judging people for who they are, learn about them a bit. Maybe you'd understand better. The human mind can be quite feeble… especially the unexposed ones. What if people started making fun of you because you were a straight male wearing the proverbial jeans and t-shirt? Who's to say what's normal or not? Because it's not something that everyone does? Pssh, if that's the case then why don't we all just work 9-5 jobs trapped inside cubicles and watch our lives waste away? People are different. And that's what makes people interesting.
There will always be people contesting your judgments, opinions, beliefs and mentalities. It's called debate and argument. It doesn't have to be the unfriendly yelling type nor the microwave-throwing/hair-pulling kind. It's an exchange of ideas. It gets your mind rolling… it's good for you. I just despise it when people shove their opinions down my throat. So what if I think of the Bible as mere literature? Does it hurt you in any way? So what if I believe in spanking my future kids as a form of discipline? Unless you're my husband, then don't tell me what to do.
Respect. If you want it for yourself, you've to learn to give it.
Coming back to my question, maybe neutrality isn't very easy to accomplish. Neutrality towards an issue, that is. One can be indifferent towards something; when there's disinterest… but neutrality is difficult to achieve. As long as there's passion (as long you take some kind of side), neutrality is an impossibility. It is, however, possible to be fair despite your own strong beliefs.
And it's by being respectful of others.