Month: January 2009

Love for all

I spotted this on absolutwillie‘s blog and thought I’d share it… In the words of Dame Judy Dench in Mrs Henderson Presents: “How delicious!”

Love the soundtrack… and the concept…

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It’s a long one…


As I’ve mentioned, my blog called ‘Shall We Dance’ was published on mambaonline. To be completely honest, I was terrified. My first post was met with a lot of positivity, but a certain amount of negativity too. I understood the responses. Majority of the negative response was about the fact that I have tried to reconcile my belief in God and decision to live as a Christ-follower with being gay. Some think I’m insane – and that Christianity is a crutch for the weak, and I was just showing how weak I am. I understand that – people have a negative view of Christianity, and my aim was never to convert people, but to encourage those who are trying to reconcile the two in their own lives.

So the second post was worrying for me. I was going back into the fray. FJ spent the first day checking on the comments to see if he needed to defend me (aw!), but the comments have been few and generally positive.

One comment really got my attention. I first read it in a negative frame of mind, but have returned to it a few times. It made me think. And I said I wanted discourse, so allow me to respond to it.

The commentator said:

Sorry to say, but I think you’re missing the plot with your article “Shall we dance?”.
There are three elements to be discussed (and not confused):
1) God
2) Religion
3) Homosexuality

Let’s get the elephant out of the room as a departure point. The sooner you separate religion (i.e. ‘the church’) from “God” the better. Rather stand back and start thinking for yourself and bring into question the Calvinistic cloak you were raised in with the auspices of Church and Religion.

Homosexuality does not equal grieving! Your five grieving points do not hold water for many gay men – especially the ”have children” part.
Further on the homosexuality front, you step right in the direction of homophobia with your statement “Being a gay man is not something I chose; I don’t believe anyone does, or would.” Correct me if I’m wrong, are you not looking at homosexuality with the exact perspective than that of your ex-church where you had your ‘ex-gay battle’? I guess I’m not the ‘anyone’ you refer to, because if I could choose my sexuality again, I would choose it exactly as it is – GAY – because there is nothing wrong with it to begin with.

Now that you can think free from this mentally suffocating dogma instilled through Church and Religion you will have no fear of living your life as you choose or with any guilt going along with that.
Start thinking and stop believing what Church and Religion dishes out without questioning. Maybe just then will you be able to figure out life, gay or straight, within this amazing Universe.

So to start – I always write from my perspective. I’m not a psychologist or pertain to have the answers, so I write from a place that’s the most honest to me – my experience. I don’t think I missed the plot. And more especially, I have never confused God and the Church. We may have different understandings of God. My God is the one presented in the Bible and shaped by my past experiences. The church I speak about believe in that God too. I can’t get round that the Bible speaks about homosexuality in a negative light. But I also believe in a God that would never exclude me. The ministry of Jesus was one of inclusion. That was the plot of my piece – that while members of a group I align to in our mutual belief in the biblically-revealed God say I am excluded by my choices, I believe otherwise and live freely in that belief.

I wish it was simple to walk away from the dogma the commentator refers to. It would be as difficult as me telling you to believe in the Bible if you don’t. We come from different perspectives on spirituality – so lets look at what we agree on: that there is nothing wrong with being gay. What we disagree on is how I choose to reconcile it – we both have different belief structures. That doesn’t mean I’ve missed the plot. I’m just on a different journey to the commentator – both legitimate and both allowed. And the very reason I wrote ‘Shall We Dance’ was because I was questioning what members of the church were saying, so the commentator’s view that I don’t question is not valid – we may just have found different answers.

The part that struck me was that my view that no person would choose to be gay borders on homophobia. Like the commentator, I would not change my sexuality. It has shaped who I am, and I have not been a victim to my sexuality. I don’t believe I would have chosen to be gay initially. If we would happily choose to be gay, why do we struggle to admit it or come to terms with it? I agree that the use of the word anyone was a generalisation and would reword it in hindsight. I said that I don’t think anyone (a large portion better?) would choose to be gay because I wanted people who are not gay to understand that excluding someone based on their sexuality, is equivalent to excluding someone based on their race or gender. Its not something chosen, and no one has a right to be excluded on that basis. There is a group on facebook to stop gay teen suicides. No one should feel the need to end their lives based on a sexuality they never chose.

And, finally, I stand by the grieving process. Other gay men and women may not grieve the same things I mentioned. They were merely examples from my life. I know that some people younger than me grieve less about being gay – seems the post-Will & Grace generation are able to be integrated as gay men and women into their heterosexual peer group and families far more openly than I and others my age and older experienced. Homosexuality is being seen as more acceptable by a larger group of people than before. I received a comment from a person who was grateful for the acknowledgment of the grieving process – that speaking about it had normalised it for her. That was my intention. I never said that being gay equalled grieving, but I know that for many it is a part of their coming out process.

So I hope this clarifies where I stand. The commentator and I believe the same thing. That gay people should be able to live their lives freely and abundantly, no matter their beliefs.

Tagged

Okay so a new blog I found (and a fellow Benoni blogger *high 5 to Jacki*) tagged me recently and I’ve finally got around to doing it – also because I have nothing interesting to blog about (oh, except that you should go over to Allie and wish her a happy birthday immediately!)

