Month: July 2009

Why it’s hell being gay

You can’t have hair
There’s nothing more terrifying than a man with hair on his back. If you hear a “poof” sound when he takes off his shirt, run for the hill. Anyone will tell you. If it’s on the back, then a wax is in order, or even garden shears if need be. But being gay means that you can’t have any hair from the neck down, with the exception of a small neatly trimmed area – use your imaginations with this one people. Yes, I meant under the arms people. Straight guys have all the luck. They whip off their shirts to reveal their Magnum PI love-fluff and most girls swoon and think of running their fingers through the fur. Men run a mile… unless you’re a bear…

You have to have hair
On the top of your head that is. Balding is to be avoided at all costs. Gay men have kept products like Hair Fantastique and Regaine alive, and now can be seen at a pharmacist near you with a prescription of Propecia in hand, and a request for minoxodil in the other. Straight men have a different opinion of balding- it means they’ve earned their stripes – they make jokes about it, tease each other and some even polish it. Not gay men, we’re the ones crying in the corner, trying to paste the hair back into the follicle… unless you’re a bear…

You have to fight being neurotic
They may not admit it but most gay men are neurotic. Usually about being discovered that they are gay. Being discovered meant shame when I was growing up, and is the same for many gay guys, so most of the time gay men spend their days telling people they’re gay, so that they say it first, or hoping like hell it won’t be discovered.

I remember sitting at a restaurant in Rosebank (it was called Three Sisters and if you remember it then you’re old) and we had just received our order. ‘We’ consisted of three gay men, all freshly out the closet and doing things that gay people do – tea in Rosebank. The waiter came over to us and I was sure he was rolling his eyes in his sockets, totally perturbed that he had to serve this table of deviants. He walked up and casually asked, “are you guys all gay?”. I was out of my chair. Standing up to defend myself and tell him how inappropriate his homophobia was when I realised he asked: “are you guys okay?”.

It’s exhausting stuff I tell you.

Unless you’re a bear…

People assume you’re fine with being called girl
Seriously.

Straight friends will assume they’re cool asking you and your boyfriend if “you girls have had enough?” after your Sunday lunch. How do you respond? Do you laugh nervously? Do you guffaw as if they’re hysterical and bitch about them behind their backs? Do you scratch your crotch, and spit in the plant to prove them wrong?

And then you get other gay men who call you girl, or refer to a male friend as ‘she’. Some go so far as renaming you with a female name.

Seriously.

It’s odd people.

Especially if you’re a bear…

You have to learn a whole new language
In South Africa there’s a whole gay language. Cigarettes are “silla’s”, parties are “patsy’s”. beautiful boys are “beaulah’s”, awful is “nora”, no is “nancy” and other gay men are “sista’s”. So saying: “No man, this party is awful. Just one more cigarette and we’ll go find boys somewhere else” becomes “Nancy sista, this patsy is nora. Just one more silla and we’ll go find beaulahs.” There are a whole lot more. It’s not easy, this gay thing.

And then there are all the terms to represent certain things… top, bottom, cub, bear, twink, muscle mary…

Even bears know them…

You have to go to gym
or else you have nothing in common with other gay men, and will sit at a dinner party eating your carb-free meal without anything to add. Talking about how you ration your six square meals and how amazing your personal trainer is, is essential stuff.

Even for bears…

You have to learn it’s survival of the fittest or the bitchiest
Hence the need to go to gym, but if you don’t then you need to outwit the rest. You can click your fingers as you throw in a bitchy comment for good effect, or you can just throw it in, in perfect comic timing and let everyone endear to you because you’re just “so funny”.

Except bears… they can’t be bitchy, and if they are, they must never click their fingers at the same time.

You have to be trendy
That’s why I read Man of Cloth. Wearing designer clothes is important. Even your underwear. Your Diesel jeans should have Aussiebums or Calvin Kleins perfectly peering above them so everyone knows that you have taste. Your bathroom should be filled with lots of expensive products and your shirts should always have a label…

And as for sunglasses. They must be big and must have a big “P-R-A-D-A” written down the side of them.

Except bears… they just need leather…

You must be okay with speedo’s
It will be your uniform on the beach. No matter how many people mock you for it behind your back, you must believe that you look fantstic and that other men are admiring you in your budgie-smuggler as you amble up and down Clifton 3.

Your tan must reflect that you have worn a speedo.

Bears too…

You have to fight off the stereotypes
Ahem…

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I have a virus!

My computer had a virus.

And I feel completely violated.

How it got there is totally beyond me. I came into work one morning and there was a big sign telling me that some foreign-named worm was now replicating itself all over my hard drive. I ran the anti-virus I have on my computer and all it could do was tell me that I had a virus. You see, we have free anti-virus software on our computers, and it seems you get what you pay for. This tells you about your virus but you have to pay if you want to do something about it.

Thanks the Lord for google.

