Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Films of Queer Africa

Because I am.

Films of us, in our world. Make me uncomfortable. Hey, price of fame....., lol. 'cause, seems as if something of us is getting out there and people will realise that we are and take away all the mystery of being gay, queer in Africa.

Not that it wont help people to look at us and think that we are just normal boring human beings....., lol. 

Am being super selfish! you know, gives a kick when people talk about the super strong enormously gifted ho-mo-sexua-ls.....! Like they have the super powers to bring down worlds and cause tsunamis...., am not lying. Just listen to the preachers.

But, here is the beginning of our normalisation.
"Because I Am" Zimbabwe born filmmaker director and founder of Hona Africa, Lawrence Zidyana has released a tough short film which tackles homophobia. He was inspired to make the film to show how hatred has an impact on the LGBT community and the wider population of the country as a whole.
And here is "The Wound" from South Africa. Going into our culture. 
Nakhane Toure, (left, from mambeonline) an out gay South African, singer, song writer and now actor, is the star in a film about the Initiation rite of the Xhosa.
That is tough cultural ground, and the authenticity of the acting will unravel much of our brothers, sisters and elders insistence that we are 'unAfrican' because we are queer.
The Wound tells the story of Xolani (played by TourĂ©), a lonely closeted Xhosa factory worker who joins the men of his community in the mountains of the Eastern Cape to initiate a group of teenage boys into manhood. 
When a defiant initiate from the city discovers his best kept secret, Xolani’s entire existence begins to unravel.

Gosh....,

Okay, we are so normal, and so different....!

hope you get a chance to watch it.

Here is the trailer.


Tuesday, January 24, 2017

The Confidence to Be yourself.

Mind is on Somizi.

Trying to figure out what makes us stand up and speak out. Because it is not easy. To go against what our communities think and speak, and being a minority, hearing on a daily basis that we are the worst of the worst. To stand up and say, no, enough is enough is fantastic. Because we are giving ourselves the best gift that a human being can give themselves. Standing up for OURSELVES. Rejecting the rejection the world might have for us. Loving ourselves. Telling ourselves that WE matter. That I matter.

Actually, have been doing something like it this morning. And, I was like, why am I standing up and doing this thing?

Okay, because it concerns me. Because there is a boundary in me that has been crossed, and my ire is raised, and I have said, no further. And, I might be hurt by the rejection, but, I will be more hurt if I let myself think me a dishrag.

Why did Somizi stand up and shout? Definitely, there were other gay people in the church, who sat out the sermon. Who listened to themselves compared to animals, and found to be 'worse off' than the poor animals. Who listened and thought ugly thoughts in their heads, but when Somizi stood up and flounced his way out of the church, they staid put.

May be they feared being outed. Maybe they actually believe that they are worse than animals, which purpotedly would not have a same sex relationship....

Most likely they didnt. But, they didnt stand up for themselves.

And, as for Somizi, am pretty sure he most likely has been listening to those sermons.

I did. And, maybe at first I didnt understand enough, but at a certain point, I opted out.

The first time that Somizi's outbursts came to my attention was here. That outburst, 'your hate will not make me straight' also came from the heart of one frustrated queer African. The bombardment of hate in the name of love can be overwhelming. Imagine, being compared to worse than animals (remember Mugabe and pigs) and then telling you, oh, it is done in love. They cant see the logs in their eyes, as they try to pick out the sticks they see in ours.

That was after the killing of a lesbian woman, Noluvo, in Kayelitsha, a township of Cape Town. It got to him, precipitated something.

And yes...., it does.

And if it is frustration that is the catalyst, the precipitant, why again?

Confidence. Self confidence.

Knowing who I am. That the hate is water off a ducks feathers, that I can stand under that rain and come out whole. And, giving not a shit.

Knowledge of myself that being gay is not a sin..., or a stigmatizing mark that it is made out to be. That I love, hate, and am quite like all other people out there. Only difference really is that, I look at a man and feel my loins stir, and I fall in love with a man. And, most of other men will fall in love with a woman.

So, am different. But not an animal. Or worse than an animal.

And the knowledge that if I am made so by the deities...., then surely they would not turn around and condemn me for what I am!

