Month: April 2009

Happy 100

Today is my 100th post… who would have thought? I started this blog thinking it would die a very quick death (this is not my first blog…) , but instead it has become my addiction, my space to rant and my space to connect with people I wouldn’t normally have the opportunity to connect with…

So thanks y’all for reading… sometimes commenting, sometimes laughing, sometimes relating, but always feeding my addiction…

Advertisements

Milk

Saturday night was pretty memorable. I went to see an incredible movie called Milk, which I’m sure you’ve heard about (Mr Penn won the Oscar for his mind-blowingly brilliant performance). I think he got tips from his ex-wife?

Now, you may recall that I posted about the fact that I cry pretty easily in movies. So I knew that I may shed the odd tear – I know the basic premise of the story. For those of you who don’t – it’s based on the life of Harvey Milk who was the first openly gay man to be elected into public office in the States. It’s set in the 70s, and Milk, after seeing the way gay men (there aren’t many gay women in the movie) were treated by the police and businesses around his, decides to stand for office in an attempt to change the way gay people are treated, and most importantly seen. He transcends from a hippie gay man to a respected man in the community, who is pivotal in standing up against Proposition 6 which was wanting to stop gay people from not being discriminated against – especially in the workplace. Anti-gay activists like Anita Bryant and John Briggs were spearheading the campaign and wanted gay people removed from working in schools – for fear of them influencing the children and making them turn out gay too.

Milk turns his attention on getting Americans to vote against Prop 6 by encouraging gay people to come out and reveal their sexuality to those around them. Something I can only imagine being terrifying at the time. I think I cried through most of the movie, not just at the movie’s and his tragic end, because it resonates so much with me as a gay man, and a man who speaks out against prejudice and tries to find a bridge to acceptance (even if it is on this small platform called ‘In the now…’)

I’ve shared my journey before, but this movie hit me hard. I remember the first time I came out to a friend – it was one of the most terrifying moments of my life. She reads this blog and is still one of the most amazing friends I have (I’ll call her Tart)… and she was the first person I told. It wasn’t easy for her to hear, mostly because it was difficult for me to tell her. I couldn’t say the word ‘gay’ because it was such an embarrassing word for me. In my mind it meant dirty, and deviant. I was also the first gay person in her circle of friends and that would have all sorts of consequences – sharing in my silence, lying to friends to protect me and hearing all my woeful stories about my unwanted sexuality. She has been instrumental in my acceptance of myself and I want to honour her in this.

I told Tart many years before a member of my family ever knew. I was too terrified to tell them. I had grown up my entire life desperate for their approval and especially my Dad’s and admitting to being different to what they expect is hard. I think the hardest part in coming out is that their response might just affirm the loathing I felt for myself – that I was some sort of pervert, less of a man than others and destined to be seen as disgusting.

I first told my brother – I’ve mentioned before that I told him by fax, which should remind you that I’m closer to 40 than I am to 20. I called him to forewarn him and said that he should read the fax with his wife when he got home and call me if he wanted to. He phoned back almost immediately and reassured me of his love for me, but told me of his concerns.

Gay people grieve their sexuality – I’ve said this before and I’ll stick to it – whether they grieve their loss of perceived “normality”, their loss of the possibility to have children in a “natural” setting, a loss of relationship with the church or other religious institution and for some the potential to lose their family.

But the family grieve too. And not many family members know how to grieve, especially when it comes to their child’s sexuality. That’s why I believe in dialogue – even if you think homosexuality is a sin and, may go as far as perceiving it as deviant, you may have a child, family member or friend who happens to be gay, and your response is instrumental in their lives.

Grieving is appropriate.

So my brother responded with grief – he cried, as did I, and said he wished that things could be different. But no matter what he felt, his assurance of his love for me, helped me like myself just that little bit more.

I then told my younger sister – who’s significantly younger than me in years, but my twin in every other way. Her response was incredible. She immediately thought of who she could set me up with and was more upset that my brother knew before her. She’s has been more militant in promoting acceptance for gay people than I have – starting with a school play that she directed that was about exactly that. Pretty damn daring for a Benoni school play, let me tell ya. I never saw it, but friends did, and that was one of the proudest moments of my life… and made me like myself a little bit more.

My Dad then found out… not in a way I would have wanted him to, but his discovery was out of my control and the hardest for all of the family.

