Tag Archives: homophobia

Being Gay And Guilty Of Stereotyping

I had the pleasure of attending my friends Wedding Blessing. They were celebrating 33 wonderful years together and decided to renew their vows. I can honesty say I have never experienced anything quite like it nor do I think I ever will again.

wedding handsThe Service the was mostly organised by the Wife of the couple, her Husband was happy to be a statue and stand where he was bid. He would have stood there naked if it would have pleased his lovely wife.

There I am sitting in the pew, waiting for it all to begin and I noticed the Minister. He was an older Gentleman, small in stature but he had the most compelling voice. He introduced himself and welcomed my friRoman-Collarend and I to the Church. Turns out he is the reigning World Champion in Flower Arranging. Mac, as he introduced himself to us, never mentioned this, in fact had it not been mentioned in the Thank you speech, none of us would have been any the wiser.

As the Service continued, I should have been focussed on my friends but I couldn’t take my eyes of Mac. There was something just so familiar about him, I suspect he just had the gift of making everyone feel like a friend. At the end of the service my friend arrived over to us with Mac and another guy on her arm. The other guy, was the opposite of Mac, over 6ft tall, manicured nails, designer glasses, couture suit, aftershave that wafted around us, making me want to enquire its make. I shook hands with Mac again, adorned in his Ministerial Robes and turned to shake the hand of this handsome stranger and to my utter shock and disbelief as I’m shaking his hand, he’s introduced as Macs Husband.

As the reception continued, I found myself musing, if I had some internal notion that Ministers should be celibate, or must be straight. Maybe it was the fact I had looked at Mac, this small, elderly man and decided he had to have a typical Ministers wife at home, who would make sure his attire was neat and tidy and he had his glasses with him. Why shouldn’t he have a husband?
Why couldn’t or shouldn’t a Minster be gay?
Should the Flower arranging title have been a stereotypical clue?

As I started to munch through a ham sandwich, I wondered if there were other preconceived notions I had or held about other folks?
I like to think I am open and accepting of anyone, no matter race, creed, size or shape, but today I had written this enigmatic older Gentleman off as a retired Minster who must have a home maker wife. His Husband came over and sat at the table my friend and I were at.
What an interesting man. He talked with passion on many different topics. He made me laugh when he talked about Mac forgetting where he had left his reading glasses, only to discover they were on top of his head.

The tone of his voice, softened as he playfully teased Mac and you could easily hear that it was in jest and he was indeed proud of his Husbands many different achievements, his World Champion Status, his standing in the Church. They way they smiled at each other, the twinkle in each others eyes made me yearn for something similar.

For the first time since the end of my current relationship, when asked if I was with someone, I confirmed my single status. The words sounded so strange coming out of my mouth, but after they were said I actually felt more at ease. We spent the rest of the afternoon critiquing Celebrity outfits and decided we obviously had much better taste than they!

Two days have past and I still find myself reflecting to Mac and his delightful Husband. The incorrect assumptions I had made, the look of surprise I tried to hide when we were introduced.
How can I be outraged and pissed off when someone makes an incorrect assumption about me when I am just as guilty as they are?

My hope is that this chance encounter with a delightful new couple will teach me a valuable lesson. You truly cannot judge someone, based on a two second glance. I would have missed out on a delightful afternoon in their company.

So what did I learn?

Never judge a Minister by his job,
never assume you will suddenly have these gay spidey sense that will tingle and alert you to every other LGBT person in a 1 mile vicinity to me.

Oh yes, I almost forgot. I can say I am recently single without bursting into flames and complimenting a gay man on his aftershave ensures you a BFF for life.

 

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Filed under March 2013

HOMOPHOBIA EPIDEMIC

Looking into the mirror, wrestling my hair into place I am suddenly struck that tonight I am going for the first time ever to an event that will only be attended by Gay folks and Gay allies. The invisible armour that I normally mentally prepare to adorn before leaving for an unknown event I don’t need…… This is very strange and more than a little unsettling but maybe exciting?

Arriving at the venue, the hustle and bustle of folks getting drinks, sorting out who has forgotten the tickets and how the hell do you put this phone on silent. Taking our sets I’m the filling between two straight married couples, who are there with me to see my very talented other half sing with her LGBT Choir. I’m nervous knowing how hard she has worked and how important the five of us being there to support is to her. The atmosphere, truly is electric. It is so strange talking opening about my girlfriend, or whose wife this is or that is regardless of straight or gay, no ones conversation is hushed or edited incase it’s overheard or causes offence….. truly surreal and I sit back grinning like a Cheshire cat trying to soak it all, I don’t want to miss a second and wish there was a way to bottle it and keep it.

The concert started, and the five of us whooped, hollered, clapped and sang along not caring who was watching or not joining in. Watching the positive energy electrify the stage and the poor terrified performers was humbling and inspiring. Everyone on stage were there under the LGBT umbrella, and for tonight it was a safe place to simply be FABULOUS! (Insert sassy hair flick, with finger click)

The kids in the audience got to join in with our madness, and when asked by the host who they were here to see or support, they proudly spoke of their Uncles or their Aunts, Mom etc etc Driving home after such a positive, family friendly event I was singing along to ‘I am what I am’ at the top of lungs thinking everything was well with the world until the hourly news came on.

A HIV+ Gay man, who lost his husband to cancer in January (it’s not June) has had his home attacked thirty four times in two years, he’s had eleven death threats and tonight three hours after he had finished decorating the new house he had been relocated to for his safety, he arrived home to find six masked men had broken into the house, destroyed doors, windows, appliances, possessions and as a parting touch they sprayed ‘PEDO‘ on either side of his front door .
BOOM reality bites and I hate it.
I hate that it resonates with me from my own experience.
I hate that I now turn down my ‘Pride’ cd in case it’s over heard or causes offence to the other drivers. I hate that my anger, and outrage that burns so intensely that it starts to leak out of my eyes, falling onto the shirt that the woman who loves me ironed just the way I like it before she left for her show.
I hate that without realising it I have just locked all the doors in the car…………
I hate it that some illiterate, wannabe mafia has destroyed another human beings home, possessions, memories and I HATE that the same FUCKWITS have snatched away the amazing night I just experienced surrounded by folks who wanted to hear 2 Choirs sing, regardless of who they share their bed with.
I don’t want to hate anything or anyone, most of all right now I hate myself for letting this albeit terrible news diminish what I had just experienced. The man in question has been on TV all through the night and into the next day, he’s so brave talking through his tears and his interview ends with, ‘I just want to live however long I have left in peace’.
Tell me how far we have come, please tell me how much better we are since the Stonewall Riots, Prop 8 etc etc etc right now I have strapped on the invisible armour, I’ve mentally reinforced the skills I use to be safe and keep the people I care about safe.
Tonight I have locked the backdoor, as I always do, instead of smiling that my beautiful babe had forgotten to lock it as usual, I have went back and checked the same door 3 times.
I climbed into bed, snaking around the furkids and lay back and the woman I love reaches for me and curls up in my arms, whispering that she loves me. I lock my arms around her as if they are made of impenetrable steel, and vow to defend her til my last breath as she snuggles in tighter.

Human Being

Tomorrow the sun will rise, the day will start and I will realise that I don’t hate the Homophobes, I pity them and pray that the next Generation are not tainted with their bullish ignorance

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Filed under March 2013