I trawled the net on how to get rid of this thing in my hard-drive and after two days, I think I’ve defeated it. I’ve deleted, I’ve clicked, I’ve prayed and, I confess, I’ve sworn, but I did it.

My IT guy told me I’d have to reload my PC. Ha! Bet he looks stupid now! Ha!

In other news, I have developed an addiction to two TV series. One is called Gossip Girl and the other is True Blood.

Gossip Girl is all about pretty rich kids (and some not so rich) who do what pretty kids do – they fight, they drink, they take drugs, they sleep with other pretty people, they fight with their parents and they do what all rich kids should do – dress well. All makes for a fascinating time. And, boy, are they pretty.


I’ve just finished season one – so no telling me what happens in season two, y’hear!

And, then, there’s True Blood.

Not only is it a great story line – a kind of a whodunnit in Southern America – but it’s also well acted and crafted. Completely different to what we’ve had on TV more recently, and completely edgy. And very sexy… It’s not for the prudish, you do see the odd bit of bare flesh, but if you can see past that (ahem) you’ll definitely enjoy it.

The story is about a group of people trying to deal with vampires in their lives, now that they’ve been “outed” and identified. Vampire clubs that were normally hidden are out in the open and vampires can walk into a bar and order a drink of blood thanks to a whole lot of vampire-activists who have asked for equal rights for all.

Ring a bell?

Weather lament…

I think this is the least I’ve posted in a month. Can’t believe how quickly July has passed. It flies when you’re busy. And cold… I generally feel totally uninspired when my fingers creak as they try to reach the ‘Q’ key. I know Joburgers are big moaners when it comes to the cold, but this is insane. Yesterday my skin was so dry that I actually could write the word ‘dry’ on it (you’re old if you remember that ad), and I’m churning through lip balm like its eye cream for Bridgitte Bardot. Climbing out of the shower feels like you’ve decided to jump naked into the arctic and leaving home for work is more punishment than it should be. You know Joburgers are cold when they’re poleased they get stuck in traffic – it means they get to spend more time in their warm-heater-blaring cocoon.

And, of course, the Capetonians are revelling in the mildness of their winter. Blegh. Your mild winter is still worse than ours. I can do cold. I can do wet. I can’t do them together though.

Alright, I’ll leave yu with my moan about the weather. It’s Monday. Monday is Moan-Day. You’re allowed to… so, go… feel free…

Response to concern

I’m rising from the ashes (so to speak) and back in the land of blog-ville. I have been quiet, I know, mostly due to work constraints – the time I have had free to blog I’ve used to rest – and personal stuff. I know that when I say “personal stuff” some of you lean closer to see if I’ll spill the dirt on my life. Well, who am I not to wear my heart on my sleeve and tell you all my deep, dark issues…

Well, I have no deep, dark issues – just regular life stuff… a gay wedding to plan, offended people to deal with (some for not being invited, others for being invited to a wedding where they have to witness two men getting married), work issues (offices are never easy places to abide), and friends going through hard times and me feeling completely helpless in what they’re going through…

I recently had a comment from a reader on an old blog post. He/she called themselves Concerned Christian and wanted to suggest that God has a different will for my life. They did say that I probably wouldn’t post it, but I have no filter on posts (except for the spam I seem to be receiving so will have to put word verification back – sorry people), and am very happy to engage on the subject. I think Concerned Christian hadn’t read all my posts, so didn’t understand that a) I’m all for dialogue – I believe it’s the way forward, and b) I have addressed his/her concerns and lived them. So I’m going to post the comment formally, and my response… and would love for you to add to the discussion… okay?

Hi Rambler,
you probably will not post my comment as I might be swiming against the tide! Nonetheless I still felt compelled to comment on your blog. Honsexuality is a sin and that is made very clear in the bible. It is not man’s idea to call it sin- thats what God calls it! Regardless of what movements say…weather they distort the bible or not,we must accept and acknowledge our sin before God and if need be before man. However, just like any other sin God is willing and able to completely forgive and make an gay person new. He complete changes them and if you are a believer (Christian) then know that God does forgive and gives the grace to change completely. This doesn’t mean that the feeling go away or the thought doesn’t cross the mind but it does mean you have power to say no to ungodliness. When you resist the devil he will flee. The question we aught to be asking ourselves is do we want to be free? Do we want to change and walk in the the right path trusting that God is able to save completely those who come to him?
Concerned Christian.

I responded to the comment as follows (slightly editted):

Hi Concerned Christian

I post all comments and only delete ones that are offensive, so please don’t feel like I don’t hear other voices. You are more than entitled to that belief. Like you, I work out my own salvation with fear and trembling. I do think your comment is slightly naive – and totally fundamentalist. No disrespect intended. If you read more of my posts, you will read about my journey, which started with the same idea as yours. I do not believe that being gay is ungodly – when you journey back into the scriptures most of the references are based on the time, and men being raped in the Roman army (the Romans verse) for example. I choose to live my life as I wish, and to honour God as I believe. I do not dictate how others should do that, and ask the same from you. I read about a Christ who only got angry with religious leaders, and showed more grace to those considered sinful and dirty than those who were considered close to God. We work out our own salvation, and are called to love our brothers and sisters in him without judgement. Perhaps this is the lesson to be learnt than deciding to anonymously inform me how to live a more Godly life.