There are different generations that deal with homosexuals differently. You have the generations that Harvey Milk experienced who vilified gays and saw them as abominations – evil creatures out to corrupt children and destroy family values . These anti-gay people still exist, and I’m not sure if much can be done to dissuade them.

Then you have a younger generation, who have, through people like Milk’s encouragement, met openly gay men and women and been able to see past ‘type’ and see the human behind the label. Some have been able to say “I know a gay and he seems fine” and then there are those who have managed to integrate gay folk into their circle of friends. Women have been better at this than men in general, but that’s a post on it’s own.

And then there are the post-Will and Grace generation who have grown up with gay people on their TV screens and around them, and have no issue with it…

I witnessed all those generations in my family… and my Dad surprised me the most. He struggled with it, still does, but has chosen to love me, and see past the label of gay. He’s told me he wished I could settle down with a young lady and have kids, but that doesn’t mean he doesn’t respect FJ and my choice to be with him.

And his respect for me and my choices has helped me like myself a whole lot more.

Milk, as you can tell, left me thinking long and hard about the struggle that has gone on before me so that I can freely post about my journey as a gay man. The fact that I could even come out and be honest with the people who mean the most to me, is thanks to people like him.

That’s why I will continue to be vocal. Continue to find ways to build bridges between people of differing opinions, and why I will continue to present gay people as human beings with a right to live their lives maturely, relate to their God as they want to, and be accepted into communities as people, and not types to be afraid of, mocked, rejected or even beaten or murdered for their sexuality.

Braindead Friday

Happy to report that Nana is standing on just over 4 000 votes. The ANC have just hit over 10 million votes. Apparently it cost R500 000 to register a party? So that’s quite expensive per vote for Nana (she represents Women Forward). Excluding marketing costs it must have cost her around R115 a vote. Compare that to the ANC’s campaign, and they’re around 50c a vote, so Nana paid a lot…

She’s like the Ferrari of the elections… very expensive, and only for the elite few… lucky lady… no wonder she smiles so nicely.

Aaaaaaaaaaaaaannnnyyywaaaaaaaaaaaaayyy…

Enough of the election stuff. It’s all very exciting but there are more important things to consider…

um…

um…

um…

Apparently Susan Boyle has had a makeover. That should get people talking. Have yet to see it though…

Ummmmmmmmmmmmmmm…..

Oh, Monday’s a public holiday.

Ummmmmmmmmmmm…

Please tell me there’s more interesting stuff?

bullets… again

One of those days so blogging in bullets:

  • long weekend ahead – no plans, but am sure FJ will make me exercise at some time, which means I will be forced not to watch tv on my new flat screen
  • I don’t mind exercising…
  • prefer it in front of the TV though (with popcorn and fattening food)
  • stood in the cold in the queue to vote and didn’t mind it at all
  • I see Nana has 1 500 votes so far
  • ANC has 4 000 000…
  • am sure Nana will catch up
  • apologies for man boobs in post below
  • will never google man boobs again
  • still gagging
  • worked out extra hard after posting that post
  • for fear of developing man boobs
  • am now keen to buy mountain bikes
  • think it’s the man boobs
  • retracting first statement – hope FJ makes me exercise for fear of developing man boobs
  • will not say man boobs again in this post
  • unless you want me too
  • man boobs

Elections and boobs

All this campaigning and endorsing is quite something. I have just received another mail from a group telling me which party and candidate they are endorsing, which I find quite weird… it’s like me saying that I will be voting a certain party, and that means that you should too, because I endorse them… on that note – viva NANA!

Then again, I agree with a lot of the reasons for endorsing certain parties – especially when it comes to gay folk. We do need to make sure we vote for someone who has our interests in mind, which crosses ACDP off the list. Zuma has also said some nasty things about gay people. He did apologise, but, hey, true colours shone before the apology tried to dim it.

And Cope’s presidential candidate headed up a committee against same-sex marriage and unions. Thing is, I really like him. I studied with Rev. Dandala’s son, and met him on a number of occassions while we both worked for the Methodist Church. I was a little youth pastor and he was the bishop, so we weren’t exactly chinas. But he’s a great guy, and has loads to offer.

DA have never openly endorsed gay unions, but never been against them – they let their candidates vote as they saw fit – but they do have a number of gay candidates on the list.

