Thursday, 27 February 2014

Straight Talk

It's a little known fact that we fear the things we don't understand most, whether it's something mentally taxing such as ergonomics or something that requires more physical effort. While plunging into the deepest, darkest caverns of the unknown can be extremely liberating it can also be treacherous, especially when the uncertainty that leaches onto it conjures up such negative sentiments. Instead of exploring the various vehicles of expression we tend to retreat in the safety of suppression at the slightest shudder of discomfort. And why wouldn't we? As if acknowledging these awkward feelings and emotions wasn't challenging enough, enduring the constant ridicule and shame associated with it is enough to warrant the cowardice of so many closeted cases.

If discrimination were a celebrity, homosexuality would be Jennifer Lawrence right now and Paris Hilton ten years ago. The hatred towards gay, lesbian and transgender communities is in full swing, from the infringement of basic human rights in Russia to the nonsensical and barbaric acts of torture in Uganda and Nigeria. Why isn't really the most disturbing question of them all, but how. How is it possible for human beings to be so cruel and inhumane especially in nations that once suffered and continue to suffer the same kind of social injustices? Somewhere out there, Alanis Morissette is strumming an acoustic guitar and singing "isn't it ironic, don't you think?" Just when you think we've taken two steps forward, here we go taking ten steps back.

Faggot. Queer. Homo. Dyke. Whoever said that words could never harm clearly chose the righteous path of heterosexuality, and while that may have been their choice to make, why should citizens of the rainbow nation be scrutinized for making theirs? Religious right wingers and patriotic preservationists can argue all they want about God creating Adam and Eve and not Adam and Steve but at the end of the day, the biggest message in that little black book is quite clear; do unto others as you would have them do unto you. Surely that means treating one another with the same amount dignity and respect as the next person irrespective of their sexual preference? You don't see homosexual's dragging straights out onto the street and forcing them to have intercourse, do you? Is finding similarity in difference such a daunting thought to fathom? Since when did love become such a heinous crime? Does the world require a higher level of education on the matter or are some people just unwilling to accept that maybe, just maybe, we are not as different from one another as we think?

"So how do you guys have sex?" "I think my friend may be gay, do you know him?" "But how do you know you're gay if you haven't tried it?" These are just some of the questions that Ray and Rob have to endure on a regular basis by inquisitive ignoramuses who are too afraid of googling a decent gay porn site. Ray, a 42 year old IT specialist, and Rob, a 38 year old civil engineer were very much like your average couple. They'd gotten married the minute it became legal, had bought a number of properties that their hard-working lifestyles could afford and had hopes of retiring on a small farm in the middle of the Karoo. 

Contrary to popular belief, they did not spend their weekends cruising for three-ways and cocaine, swinging off disco balls to rave music and mincing to disco divas such as ABBA, Cher and Madonna. Like most mature hetero's who've parted ways with nights of over-indulgence and non-stop partying, those days were merely a phase best left in the 90's. They were far more excited about the next chapter of their lives; fatherhood. After a painful process of trying to find a surrogate, they decided to give adoption a try and were weeks away from being the legal guardians of a beautiful Haitian girl, called Tallulah. 

"Of course it's going to be hard especially in this day and age. Ray's parents still don't talk to him because of his "life choices". It's the same as if a boere-meisie with an NG Kerk background decided to fall in love with a Muslim. We're always going to deal with taunts and judgement, whether it comes from friends and family or even the rest of the world."  Is this the kind of world they want to bring their child up in? A place where hatred and prejudice still reign supreme?

"Ray was against the whole idea at first. He did not want to become a parent because he did not want his child to go through the same ridicule he went through. Imagine being the only child in school with two daddies. If you think the kids of our generation were bad, you should hear some of the things they say and do now, and with Youtube and public humiliation., it's beyond vindictive. The world always needs someone to hate. Today it's the gay's, tomorrow the Jews, next week the Arabs. We're the perfect target. I know how scared he is about this decision but at the end of the day my child will be no different to the child born unto a hetero couple. If anything she'll know more about love and respect than any child could ever dream of and my only wish is for her to pass that knowledge onto her own children. That's all."

Why is my son gay? Why does she like girls? Why is the sun hot? Who the fuck still cares! If we all want the same thing at the end of the day, what difference does it make? Whether you're gay or straight, no-one has the right to undermine your life choices or make you feel any less human for loving someone that doesn't fit into a conventional mould. Sticks and stones can definitely break a bone or two but people are using bricks and fire to hurt the ones that represent their own insecurities and ignorance. If they could only look deep enough into the mirrors of their soul, they'd be able to see that part of you is actually the best part of them.

When it comes same sex relationships, is sexual discrimination the new black?   

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