I have been intellectually and emotionally challenged lately. They say growing old is mandatory and growing up is optional, whoever wrote that was probably on their third glass of Pinotage. Growing up should be compulsory as well, but then again…#shrugs
Anyway, I had an interesting conversation with a gentleman from Zimbabwe the day before the states’ national elections. Knowing me and my inquisitive mind and mouth, I asked how it’s like to be a gay man in his country and if he had any fears about the outcomes of the polls. What would he do if The Honorable(pukes a little in the mouth) R. Mugabe wins again, as he promised the queer that he will make them suffer shall he win this round of elections again. I was flabbergasted by his answer; it was something that totally through me off my skinny jeans, literally. He didn’t tell me he will flee the country. Guess what? He actually told me that he is more terrified to be living in South Africa as a gay man. “It is such a terrifying experience to see two men walking together hand in hand in public.” WHAT THE F###? You might say, of course that’s what I thought, as much as I didn’t say it out loud, but my brain cells went frantic. “Did you fall down and smack your little head in the pavement boy?” I thought. But, you know what? I listened, I probed…WHY? Why on Earth would it “freak” you out to see 2 men living freely in a free country?
After a long verbal diarrhea, I understood where he is coming from; well at least I thought I did. The sight of two men together in his country, living free, is a dream in his country. For him to get excited or rather “accepting” the concord brings forth lots of guilt, and disgust mixed with joy, which results in abnormal ‘seizure’. I understood that. But I didn’t totally understand till I shared this with one of my friends. He revealed to me the pain of been constantly told what you doing is wrong, its sinful, its evil, its punishable, it can even lead to death. Brainwashing if you must. It is not easy to accept it when you get the opportunity and freedom to. Imagine the good and bad habits you have picked up as you grew up. Some you hold so strongly no wind could ever shake you and educate you otherwise. That’s brainwashing of some sort, and to me that’s the SCARY part.
How does one live in such a world though? How does one even begin to breathe in such a divulged space? How do you even get out of bed knowing that you can’t be who you were born to be? HOW HOW? My queer-mouth asks.
It is moments like these that I kneel (every instant I’m not in my favorite pants of course) and thank God all the time for allowing me to be a generation born in a country of such sovereignty. It may be lacking in certain aspects, but I live in a beautiful system that don’t force me to conform to any custom of proselytize. We sometimes take our freedom so light it’s ridiculous how we can still walk. You ask one out of two 20-somethings out there who they going to vote for next year, and the answer is always “I’m not gonna vote, why should I?” South African kids do not know how valuable the power of that X is. Do you know how many oppressed people around the globe so wish they could go cast a vote so they can take down they tyrannical régime? Your vote is not about who should be governing, but about the change you want to see in your community. That vote gives you the right to say: “now Mr. President you doing kak.” If you don’t vote, why should you complain then?
Maybe it’s just me and my queer-mouth, but the South African youth needs to GROW THE F### UP!