Thursday, October 22, 2009

A Mother Always Knows Best...

Almost a month since my last post, and so much has changed! Last Friday was one of those days when all the hatred against gays in the world became apparent to me. I was weak, and vulnerable, and I wanted to find someone to talk with, someone who could understand. But for that one moment in my life, nobody was around. So, I called mommy. She immediately asked me what was wrong, and then the tears started to flow. I started to weep, and my mother tried to console me.

You would never believe the things she said to me:

Honey I love you, and your siblings love you. It shouldn't matter how other people perceive you, because you must understand that people will not always affirm your sense of self. If I, your mother, can accept you for who you are, then I don't see why others cannot. Just be yourself, and do what makes you happy.
I was her baby again, and not some gay thing that happened into her life. I expected her to come around sometime, but never so soon. Now, my heart is at peace.

Here at school I am making headway into the LGBT community. Last year, I didn't have the courage to go to Coming Out Stories, and present myself as a gay man, but this time around I was. I listened as students, males and females, black and white, shared aspects of ther coming out stories with about 40 people. I had to tell my story. I raised my hand and started to talk, just after hearing a freshman female reiterate that "chicks are so hot!" People listened. And they smiled at times, and stared intently when they were supposed to. The snapped rhythmically when I ended with my mother's dramatic turnaround. How sweet it is to be able to speak so openly about my sexuality. Not having to consider who is in the room listening. Not having to look over my shoulders. Not having to feel self-conscious. Bliss.

I am so lucky. I read the news reports of new considerations in parliament to put a clause institutionalizing homophobia and discrimination into the Charter of Rights Bill. The possibility of same sex marriages in Jamaica is so far fetched at this point, that debates about prohibiting it are senseless. We should be discussing that question at a time when it is more pertinent, but, this is Jamaica for you, where every effort to distract people's attention from the inefficiencies of the government is maximized. A year ago I would have been outraged at this development. Today I am just concerned. I don't have the strength to persuade all the ignorant people in my country that I am deserving of basic rights of freedom and equality. I am but a vagabond, scrimmaging on the fringes of Jamaican society waiting for a break.

If only they knew.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Failed Exorcism

It's been far too long. Classes have long started, and I am drowning in the sea of academia. I took a look at my blog today, and the desire to share my recent experiences was too compelling for me to resist.

Very little has happened since I left purgatory almost one month ago. My mother is working tirelessly to find a cure for my diseased mind and body. I am indifferent. She is confident that I never left Jamaican "this" way, when I set sail on a journey of self discovery three years ago. I was corrupted by blasphemous liberal ideology, and now she wants her son back. She has enlisted the help of pastors, doctors and close friends, to help her find a solution to this pernicious evil devouring her heart. I must be purged of the demons that lie within me, lest she loses me forever. She prays constantly, beseeching God to do what she herself cannot manage to accomplish from thousands of miles way.

This is so frustrating. She is putting up every barrier imaginable to thwart my efforts to help her come to terms with what I am sure is a very difficult reality. She doesn't want to understand. She wants nothing more but for me to apologize for my sexual identity. She innocently asks me how classes are going, while she schemes wickedly against me.

Life goes on. I was convinced of this fact when I decided to drop the bomb. Now it's time for the slow and painful period of reconciliation and healing.

I have made great efforts to integrate myself into the school's LGBTQ support system. My efforts haven't been enormously successful, but I am learning to revel in the marginal advances made each day. I am more self-aware and self-confident than ever before.

I love myself. I love and appreciate the people around me. I love being happy.

Keep well, and love yourself always.