Wow!

That makes me get up and stand up for myself. For my people. For other kuchus. For my family.

Because, who I am...., nothing can take that away from me.

Not even the faith of others.

gug

Monday, January 23, 2017

Somizi; Queer Africans of Faith

Yep, he has me in a tiz.

yep, he does.

First, I am in a mood. Deadline hit, right on the head...., was kind of two years in the making. So, I am feeling real proud of the main man. Me. I am proud of me!

But, in the drive to make sure that I make that deadline, I had to let the blog go...., though I was feeling the heat to lay it out out there. makes me remember that it takes some time, energy. Dont know why I never knew to take care of myself before when I was running on all cylinders. I was like, this takes nothing from me. But, it does. So, I have to advocate. And at the same time, leave some gas to run another marathon.

Like today, no sooner am I raging about my beat deadline, that I find another personal struggle to engage in. Makes me feel good, having the will to say no..., and feel good about it.

Which brings me to dearest Somizi. I wrote about him before... He had gone into a rant. 
Oh, Somizi is this queer South African. A-list celeb...., am not sure about what exactly he did (duh!!!!), but, he is an a-list celeb, that I know.

And, he has found a place as an LGBT advocate.

Why, because he is queer. And, he is damn outspoken.

So, Somizi believes. Hey, I am not a believer. But, Somizi is gay, and he damn well believes. And, I will defend his right to believe.

Y'know, we are all human. And our right to faith is enshrined in most modern constitutions. His right. He is who he is, and that is great.

So, he believes. And, this Sunday, he puts on his Sunday best and goes to church...., to worship. Unknown to him, there is a visiting preacher. A homophobic visiting preacher, who launches into preaching. 
From one of the reporting papers
All was going well until the pastor took a detour and started talking about homosexuality and how “disgusting” and “sinful” it was, said Somizi. The choreographer said the pastor went as far as saying homosexuality was so disgusting even animals did not “practise” it, remarks that left the church in cheers, much to Somizi’s shock
Incidentally, homophobia is usually based on basic ignorance. Wanna check out an article on homosexual animals in nature? But, you are too well read to do that, arent you? Yeah, Wikipedia is a weak reference you say...., hahahaha...!

No, that was a very bitter laugh.

So, coming to worship in Grace Bible Church, Somizi found himself unwelcome. And, being a proud queer African, he marched out. In a huffy. Which he proceded to air on Instagram. Hey, we are children of the new age. And, you go, Somizi! Your self respect, your self confidence is inspiring. That kind of ignorance wrapped in 'faith' goes unchallenged too long.

Like every hurt believer, Somizi had this plea to his pastor
“I would like to make a plea to churches and mine particularly because I got to Grace Bible Church. Pastor Mosa Sono, say it out that ‘homosexuality is not allowed. Homosexuality is a sin. Gay people must not come to our church.’
“Say it so that we know, because we go to church to speak to our God whom I believe accepts me for who I am, whom I believe created me the way I am.
“I did not wake up and say ‘I’m gay today’. I believe that God created me the way I am. God loves me the way I am. What the other people say about me is none of my business,” he said.

Oh yeah.

The dude was hurt, and not shy about airing it. And, it went viral. Told you he is a well known man. And, his sexual orientation is in no closet.
and, the internet went wild with opinion...., of course some extremely bigoted.

Grace church responded with a very political statement. Gosh, I was like, what would Jesus say....!!!!
The church’s Pastor Ezekiel Mathole has had the unenviable task of justifying the homophobic talk to the media on Monday morning.
“We don’t discriminate against anyone who is gay, they are welcome to our church,” Mathole told 702’s Eusebius McKaiser.
“It is people’s opinion or choice of their alternative lifestyle to have same-sex relationships. It is their right to do it… Nobody is stopping them,” Mathole said.
See, we are the original sinners, the ones Jesus ate with at the table...., embracing us is kind of hard! And, you cant embrace us and not embrace us.

I am who I am.

Just as Somizi believes he is. Religions are about being clubs of exclusion of course. Dont know why the hell we want to belong, but, who has the secret to the riddle of life?

