Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Heterosexual Apathy

RAGE! An inextinguishable fire is burning inside my soul, and I can no longer sit by and watch as puritanical bigots dictate morality to the disenfranchised and downtrodden. The societal constructions, which attempt to regulate innate human expression, must be set ablaze with exigency! I am not perverted, and neither are you. You are human, and I am too.

ANGER! I am enraged by the treatment of my brothers and sisters as second-class citizens, whose civil rights and liberties are secondary to the demands of the tyrannical majority. I will not be silenced! I will not acculturate, for our society is built on tenets, which do not accurately define the human experience. Backlash? Without diffidence I am armed and ready for a culture clash.

FEAR! You tolerate that which you still hate. If you cannot love me, then fuck your tolerance, for it serves no utility! I will no longer fear. I will no longer be ashamed, and to your dislike, I will no longer loathe myself. Self-deprecation once weakened my resolve to fight, but now I know I am not alone, and I will stop at nothing to reclaim the humanity that was long denied my people. I can embrace nothing short of acceptance, for I shall not betray my stance.

OUTRAGE! Insularity is a cancer enveloping the minds of the injudicious. Your ignorance perpetuates discriminatory, normative thought, which poses the greatest challenge to efforts to liberate our crippled sensibilities. All I request is respect for all, which you so fervently demanded when you were shackled and persecuted. The state of being blinded by one's normality is understandable, but inexcusable; your efforts are needed now, lest the principles of liberty are forced to bow.

ACTION! Binaries only serve to immortalize inequality, and prejudice. Reductionist approaches to understanding the human condition have done us a disservice, but you have the power to invalidate them. My struggle cannot solely be my burden to bear! How can you watch idly as I am ridiculed, beaten, and chopped, without redress? A life without fear in the country of my birth, do I deserve any less? Though different you perceive me to be, we all want to be happy, if only you could see.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

I Can't Have A Gay Friend

If you are a homosexual, it is not uncommon for people to express their disgust with your "choice" and demand an explanation for your "decision" to live immorally. I have had many such conversations, the last of which I would like to share with you.

There is only one Jamaican, (besides my sister and other homosexual men) who I have trusted enough to tell of my sexuality. He decided to inform me of how disgusted he is by my lifestyle, and the following is a conversation we had.

He says:

I contempleted should I send this msg or not................... but since u always seem to want to talk about it (despite my efforts not to)..........

I think homosexuality is, beyond a reasonable doubt, wrong and should not be encouraged!! It is disgusting, immoral and downright nasty and should be looked down upon!!!

I don't understand how someone ( can think that it is 'okay' or should be 'accepted' or that nothing is wrong with it!!
Biblical teachings lash out against it!!
I understand that you might not have any religious affiliations..... but look at nature.... look at the natural order of things!! How can you sit there and tell me that nothing is wrong with a same sex relationships????
A man and a woman have intercourse....a baby result....(something productive)
gay or lesbian couple....nothing....(unproductive)....
I just can't see how you cannot see anything wrong with it and at the same time try to defend it!!

I might could sympathize with you if...for were to say that you think it's wrong but u can't help but feel the way you do..... like the girl at my last job.............. but with you...... you just think it is right! It is normal! It is healthy! It should be legal! I heard that JLP is working on legislating that buggery...(if caught) equates to life sentence (which might be 25 years or actual life)...... and how Canada is going to withdraw from out tourism market should it become official... so what??? Canada only contributes like 2% there about to Toursim........... so I don't see why Canada behaving that way.... besides....what we choose to do in our country is our decision.......

To show you how disgusted I am with it.....a part of me wants to stop talking to you, doesn't want to be near you or even see you....
At the same time..... I'm thinking..... I've known you for so long, etc (all that sentimental crap).....
The latter part might supress the former part....but that still doesn't change the fact that it's still there.....
the next time someone avoids engaging in gay convos...... remember that there might be a possibility that the person doesn't want to offend you.....

