Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Bright Purple by Melody Carlson

Ok, this is probably one of the hardest postings I have to make, since the topic in question is oh-so controversial.
I’ve always been a big fan of Melody Carlson, especially the first series I read – the True Color series. Now, Bright Purple, which I just bought for my sis and I, deals with the topic of homosexuality. For some reason, this book seemed to attract quite some negative reviews on (there weren’t enough ratings on for me, small sample sizes are not very accurate).
But anyway, concerning the book: I loved it. Sure, Ramie starts of as more-than-slightly homophobic, but that’s because she needs to make the character transition. Otherwise, there wouldn’t be a plot. Apart from that, her over-the-top reaction to her best friend coming out of the closet is to let others (presumably) understand how she feels.
The other issue that seems to come up is how homosexuals are unfairly demonized as militaristic and pushing an agenda. Now, speaking as someone outside the US, I think I can say with all fairness that that is probably true. It is true that they do have an agenda. The net is a fairly terrible filter, so I end up reading all points of view and can form my own judgments. As far as I can see, they are not a purely victimized group.
The ending feels realistic too. It’s fairly unresolved except for one point – that no matter what, she needs to continue loving Jessica unconditionally while she encourages her to follow God’s will and pray for God to rescue her.
Now, on to the whole born-vs-choice issue. It’s been bugging me about whether people are really born this way so I did a bit of research. From what I read, it can all be summed up by what Byne’s says that  ‘what evidence exists thus far of innate biological traits underlying homosexuality is flawed’[1]. In fact, social and physiological factors seem to play a larger role than any biological factors.
In short, you’re not born that way.
But needless to say, I think Bright Purple by Melody Carslon should be read by everyone. To my friends who are gay, well, I’m praying for you. You know what I think and you know that I have never judged you intentionally. But still, that doesn’t mean that I won’t tell you the truth, even though it may hurt.

[1] Byne, W., 1994. The biological evidence challenged. Scientific American 270(5):26-31 , p. 26.

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