And, he has started a conversation.
“I’m not going to sit there and listen to somebody offending me. This is who I am! I am a gay man! Get it straight into your skull. My soul is alright with my god! Let me deal with my god and my soul… It’s like somebody offending black people in church…
“And I’m actually disappointed at all the gay men and women that sat there and listened to him offending us and didn’t do anything about it. I walked out – and visibly so! And I’m proud and I’m going to remain gay for the rest of my life!”
Somiziiiiiiiiiiiiii!

Dude, I salute you. You have made my day. 

And, that is the way that we have to do it. We are not the dear faithfuls' whip boys to stand and be whipped and slick off home, tail between the legs.

You, have, made, me, PROUD!!!!!!

a proud and humbled

gug

 


Monday, January 16, 2017

Why Advocate?

Question I have been asking myself.

Why, why do I have to spare a little time from my busy schedule, spend it to rant and rave...

Its because I can. And because it concerns me. And because..., how will I look myself in the mirror, when I know I could have, and didnt?
And, it is something within my capacity, as a human being.

In the holidays, met this guy. Gay, obviously. Such an obviously queer African that if I hadnt been told, I would have known from a glance....

Grew up in the depths of Africa. In a village. And, got married. Three kids. And home life is a drag. He travels to work, and is less stressed away from home than at home.

Illiterate, and how would he know that he is no more than the village freak, a man that even the in-laws treat with obvious contempt?

Who will tell his tale?

I can, but, why should I?

Because he is me, a few years ago. Lost in myself, so severely hurt that I found it a miracle that there were other gay people out there. They might have been miles and eons away, but the very existence of them was a miracle to me.
Because he is me as I was, and I am no longer him as he is....,

I will tell his tale.

I will be busy, and spare a few minutes today, to rant a little, or rave, or with clear conniving manipulative logic, seek to put my opinion forwards.

I love the way Barack Obama put it in his farewell address.
But remember, none of this happens on its own. All of this depends on our participation; on each of us accepting the responsibility of citizenship, regardless of which way the pendulum of power happens to be swinging.
Our Constitution is a remarkable, beautiful gift. But it's really just a piece of parchment. It has no power on its own. We, the people, give it power. (Applause.) We, the people, give it meaning. With our participation, and with the choices that we make, and the alliances that we forge. (Applause.) Whether or not we stand up for our freedoms. Whether or not we respect and enforce the rule of law. That's up to us. .... But the gains of our long journey to freedom are not assured.
Sober words. And I have to remember them.

That's why I have to exercise the precious rights that I have realised, precious as they have been, and exercise them. Otherwise, some sleezy politician, as slick as they come, will most likely try to batter and tread my rights.

As one queer person, Kimberly Knight, put it very eloquently
I admit it, this homosexual IS demanding special rights
Because as it turns out, civil rights are in fact special rights because they are rationed and rare.
 
First, some of the rights we seek are indeed special because there is nothing ordinary about the right to personal dignity and safety. There is nothing ordinary about exchanging vows with the love of your life. More than special, these things are sacred. 
But because these (and other rights) are not accessible to all, they are special in a way they should not be. 

And, because they are so special, and so sacred, and so rare,

Yeah, I have indeed to get off my butt, spare a few minutes a day, to document and talk and opinionate and rant...
and generally push the very special and spectacularly rare and sacred gay and queer agenda.

Because. I must.

gug

Friday, January 6, 2017

Happiness, Love, Great Expectations in 2017!

Lo and behold, and it was 2017!

Happy New Year, to all out there.

I was off, very happily. My boo planned this Christmas vacation, in his usual truck rolling all in its way manner...., and I found myself off into the depth of the village. Yes electricity (gosh, what would I, silly city kid that I have become, do without that!!!!) Yes, have done without it at important times in my very long life..., but, not now, fingers crossed!

But, there was limited access to the internet. And, as for the phones, I was looking at people waving around theirs in the air at occasions, trying to grab the ether at irregular intervals....! Duh, no phone and internet! But, there was cable TV..... lol, and lots of sky, and bush, and air....., beautiful, clear air. Crystal clear in the morning. Sometimes a pervase heat that made us all lazy and panting...., and other times rain that clothed the earth in a mist horizon to horizon. And played havoc with the poor reception of everything!