I hope you hear my heart behind the response – there is no anger or sarcasm to be read into it. But I do believe that we, as Christians, need to change the way we approach people we perceive as different, and sinful. Just as Jesus did.

I also wanted to add this to the equation:

“Teacher, which command in God’s Law is the most important?”

Jesus said, “‘Love the Lord your God with all your passion and prayer and intelligence.’ This is the most important, the first on any list. But there is a second to set alongside it: ‘Love others as well as you love yourself.’ These two commands are pegs; everything in God’s Law and the Prophets hangs from them.”

Matthew 22:36-30 (from The Message)

I know the gay thing is difficult to digest for some… and please don’t think I expect everyone to have the same view as mine. You are allowed your opinion (and school of thought), as am I, and just because I have an opinion doesn’t mean I have the right one. And vice versa. I have chosen to live my life authentically, and openly, and make no apologies for how I work out my salvation. I don’t expect you to embrace my choices, but if you love me, I expect you to support me, or talk to me. So we can understand each other better. And, talking means renegotiating at times.

I am no less a Christian because of the choices I have made. The choices I have made have been prayerful, thought through and in relationship with a God so many have told me to walk away from. I work out my salvation with fear and trembling, just as others do. And , Concerned Christian, I appreciate your concern. I know you did what you felt convicted of and what you thought the most loving thing to do. Take the time to get to know my journey and you will see I journeyed where you suggest. I came out with a stronger conviction that it was not what God wanted. There are many other stories. Its easy and glib to say “just do it”. That’s why I write what I do… no one knows how painful and difficult the journey can be unless they’ve walked in those same shoes…

Alive…

So:

  • am alive
  • but hellishly busy
  • mag goes to print in a few days
  • life isn’t all that fun at the moment
  • sleeping less than normal
  • grumpy
  • coffee is my friend
  • and feeling all round low

But:

  • should be ecstatic
  • FJ and I have set a date
  • booked a venue
  • planned the food
  • have the best men ready
  • starting to alert the family

Which means:

  • we have to save more money than we probably will
  • hard when you’re a shopper
  • have to start telling people who aren’t invited
  • have to deal with people asking silly questions about how two men can get married

In any event:

  • we’re getting married (well, civil union-ed)

Seriously:

  • Its really going to happen…

Seriously

Look – a meme!

I stole this from Allie, and thought I’d use it while I have no blogging mojo…

I am: about to turn 37 and can’t vaguely believe it

I have: a weird phobia of weed-eaters (lawnmower type things if you don’t live in SA or have green fingers)

I know: that the meaning of life is found in your relationships

I think: way too much for my own good

I don’t think: Madonna should wear revealing clothes at her age, but Britney should

I want to: stop being scared

I have: a wedding to plan

I like: fries… oh, wait, that would be love…

I dislike: cooked carrots

I hate: weed eaters

I dream of: weed eaters being abolished…

I fear: weed eaters

I am annoyed: by people weed-eating at the side of the road, making me scream like a girl as I drive past

I crave: chocolate, and a flat tummy… sigh

I usually: burp loudly when no one else is around… sometimes when they are

I search for: wholeness

I hide: when I think I can give you a fright as you walk past

I wonder: if things would have been different sometimes…

I know: that life is short, so I’m going to go for it…

I just can’t help: who I am

I regret: believing that others were better than me…

I love:FJ

I can’t live without: zambuk, hair product, the shoes, pop music, my blackberry

I try to: do more than I should

I enjoy: dancing to songs that I know the words to

I don’t care: if you find my sexuality offensive

I always: believe that God loves me

I never want to: be jaded and bitter

I rely on: coffee

I believe: that Believe is one of Cher’s best songs

I dance: too seldom

I sing: all the time

I argue: when I’m tired

I write: because I believe that story-telling is instinctive

I win: and if I don’t, I sulk

I lose: if I haven’t cheated well

I wish: Madonna would call me… or Adam Lambert….

I listen: well

I don’t understand: why we fear what we think is different

I’m scared of: weed eaters

I forget: how much I love talking about myself, until now…

I am happy: that’s all… I am happy…

I want to thank the academy…

I’ve decided to rethink the acting thing and sending new pics to my agent… whatcha think? I recently had a chat with my sister about my acting career and she inspired me to give it a go again – nothing dramatic (for want of a better word), just dipping my toes back in…


All pics taken today… you’re the first to see them!


Feel like I’m getting my blogging mojo back, so will be back with you in a bit, I’m sure…