Take what happened with [Natalie] for example............ maybe I should have followed her............ just not reply...

My response:

Note carefully, I am not angry…I am very calm, and all my messages should be read with that in mind. I am not looking to argue, for evidently you don’t value homophile arguments, and so pay little attention to the value in them.

Also, this is my last bid to get you to understand me- not agree with, but understand me. You said you don’t understand how someone could think there is nothing wrong with homosexuality---which is a huge slap in the face to me, having poured my heart out on this matter for months. Bot iz aarait.

In order to be as thorough as possible, I will respond to each of you claims chronologically. I will then end with an idea proposed by Jean Paul Sartre in his Etymology of Hate- The Antisemite and the Jew.

I don’t want to always talk about homosexuality. And further, choosing not to talk about it solves nothing. I’m done wasting my breath trying on futile arguments. This started again a few days ago when [Natalie] said it’s a good thing homosexuality is not accepted in Jamaica. I was put off by her statement, not because I am homosexual, but because I know, personally, how our disdain for homosexuals is manifested in society. I don’t think either of you read the statement I made afterwards…she said she still doesn’t condone homosexuality, and you said you agreed. Both of you completely missed the point. I don’t care if you think it’s immoral, that’s your business. No, I am not trying to gain your approval- I stopped trying to please people a looong time ago. But I wanted you both to consider the manifestation of Jamaican homophobia, that are eating away (that’s an understatement--- it a chaa chaa we) at our nation’s social fabric.

I will reproduce that message below--- and please, consider it as words from a humanist, not a homosexual. My sexuality does not define all my thought processes mind you.

“The Jamaican culture is not open to "certain things"

But conspicuously, it is open to marginalizing the voice of iconoclasts and punishing violently anyone who dares challenge the patriarchy and heteronormativity which pervades the nation's psyche.

It is not open to certain things...and how wonderful that is...

for now those who suffer have no means of chance to live without chance to love... but that's okay because it is just them- as opposed to us, and our problems.

It amazes me sometimes how we can extricate ourselves from oppressive realities.

Jamaican homophobia is never a good thing. I was ridiculed everyday of my life for not being the ultra-masculine Jamaican we are supposed to be... I walk down the streets of Ocho Rios today and people shout, look at how he walks, him a wan a dem...and I wait...I wait for someone to suggest that I be beaten. Luckily that has not yet transpired... and for what? Because I don't walk and limp...and because I clearly spent too much time preening myself for people in Ocho Rios- real men don't do that.

One of my very good friends attempted to commit suicide...because he could stand being taunted about being gay...he never self identified as gay (no one in Jamaica does, or can for that matter)--- he was effeminate. And effeminacy is never a good thing...because everyone is the same...and everyone with a penis should behave the same...just as how everyone with a vagina needs to be able to wash, cook and clean, while raising the children to whom they gave birth. God forbid someone should try to challenge the constructed gender binary which has been normalized in Jamaican society.

It's easy to turn a blind eye to the heathens who populate the earth...but people are suffering, and that is never a good thing.

I'm not even talking about homosexuality...disagreeing with it is one thing, but Jthe manifestations of amaican homophobia are ridiculous. Effeminacy is not a vice...and it does not equate to homosexuality, yet people are made to feel inferior for it. Fathers don't hug their sons or tell them that they love them... people who experiment when younger, as most children do, are made to feel dirty...sexuality is natural- we seem to have forgotten that in our bid to demonize certain expressions of it.

These things bother me...

It is perfectly understandable that you do not "condone" homosexuality. (Condone? That sounds like a moral judgment, which I do not believe anyone has the jurisdiction to make. You don't believe in it, don't do it. Telling me that you don't believe in it, and then that I am immoral because I am it, are different things.”