And ID have always been open about their belief that gays should be able to marry. I think Patty is a bit of a fag hag…

So, policy aside, that’s a major factor in who I vote for. I like that FJ and I will be married next year… well, in a civil union. That means everything to me, so it helps when people who make the rules think so too…

Aaaaaaaaaaaaannnnyyywaaaaaaaaaaaaaaayyy… I’ll stop with my 5 cents worth…

I went to gym yesterday, and now I have sore boobs. I think I know what boobs feel like now because I can feel things on my chest that I’ve never felt before. When I go down stairs, my pecs jiggle (a bit) and now that they’re sensitive they feel all weird and sore… and whenever someone touches them or prods me, I want to go through the ceiling… not that boobs are sore (although sometimes they are)… um… can you tell I don’t interact with boobs often?


Okay, let me go before I make a tit of myself.

Hahaha

I slay myself…

It’s finally happened…

Monday… blegh…

At least Wednesday is a holiday, although I do hope all South Africans will be heading off to vote. I did all those online voting things and am not voting for who they suggested, although it seems I agree with a lot of their policy…

Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaannnyyyywwwwwwwwaaaaaaaaaayyyyy…

Last Friday I left you with the news that FJ wanted to take up mountain biking. And this weekend we went off to price bikes and gear, and see where we would store the things. And as much as your encouragements to embrace my role as sideline supporter were very helpful, I just could never bring myself to sit back and watch FJ. And after chatting to him, he explained that it wasn’t about being competitive but just getting out and having some fun – even if we just went to the farm (FJ is a farmer) and rode around there.

Now the farm and I aren’t friends… it’s beautiful, but I don’t get a cellphone signal, so I feel totally isolated when I go there… and there’s no where to buy a latte in the immediate vicinity. It’s so, um, rural…

So I decided to use the tactic that I know no man can resist. After many years of being a man… ahem… and dating them too, I know exactly how to get a man to change his mind and do what you want…

Yep, I did what you’re thinking…

I offered him a gadget.

I explained how the money spent on bikes and equipment would be far better suited to buying something pretty…

And big…

And black…

He agreed.

You guessed it people!!!

I finally have a TV that’s pretty, big and black (and HD ready)

You see, I asked and I received… maybe there’s something in this Secret thing….

Now if only Robert Pattinson will call…

Hill street blues

Joy to the world, Fri-day has come… let earth receive weekend…

I’m digging this Friday thing, mostly because I feel like weekend. Tonight we’re going to a local down the road and all I can think of is a nice sugary cocktail, followed by a good natter. Weird how the simple things in life give me such pleasure.

I’ve just read FJ’s blog and he was talking about me… which I like. I like attention and prefer if it’s in writing. So feel free to write [good] things about me. I will read it, I promise…

But I got a bit distressed when I read his blog. He was speaking about being all active and doing things on the weekend other than shopping, eating or sleeping… The words mountain and biking were thrown into the blog and said it would be decided after discussion with me.

Now, listen here, I’m all for mountains – I lived near one in Cape Town for a while, and being from Benoni means I’m even used to ugly ones (I only discovered Benoni’s mine dump wasn’t its version of Table Mountain shortly after I discovered I wasn’t the tooth fairy. I mean there wasn’t a tooth fairy). Benoni is actually very pretty. Well, Charlize is pretty, and that makes us all pretty by default.

Aaaaaaaaaaannnnnnnnnyyyyywwwwwwwwwwaaaaaaaaaaayyyyyyyyyy…

So it seems there may be talk of us mountain biking… and even if I decide not to I’ll have to go watch… and you know how cool that is – me, the wives and the fem lesbian partners sitting on the sidelines yelling “go baby” as someone you think is your partner covered in mud and blood (from skidding off the bike) and a bad helmet cycle past.

Oh. My. Gawd.

I can not mountain bike…

Helmet hair… hello?!

But what do I do? I refuse to sit on the sidelines and watch FJ become more fit and gorgeous while I eat cupcakes with the gals on the side. But, seriously, me on a mountain? On a bike? With a helmet?

I see Mel just suggested triathlons to his request for suggestions. I fainted when I read her suggestion of Iron Man competitions but on rereading see she wasn’t really suggesting them. Um, thanks. Last week this time I was bitching about going on a long walk, now I have to go look for a mountain bike and see if hairnets stop helmet hair.

I’m not sure I can ride a bike any more actually. Unless it strapped to the floor like the ones at the gym. I’m probably as good at biking as I am at throwing .

Um, FJ wants suggestions of what sports he can add to his insane workout regime that I get swooped into… How about suggestions of how I can get out of them???