So after obeying my tagging orders I’m going to tag 6 others so read carefully people!

Okay, it works like this:
1. navigate to where you keep your pictures, select the 6th folder, and the 6th picture in that folder.
2. Then post it on your blog with an explanation of the story behind the picture
3. tag 6 other people to do the same, and make sure you let them know about it.

So here is my pic:

Cute hey! That’s FJ and I in Cape Town. Some of you have read his post about sleeping in. Well, I was still in slumber-land, with a pillow over my head in an attempt to drown out his irritating awakeness. FJ tries really hard to be quiet – but you know how it goes – you slam doors by accident, you sneeze, and then you wake up the person by saying sorry instead of just letting it go… you know, all the stuff that’s read about in murder reports.

And FJ is a faffer (or is that phapher?). He totters around doing nothing, except being awake… So this photo was me allowing him to speak to me after a morning of interruptions.

My sister always says that I’m the worst person to wake up because you encounter “the wrath”. I’m generally a pleasant guy, but wake me up and I hate you. For a while at least…

He’s lucky I was smiling…

Okay, so I tag

Frank

Andy (a new blogger, so go over and say hi – maybe he’ll post again!)
Allie
Shayne
Gill
Willie

Off you go!

Torn

Since returning from Cape Town, I’ve kicked into Joburg mode – lots of drive, with a touch too much anxiety. This isn’t a bad thing… Until I hit what I call the little boy syndrome… where I feel small, sensitive and want to moan about everything… Luckily that hasn’t kicked in. I could feel myself climbing down the well on Friday night, so I spent Saturday chilling and getting a bit of me time… Seems like the blues has been going around…

Going back to Cape Town was really amazing, but tough too. I miss the life I created for myself there. I miss my friends. It’s weird because when I’m there I miss Joburg and my family…

The company I used to work for are always asking me to come back, so it’s quite simple to pack up and go back in some regards – I still have my house in CT – just need to kick out the tenants…

But I have an amazing job here, and a wonderful partner who is very entrenched in Joburg… My family are here… so it all seems like a no brainer. Why do I feel so torn?

Anyone got a job for Frank in Cape Town?

Hehhehehe

Drunk tourists

I discovered why you should never let drunk tourists take a photo of you and your partner at some touristy spot. Its because the photo comes out like this:

This is the way it should of looked…

Hehehe

And as promised – here is a pic of lunch with Mel and Allie.

I’ll post more pics on facebook… Have a good weekend y’all

Blog 2 of the day

My previous blog Shall We Dance has been published on Mambaonline – rather unexpected, but feel free to go along to it here. I was first published on Mambaonline in september last year, where a letter I wrote for a friend about to enter the ex-gay ministry was published. The article is rather personal and shares a bit about my experience of the ex-gay ministry. Some blog readers have asked me what the ex-gay ministry is, so click on the link if you want to read more.

Recently I was interviewed by The Times newspaper on my feelings about the ex-gay ministry. I think the journalist was a bit startled that I refused to speak negatively about it or say that it does more harm than good. You can see the article here. I suppose I speak about homosexuality and christianity, because I believe that mature non-political discussion is the way forward. Someone once said that just because you have an opinion doesn’t mean its the right one. I can only write from where I come from, so I have an opinion based on that. I am more than open to others opinion, and grateful for the opportunity to start some discussion.

So, if this is your first visit to the blog, this will give you a brief idea, about what its about and who I am… I have a few more posts on here about my views on being gay and a christian, so give them a read if you want…

Franschhoek part two

Its so difficult to write about our last day in Franschhoek, because I’m more concerned with the fact that I’m no longer there. Ah, to be nestled in the winelands, sipping the best chardonnay and feasting in some of the country’s best restaurants, was an arduous task. Sigh… I wish I could have spent a few more days there.

It really is beautiful, and while the restaurants are expensive, most seem worth it. The town prides itself on its creativity in both food and wine, and paring the two.

We spent Tuesday morning in Stony Brook estate. You basically sip gorgeous wines on the stoep (verandah) of their home (well, thats what it feels like) while the staff tell you about their wines and stories about the farm and surrounds. We intended to just pop in there, but spent the morning there, chatting and tasting…

From there we headed to Moreson estate for lunch… they have a restaurant called Bread and Wine, and came highly recommended. Once again, it wasn’t cheap, but my duck on bok choi and battered celery was sublime and Frank tucked into his Cape Salmon wrapped in some type of ham…

The afternoon was spent at the Motor Museum on L’Ormarins wine estate (not my type of thing, but every now and then we have to do what Frank wants to, I believe) and then headed off to a tasting there…

The evening was spent lamenting our imminent return.

Now that I’m back, it seems like I’ve never been away. Spent this morning working through a week’s worth of emails and press releases and off to meeting for the afternoon. Still have to get round to returning phone calls – that will have to wait until tomorrow…

Well, now that I’m back I’ll get back to blogging about life in Jozi and my thoughts on the gay issues that arise. The one part of my blog, a post I did entitled ‘Shall We Dance’ might be published on a gay website soon, so it will be interesting to see the responses within the gay community. Really pleased that it’s had some impact and that the avenues to talk are opening. That’s all I’ve aimed to do really. Talk through my thoughts and encourage some dialogue.

Okay, back to work.