So back to your first comment--- I do not like talking about homosexuality- clearly it’s a very divisive issue. But I feel compelled to defend those without a voice in Jamaica, who suffer for being thought to be gay---they aren’t even gay!!!!! I had no voice growing up…I lived trying to change…I never felt loved…or respected, and I hated my life…why? Because men shouldn’t act like girls. How can I not speak out on such issues? Instead you chastise me for standing up for gays, which is not what I was doing- and that was very clear…still you both decided to misconstrue what I said--- reducing the concerns I raised to, “you just want to defend your nasty ways.” Not true [Bryan].

Your next comment is particularly shocking, and hard to digest.

“I think homosexuality is, beyond a reasonable doubt, wrong and should not be encouraged!! It is disgusting, immoral and downright nasty and should be looked down upon!!!”

You qualified your first comment with “I think”; you should have done the same for the second. That is how YOU feel, and you are entitled to your opinion. I hasten to remind you however that your view is steeped in Christian morality, that some interpret very differently, and others don’t value at all. If by, “It should not be encouraged” you mean that people should be ridiculed, beaten, stabbed and murdered for being gay, as an example for everyone who dared flaunt such despicable behaviors, then [Bryan] I am really sorry you feel that way. If I’m lucky I’ll get a taste of what I am asking for when I go back- except, I wont be caught with a man---someone will just note how "mi look like wan a dem"…and mobilize a group of attackers to punish me for my shameless transgressions.

I never thought you were gay because you made gay jokes…that’s preposterous. That view is far too simplistic [Bryan]- an yu nuo mi beta dan dat. I always had an attraction for men growing up. I ignored it, because it was frowned upon…I liked girls, but then I didn’t have much of a choice. There is no alternative to heterosexual sex in Jamaica. (…and why should there be? Well….because there are people with homosexual inclinations, who end up getting married to women but then cheat on with men… not nice is it?) Looking back on my life, there were too men I knew well who endured similar experiences of being ridiculed for being effeminate…you and [Jack]. I am gay…[Jack] might be gay…and so I naturally though of you… not in a bid to "corrupt" your morality….not in a bid to convince you that it was morally right---for clearly you believe in God, and your branch of Christianity preaches that homosexuality is a sin…just like lying….just like fornication- which you seem a lot less concerned about decrying.


“I don't understand how someone ( can think that it is 'okay' or should be 'accepted' or that nothing is wrong with it!! Biblical teachings lashes out against it!!”

[Bryan] why do you have to understand? This is how I feel, this is what I want….and no matter how nasty you think it is, that is my sexuality. I want you to love and accept me for who I am--- all of me, without judging my actions. I thought your bible had said that he who is without sin should cast the first stone. My sinless brother, you stopped casting stones a long time ago- a rak yaa fling now!

The bible lashes out against homosexuality, yes- but your Jesus also preaches love and acceptance--- is the sin of homosexuality so great that I don’t even deserve to be considered a fully functioning and valuable human being? The bible… our great upholder of patriarchy, and past defender of slavery. The bible clearly establishes that men are the head of households….men are the boss…yet such ideas would be laughed at in modern societies. One could never suggest that women are inferior to men in any way--- yet this is a deviation from biblical teachings…

If we were to follow everything that bible of yours says… this world would be a very different place. We would be stoning people in the streets for being gay (Which we do), cutting out the tongues of liars, and severing the hands of thieves. Who knows, maybe that’s a better society to live in. In any case the moral arguments you make against homosexuality simply do not hold up to intellectual scrutiny. It is evident that the few bible verses which mention homosexual conduct have been interpreted out of their context, in a bid to disenfranchise gays from societies, in satisfying your own bigoted view of sexuality and gender identity. You have been lied to by your religious teachers, and it is time you educate yourself further. I recommend the documentary "For the Bible tells me so".

"Then you continued “but look at nature.... look at the natural order of things!! How can you sit there and tell me that nothing is wrong with a same sex relationships????”"

Oh the old biological determinist view… animals aren’t gay and therefore humans shouldn’t be. First of all, even if there were homosexual tendencies in animals, it would be hard to observe it--- I haven’t done much research on this but I remember seeing male dogs humping each other---it happens!