City kids...., we zoom off to the nearest city in case we get tired...., and laugh and sing and dance and enjoy the company of others...., and come back tired to sleep. What joy...... And of course, no phones ringing, no internet and news to search for and soak in, as I have just been doing! Yeah, a different definition of happiness, with a pleasing lack of the usual stressors.

Coming back, the internet awaits. The social networks that were neglected, and the friends that thought us lost to sense..., and full inboxes, and everything that we know and love still.

But, it was a beautiful time. And now, we have new challenges, and a new year, that is promising on so many levels. One of which is of course this outpouring of thought.

What of 2017?

I am very optimistic. It is a new year. And, I am alive. And the family is okay. Of course there are issues as always. Yet the over-riding sense of thankfulness for a long year ended, and the looking forwards to a new year...., it is there. A beautiful new year has started, and though all things seem unchanged and the same, yet is in my bones that nothing is the same as before. We are changed, even if it is just aging by one more year!!!!

Congratulations to Anele Mkuzo and Seipati Magape. They got married in 2016..., after a two year courtship. Looking at the few pics published by Ghafla! of Kenya, it was a beautiful, tear jerker of a ceremony.
I know of lots of my gay male friends who would go all gaga on seeing these pics. Beautiful women. Sweethearts. Daintly exchanging wedding vows.
Dare I say many would swoon..., and start complaining as to how our lesbian sisters have it all made for them with regards to relationships? Not the fly-by-night things that most gay men are conversant with..., so much. LOL. Sex is good and great, but sharing mind, body and soul with a soul mate..., now, that is heaven on earth.

Children of the new South Africa, they are living the ultimate dream of the Queer African. The fulfillment of the dream of dreams. Recognition and legal acknowledgment. Before all the world and then some!
And, when Mkuzo is asked about plans for the future..., finishing studies is first, and yes, also the desire of most couples...., a football team of little ones dodging around the house of their dreams......!

Sigh, sigh, sigh...., in envious greed and desire!

Of course, there is a difference of opinions...! Hahaha. Mkuzo is all in for the football team, but it seems Seipati is not very ready for the sleepless nights and changing of dirty diapers.

Sigh. Domestic felicity! What would it be without that kind of disagreement, to resolve in years, with maybe a few babies, loved by both parents to the depths of their hearts, and seeing the babies grow up in a renewed beautiful South Africa where Queer South Africans are held in the esteem as other South Africans!

Definitely, the haters disagree. They would love to poison such love with their dismissal and disapproval. I believe Ghafla! was playing newspaper headline...., Mkuzo was talking about buying a house..., and having babies...., and Ghafla seized on the wording...., lol.

So, the lesbian couple wants to buy babies?!

Come on!!! They actually dont need to 'buy' any....! 

But why mix up the bitterness of ignorance and hatred in this love story? Sadly, because, in the dehumanisation that follows us as queer human beings, we are politicised as being anti-family.., whatever that means. We actually come from families...., usually straight families. We would like our lovers..., and would love to be acknowledged publicly, and get hitched in heterosexual like weddings as our more numerous straight friends. Hey, we are simply the same. We are just human beings! Not angels, and definately not demons!

We want our very own families. Me. My boo. Plus kids. As many as we both want. Our families.

So, of course, with marriage, children yes! For those who love to have us. And, yes, we do procreate.
Goodness, the Mufti of Uganda once proposed a Final Solution for queer Ugandans. Exile them to an island in Lake Victoria. Let them die out since they cant have children.
The breadth of ignorance based homophobia in Africa is frighteningly deep. Arent queer Africans born from straight African relationships?Or are we products of immaculate conception???!!!

Personally, I seriously believe in the latter theory.

Way to go, Mkuzo and Seipati..., have a lovely and fantastic life and new year 2017.

You may not realise the iconic-ism behind your beautiful wedding, for most of us on the continent, but, you are a beautiful beacon of hope.

And, may you have your football team, or less, as you desire, of beautiful children!

gug