After my post about holding hands I thought I would investigate a bit more about why so much attention is being paid to 17 May as a day to remember gay rights and protest for acceptance. I didn’t have to go to far – I was sent a mail which explained it all and made me think a bit further than my possibly glib response to the hand holding protest being planned for that day.
You see, I think gay couples holding hands publicly as a form of protest in South Africa is unnecessary because it doesn’t make sense. We have a constitution that protects our relationships and are allowed to enjoy legal protection of those relationships in a union recognised in the same category as marriage under the law. So we don’t need to protest for formal acceptance of our relationships thanks to a constitution considered to be the most forward thinking in the world.
But, in thinking further, I think the hand holding protest in the context of the USA is a good one. There they have had their rights stripped away after Prop 8. Relationships that were once recognised by law (like Ellen de Generes’s marriage to Portia) is now under threat, and legal action is being taken to have those marriages annulled. All this quite reminiscent of Prop 6 and Anita Bryant (is she still alive by the way?). If you don’t know what I’m tlking about then get yourself to a cinema to see Milk.
So, in that context, a protest to affirm their unions is appropriate. I know that I would be hacked if FJ and I were married and then forced to divorce through no choice of our own. It denies someone their humanity after affording it to them… even more offensive. I know some claim it on religious grounds, but imagine if I, on religious grounds, demanded that all people who had been married and divorced and were now remarried were to have their marriages annulled because the Bible equates divorce and remarriage to adultery.
On 17 May 1990 the World Health Organisation took homosexuality off the list of mental disorders. 1990 feels like just the other day, but it’s almost 20 years ago. So it’s a day that gay people should celebrate. The big guys decided we weren’t freaks… and that our attractions were normal (in our contexts) and could not successfully be reversed.
17 May will be the International Day against Homapphobia (IDAHO) and so I think it’s appropriate that South Africa celebrates it. How I have no idea. And we need to protest communities that rape gay women to change them (relatively common in South Africa) or even murdered for their sexuality. And we need to stand up to the witch hunts in places like Uganda. Once again, how? Lord knows we don’t need another pride march… I really think the gay community needs to rethink those… anyone have thoughts on gay pride marches?
But I do understand the need to protest. So please don’t think my previous post was dissuading militance. I just think it needs to be thought out, appropriately communicated and executed as effectively as possible.
Okay, I know I lost some of you along the way there… hehe… but this is my space to ramble…
On a lighter note, my blackberry and I are in love. Especially since it has Texas Hold’Em poker on it. I’ve never really been a keen fan of card games and thought I’d check it out when I saw it was on my phone. And let’s just say I’m a terrible poker player, but I can’t stop trying to get better. I’ve lost hundreds of thousands of dollars (virtual) by now, but can’t stop. FJ is tolerating it for now, but I knew it was bad when I woke up early so I could play, and when I looked again, I was running late for work.. I was even tempted to play in the car while I was driving but decided against that (thank goodness).
I can easily see how people get sucked into casino’s and spend their days throwing notes onto tables or into machines. This is a side of me I never expected… and will have to watch…
Okay, who wants to bet on Adam Lambert winning Idols???