Next, I don’t want to have babies! And you know what, the world doesn’t need anymore either. Homosexuals will not challenge or undermine the continuation of or species, because most people are straight…so what do you want me to do? Fuck a girl and get a baby? “Prove” my masculinity? Save our species from dying out? Same sex relationships are only seen as wrong because of our construction of heterosexual hegemony. In centuries gone by homosexuality was revered, and homosexuals were not stigmatized and demonized as they are now. I didn’t choose this [Bryan]…so even if there was something inherently wrong with homosexuality, there is nothing I could do about it---unless you’d rather see me lie to a woman and bring a child into the world. I’m not stupid! It is not easy to be a homosexual in our heteronormative societies…and if I could choose differently, I would. Trust me, I tried----for 18 years of my life. Just because most people are straight (which is suspect, because most people have no choice but to be “straight”- is not as if people are allowed to explore their sexualities) doesn’t mean everyone who is not is disgusting and immoral and wrong… That same premise was used to demonize and kill blacks…Jews… gypsies and countless other minority groups… we have grown past this majority is right mentality- except with homosexuals.

How could I sit here and defend homosexuality [Bryan]? Because I hate injustice…I hate hypocrisy…I hate discrimination…I hate neglect…I hate suffering.

"I might be able to sympathize with you if...for were to say that you think it's wrong but u can't help but feel the way you do..... like the girl at my last job.............. but with you...... you just think it is right! It is normal! It is healthy!"

Don’t even try to empathize with me, because you cannot. You have no clue what it is to be part of a marginalized class, which must perpetually remain fearful of attack by people who disagree with your choices. You have no clue what it is like to wake up every morning asking why you were born in the wrong country…why no one understands you….why you cant be open about yourself to people you meet and why you have to grow distrustful of everyone you meet because they might be the one to tell of your secret and get you killed…for coming out only serves to further marginalize you…

You have NO clue about any of these things, because you are heterosexual…you are normal, ordinary, good…but I am a freak of nature, an immoral atheist who should be rid of his homosexuality at all costs. Ostracize him you say, for he will then learn his lesson and change for the better.

Don’t… I don’t need your pity…so end all efforts now…your empathy means nothing to me…because there still remains 6 billion people like you in the world who would rather I internalize all the hatred thrown at me, and start hating myself. I wont do that…I will not commit suicide, like may others before me, to escape the misery I was born in.

There is nothing wrong with me! Nothing! I do not think anything is wrong with homosexuality, and yes, I do not need to “help” the way I feel. I am not the coward at your last job who doesn’t have the strength to stand up against heterosexual hegemony- so your comparison is misplaced. How self affirming it must be to hear a gay person say they hate themselves---that the are ashamed of their feelings…that they want to change. Well you will never hear that from me. And still, despite what you are implying of me, I am normal [Bryan]. No less “normal” than you…

Now about the legality of homosexuality. You, like or government refuse to differentiate between legislation and morality. Our government is not there to declare what is morally right or wrong…they have no rights to make laws to govern what adults consent to doing in their bedrooms and the buggery law should not be there! Removing in would not mean that homosexuality is legalized…obviously….and it wouldn’t mean that more homosexuals would spring up from the immoral underbellies of our God fearing nation--- but it would remove this notion of second class citizenship, which is conferred upon anyone who is queer. Call the police because I am getting beaten…why? They’re just going to beat you too. Don’t even attempt to walk the streets of the country of your birth, because we will know you are gay, and we will kill you. Oh gee thanks! Tropical paradise this is indeed. The purpose of a government is to mandate laws that protect the interests of all its citizens! Unfortunately….I am not one of them.
And by the way you are mistaken about the amendment to the sex offenders bill being discussed in parliament now. (I read the print media every day so I follow these things keenly). They are seeking to effect that punishment for buggery when it is done in the context of abuse/ rape. I agree completely with that law. At least now the government has the guts to even mention male/ male sex in the law books--- the interests of men are now rising to the fore, albeit inadequately. So sorry to disappoint you, but I will still only be put in prison for 10 years if I am caught having sex with the love of my life.

Canada cares because people are suffering. It’s so amazing to hear you talk about how what we do in Jamaica is our business. We haven’t done a very good job of taking care of our business, because we talk about homosexuals as if they are foreigners looking to go to Jamaica to sun-tan on our wretched beaches. THERE ARE HOMOSEXUALS IN JAMAICA- and the civilized world is tired of seeing them living in fear…and being mutilated by the barbarous hands of ignorant Jamaicans! So repealing the law means more than just “bowing” to external pressure! It means that homosexuals in Jamaica will feel confident that there is redress of ever they are threatened by people who think like you! Is that too much to ask? Apparently…because we are not human.

Your short-sightedness is comical…. the rate of increase in American tourists to Jamaica isdecreasing… but Canadian tourism arrivals have been increasing. That occurrence has offset any dramatic dips in tourism arrivals as a result of the global economic crisis. Canada contributes more than just 2 % to tourism- almost 25 % now actually, and any serious policy by their government to decrease tourism to Jamaica, will have adverse effects. Oh but that is okay right? So long as Jamaica stands up for “morality” (I clearly have none)….so long as Jamaica continues to trample on the right of one marginalized group. That’s a dignified position to hold right there.

"To show you how disgusted I am of it.....a part of me wants to stop talking to you, doesn't want to be near you or even see you....At the same time..... I'm thinking..... I've known you for so long, etc (all that sentimental crap)....."

Sentimental crap? If our relationship means little to you, then stop fighting the urge [Bryan] if you so desire. It wouldn’t be the first, and it wouldn’t be the last time someone turned their back onme because they “couldn’t understand”. You are clearly crossing many of you moral boundaries to be my friend…and perhaps, as you have implied, it isn’t worth it. I never realized I could be that repulsive…

"the next time someone avoids engaging in gay convos...... remember that there might be a possibility that the person doesn't want to offend you....."

Or according to Jean Paul Sartre, they may just be afraid of being proven wrong. He argued very convincingly in his book about hatred, that the person who hates becomes consumed by his hate---he exudes his hate. He refuses to discuss why he hates, and as a matter of fact has hardened himself to arguing about his hatred. His mind becomes impervious, and he is affirmed in his beliefs. Way to take the high road bro. It’s not because you don’t want to offend me…because it is possible to argue about homosexuality without offending someone…without telling them you consider them to be disgusting (a feeling of revulsion or profound disapproval aroused by something unpleasant or offensive). I have discussions about this matter all the time…but it’s only when talking to people from home that these sentiments are expressed. Your inability to “understand” and “accept” me is offensive enough… so don’t worry about offending me.

Why can’t you see that it is possible to believe that something is immoral without casting dismissive judgements about someone, and hating them for it? I mean, if you think your homophobia justifies that you do not have anything to do with openly gay people, then that’s your decision to make. It is a decision that would break my heart, but I would live.

"Take what happened with [Natalie] for example............ maybe I should have followed [Natalie] ............ just not reply..."

She didn’t reply, and I was so disappointed. [Natalie] never said, Pikni I think it is morally wrong, but we should be careful not to judge, or encourage acts of violence against these individuals in Jamaica...

But she did remember to say- I do not condone homosexuality in any way shape or form--- just a reminder in case I forgot? Mi no nuo we unu tek mi fa.

When I pour my heart out on something…I hope for an equally heartfelt response. I wasn’t trying to defend homosexuality in that message, I was speaking out against violence, in any shape or form. Apparently, she disagreed.

I have heard your arguments…you have heard mine. Let it rest- please. I can’t do this anymore...and I don’t need to do this anymore. I am happy---truly happy for the first time in my life… I don’t have to go back home…I don’t have to listen to how immoral and sinful I am…I can finally start to live, and love, without fear.

You know someone for 14 years, yet still it must come to this. Sad.